Library Journal’s Star Libraries – show me the data

Library Journal has been making an effort to open up more, make more types of content available. I’ve been enjoying following Josh Hadro on Twitter. This was particularly useful when their Star Libraries report came out. Vermont has five libraries on the list [yay!] and I was trying to figure out how this compared to other states, by population and/or by sheer numbers. Josh went back and forth with me a few times pointing to other ways the data was displayed to see if any were helpful. What I was looking for was a list — similar to the Movers and Shakers list we were always agitating for — but I got close. The data is available, among other ways

It’s hard to tell how all these pages are related to each other — this page is the best start page I found — and each page lets you comment which is also a little on the confusing side. I asked about where to find everything on one page and I guess you can’t do it. Library Journal staffers are hampered by a CMS that doesn’t really allow them to make decent links between things and whether it’s software or “wetware” the link they offered in a comment wasn’t even one I could click. So, yay hooray for the winning libraries and a “let’s do better next time” nudge for decent information design for this report next year.

3 thoughts on “Library Journal’s Star Libraries – show me the data

  1. Nevada’s score is potentially messy. Las Vegas-Clark County Library District serves 80+% of the whole state’s population. Clark County has the vast majority of the state’s population while outlying rural Nevada generally has counties with populations below 500k. With our lopsided population distribution, I can see why the score for circulation was so high. As for program attendance, that may be a problem in data collecting as Dad has run events at LVCCLD facilities for the guitar society and LVCCLD didn’t collect data itself then.

    Thanks for pointing out the story Jessamyn!

  2. Kansas tied for 3rd with California! Only behind Ohio and New York, all states that have much higher populations.

  3. I’m behind in my blog reading, so apologies there. However, one of the things on my list here in my new job is to analyze the LJ rankings and Tom Hennen’s rankings — both of which use the same underlying data!

    I find it annoying that LJ is touting this list so much, when I do not think it is significantly different than Hennen’s (which appears in American Libraries). I am further annoyed that they call it a 2009 list when it is based on 2006 fiscal year data which was released by IMLS ( in December 2008. Stay tuned!

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