Sunday, October 24, 2010

Local Libraries Receive Top Ranking

Do residents in Washington County love their libraries? The answer is a resounding YES, as shown by the record-breaking 4,078,577 annual visitors to cross the threshold of the fifteen Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) member libraries between June 30, 2009 to July 1, 2010.

With over 4 million annual visitors – the WCCLS member libraries win by a long shot when compared to several other well known and beloved destinations for entertainment and education in Oregon.

By the numbers - other Oregon destinations:
  • 3 million annual visitors to Spirit Mountain Casino
  • 2 million annual visitors to Multnomah Falls
  • 1.64 million visitors to the Oregon Zoo in 2009-10
  • 1.08 million total attendance to OMSI in 2009-10
  • 800,000 season game attendees in 2009-10 for the Portland Trail Blazers

Using fiscal year 2008 data, the current issue of Library Journal ranks libraries nationwide on a number of per capita measures including circulation, program attendance, visits and Internet use. Among the top 20 in circulation per capita of all Oregon libraries are the following WCCLS member libraries:

  • #1 Cedar Mill Community Library (33.83 per capita circulation)
  • #3 Garden Home Community Library (27.87 per capita circulation)
  • #10 Tualatin Public Library (17.46 per capita circulation)
  • #11 Tigard Public Library (17.15 per capita circulation)
  • #12 Beaverton City Library (17.12 per capita circulation)
  • #16 Sherwood Public Library (15.69 per capita circulation)

And yet one more reason to love your Cedar Mill Community Library: in October, as previously reported, Oregon Business published its "2010 List of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon." Cedar Mill Community Library Association is ranked number 11.

Peter Leonard, Executive Director, comments,

“We were very pleased to see these rankings. I think they really speak to the library's unique relationship to the communities we serve. The Cedar Mill and Bethany communities have really come together around their libraries.

"While our funding comes primarily from Washington County, our locations in unincorporated areas mean that we don't have municipal tax support for capital projects or other operating needs.

"The library has to continually nurture local community involvement and volunteer effort. When you have 700 volunteers and more than 1,200 households that support the library financially every year, you have a very responsive, community-oriented library."

"Since the passage of the local option levy for countywide library services in 2006," says WCCLS Director, Eva Calcagno, "WCCLS member libraries have worked very hard to improve customer service and be responsive to patron needs. The recognition from the Library Journal and Oregon Business is a pleasant acknowledgement that library use has increased as a result.”