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Hennenís American Public Library Ratings For 2004

By Thomas J. Hennen Jr.

Introduction

Has the economic downturn affected libraries?  Will the ratings finally include building size and electronic resources? Did many of the same libraries top the rating scales again?  In this, the sixth edition of the HAPLR ratings, I will try to address these and other issues.  Many librarians look forward to them; others dread or deride them.  The rating numbers are treated more fully on my web site.   

The economic downturn is mostly affecting the input side of the ledger for now, and that is to be expected.  There is a lag between budget cuts and the decline in library usage that we are just beginning to see.  Denver has been at the top of the list for several years running, but this year, partly due to budget cuts, it slipped to third place.  We can expect more of that if library revenues continue to decline.

I have still not incorporated the available electronic resources data into the ratings themselves, but I have indicated a separate ranking for the top 5 libraries in each population category in this article and will include more detail on my web site.  The data are still too skewed to incorporate into the HAPLR general ratings. 

Building statistics are finally available.  That will be great news for building planners.  I have not incorporated square feet numbers into the HAPLR ratings.  If I ever do, it will undoubtedly be in the form of a litmus test; a library either passes with a threshold square footage or it does not.  More likely, the building data will continue to be reported separately.  Much more detail on building data will be available on my web site.

State Comparisons

The table below indicates the relative 2003 and 2004 rankings of each state.  The scores weight the population of library communities so that a high score for a populous community in a state weighs more heavily than one for a less populous community. There is usually little movement from one rating year to the next, but a few states always move in the ratings.  Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, and South Carolina advanced by more than two positions.  Minnesota, Montana, and Oklahoma fell by more than three positions. 
 

Table 1.  State HAPLR Scores

State

 2003 Score

2003 Rank

 2004 Score

2004 Rank

AK

          463

28

          450

33

AL

          340

49

          343

49

AR

          377

46

          383

45

AZ

          538

17

          545

18

CA

          402

43

          411

41

CO

          652

5

          627

9

CT

          507

23

          518

21

DC

          330

50

          338

50

DE

          467

26

          504

24

FL

          457

29

          459

30

GA

          379

45

          379

46

HI

          428

38

          440

38

IA

          596

11

          596

11

ID

          564

15

          558

16

IL

          518

22

          518

22

IN

          667

4

          673

4

KS

          634

8

          632

6

KY

          448

34

          447

34

LA

          374

48

          366

47

MA

          544

16

          548

17

MD

          632

9

          630

8

ME

          486

24

          499

26

MI

          456

30

          469

28

MN

          524

20

          582

12

MO

          572

13

          562

15

MS

          317

51

          311

51

MT

          454

32

          463

29

NC

          452

33

          442

36

ND

          537

18

          532

20

NE

          603

10

          619

10

NH

          467

27

          473

27

NJ

          455

31

          459

32

NM

          406

41

          406

42

NV

          472

25

          500

25

NY

          533

19

          532

19

OH

          713

1

          723

1

OK

          436

36

          459

31

OR

          674

3

          680

3

PA

          424

40

          431

39

RI

          428

39

          440

37

SC

          433

37

          429

40

SD

          568

14

          575

13

TN

          376

47

          362

48

TX

          379

44

          389

43

UT

          683

2

          690

2

VA

          578

12

          575

14

VT

          445

35

          446

35

WA

          645

6

          650

5

WI

          635

7

          632

7

WV

          404

42

          384

44

WY

          521

21

          516

23


 

 Building Size Comparisons

Building size is a key measure of public library service, but building the data directly into the HAPLR ratings may not be possible in the near term even though FSCS has finally started collecting the data.  Over one out of six of libraries still have not reported their building size for FSCS purposes.  Four states (Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, and Nevada) have not reported building size for any libraries.  Just 27 states reported building size data for 90% or more of their libraries. 

The data here can be refined more, of course, and this has been needed by building planners for a long time.  In my book, Hennenís Public Library Planner, I had to use just comparisons for Wisconsin in the section on building planning because the federal data were not yet available.  Questions on comparative building size are asked again and again during any library building program. 

Still, the data that are available will prove extremely useful for building planners.  Consider the data in Table 2 below.  The table considers three measures: 1) square feet per capita, 2) books per square foot, and 3) square feet per Full Time Equivalent staff.  A library with a number lower than the one listed for the first quartile is in the bottom 25% while one above the number listed for the third quartile is in the top 25%.  As population size declines, all three measures increase; the trend is less marked for books per square foot.  The smaller the library, the higher the space provided.  There are economies of scale in larger operations, of course. 

Note that the libraries in Table 2 are divided into just three population categories rather than the usual 10 for purposes of building comparisons.  This is done for convenience in summarizing the data for publication here.  Further detail, including regional variations, will be presented on my web site. 

Table 2.  Building Size Comparison by Quartile.

 

Category

Quartile

Over 100,000 Population

10,000 to 99,999 population

Under 10,000 population

Number of Libraries

 

             208

         2,762

           4,264

 

 

 

 

 

Square Feet

Per Capita

1st Quartile

0.3

0.4

0.7

2nd Quartile

0.4

0.6

1.1

3rd Quartile

0.6

0.9

2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 Books per

 Square foot

1st Quartile

             4.0

             3.6

               3.7

2nd Quartile

             4.9

             4.7

               5.4

3rd Quartile

             6.2

             6.4

               7.9

 

 

 

 

 

Square Feet per

 FTE Staff 

 Member

1st Quartile

             771

            953

           1,253

2nd Quartile

          1,064

         1,314

           1,939

3rd Quartile

          1,371

         1,782

           2,978

 

Electronic Resource Use

The Federal State Cooperative Service (FSCS) has begun reporting electronic resource use and spending because enough libraries have begun reporting the data to their respective states.  I have still not incorporated the data into the HAPLR ratings, however, for a number of reasons.  This is because there is an extremely large gap between the highest and lowest reported rates of electronic resource use.  I believe that as libraries get more used to reporting these data, see how they are reported elsewhere, and pay careful attention to the definitions given them by their state library agencies, that these data will improve in consistency and reliability.  Until then I am not comfortable including such volatile data in the ratings.  The top 5 libraries in electronic resource use for each population category are reported in Table 5.

It should be noted that electronic resource use exceeds or is very close to exceeding reference use in all sizes of libraries, as Table 3 demonstrates.  In recent years reported reference use has been declining as electronic resource use has soared.   It should also be noted, as Table 4 demonstrates, that spending per use on electronic resources costs more than spending per use on print materials. 

 

Table 3. Reference Use and Electronic Resource Use

Pop Cat

Reference per Capita

Electronic Resource Use per Capita

 a) 500 k

                        1.5

                                     1.2

 b) 250 k

                        1.1

                                     0.9

 c) 100 k

                        0.9

                                     1.0

 d) 50 k

                        0.8

                                     1.1

 e) 25 K

                        0.8

                                     1.1

 f) 10 k

                        0.8

                                     1.1

 g) 5 k

                        0.8

                                     1.1

 h) 2.5 k

                        0.8

                                     1.1

 i) 1 k

                        0.9

                                     1.2

 j) 0 k

                        1.0

                                     2.0

 Averages

                        0.8

                                     1.2

 

 

Table 4.  Print Material and Electronic Resource Material Spending Rates

Pop Cat

Spending per Electronic use

Spending per Print use

 a) 500 k

$1.68

$0.81

 b) 250 k

$1.62

$0.65

 c) 100 k

$1.56

$0.68

 d) 50 k

$1.91

$0.68

 e) 25 K

$1.99

$0.67

 f) 10 k

$1.78

$0.64

 g) 5 k

$1.82

$0.73

 h) 2.5 k

$1.40

$0.73

 i) 1 k

$1.30

$0.77

 j) 0 k

$1.68

$1.13

 Average

$1.66

$0.75

 


 

Table 5. Electronic Resource Use

Pop Cat

Library

State

 Use Data

 Per Capita

a) 500 k

COLUMBUS METROPOLITAN LIBRARY

OH

      6,500,000

         8.6

a) 500 k

SALT LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

UT

      3,524,716

         5.2

a) 500 k

NASHVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

TN

      2,828,800

         5.0

a) 500 k

CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

      2,126,280

         3.8

a) 500 k

JEFFERSON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

CO

      1,524,536

         2.9

b) 250 k

CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PITTSBURGH

PA

      1,768,000

         3.9

b) 250 k

GENESEE DISTRICT LIBRARY

MI

      1,187,108

         3.7

b) 250 k

RICHLAND COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

SC

      1,055,600

         3.3

b) 250 k

EAST CENTRAL GEORGIA REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM

GA

      1,004,536

         3.1

b) 250 k

SPARTANBURG COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES

SC

        771,472

         3.0

c) 100 k

SALEM PUBLIC LIBRARY

OR

      1,784,068

       12.8

c) 100 k

CHULA VISTA PUBLIC LIBRARY

CA

      1,470,196

         7.7

c) 100 k

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY

MI

      1,040,000

         6.7

c) 100 k

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS PUBLIC LIBRARY

KS

        988,000

         6.6

c) 100 k

TACOMA PUBLIC

WA

      1,213,108

         6.2

d) 50 k

WORTHINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        961,688

       16.5

d) 50 k

FOUNTAINDALE P.L.D..

IL

        638,560

         9.8

d) 50 k

WESTERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        790,452

         9.5

d) 50 k

BOULDER PUBLIC LIBRARY

CO

        818,168

         8.6

d) 50 k

CHILLICOTHE AND ROSS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        576,836

         7.9

e) 25 K

FRANKLIN PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        676,832

       25.1

e) 25 K

BRUNSWICK - CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY

ME

        482,248

       18.5

e) 25 K

MT VERNON & KNOX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        819,988

       17.4

e) 25 K

UPPER ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        468,000

       13.9

e) 25 K

BEAVER DAM COMMUNITY LIBRARY

WI

        390,000

       13.0

f) 10 k

CALDWELL PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        219,076

       15.6

f) 10 k

ROLLING MEADOWS LIBRARY

IL

        366,132

       14.9

f) 10 k

STAUNTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

VA

        352,664

       14.8

f) 10 k

NEW CANAAN LIBRARY

CT

        282,464

       14.2

f) 10 k

WICKLIFFE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        275,444

       12.8

g) 5 k

GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        220,064

       30.1

g) 5 k

MORRIS PUBLIC LIBRARY

MN

        137,800

       26.0

g) 5 k

PORT JEFFERSON FREE LIBRARY

NY

        175,500

       23.4

g) 5 k

ORLAND HILLS P.L.D..

IL

        138,320

       20.4

g) 5 k

SAN MIGUEL LIBRARY DISTRICT # 1/TELLURIDE

CO

          91,260

       16.6

h) 2.5 k

BROWN MEMORIAL LIBRARY

OH

          78,000

       29.1

h) 2.5 k

WEST NYACK FREE LIBRARY

NY

          42,224

       12.9

h) 2.5 k

FAIRFAX COMMUNITY

VT

          36,400

         9.7

h) 2.5 k

AVON PUBLIC LIBRARY

MA

          41,600

         9.4

h) 2.5 k

ROANOKE PUBLIC LIBRARY

TX

          24,752

         8.8

i) 1 k

ISLAND FREE LIBRARY

RI

          35,880

       35.5

i) 1 k

ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

NE

          27,040

       23.8

i) 1 k

SPRINGLAKE-EARTH COMMUNITY LIBRARY

TX

          32,708

       19.5

i) 1 k

WEST LEBANON-PIKE TWP PL

IN

          16,380

       13.8

i) 1 k

LINCOLN PUBLIC LIBRARY

NH

          15,600

       12.1

j) 0 k

CRANBERRY ISLES - GREAT CRANBERRY LIBRARY

ME

            2,236

       34.9

j) 0 k

MONHEGAN MEMORIAL LIBRARY

ME

            2,860

       32.5

j) 0 k

CALUMET PUBLIC LIBRARY

MN

          11,700

       30.5

j) 0 k

ST. EDWARD PUBLIC LIBRARY

NE

          21,632

       27.2

j) 0 k

LAKE MINCHUMINA COMMUNITY LIBRARY

AK

               624

       25.0


 

 Table 4. HAPLR Ratings for 2004

 

Popul Category

Library

State

HAPLR Score

Rank in Popul. Category

a) 500 k

CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            864

1

a) 500 k

MULTNOMAH COUNTY LIBRARY

OR

            861

2

a) 500 k

DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY

CO

            856

3

a) 500 k

COLUMBUS METROPOLITAN LIBRARY

OH

            851

4

a) 500 k

BALTIMORE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

MD

            806

5

a) 500 k

INDIANAPOLIS-MARION COUNTY PL

IN

            805

6

a) 500 k

SALT LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

UT

            802

7

a) 500 k

HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY

MN

            797

8

a) 500 k

MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES

MD

            768

9

a) 500 k

FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

VA

            737

10

b) 250 k

SANTA CLARA COUNTY LIBRARY

CA

            886

1

b) 250 k

JOHNSON COUNTY LIBRARY

KS

            852

2

b) 250 k

MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY

WI

            805

3

b) 250 k

SAINT CHARLES CITY-COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT

MO

            778

4

b) 250 k

ALLEN COUNTY PL

IN

            776

5

b) 250 k

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

VA

            754

6

b) 250 k

LINCOLN CITY LIBRARIES

NE

            749

7

b) 250 k

DAYTON AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            744

8

b) 250 k

RICHLAND COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

SC

            742

9

b) 250 k

DAKOTA COUNTY LIBRARY

MN

            727

10

c) 100k

NAPERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARIES

IL

            926

1

c) 100k

MEDINA COUNTY DISTRICT LIBRARY

OH

            905

2

c) 100k

HOWARD COUNTY LIBRARY

MD

            898

3

c) 100k

ST JOSEPH COUNTY PL

IN

            868

4

c) 100k

RAMSEY COUNTY LIBRARY

MN

            855

5

c) 100k

SALT LAKE CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY

UT

            854

6

c) 100k

DOUGLAS PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT

CO

            851

7

c) 100k

GREENE COUNTY DISTRICT LIBRARY

OH

            850

8

c) 100k

SCHAUMBURG TWP. DISTRICT LIBRAR

IL

            840

9

c) 100k

MIDDLETOWN FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            837

10

d) 50k

WASHINGTON-CENTERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            941

1

d) 50k

LAKEWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            939

2

d) 50k

NEWTON FREE LIBRARY

MA

            898

3

d) 50k

EUCLID PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            896

4

d) 50k

WESTERVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            885

5

d) 50k

PALATINE P.L.D.

IL

            884

6

d) 50k

CARMEL CLAY PL

IN

            879

7

d) 50k

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS-UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS PL

OH

            877

8

d) 50k

WORTHINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            861

9

d) 50k

ANDERSON PL

IN

            857

10

Popul Category

Library

STABR

HAPLR Score

Rank in Popul. Category

e) 25 k

UPPER ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        898

1

e) 25 k

PORTER PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        893

2

e) 25 k

SUFFERN FREE LIBRARY

NY

        884

3

e) 25 k

JAMES PRENDERGAST LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

NY

        883

4

e) 25 k

LAKE OSWEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY

OR

        881

5

e) 25 k

ELMHURST P.L.

IL

        878

6

e) 25 k

WARSAW COMMUNITY PL

IN

        873

7

e) 25 k

SHAKER HEIGHTS PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        871

8

e) 25 k

STOW PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

        869

9

e) 25 k

WOODRIDGE P.L.

IL

        865

10

 
 

Table 4. HAPLR Ratings for 2004 (continued)

 

Popul Category

Library

State

HAPLR Score

Rank in Popul. Category

f) 10k

UPPER ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            898

1

f) 10k

PORTER PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            893

2

f) 10k

SUFFERN FREE LIBRARY

NY

            884

3

f) 10k

JAMES PRENDERGAST LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

NY

            883

4

f) 10k

LAKE OSWEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY

OR

            881

5

f) 10k

ELMHURST P.L.

IL

            878

6

f) 10k

WARSAW COMMUNITY PL

IN

            873

7

f) 10k

SHAKER HEIGHTS PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            871

8

f) 10k

STOW PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            869

9

f) 10k

WOODRIDGE P.L.

IL

            865

10

g) 5k

TWINSBURG PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            932

1

g) 5k

BEXLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            923

2

g) 5k

BROWN DEER PUBLIC LIBRARY

WI

            916

3

g) 5k

NORTH CANTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            910

4

g) 5k

WICKLIFFE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            904

5

g) 5k

ORRVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            892

6

g) 5k

HENRY CARTER HULL LIBRARY

CT

            890

7

g) 5k

DARIEN LIBRARY

CT

            889

8

g) 5k

ROCKY RIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            887

9

g) 5k

MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY

OH

            884

10

h) 2.5k

BELL MEMORIAL PL

IN

            940

1

h) 2.5k

HAGERSTOWN-JEFFERSON TWP PL

IN

            918

2

h) 2.5k

DESERT FOOTHILLS LIBRARY

AZ

            913

3

h) 2.5k

MT. PLEASANT PUBLIC LIBRARY

UT

            910

4

h) 2.5k

FALCONER PUBLIC LIBRARY

NY

            897

5

h) 2.5k

JAMES KENNEDY PUBLIC LIBRARY

IA

            894

6

h) 2.5k

EWELL FREE LIBRARY

NY

            889

7

h) 2.5k

TRACY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

NH

            888

8

h) 2.5k

ARDSLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY

NY

            886

9

h) 2.5k

ELKHART/MORTON COUNTY LIBRARY

KS

            881

10

i) 1k

FLOMATON PUBLIC LIBRARY

AL

            902

1

i) 1k

SENECA  FREE LIBRARY

KS

            891

2

i) 1k

CONRAD PUBLIC LIBRARY

IA

            890

3

i) 1k

SODUS FREE LIBRARY

NY

            888

4

i) 1k

RICEVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

IA

            884

5

i) 1k

EDGERTON: RUNALS MEMORIAL LIBRARY

MN

            874

6

i) 1k

ANGOLA PUBLIC LIBRARY

NY

            872

7

i) 1k

UPTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

TX

            868

8

i) 1k

MOOSE LAKE PUBLIC LIBRARY

MN

            868

9

i) 1k

CHEWELAH

WA

            867

10

j) 0k

CLAYVILLE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

NY

            905

1

j) 0k

POLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

NY

            904

2

j) 0k

NEW WOODSTOCK FREE LIBRARY

NY

            894

3

j) 0k

HARDTNER PUBLIC LIBRARY

KS

            887

4

j) 0k

BRUNSWICK PUBLIC LIBRARY

NE

            868

5

j) 0k

SILVERTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

CO

            867

6

j) 0k

EARLVILLE FREE LIBRARY

NY

            859

7

j) 0k

EASTON LIBRARY

NY

            848

8

j) 0k

CHILMARK FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

MA

            840

9

j) 0k

NEWFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY

NY

            840

10

 

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to quote something I said in the introduction to my book that Neal-Schuman published this past spring, Hennenís Public Library Planner:

 

For many years in the library community there was something of a civil war over planning and library assessment.  On one side were those who wanted to "give the public what it wants," and pump up circulation numbers.  On the other side stood those who wanted to maintain input standards and then let the librarians choose materials tastefully, regardless of the circulation numbers.  This civil war ended in an armistice rather than a victory for either side.  ALA opted for a "Planning Process" that let library planners choose the type of library services they wanted for the community regardless of input standards (or indeed, it seemed, output measures). 

Individual states were left with the task of setting standards when ALA abandoned the task.  ALA pursued planning processes and output measures while the states dealt with inputs.  In my HAPLR ratings, I have tried to re-unite the input and output threads.  I believe that both are important AND that a library must tailor its services to the community served.  

We need thoughtful planning at the local level in reasonably sized units (wider may be wiser).  We must measure outputs and be willing to compare them to one another.  We must also specify minimum standards for libraries.  Otherwise a collection of cast off books and National Geographic magazines can be called a library and demean the very name ďlibraryĒ for all adequate and excellent libraries everywhere.

 

Sidebar: Structure of the HAPLR Rating Scores

This sixth edition of the HAPLR library ratings is based on data filed by libraries that was filed in 2003 about 2002 activities. The first edition in 1999 was based on data filed in 1997.  The Federal State Cooperative System compiles the annual reports as reported by state library agencies for nearly 9,000 libraries into a single dataset. 

The HAPLR Rating Scores are based on six input and nine output measures.   Each factor is weighted and then scored.  Only libraries serving comparably sized populations are compared with one another. The author adds the scores for each library within a population category to develop a weighted score in each population category.   A 95th percentile score for all 15 measures would give the library a score at the top of its population category and a score of 950.   A 5th percentile score for all measures would put the library at the bottom with a score of 50.  Most scores are between 250 and 750.  Further detail on the rating methods  is available on the authorís web site.  Scores for the top ten libraries in each population categories are included in Table 4. 

Author Note:

Hennen is Director of the Waukesha County Federated Library System.  His book Hennenís Public Library Planner was published by Neal Schuman in May of 2004.  Further information on the comparisons provided in this article is available on the authorís web site at: http://www.haplr-index.com

 

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