Foley Public Library a top ten Library Journal Star Library

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 1/13/20

FOLEY - The Foley Public Library was recently announced as a top ten library in the United States in its category (expenditure range $400K - $999.9K) based on findings by the Library Journal for the …

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Foley Public Library a top ten Library Journal Star Library

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FOLEY - The Foley Public Library was recently announced as a top ten library in the United States in its category (expenditure range $400K - $999.9K) based on findings by the Library Journal for the year 2019. Foley Library placed sixth in the Five Star rating category, the same position they achieved during 2018’s rankings. Rankings are based on income levels and levels of per capita service and involvement by the community. This is the fifth year in a row that Foley Library has been a Five Star Library within the top ten in its category.

“We’re very proud of our ranking, very proud of what we’ve done over the past few years, and very proud that we remained within the top ten, which is very hard to do,” said Library Director John Jackson. “We compete with other libraries that have the same type of funding that we have, but they don’t have the same population that we have.”

The Library Journal rankings are all based on per capita amounts. Jackson states it’s difficult to reach the same per capita numbers as other libraries that have a population of 2,000 compared to Foley’s location that exceeds 17,000.

“It’s much easier for libraries with a smaller population to reach a per capita number before we do, so I’m very happy that we’re able to compete with those libraries,” Jackson said.

According to Library Journal’s per capita rating, Foley Public Library scored 47.08 in physical books circulation, 15.55 in eBooks circulation, 29.29 in visits, 1.08 in program attendance, 1.78 in public internet computer users, and 0.85 in Wi-Fi sessions. Its total score was 3285.

“It’s several thousand libraries that we’re competing against, and it’s hard to rank in the top ten year in and year out,” Jackson said. “We’ve been pretty consistent on the numbers we get of people coming in the building, and services we’re offering are still popular. We’ve increased numbers pretty much in every category, and we have a lot of events going on throughout the year too.”

The Foley Library hosts two major annual events, Forward City Con in the spring and the Halloween Extravaganza prior to the holiday each year, as well as numerous events that go on in house each week.

“We’re always trying to find new and innovative ways to bring people into the building,” Jackson said. “You can’t just continue to do the same thing year after year, so we’re trying to do new things and we’ll have to continue to evolve a little bit as the population continues to grow.”

For more information on all the events that take place at the Foley Public Library, check out their website at www.foleylibrary.org/ and follow them on Facebook.