Hooray! We’ve been named one of the nation’s best

Oak Park Public Library earns Five-Star Library status from Library Journal

We’re thrilled to share that our library has once again been named a “Five-Star Library” in Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service. For 2022 and out of the 5,359 libraries reviewed, Oak Park was ranked No. 3 in the country in its expenditure range ($5-$9.9 million).

“Being a Five-Star Library really speaks to Oak Park’s kind, dedicated and knowledgeable library staff,” said Executive Director Joslyn Bowling Dixon, “as well as our community’s use of and love for its library! The high numbers prove library resources and services are well-used by our patrons.” 

For the past 15 years, the Index has rated U.S. public libraries on eight per capita output measures: physical circulation, e-material circulation, library visits, program attendance, public computer users, Wi-Fi sessions, electronic retrievals (online resources use) and website visits. A total of 5,359 public libraries were reviewed for the 2022 award.

“This rating means so much, especially since it is no secret that library use across the country was down due to the pandemic,” Dixon said. “People’s daily habits and life patterns have changed so drastically. As a world, we are all still figuring out our “new normal.” And as a library, our staff continue to work hard to be innovative, flexible, and accommodating,” she added. “We’re always talking and thinking about creating new ways to empower our community with useful library services, resources, and opportunities.”

In Oak Park, one aspect of library use that continues to be strong is digital materials use. Downloads of ebooks and digital audiobooks, the number of streamed movies and music, and the use of virtual library services is nearly 95% higher today than it was before March 2020. Year-over-year comparative core statistics are available here.

Across the country, of the nation’s top 10 Five-Star Libraries in the $5-$9.9 million annual budget category, nine are in Illinois. To review the nation’s public libraries by the numbers, read this related story published by Library Journal on Friday, December 16.