Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2003

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings 2003

Article excerpt

The HAPLR Web site was re-opened with new data today announced Thomas J. Hennen Jr., its author. HAPLR 2003 is featured in the October 2003 issue of American Libraries magazine, a publication of the American Libraries Association. Previous editions were published in American Libraries 1999, 2000 and 2002.

"Statistics alone cannot define library excellence, of course, but the ratings numbers are important," according to Hennen. "The effects of the recession that began in 2001 have still not shown up in this year's ratings data," notes Hennen.

"Circulation in most libraries in the U.S. is at an all time high since the recession began. But there is a lag in the reporting of the usage numbers and an even greater lag in the funding levels for libraries," observes Hennen.

"Local and state governments tend to cut funding to libraries when their own revenues are pinched by economic conditions. This usually happens well after the recession has begun. News reports throughout the past year have indicated that state and local funding for libraries will be reduced for 2004. But those reductions will not show up in the reported data and the HAPLR Ratings for some time to come," notes Hennen.

A number of library systems that have been in the news lately with budget cuts, Denver and Multnomah County among them, continue to do well in this rating report, although future reports are likely to see declines.

Hennen's American Public Library Ratings System, HAPLR (tm), attempts to identify the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. …

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