EAPL Ranks in the Top 1% of Public Libraries

What it Takes to be a Star  

Ela Library Earns Highest Honor From Industry’s Leading Publication  

One of the best public libraries in the nation can be found right here in Lake Zurich. For the 12th consecutive year, Ela Library has earned national recognition as a “Star Library” in Library Journal’s annual national review of public libraries. Each year, the professional publication spotlights the “best of the best across America.” A five-star library ranking was awarded to just five public libraries in Illinois and 85 nationwide. This is the second consecutive year Ela Library has the received the highest recognition.  

“Patrons love our stuff,” said Ela Area Public Library’s Executive Director Lauren Rosenthal. “On average, every resident checked out 25 items. If you figure the cost to purchase a book is approximately $10, the library saves you $80 per year over the average $170 paid in property taxes. The more you check out, the more you save,” Director Rosenthal said. 

The prestigious rating places Ela Library in the top 1% of public libraries across the country. Findings are based it on a rating system called the LJ Index of Public Library Service from 2019 per capita statistics from 5,608 libraries. The system looks at five measures of library service per capita: visits, checkouts including electronic information and eBooks, program attendance and public Internet use. To compare libraries only with their peers, the ratings group them by budget range, then assign the top libraries in each category a 3- to 5-star rating based on their overall score. Ela Library placed in the top 10 nationwide and fourth in Illinois in the $5-9.9M category.  

“This recognition is a reflection of a community that values and uses their library,” says Ela Area Public Library Board President Crystal Steker. “Thank you to our local communities for your support, and thank you to the entire library staff for your continued commitment to excellence in library services and to our mission ‘Share the Joy of Discovery,’” Steker said.  

Library Journal is the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field. Find the full list of LJ Index star-rated libraries and more information at LibraryJournal.com. 

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