County libraries awarded for service

GILROY
– For the second time in two years, the county’s public library
system has been named the best of its size in the nation.
GILROY – For the second time in two years, the county’s public library system has been named the best of its size in the nation.

Santa Clara County libraries were ranked tops in the nation of those serving a population between 250,000 and 500,000 patrons in “Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2002.” The comparison was featured in the October issue of the American Libraries Association’s monthly journal “American Libraries”.

“We’re delighted to be named number-one for another year,” said Julie Farnsworth, the acting county librarian who has stepped in for retiring county librarian Susan Fuller. “We’re deeply grateful to all of our library users, who are the reason we have such excellent service.

“They’ve provided the support, encouragement and funding which has now been recognized at a national level,” she said.

The library ratings system attempts to identify the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. Measures such as cost per circulation, visits per capita and funding per capita are tabulated to produce an index by which individual systems are judged.

Almost 3 million patrons visited Santa Clara County libraries last year, checking out over 7.7 million items and asking nearly 315,000 reference questions in the process. Nearly 110,000 children and 7,500 adults attended library programs.

The county’s library system serves more than 400,000 residents in Gilroy, Morgan Hill and eight other communities, including Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Saratoga and unincorporated areas.

The only other library from California to make the rankings was also from Santa Clara County. The city of Santa Clara’s library was rated seventh of those serving a population of between 100,000 and 250,000 people.

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