CENTRAL CITY, Neb. — Merrick County residents gather at the Central City Public Library to take part in Pinterest parties, book discussion groups, GED classes and children’s story time or to use the wireless Internet access.
So many people used the library that it was given a five-star rating for each of the past five years by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. The rating is based on visits, program attendance, computer use and circulation per capita. Just 30 libraries throughout the country have consistently ranked so high, earning the designation “5 Stars, 5 Editions.”
In Nebraska, the Atkinson and Hartington Public Libraries were the only other libraries that have received five years of five-star ratings.
“It’s a huge sense of pride,” said Central City library director Sara Lee. “It says we have tremendous support from the community.”
She said the library uses several forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as a website to keep patrons informed of the newest DVDs at the library, which best-sellers are in and what is happening.
One popular event is the monthly Pinterest parties.
Lee said the library has a Pinterest account where staff members “pin” interesting crafting ideas and recipes. About once a month, a craft is chosen and a message is posted on Facebook telling patrons what materials to bring to the library to make the craft.
Tonight’s Pinterest party includes a cookie swap using recipes found on Pinterest. On Jan. 7, patrons will learn to make wire-wrapped jewelry, and last month they made wreaths. Lee said because participants bring their own supplies, the class cost is very low, usually around $1.
The Library Journal rankings are based on statistics submitted by 7,570 libraries around the country. Central City reported that its circulation was 27 per capita, its visits were at 25.5 per capita, program attendance was at 5.6 per capita and public Internet terminal uses per capita was at 6.7.
The Library Journal started ranking libraries in 2008 to showcase public libraries whose levels of service distinguished them among their peers, to encourage libraries to pay attention to these statistics and to raise awareness of the need for completeness and accuracy of annual library statistics reporting.