'Star' performance: Soldotna library receives national honor

Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009

Being "starred" can be a good thing, especially if you're in the public library world.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Connie Best enjoys a magazine at Soldotna's library. "I love coming to the library," she said. "I come here just to read, especially on days like this."

Soldotna's librarian, Terry Burdick, told the city council on March 11 the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library was selected from among 7,115 public libraries in the country to be chosen to be a starred library by the Journal of Public Library Services.

Soldotna's library was one of only six of Alaska's 30 public libraries to receive the distinction.

According to Burdick, being starred is a ranking based on four criteria: circulation per capita, the number of visits per capita, program attendance per capita and public Internet computer use per capita.

Libraries around the country are grouped according to the amount of annual funding they receive from their respective local governments and are scored in relation to other peer libraries based on total operating expenditures rather than on community population, the journal states.

The Journal of Public Library Services is the publication to which most public libraries subscribe, Burdick said.

"It's nice to see our small, tiny library is doing OK," she said Thursday.

Burdick said, although the honor does not bring a stipend with it, "it means the city is wise in giving our library money, and the money is being used wisely."

She credits her staff of three full-time employees and two part-timers for the national recognition.

"We have a quality staff that produces good quality service to our customers," Burdick said. "Hopefully we will keep doing what we're doing. Apparently it's working."

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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