Local library receives national honor

PHOTO(S) BY SHELBY WOLFE/Newport News Times | Gracie Ison and Jasmine Cyphert look through books at the Waldport Library on Monday, Nov. 28. Below: Joel Keller is seen reading a book at the Waldport Library on Monday.

WALDPORT — Waldport Public Library has received national recognition as one of the top 20 public libraries in its peer group across the country.

“We’re very honored and excited about it,” said Sue Bennett, Waldport Public Library Director. “We’ve been working hard to increase our programs for adults and children, and we’ve got a really great staff. So we’re really thankful to the Library Journal for recognizing us.”

Library Journal, an esteemed library publication founded in 1876, collects data from public libraries with service area populations of over 1,000 and operating expenditures of over $10,000 across the country and provides them with an LJ Index score. This score is calculated using information about program attendance, circulation, public internet computer use and library visits.

After calculating scores, the libraries are compared to their peers who operate with similar expenditures. Those with the top 10 scores in their peer group are awarded a five-star rating, the next 10 are awarded four stars and the next 10 are awarded three-stars.

Three Oregon libraries — Waldport Public Library, Bandon Public Library and Multnomah Public Library — currently hold star ratings. Multnomah Public Library, which received four stars in 2018, was the first Oregon library to earn a star rating and has earned a star rating every year since 2009. For Waldport Public Library and Bandon Public Library, 2018 is their first year earning a rating from the Library Journal.

A point of pride for the Waldport Library — and a factor in their newly earned award — is the amount they partner with their community to create and expand their programs.

“As the family outreach coordinator, I can tell you that our programs are very important to us,” said McCrum. “Because we love being involved with our community.”

The library’s 2018 summer program was made successful by high involvement of different entities in the Waldport community: school teachers volunteered their time, The Chocolate Frog led a program, the band Riptyde performed, a college intern who had volunteered at the library growing up led a writing program and teen volunteers helped with many programs throughout the summer and led to the formation of a teen advisory group.

The library credits the forming and deepening of these partnerships with the growth of the library, which the staff hopes will continue.

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