The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Brumback Star Library 12th year in a row

Van Wert independent news and submitted information

For the 12th consecutive year, the Brumback Library has been recognized as one of the best public libraries in the entire United States. The library has again been given a star designation by Library Journal, one of only 31 libraries in Ohio bestowed with the honor.

The Brumback Library is once again considered one of the very best public libraries in the United States. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“The Brumback Library is truly honored to have been named a Star Library for the 12th year in a row,” Library Board of Trustees Vice President Joan Stripe said. “Its ranking as a five-star library, first in its overall category in the United States, is most exemplary. The people of Van Wert County are well served by a Library that has over 352,000 items, a very exhaustive collection size for any library and in fact, the Brumback Library’s holdings make it one of the largest rural public libraries in the State of Ohio.”

In 2020, over 732,000 items were checked out by nearly 29,000 patrons of all ages. The library’s chief funding comes from the Ohio Public Library Fund. It makes up 82 percent of overall funding revenue. The Library’s half-mill levy is also a vital funding source. Recently approved by Van Wert County voters, it has helped the library greatly.

“We are truly grateful for the support of Van Wert County’s residents in passing the aforementioned levies. These funds are vital to our very existence,” Brumback Library Director John Carr said. “The people of Van Wert County once again supported the levy with an overwhelming majority. As always, the doors of Main library and its Branches in Convoy, Middle Point, Ohio City, Willshire, and Wren are open to one and all.”

Five different measures of the service libraries deliver to their communities were taken into account when determining this year’s index scores and star status: overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.

In order to make fair, apples-to-apples comparisons, each library is compared to its peers that have about the same amount of funding. As a result, receiving a star rating not only means that the library itself delivers a strong return on investment, but that, when graded on a curve, it is one of the strongest performers. As a result, a library’s star rating can change from year to year, not because that library’s own performance has changed, but because its fellow libraries have raised their own achievements.

Between 2009 and 2015, the index was based on four per-capita statistics; circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. For the two previous editions, 2016 and 2017, those statistics were joined by circulation of electronic materials per capita. In 2018, the rating system added Wi-Fi sessions per capita to the index. Thus, the index is based on the six statistics.

“The Brumback Library may have a smaller staff and the Brumback Library may have made other necessary reductions, but we continue to allocate significant funding for the purchase of print and non-print materials, direct services to the public, building maintenance, and programming efforts, such as the library’s annual Summer Reading Program which had over 1,500 participants this past summer,” Stripe noted.

“The Library remains true to founder John Sanford Brumback’s vision, that being we seek to meet the educational, informational, and recreational reading needs of Van Wert County residents of all ages,” Carr stated. “The Brumback Library truly serves as a lifelong center of learning for one and all. We encourage everyone to avail themselves to its many resources, services, and programming efforts.”

POSTED: 10/21/21 at 3:35 am. FILED UNDER: News