COAL CITY — The Coal City Public Library District has been ranked among the country’s top libraries by a national publication.
The library district received four stars in the Library Journal’s annual Index of Public Library Service and was ranked 56th in the country out of the 7,570 libraries scored. Nationally, it ranked 13th in terms of its expenditure range. Statewide, it was ranked second out of 20 Illinois libraries on the list, and was first in its expenditure range.
Dixie Wiley, communications coordinator for the library district, said the rating is based on the quantities of services libraries deliver, including numbers of circulation, visits, program attendance and computer use per capita.
She said the news has brought some excitement to the library.
“We’re very excited because we also got one last year, but it was three stars — we went up a category to four stars,” she said.
Wiley said the award was brought to the attention of staff and the library’s board at their meeting Nov. 13. She said the rating is an honor for the library.
“It’s pretty exciting for what a lot of people would consider a small-town library,” she said. “ ... It just means we really have good library usage for the size of our town. We’re just thrilled about it.”
In a library press release, Library Director Jolene Franciskovich gave credit to the library staff and board for their hard work, as well as to the library’s patrons.
“We are honored to be the recipient of four stars. Great customer service is the most important aspect of what we do,” she said. “For us, being recognized for award-winning service to our community is the icing on the cake. I would like to thank our patrons for helping us receive this award by valuing the library and making use of our services.”
Library Board President Lois Phillips echoed Franciskovich’s sentiments.
“We are proud to receive this national award for the second year in a row,” she said. “Consistent, quality service and meeting community needs is our library priority. To be acknowledged for accomplishing that priority is an honor.”