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Great American Libraries

The November issue of "American Libraries" features a newly-revised round of public library rankings "Great American Public Libraries, HAPLR 2000 Ratings", by Thomas J. Hennen Jr., based on the latest data from the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS). Hennen has published two previous rankings, the first in January 1999 and another in Septebmer 1999.

The ten libraries topping the list of 100 Great American libraries are:
  1. Denver Public Library
  2. Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA) Free Library
  3. Naperville (Ill.) Public Libraries
  4. Lower Merion Library System, Ardmore PA
  5. Washington - Centerville (Ohio) Public Library
  6. Hays (KS) Public Library
  7. Morris (MN) Public Library
  8. Hagerstown (IN) - Jefferson Township Public Library
  9. Hazel L. Meyer Memorial Library, DeSmet, SD
  10. Lynnville (IA) Public Library
Hennen's complete American Public Library Rating Index (HAPLR) appears in the magazine. The ratings are available on the American Libraries Web site at http://www.ala.org/alonline.

Such FSCS statistical data as cost per circulation, visits per capita and funding per capita is tabulated to produce the HAPLR Index ratings. Although Hennen warns that there is more to quality library service than the HAPLR Index rankings, he says he hopes his work fills a need for library and information service accountability in much the same way that listings of top-500 corporations do in business. Hennen's first round of rankings appeared in American Libraries January 1999 issue.

American Libraries is the magazine of the American Library Association and circulates to approximately 57,000 members and more that 3,000 institutional subscribers.

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