Brumback Library 'Star Library' Again
From the Van Wert Indepependent
For the fifth year in a row, the Brumback Library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country. The Brumback Library has again been given a star designation by Library Journal, one of only 28 libraries in Ohio to be so honored.
Library Board of Trustees President Joan Stripe noted, “The Brumback Library is truly honored to have been named a Star Library for the fifth year in a row. Considering the fact that our library, like the state’s 250 other public libraries, has experienced many funding freezes and major funding cuts since 2002, plus significant cuts to the State of Ohio’s Public Library Fund, it is amazing that we have been able to maintain the resources and services that Van Wert County residents have come to know and expect.”
Budgets of libraries across the state have had to be monitored closely as funding from the state has continued to be whittled away. With the cuts in funding, the 0.5 mill levy, approved by Van Wert County voters in 2005 and renewed in both 2010 and 2015, has helped the library greatly! Although it has not fully compensated for all the financial cuts from the state, the levy has helped the Brumback Library to meet the ever increasing informational, educational, and recreational reading needs and programming efforts of Van Wert County’s residents.
Library Director John Carr stated that “We are truly grateful for the support of Van Wert County’s residents in passing the aforementioned levies. Such funds are vital to our very existence. The people of Van Wert County once again supported the levy with an overwhelming majority. As always, the doors of the Main Library and its branches in Convoy, Middle Point, Ohio City, Willshire, and Wren are open to one and all.”
Based on the 2013 annual statistics gathered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Journal utilized both federal and state public library statistics to measure the performance of America’s 7,663 public libraries in terms of library visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet use. Compared to libraries with similar operating budgets, 261 public libraries in the United States were recently recognized as a Star Library. The number of stars a library receives, of course, is determined by the total number of points earned in each area.
“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 nonprint materials, direct services to the public, building maintenance, and programming efforts, such as the library’s annual Summer Reading Program which had over 1,884 participants this summer,” Stripe pointed out. “The Brumback Library offers a service schedule of 181 hours per week. More than 27,000 Van Wert County residents are registered library card holders. Patrons of all ages checked out more than 899,000 items in 2015 alone. Between Main Library and the five branch facilities, the Brumback Library’s collection exceeds over 257,000 items. We have been, and continue to be, good, frugal stewards of the funds entrusted to us,” emphasized Stripe.
This is the fifth consecutive year the Brumback Library has received a star rating. In 2011 and 2015, it received a three star rating from Library Journal, a prestigious publication founded by Melvil Dewey. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the library received a four star rating. Stripe added, “As the first county library in the United States, the Brumback Library was the pioneer in providing library services on a countywide basis. We are not limited to providing services to just one municipality or one school district. Our mission remains the same as the mission envisioned by our founder, John Sanford Brumback—to provide library services and resources as a center of life-long learning for all of Van Wert County.”