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City Library Ranked #2 in Nation

St. Louis, MO . . . The St. Louis Public Library is proud to announce that it has been ranked second in the nation (up from fourth place last year) in the Library Category of the 2009 America’s Most Literate Cities study conducted by Central Connecticut State University. The study focuses on cities with populations greater than 250,000. This marks the sixth straight year that the St. Louis Public Library has ranked as one of the top five urban libraries in the U.S. The City of St. Louis finished an impressive 11th place overall.

St. Louis Public Library Executive Director Waller McGuire said, “As a city resident, I am proud of St. Louis’ ranking. And, I am honored to lead an institution that has such a positive effect on our community. It is the Library’s duty to provide the best services possible, and I know my staff believes deeply in this responsibility and works hard to succeed. In the end, the ranking is a reflection of how the people of St. Louis support and, above all, use their Library.”

The Library category was based upon library support, holdings, and utilization. Four variables were considered for the final score:

1.  Number of branch libraries per 10,000 library service population.

2.  Volumes held in the library per capita of library service population.

3.  Number of circulations per capita of library service population.

4.  Number of library professional staff per 10,000 library service population.

The study attempts to capture the literacy of the United States’ major cities by focusing on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources. Additionally, Central Connecticut State University President Dr. Jack Miller also focuses on how well the most literate cities fared in other quality-of-life surveys. Miller states, “What I discovered is that quality tends to be associated with quality, and highly literate cities often rank high in other quality of life metrics. . . “

To view the library ranking information, visit http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=5404.

To see the study’s overall results in depth, visit http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=5446.

Dr. Miller first published the study online in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

For details, call 314-539-0394.

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12/31/2009