Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Library scores high in statewide rankings

J-E Editor
While the local school system is concerned with the literacy of local students, our local public libraries have been doing their part at promoting reading throughout our local communities. In fact,  according to the 2014 Statistical Report of Kentucky Public Libraries, the Webster County Public Library placed in the top ten in three categories against all 119 library systems in the state.
The report provides a top ten and bottom ten ranking for 16 categories that rate all public libraries in the Commonwealth against their counterparts.

Webster County’s highest marks were in the category of Registered Users, boasting 1.0 registered users per capita against a statewide average of only .59. That was high enough to earn the local library a spot at #5 in the state. Lyon County was #1 in the state with 1.25 while Ballard/Carlisle County Public Libraries only scored 0.04 registered users per capita.
Webster County also scored a #6 in Book Collection, with 5.11 books per capita while the statewide average was only 2.02. Fulton County took top honors with 7.25 and Ballard/Carlisle brought up the rear again with just 0.60 books per capita.
Webster was #9 in the state in the area of Public Service hours. The local library staff turned in .41 hours per capita. Robertson County was #1 with 1.05 hours with Christian County placing 119th with 0.04 hours.
For the Webster County staff, those hours added up to 5,616 hours of public service from the ten staff members at the Dixon and Providence branches.
Also released as part of the annual report, which actually covers the 2012-2013 fiscal year, Webster County’s Public Library operated on a total budget of $410,308. The bulk of that ($399,796) came from local government, with the state pitching in $10,512. There were no federal dollars reported in the study.
The library director’s salary was also notably lower than that of surrounding counties. The report lists the Webster County Library Director’s salary as $26,882, while other area directors make considerably more:
•Henderson - $84,040
•Union - $55,000 
•Hopkins - $44,227
•Crittenden - $40,068
•Caldwell - $37,392

Webster County ranks fourth on that list by population with 13,583, ahead of both Caldwell (12,935) and Crittenden (9,280). Union is only slightly larger at 14,850.
The state average for library director’s salary is $50,699.48.
The Statistical Report of Kentucky Public Libraries  is compiled by the Department for Libraries and Archives, n agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

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