Sewickley Public Library Receives Four-Star Rating
The library is the sole recipient of the rating statewide.
The Sewickley Public Library has received a four-star rating, making the community resource one of the top-rated libraries in the country.
Sarah Heres, school board vice president and a library board member, said Sewickley’s library of the Quaker Valley School District is the only public library in Pennsylvania to receive the star rating.
"We were selected again as the only four-star library in the state of Pennsylvania," Heres said Tuesday night at the school board meeting.
The high rating comes from the Library Journal, one of the nation’s premiere professional publications. The 2011 Library Journal index measures star libraries based on visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use. The journal's index also classifies libraries based on operating expenses to compare them with similar operations.
While Sewickley is deemed Pennsylvania's only four-star library, school director Gianni Floro, also a library board member, said there were only three 3-star libraries in the commonwealth.
A winning library isn’t about expenditures or size, according to the journal, but rather civic pride and creative partnerships that help stretch dollars and expand services.
“A lot of members from the community have really stepped up to help the library, not just with donations, but also with volunteering,” Floro said. “… Friends of the Library have been very supportive.”
During a presentation last week, Carolyn Toth, library executive director, and Wayne Murphy, president of the library’s board, gave the school board an update regarding library services, new programming and an overview of the library's fiscal and physical condition.
Toth said the library received a $81,000 donation last year and ended with a surplus. Currently, the building is undergoing roof renovations and the library is developing a strategic plan, or vision, to improve future services, she said.
Last year, Murphy said, more than 24,000 people attended programs in the children, teen and adult departments. Even more patrons visit the library each year to borrow books, use computers and other services.
“A quarter of a million people walk through those doors every year,” Murphy said.
The library board recently voted unanimously to extend the hours of operation. The library now opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and closes at 6 p.m. on Fridays. Previously, the library opened at 10 a.m. on those days and closed at 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Floro said the busiest hour for library use during the week is between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays.
“Opening one hour earlier in the morning will permit more patrons to utilize the library as well as staying open later on Friday evenings," Floro said.