Williamsburg Regional Library has once again been recognized as one of the top public libraries in the country by Library Journal, a national publication that publishes an annual list of "star-rated" libraries throughout the country.
“Every library in the country faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, which makes our inclusion in this year’s edition of the star rating even more meaningful,” said Betsy Fowler, library director.
The magazine assigns libraries star ratings similar to those used by Michelin and other travel guides. The ratings reflect per capita measures of circulation of library materials, visits to the library, library program attendance, and library computer and WiFi use. The Library Journal Index scores and star ratings are based on data reported annually by public libraries to their state library agencies and compiled nationally by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These numbers reflect direct, quantifiable measures of library services.
A place on Library Journal's star ratings list is highly coveted in the library world, with only 5% of the 5,600+ qualifying libraries going on to be awarded a star ranking. WRL improved its position over last year, moving from the three to the four star category. Only three other Virginia libraries received a star rating this year, and only one of those received four stars.
WRL also has notable staying power on the star ratings list. Since Library Journal began this ranking system 13 years ago, WRL has made it on to the list 10 times, making it the second most featured library in Virginia in the history of the list.
"It’s wonderful to see the dedicated efforts library staff made to provide materials, programs, internet access, and innovative new initiatives during the pandemic receive national recognition," said Fowler. "This rating also reflects the longtime investment and support in the regional library by James City County, the City of Williamsburg, and York County, the support of the library board, and the contributions of many donors, volunteers, and the Friends Foundation. A great library system is a community-wide effort and accomplishment.”