Dear Editor,

For the fourth year in a row, the Grand County Public Library was named one of “America’s Star Libraries” by the Library Journal.

In order to determine Star Status, the Library Journal ranks the approximately 7,500 public libraries in the United States and classifies them by annual budget. The top 3 percent in each budget range are then ranked three-, four- or five-star libraries.

The staff members of the Grand County Public Library work really hard to provide excellent customer service to the Moab/ Grand County community and it shows in our usage statistics. The Library Journal considers four usage statistics for “Star Rating” – annual visits, public computer usage, program attendance, and circulation. While annual visits could be influenced by the large number of tourists to the area, it’s important to remember that only library card holders can check out items. We do have visitor computers, but they account for a small percentage of our total computer use: same with program attendance – while we don’t “card” people at the door, the great majority of people attending our programs are card holders.

Years ago, the library held a two day community assessment workshop. We invited numerous community members that in turn represented specific user groups and we talked about the role of the library. At the end of the process, we identified the service roles the community wanted us to focus on. This process resulted in a three year strategic plan written with great input from the library board that focused on full-filling those roles (Connect to the Online World: Public Internet Access, Create Young Readers: Emergent Literacy, and Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing and Listening for Pleasure.)

With constant referral back to the strategic plan, the library focuses on those service roles. We buy the items our patrons want and try to provide programming that is of interest to the community. We ensure the best possible computer experience and offer wi-fi at both the Moab and Castle Valley libraries. Our main goal is to provide exceptional, relevant service to our community.

With all that said, I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of individual staff members in this process. Library staff is completely committed to the community and providing the best possible service.

As the Grand County Public Library begins its 100th year of library service (the original Moab Library opened on Feb. 17, 1915), please take a minute and come see what the library offers. From iPad lending to 50,000 items for circulation to numerous monthly programs, the library has something of interest to you!