The Vernon Area Public Library is counted among America's Star Libraries for the second year in a row, as announced in the Library Journal.
Star Library status was awarded to just 262 public libraries nationwide, and just 18 in Illinois.
The Library Journal's annual Index of Public Library Service rates libraries by volume of public use. The measurement comprises the full range of library services, including per capita circulation, patron visits, program attendance and public Internet access.
More than 7,500 public libraries are measured in the annual index. Of those, the top performers -- the "Star Libraries" -- are assigned three, four or five stars. The result is a shortlist of public libraries nationwide demonstrating the highest level of engagement with their patrons.
Vernon Area Public Library District received a three-star rating.
"We are honored to receive this national recognition," library Director Cynthia Fuerst said. "We are fortunate to serve a community that supports our public library, and to have a board of library trustees who are committed to providing the best library services to the community.
"Library use has been increasing steadily for many years," Fuerst continued. "It is wonderful for our staff's dedication and hard work to be recognized nationally."
The index of public library service is used by the library industry to identify best practices and trends in library use. The effect of the recession was evident during this measurement period, with both per capita visits and per capita circulation showing marked increases nationwide.
The full list of 262 ranked libraries, detailed explanation of the Index measurements, and information about trends are available online at libraryjournal.com.