Lincolnshire library receives national recognition for service

Vernon Area Public Library is named among America's Star Libraries for 2022, as announced by Library Journal this month. The distinction places the library in Lincolnshire among the top 20 public libraries in the U.S. in its budget category.

America's Star Libraries is an annual ranking of public libraries by trade publication Library Journal. The index scores libraries according to amount of use, including in-person visits, circulation and use of electronic resources.

Among the more than 5,300 public libraries assessed for 2022, the top performers - "Star Libraries" - are assigned three, four, or five stars, much like Michelin Guide ratings. The result is a shortlist of public libraries nationwide that demonstrate the highest level of service to their communities. Vernon Area Public Library District received four stars.

"Libraries across the nation adapted services quickly to serve patrons during the first year of COVID. To be recognized by LJ for our work in 2020 is a wonderful honor. Our staff's connection to the community is a big part of our success said Library Director Anne Rasmussen.

2022 Star Library status was awarded to just 258 libraries nationwide, 43 of which are located in Illinois.

Illinois public libraries placed particularly well this year, with more libraries named to the list than any other state. In addition to Vernon Area, neighboring Barrington Area, Cook Memorial, Deerfield, Ela Area, Indian Trails, Mount Prospect and Northbrook received recognition. Arlington Heights, Skokie, and Schaumburg public libraries were also named in their budget category.

Scores and ratings are based on the most recent data in the national database at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The data used for the 2022 rankings is from fiscal year 2020 - the first pandemic year.

During that measurement period, public libraries across the United States were affected dramatically by COVID, which changed and complicated the statistics for the year. Even so, Vernon Area Public Library ranked near the top.

At Vernon Area, door count and checkout of physical items decreased compared to previous years. Checkouts of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and streaming movies and TV increased. Program attendance remained level as attendees quickly embraced Zoom programs.

"The Star Library list is an objective measurement of the job we're doing," said library spokesperson Catherine Savage. "Being named to the list is an honor we've received nearly every year since it began. It's always affirming, but seeing we hit that mark during the first pandemic year is extra gratifying. Staff went to extraordinary lengths to keep our community connected when COVID-19 hit. It's very good to see that effort acknowledged."

The full list of the 258 ranked libraries, detailed explanation of the index measurements, and information about trends are available in the December 2022 issue of Library Journal.

The Vernon Area Public Library District serves a population of 44,002 within a 29-square-mile area that includes all or parts of Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Vernon Hills, Prairie View, Riverwoods and unincorporated Vernon and Ela townships. The Vernon Area Public Library building is at 300 Olde Half Day Road, in Lincolnshire.

For information about the library and its services, visit

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.