A 5-Star Rating to Wilkinson Public Library

Small library receives big award

Library director credits staff

Wilkinson Public Library has again been awarded a prestigious distinction, a 5-star rating, by The Library Journal, and rates as third in the nation in its division.

Wilkinson Public Library Director Sarah Landeryou found out about the five-star rating award Monday.

 “It’s an honor to be recognized nationally, but what this comes down to is a time to celebrate staff,” she said.

For the past eight years, The Library Journal — a library organization that works with public, academic and institutional libraries in various journalistic capacities — has conducted reviews and ratings of national libraries.

The reviews are based on four criteria: the number of annual library visits by patrons, the circulation of materials, public programming attendance and the use of computers for public Internet access.

For WPL, the accolade is not new. Telluride’s library has achieved the 5-star rating each year the study has been done.

According to Landeryou, the categories are also scored per capita. She said that one reason the library does well in the review process is because Telluride has a low population with a high number of library card holders. The most recent review determined that the library had issued about 1,400 cards annually.

“We do well because we are open to sharing our library with our guests,” Landeryou said.

This year, 261 libraries received star recognition. Wilkinson Public Library is now third in its division, behind second-place Grandview Heights Public Library in Ohio and first-place Avalon Free Public Library in New Jersey.

Only one other library in Colorado received a five-star rating. That was La Veta Public Library, south of Colorado Springs.

Landeryou said WPL’s philosophy is that the library should be highly used.

“We want people to use our library,” she said. “The goal is not to keep chairs empty or books on shelves.”

That means hosting groups in the meeting rooms upstairs, welcoming the public to events in the program room and having people show up for the free yoga classes the library offers.

The patron-centered approach, she said, is what makes Wilkinson Public Library so successful, and she feels the staff should be applauded.

For them, Landeryou said, working at Telluride’s library is not just a job.  She said it’s about commitment and service.

“They make people’s lives better for a day,” she said. “It’s forward thinking, and we are receptive to our community. This is a welcoming place.”

Youth Services Specialist Tracy Walker said the best part of her job is getting to help so many people in the community.

“Every day is fun,” Walker said. “And every day brings something new for me to help someone with.”

Landeryou said that she plans on honoring WPL staff for their dedication to the library. She also credits the library board of directors for their support.

“We are providing Telluride with the best library we can, and it shows when we get the figures we do for how small we are,” she said.

 

Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2015 3:24 pm

Mike Shimkonis

After growing up surfing in Florida, Mike Shimkonis decided to give higher ground a try and settled in Colorado over 25 years ago, first in Vail, then moving to Telluride in 1993. Prior to working with Telluride Properties, he was a senior sales and marketing executive for the Vail and Telluride ski companies.

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