Multnomah County Library earns five stars in national ratings

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nov. 4, 2011 — Multnomah County Library has received the highest rating possible — five stars — in Library Journal’s 2011 Index of Public Library Service, which identifies the top U.S. libraries each year.

In 2011, 262 libraries across the nation earned three, four or five stars based on four per-capita measures: circulation, visits, program attendance and public Internet use on library computers. Multnomah County has earned five stars in three out of the four years Library Journal has published its ratings. The 2011 ratings are based on 2009 data released earlier this year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"Multnomah County Library is consistently rated as one of the best and busiest libraries in the nation," said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. "Members of our community use their libraries more than people do in most other communities around the country. We offer resources that are relevant and responsive to our patrons' needs, and the high demand for library services locally reflects that. We are honored to receive this recognition from Library Journal and are grateful to this community for making it possible."

Multnomah County Library is second in circulation only to New York Public Library, according to the most recent statistical report of the Public Library Data Service, and has the hardest-working collection of library materials among large libraries in the U.S.

The library has received national recognition for its services a number of times recently. Earlier this year, the library accepted an award for its work with immigrant communities and was one of only 10 U.S. libraries selected for a science and literacy initiative to engage families in underserved communities. In 2010, Multnomah County Library was honored with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

About Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. Over 35,000 people use the library each day, either online or in person.