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The Best Libraries in America?. An Explanation of Hennen’s American Public Library Rating. HAPLR Overview. Provides ratings for 9,000 U.S. libraries. Compares to comparably sized libraries in the state and nation. American Libraries. Rating Information.

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The Best Libraries in America?

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The best libraries in america l.jpg

The Best Libraries in America?

An Explanation of Hennen’s American Public Library Rating

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HAPLR Overview

  • Provides ratings for 9,000 U.S. libraries.

  • Compares to comparably sized libraries in the state and nation.

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American Libraries

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Rating Information

  • Composite score on 6 input and 9 output measures

  • Similar to ACT or SAT scores

  • Scores from 0 to 1,000. However, most libraries at 260 to 730

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Percentile Comparisons

Percentiles compare to all libraries in a population category.

A 90th percentile means library scores higher than 90% of comparably sized libraries.

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HAPLR Score Map

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HAPLR Percentile Graph

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Standard Reports

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Weighting of Factors

Some factors weigh more than others in HAPLR Totals

First six are input

measures, remaining nine

are output measures.

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Sample Score Card - High

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Sample Score Card - Low

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Silk Purse out of Sow’s Ear?

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Detailed data - HAPLR Measures

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Percentile Comparisons

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Detailed Comparative Measures

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Special Reports

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Regional Comparison

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Regional Detail

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Library Special Report

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State Special Report

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Tennessee& Ohio

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Tennessee/Ohio Comparison – Input

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Tennessee/Ohio Comparison – Output

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Input: Expenditures per capita

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Input: Percent of Budget to Materials

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Input: Materials Expenditure per Capita

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Input: Staffing Levels

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Input: Periodicals per capita

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Input: Book volumes per capita

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Output: Average cost per circulation

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Output: Visits per capita

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Output: Collection Turnover Rates

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Output: Circulation per Staff Member

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Output: Circulation per capita

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Output: Reference Per capita

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Output: Visits per open Hour

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Output: Circulation per hour open.

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Output: Circulation per visit

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American Libraries Article on Standards

  • Objections in past have been from:

    • High scorers

    • Low Scorers

  • Therefore we have “build-your-own” targets –

    • Planning for Results

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The Article Proposes:

  • Minimum Standards

  • Target Standards

  • Benchmarks of Excellence –

    • Genius Grants

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Genius Grants

  • HAPLR type measures for qualification

  • ISO 9000 Certification –

    • Voluntary quality documentation

  • American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)

  • Unrestricted grants – Baldridge with $

    • Library school field placements

    • Virtual training – Internet

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What led to the HAPLR ratings?

Why not consider electronic measures?

Why not consider square feet for the building?

Isn’t it really quality of service that counts, why rate quantity only?

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Do I plan to continue publishing?

Are there similar rating methods for libraries?

Why is the data so out of date?

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How many libraries are there in each population category?

Can one compare rating numbers between two or more population categories?

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How can one mix both input and output measures?

What does a given rating number mean, and how should I interpret it?

Where can I see the specific calculations behind the ratings?

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HAPLR Ratings are an attempt to encapsulate a lot of data in a single number. No such number is perfect, of course.

Was the weather better before climatologists invented the wind chill index or does it just seem that way?

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