"SLCL has been the busiest library in Missouri for several years now," said Jennifer McBride, communications manager for St. Louis County Library. "The designation recognizes the hard work of staff, and also the fact that St. Louis loves libraries. Our community is consistently recognized as one of the most literate in the country, and now we have a star library to prove it."
This is the first year SLCL has received star library designation from "Library Journal." McBride attributes outreach and the addition of eMedia, video games, DVDs and magazines for much of the library's increase in visitors.
"Our program offerings have also expanded over the years, providing educational and entertaining programs for all ages – craft clubs, yoga, story time, cooking classes, computer instruction and job help," McBride said. "I think people are discovering that the library provides so much more than just books."
Plans for 2014 include increased Sunday hours, streaming music and video content for customers, a new preschool art series and more. The library is also in the first phase of capital improvement projects at the Tesson Ferry, Meramec Valley and Lewis and Clark Branches.
The distinction was based on library visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer usage. Public libraries are compared to others with similar annual expenditures using data from 2011. Other Missouri libraries systems receiving star designation include Centralia Public Library, Consolidated Library District No. 3 in Independence, Kansas City Public Library and North Kansas City Public Library.
For more information about SLCL and a full list of programs and locations, call 314-994-3300 or visit www.slcl.org.