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Sanibel Public Library earns national ‘Star Library’ award

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Library District Board of Commissioners (back row) Dan Moeder,Tom Krekel (front row) Linda Uhler, Sandy Zahorchak, Linda Kramer and Melanie Congress celebrate their national “Star Library” award. Nicle Decker-McHale not pictured. PHOTO PROVIDED

This year marks the fourth time the Sanibel Public Library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country by the Library Journal.

“It’s a testament of support from the community and board who encourages us to do innovative things people are interested in,” Sanibel Public Library Executive Director Margaret Mohundro said. “We are really proud of it. It’s a credit to the staff who work really hard.”

The Library Journal rates public libraries in the United States based on a selected per capita output measure from data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for fiscal year 2015. This year 7,409 libraries qualified with only 259 receiving three, four and five star designations.

The star libraries in Florida included Sanibel, New Port Richey and Lake Park.

“Every year we are at, or near the top. We get really good support from the community,” she said.

Mohundro said the rating is based on such areas as the number of people walking through the library’s door, number of program attendees and the number of books checked out.

In addition Library Journal also based the star rating on electronic material. In 2010 an eShelf was originally funded by the Sanibel Library Foundation for best seller eBooks and audiobooks. The Sanibel Captiva Rotary Club provided funds for an eBook business collection.

The eShelf usage has grown by 20 percent every year since 2011. More than 43,000 eBooks have been checked out in the past six years, which includes 9,000 audiobooks.

Other eShelf services include Mango, an online language learning tool and Kanopy, a popular on-demand video streaming app. In addition, the Sanibel Public Library was the first public library in Florida to offer “Tech It Out,” a kiosk that enables patrons to borrow MacBook Air and Dell laptops at the library.