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Sanibel Public Library earns fifth national “Star Library” Award

By Staff | Nov 30, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sanibel Public Library District board of commissioners celebrate the library’s recent award.

For the fifth time, the Sanibel Public Library has been recognized by the Library Journal as one of the best libraries in the country through its receipt of the America’s Star Library award.

The award offers an overall indication of how a library’s performance stacks up to peers, measuring computer usage, circulation, program attendance and library visits.

The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries based on selected per capita output measures, from data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This year, 7,361 libraries were scored with 257 of them receiving stars. LJ Index scores measure the levels of library service delivery relative to peer libraries nationally. Sanibel Public Library’s expenditure category peers include the Star-award winning libraries in Darien, Connecticut; Westhampton, New York; and Telluride, Colorado.

“Sanibel has earned the Star Library award for so many years that it’s easy to take for granted,” library district Board Commissioner Sandy Zahorchak said. “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank the library staff and volunteers who make it such a special place, the foundation for funding our pilot projects and the patrons who make the award possible.”

This year, Library Journal also based the star rating on circulation of electronic materials.

Sanibel Public Library’s eShelf was originally funded in 2010 with a grant from the Sanibel Library Foundation to fund bestseller eBooks and audiobooks. The following year the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club provided funds for an eBook business collection. Since 2011, the eShelf usage has grown by 20 percent every year, and more than 43,000 eBooks have been checked out in the past six years, including 9,000 audiobooks. The library offers several e-reader apps, like Hoopla for downloadable eBooks, movies, music and audiobooks, as well as Overdrive.

The library also offers Mango – an online language learning tool. Downloadable magazines are available through the RB digital app. Library cardholders can also use the on-demand video streaming service Kanopy. The newest service allows users to download or stream millions of songs with the Freegal music app.

The Sanibel Public Library was the first public library in Florida to offer “Tech IT Out” service – a kiosk where patrons can borrow MacBook Air and Dell laptops for use by cardholders for free.

Partnering with the foundation, the library is also celebrating more than a decade bringing high-caliber authors to Sanibel. Past guests of the Author Series include Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Monk Kidd, Jodi Picoult, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, Dennis Lehane, and Margaret Atwood.

The library loans cooking kits for patrons to check out and take home, and its reference area offers general research help, as well as access to many databases, including Morningstar investment services, NewsBank, Consumer Reports and Ancestry.com.

For more information, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at www.sanlib.org.

The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.