Public libraries can achieve 1-6 stars

A new instrument for quality development is in the process of creation.

All over the world, public libraries are undergoing a paradigm shift: Their functions need to and indeed are changing. Our vision is to contribute to this process by making this transition easier and more relevant.

Our main point of reference is the citizen and customer: The customer’s perspective is increasingly important in the ranking of public libraries in Europe and as such, it is a vital and useful tool for service development.

Proposed target groups for the evaluations include librarians, directors and politicians responsible for public libraries, as well as library users.

We use the internet to share information about different local libraries in European countries, ranked on a scale that we have developed. This scale has been developed on the back of our own professional experience that has included the assessment of public libraries on both a national and international level.

The scale includes domains that measure communication with the customer, marketing of the library, location and site, visibility and accessibility, service and supply, premises, choice of collection and function when it comes to freedom of expression, freedom of choice.

We aim to reach and evaluate public libraries in Europe: no town or city is too small. The scale will generate a ranking system that categorises libraries based on how they score on each domain of service provision. These categories will be designated stars from one (lowest service provision) to six (highest service provision).

We can offer feedback on how libraries might improve and score more stars in the future.