The Santa Monica Public Library system has earned one of the top national ratings from Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service 2009 with four stars.

The ratings, announced November 15th, were based on 2007 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Library Journal index rated 7,268 public libraries on the level of service they provide and it identified 258 star libraries. Libraries were evaluated on per capita statistics that included visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. The top libraries in each group received either five, four or three stars.

“Library staff is working hard to help residents cope with the economy, educational needs and personal interests, and we’re happy to be rated among the top libraries in the nation,” said library director Greg Mullen. “Our goal is to help each person be successful, so if we’re successful that means we are making a difference in the community.”

The newly created Library Journal index offers an overall indication of how a library’s performance stacks up to peer libraries and provides guidance on how public libraries can better assess and improve the services they present to users.

The Santa Monica Public Library system offers a variety of services and programs for all ages at four neighborhood library locations.