Lake Oswego Public Library Director Bill Baars is one happy man.

Baars proudly reports that for the fifth year in a row, the Lake Oswego Public Library earned the highest HAPLR score of all the libraries in Oregon, placing in the 99th percentile statewide.

Scoring first in the state is impressive enough by itself, but considering that Oregon as a state ranked third in the nation, it is an even greater achievement.

The library's winning score of 887 even topped its previous HAPLR grade. And, the library was rated seventh in the nation in the 25,000-49,999 population category, topping its previous score of eighth in the nation.

'If you think about how many thousands of public libraries all over the nation our library was compared to, ranking seventh in the nation is an astounding achievement,' Baars said.

The American Library Association established a rating system for public libraries, known as the HAPLR ranking. HAPLR evaluates libraries in 15 different ways, including staffing, reference services, collections, number of items checked out by the public, visits per hour and visits per capita. HAPLR compares public libraries serving similar population sizes.

Lake Oswego Public Library serves a community of avid readers. The evidence stems from the statistics for the average number of items each person in the community checks out each year (circulation per capita). The national average for circulation per capita is 7.2, the state average is 14.9, but Lake Oswego Public Library's circulation per capita is an astounding 33.2, more than four times the national average.

Lake Oswego Public Library receives an average of 1,057 visitors per day. The national average for library visits per capita is 4.75 per year. The state average is 6.16. Lake Oswego Public Library's 07-08 visits per capita is a whopping 8.57 and increasing each year.

'We strive to provide excellent programs, services and collections for our public to enjoy,' said Baars. 'That's what we are all about.'

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