Contact: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - The Library Journal, a monthly publication for library professionals, recently published its newly created Index of Public Library Service and ranked the Mercer County Library System among the nation's best libraries.

After announcing a new rating system last year, the Library Journal rated 7,115 public libraries throughout the U.S. and of those, only 256 libraries received a rating of five, four or three stars. The Mercer County Library System earned a five-star rating, one of just three libraries in New Jersey to receive this top honor, and only three other libraries in the state were star-rated.

"Our extensive library system in Mercer County is one of the foremost reasons why Mercer is a great place to live and raise a family," said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. "With more visitors and more popular programs and services than ever, our libraries have earned this great distinction."

The criteria for ranking the libraries were measures that indicate public service - per capita circulation, visits, program attendance, and public Internet use. The Mercer County Library System received the highest score possible in each of these categories.

"Receiving a five-star rating from a publication such as Library Journal is an honor and means that we are nationally recognized as a public library that delivers high service, quality, and excellence to our patrons. We are all very proud of this," said Library Director Ellen Brown.

The Mercer County Library System, made up of nine conveniently located branches, recognizes that access to information empowers individuals with knowledge and opportunity. The Library System is committed to providing the materials and services that satisfy the educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs of its diverse community and strives to encourage a lifelong interest in reading. For information about the programs and services offered by the MCLS, please visit your local branch or www.mcl.org.