Despite the challenges of the COVID lockdowns throughout 2020, The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library qualified for a three-star rating from the Index of Public Library Service’s publication Library Journal. The Library was one of only three Ohio libraries to receive a star designation for the year 2020—for comparison, Ohio had 27 star libraries in Library Journal’s rankings for the year 2019.

Heights Libraries has earned the highest designation, five stars, in 11 out of the 15 years that Library Journal has published the rating (the Library received a four-star rating in two of the years, and was not rated one year). Library Journal reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, and has a nation-wide circulation of 100,000.

“We’re very proud that we qualified for a solid rating in such a challenging year,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “It truly astonished me, considering we were closed for part of 2020 due to COVID, and had to limit programming and other services even when we were open, for staff and public safety.”

While circulation, customer visits, and programming numbers dropped in 2020, the circulation of electronic items accessible through the Library’s website rose, such as eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming services.
“We served our community online,” said Levin. “And while physical circulation went down, we still managed to get items in hands through curb-side services.”

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