LJ Star Libraries 2021: States with the Most, Fewest Stars

The 2021 Star Libraries are scattered across 41 states.

The 2021 Star Libraries are scattered across 40 states. 

Regionally, the Midwest has the largest number of Star Libraries at 117, followed by the Northeast at 63 and the West and the South at 48 and 33, respectively. The Midwest’s large number of Star Libraries is accounted for largely by Ohio with 26, Nebraska with 16, Illinois with 15, Kansas with 12, and Iowa with 11—the remaining states are in single digits. New York’s 34 Star Libraries account for more than half of those in the Northeast—the majority of the remainder are accounted for by Massachusetts with 14 and Pennsylvania with five. The West’s Star Libraries are found mostly in four states: California with 11, Colorado with 10, Oregon with seven, and Alaska with six. Texas’s 11 Star Libraries account for a third of those in the South, Alabama and Virginia placing second and third with five and four Star Libraries, respectively.

There are no 2021 Star winners in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia—those include: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Notably, in addition to the nation’s capital, these states include one where public libraries are a state rather than a local service (Hawaii); two states (Delaware, Rhode Island) with relatively small numbers of library jurisdictions; and several states where a majority of—in some cases, all—public libraries are organized on a county or multi-jurisdictional basis (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, West Virginia, Wyoming). As reported in the 2017 edition, public libraries organized on a county or multi-jurisdictional basis tend to have lower per-capita output measures than those organized on a municipal or library district basis.

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