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Elbridge, Jordan libraries among top 34 in state

Library Journal ranks J-E public libraries among top in the country for services provided to community

Two libraries running on the smallest annual budgets in Onondaga County were recently ranked as "All-Star Libraries" by Library Journal.

Elbridge Free Library and Jordan-Bramley Library both qualified for the distinction based on annual statistics including yearly expenditures, circulation numbers and Internet terminals per capita. Libraries were ranked based on annual statistics that every facility is required to submit to the state.

For Jordan-Bramley, this was a first-time honor, Director Linda Burns said, though Elbridge Free Library has been ranked in the past.

"It's a pat on the back," Burns said. "It's a positive indicator that we're being utilized and meeting the needs of the community."

Burns said she didn't think the ranking could be used to secure more funding, but it is well-deserved recognition that the libraries are on the right track in the community -- especially after taxpayers approved a tax levy increase for additional library funding.

Tuesday May 19 voters allowed both Elbridge Free and Jordan-Bramley to increase their tax levys from $42,500 to $47,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Burns said, for Jordan-Bramley, that increased funding would hopefully allow the library to reinstate some of the hours it was forced to cut this year for part-time staff.

All this, at a time when library use around the county is up as residents make more use of free programs and facilities to save money.

"We're working on a shoestring and still meeting the needs of the community," Burns said.

Elbridge Free Library was named a five-star library; Jordan-Bramely earned four stars. Fayetteville Free Library is the only other facility in the county to earn a ranking (five stars) this year.

The Library Journal awarded 160 libraries nationwide with three- to five-star ratings; 34 were in New York.

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