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Westport Library Earns Five-Star Rating With Renovation Project Underway

Westport Library might look closed, but it's not.
Westport Library might look closed, but it's not. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

WESTPORT, Conn. — For the third year in a row, the Westport Library has earned the prestigious Five-Star Status from the Library Journal, the nation’s premier publication for libraries.

"This award is a welcome recognition of the library team’s work and it is a great honor to be designated again this year," Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer aid.

This annual ranking is a reflection of how a public library is used by its community, the Westport Library announced. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s 9100 public libraries earned Five-Star status.

“Each day more than 1,000 people walk through our doors. Each year we host nearly 2,000 programs for the community, most free of charge. And every year thousands and thousands of items circulate through our library and out to the community,” said Harmer. “Beyond these numbers is the story of the community we strive to build and support here in Westport every day — from the child getting their first library card, to people enjoying our author talks or music series, to the small business owners meeting in the Library Café or the makers learning to 3-D print.”

The star rating is determined by ranking libraries on a per capita basis on how many times they are visited each year, how many people attend programs, the number of sessions logged on library computers and how many items are borrowed.

Data area collected from local libraries annually by state library agencies and compiled nationally by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Westport Library is also currently undergoing a large renovation project, as evidenced by the closed lower entrance and dumpsters around the Jesup Road site.

But library officials say they hope to keep the building open for patrons throughout the 18- to 21-month construction. The expansion will add a 600-seat forum for large-scale events, a larger MakerSpace, more conference rooms and co-working spaces as well as a recording studio.

The Transformation Project is expected to cost $19.5 million, with the bulk of that coming from donations.

For more on the Westport Library project, visit wltransformationproject.org .

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