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Public Library Accreditation FAQs

Q: What sort of Websites does Guideline 2.05.03, "Library staff use online websites to provide information to library users" refer to?
A: This guideline is describing the regular use of Websites to provide information in answer to questions from library users. These would include sites found through search engines, or sites that have been recommended by experts. Examples of such sites include WebMD, Copyright and Fair Use or Merriam-Webster Online.

Databases such as those available through NebraskAccess and others are treated under Guideline 3.05, "Access to the licensed databases made available through the Nebraska Library Commission" and Guideline 3.05.01, "Access to databases licensed by the library in addition to those provided by the Commission."

Online services such as Overdrive are treated under Guideline 4.06, "The library engages with regional and/or statewide resource sharing consortia such as OverDrive, NebrasKard, or the Pioneer Consortium for activities and services."

Q: Which guidelines involve peer comparisons? Why?
A: There are nine accreditation guidelines that are based on peer comparisons:
  • 2.01: Local income
  • 2.02.01: Annual hours open
  • 2.03.01: Expenditures on staff
  • 2.03.04: No. of FTE staff
  • 2.05.04: Expenditures on collection
  • 2.05.05: Annual circulation/capita
  • 2.05.06: Collection turnover
  • 2.05.07: Collection size (items/capita)
  • 3.04: Program attendance/capita
For these measures, the goal is to meet or exceed the average or median of the peer libraries. This is a fairer, more realistic way to measure than to require each library to meet a goal set for an arbitrary size range. In a peer comparison, the subject library is always in the middle of the size range, and is asked to meet a performance measure that is determined by how well peers, which are subject to most of the same economic, environmental, and social factors as the subject library, performed.

Q: Where can I find a list of the peer libraries that my library is compared to?
A: Log in to the Accreditation Application with your Bibliostat username and password. There is a link to Peer Libraries in the instructions box at the top of the application. The Legal Service Areas of peer libraries are no more than 15% larger or smaller than the target library's legal service area.

Q:What does Guideline 4.04 mean by "local entities?"
A:Public agencies, such as the parks and recreation department, civic groups, such as the Lions Club, or businesses, such as a bank, with which the library shares the providing of services are included. Groups which collaborate with the library or are identified as co-sponsors of programs for community members should also be listed.

Do not list entities, such as day care centers which use the services of the library, but do not share providing those services. Also do not list entities which donate materials or services to the library, but which do not collaborate in the direct provision of library services to community members.

If you have questions about peer-library data, please contact Sam Shaw.

If you have questions abourt the Accreditation process, please contact Christa Porter via email or at 402.471.3107.


About Accreditation
Accreditation Program History
Sample Accreditation Application
List of all Nebraska Public Libraries with their accreditation standing & next accreditation year
Community Needs Response Planning (previously called Strategic Planning)
Public Libraries Statistical Survey

For more information, contact Christa Porter.