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Brewton, Flomaton libraries named best in nation

Corey Williams | The Brewton Standard The Brewton Public Library received a four-star rating, making it one of 260 libraries across the nation to receive a three, four or five star rating by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. Pictured is the BPL staff is some of the BPL staff, including director, Lynn Likely (far-right).

Corey Williams | The Brewton Standard
The Brewton Public Library received a four-star rating, making it one of 260 libraries across the nation to receive a three, four or five star rating by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. Pictured is the BPL staff is some of the BPL staff, including director, Lynn Likely (far-right).

The Brewton Public Library and Flomaton Public Library have been named two of the nation’s best libraries by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service

The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries based on selected per capita output measures.

This year 7,349 public libraries across the country qualified to be rated with 260 of those libraries receiving a three, four or five star rating.

Categories measured were library visits, circulation, program attendance, public Internet terminal use and electronic circulation.

The Brewton Public Library earned a four-star rating with a total of 2,227 points, placing it among the nation’s best libraries with expenditures of $400,000 to $999,999.

It’s awesome,” said Lynn Likely. “I don’t think Brewton has had this type of recognition before. It’ s a huge accomplishment for the staff and community.

Likely, who became BPL director in 2011, said the library has pushed to grow its programs to reach not just children, but teens and adults.

“We’re trying to do more for teens because most programs in the past have been just for children,” Likely said. “While maintain our strong children’s programs we also want to reach out to teens and adults. We’re also improving technologically with Ebooks and audiobooks which have become popular today.”

Currently the library has 18,968 card-carrying patrons. The total item collection, which include books, movies and audiobooks, number at 70,217.

“We are exceedingly proud of our library and the quality programs and services there,” said Brewton mayor Yank Lovelace. “Lynn Likely has provided excellent leadership for a dedicated team of employees there. I congratulate Liz Garrett and the entire Library Board for their hard work and guidance.  We hope to keep improving our services so that residents can always find an avenue to the world right inside our public library”.

The Flomaton Public Library earned a five-star rating with a total of 3,420 points placing it as the top library in the nation with libraries spending between $100,000 to $199,999 a year.

“It’s good for the town and it’s good for the library,” said FPL director Kaci Boutwell to the Tri-City Ledger.

Boutwell has worked at the FPL for the past decade. She was named library director in November 2015 after the retirement of Faye Knowles.

For more information and resources available at the libraries contact Likely in Brewton at 867.4626 or Boutwell at 296.3552.