San Diego County Libraries Named Best in the Country

Publishing magazine says library system shows creativity and ingenuity

By Lauren Steussy
|  Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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SD Libraries Named Best in the Country

San Diego may be home to the nation's best beaches, but the county also offers an award-winning indoor activity as well.

The county's library system was ranked the best public library in the United States by educational publishing company Gale and Library Journal magazine.

Among the standout features of the library noted in the magazine is one program offered to local homeowners during the housing crisis in 2008. The library teamed up with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create HOME.

The program provided classes for families to learn about foreclosure, and provided free legal and financial counseling to those homeowners.

“These clinics provided a legitimate solution and were led by professionals. The information and support I received was integral in saving my home,” wrote Jeffery Broussard about the program in the magazine.

About 3,100 families enrolled in the program, which is the first of its kind in the country.

Another notable program within the system is one which provides former inmates with job-training and computer skills.

Overall, the magazine commended San Diego County's library system for its "creativity and ingenuity," using more automated services than most other libraries. The services include a self-checkout system and a "floating-collection," which allows the library's visitors to check out a book at one library branch and return it to another.

The library will receive a $10,000 prize. The library says it will use the money to buy more library materials.

 

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