The Westerville Public Library has once again been named a five-star library by the Library Journal, an achievement that also earned it a ranking as second in the nation among libraries of similar size.

The Westerville Public Library has once again been named a five-star library by the Library Journal, an achievement that also earned it a ranking as second in the nation among libraries of similar size.

Westerville is among just 262 public libraries across the country to be ranked by the magazine. The ratings are based on library usage, visits, computer visits and program attendance.

Westerville’s library is rated five stars, the highest possible rating, among libraries with budgets of between $5 million and $9.9 million.

Worthington and Upper Arlington were other central Ohio library systems in the same category that also received five stars.

Executive director Don Barlow said the public’s support of the Westerville library is a big part of what makes it a five-star facility.

“The ranking is due in large part because of our community,” Barlow said. “They are avid readers and heavy library users.”

Westerville is the fourth-busiest library system in Ohio, behind Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, Barlow said.

The library’s catalog — which has access to 60 million items — is among the best in the country and is its most important asset behind the staff, Barlow said.

“Our staff does a fantastic job in terms of customer service and that keeps people coming back,” he said.

With a Westerville library card, users have access to items at other public and university libraries throughout Ohio, thanks to a program called OhioLINK.

Last month, voters approved the library’s 2-mill levy request, which will allow it to restore previously cut programs, materials and Sunday hours.

Even with the tax increase, Westerville remains the third-lowest funded library in the county, Barlow said.

He said the library’s increasing use of technology for services such as self-checkout terminals, online options and drive-through windows, has helped the facility deal with state funding cuts and increasing costs.

The library hopes to restore Sunday hours by early 2012, Barlow said.

The passage of the new levy will increase taxes by $36.75 per $100,000 in assessed property value annually. The total collection for the levy would be $61.25 per $100,000 in assessed property value annually.

For more information on the ratings, visit www.libraryjournal.com.

For more on the Westerville Public Library’s programs, visit www.westervillelibrary.org.