by Laura Freeman | Reporter
Hudson -- The Hudson Library and Historical Society is one of the top libraries in the nation for the fifth time since the American Library Association began ranking them in 2006.
Hudson was one of 262 out of 7,570 nationwide libraries to be recognized as an ALA Starred Library based on circulation, visits, program variety and public Internet terminal use.
"It's based on a national rating system to recognize and promote America's top libraries," said Hudson Library Director E. Leslie Polott.
The Library Journal Index of Public Library Service scores and ranks libraries nationally based on library reports at the state level.
"We've worked hard to remain competitive and keep this designation," Polott said.
The library has reached out to increase foot traffic and expand the number and variety of programs and workshops it offers to meet the community needs, providing more than 1,000 programs last year, she said.
"Technology is so important," Polott said. "The use of the Internet and computers goes up every year.
"We're trying to make sure we have resources in print and alternative media formats to meet [patrons'] needs."
The future of libraries will continue to evolve and grow, Polott said. Continuing education, early literacy and curriculum needs will continue to be a primary focus.
"The change will be in how we fulfill our mission," Polott said. "In the future, the digital realm will be larger than print. The services will remain and grow, but the way they are delivered will continue to change."
The library has become a community center for Hudson, providing free meeting rooms, informational and cultural events, and educational programs for audiences from preschoolers to adults, as well as job search and entrepreneur programs, said Hudson Library Board Vice President Rob Swedenborg.
"Leslie [Polott] has had a vision of how a library can serve the community well," he said. "She has worked extremely hard to bring these programs about."
The award wouldn't be possible without the support of the board of directors, the library staff and the community, Polott said.