Denver Knows, Libraries ARE a Smart Investment
The star ratings are based on visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet terminal use. Community involvement and your participation are the driving forces to earn this rating.
In a (perhaps) related story, Denver was named the 5th smartest city by The Daily Beast. From the article: "The continuing economic malaise just reinforces a perennial fact: A city’s potential lies mostly with the ingenuity and brainpower of its citizens. Regions with intellectual vigor are more likely to bounce back." Criteria to make this list include education: the percentage of residents over age 25 who had bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees, and the intellectual environment, determined by year-to-date nonfiction book sales, the ratio of institutions of higher education — different than just measuring college degrees, this acknowledges universities as drivers of intellectual vigor of cities and rewards cities with college populations. Finally, libraries per capita measures how willing and able a city is to educate the general public, as well as the no-cost opportunities for the public to educate itself.
So the unscientific conclusion we can draw here is that Denver is a smart community because libraries are here to offer free lifelong learning, personal enrichment, programs and classes; and the Library's success depends on a smart and savvy community that appreciates its worth and contribution.