American Libraries: Wrong Numbers Used in HAPLR Report

Contact: Leonard Kniffel


American Libraries

(312) 280-4215


For Immediate Release

October 2, 2008

American Libraries has discovered an unfortunate error that invalidates the results of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings published in the October 2008 issue of the magazine of the American Library Association.

The author of this independent study, Thomas J. Hennen Jr., mistakenly used data for the 2006 edition, instead of the current data. He discovered the mistake only after the issue was mailed.

The new numbers will be posted on the HAPLR website at . The corrected tables will also appear in PDF format as soon as possible on the
American Libraries website at, as well as in the November issue of the magazine.

“Technology is a wonder; it can also be a horror,” said Hennen. “I referred to the wrong data set in my computer files. The result was republishing the last edition, scoring and ranking every library the same for the 2008 as for the 2006 edition. I have now redone things, and I apologize to everyone for this terrible mistake.

“We sincerely regret this error and the confusion it will undoubtedly cause,” said Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries editor-in-chief. “The HAPLR rankings have been used by many libraries to tout their success to local media, so it is important to get the correct numbers and rankings on the record as quickly as possible.