(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Civic Hacking

Convenience food for the soul…


There are more public libraries (about 17,000) in America than outposts of the burger giant McDonalds (about 14,000) or than the coffee titan Starbucks (about 11,000 coffee shops nationally).

“There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner,” says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. “But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.”

In fact, libraries serve 96.4 percent of the U.S. population, a reach any fast-food franchise can only dream of…

To illustrate his point, Grimes built a click-and-zoomable map this past weekend during the National Day of Civic Hacking, using the agency’s database of public libraries. Each dot on the map above refers to an individual branch library (and a few bookmobiles), out of a total of 9,000 public library systems.  His inspiration was his organization’s on-going project to map all 35,000 museums in the U.S.

Read the whole story at “Every Library and Museum in America, Mapped.”


As we renew our cards, we might check out Catherine Cookson; she was born on this date in 1906.  The illegitimate daughter of an alcoholic, Cookson was raised in relative hardship in Northeastern England… a background on which she drew in over 100 books, which have sold more than 123 million copies.  She was the most borrowed author from public libraries in the UK for 17 years; in 1997, nine of her novels were among the “ten most borrowed” books.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

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