Monday, December 29, 2008

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America’s Most Literate Cities: 2008

Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States.

Central Connecticut State University's study focuses on six key indicators of literacy:
~ newspaper circulation

~ number of bookstores
~ library resources
~ periodical publishing resources
~ educational attainment
~ Internet resources

2008 Top 10:

1.5: Minneapolis and Seattle
3: St. Paul
4: San Francisco
5: Atlanta
6: Denver
7: Boston
8: St Louis
10:5 Cincinnati and Portland

~ Los Angeles is ranked 56th

Complete List @

Stephen Krashen’s comment @ Bizjournals.com: Dec 24, 2008
Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California


The focus of the results of the recent "America's most literate cities" study has been which city came in first of the 71 cities studied. But the study also contained an analysis of public libraries (branches, volumes, circulation, and staff per capita).

As in previous years, California dominated the basement: Five California cities were in the bottom 12: Santa Ana (71), Stockton (tied for 68), Anaheim (65), Los Angeles (62), Bakersfield (61), Sacramento (60). California's school libraries are also among the worst in the US, both in terms of holdings and staffing, thanks to lack of funding.

Studies consistently show that reading achievement is related to how much access to reading material children have and studies also show that children get a substantial percentage of what they read from libraries. For children of poverty, the library is often the only source.

Is it any wonder than California fourth graders have the lowest reading scores in the US?

Watch: " Libraries Offer Free Relief from Tough Times " @ NBC News

photo from Reedsburg Public Library Blog

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