Unite for Literacy is a for-profit organization out of Colorado that provides a platform to make digital picture books available for free online to battle book scarcity.
They have created an interactive map showing the estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books around the country.
Unite for Literacy has created the Book Desert Map to make the problem of book scarcity visible. Their purpose was to initiate conversation across the public, private and civic sectors about the geography of books and reading. Unite for Literacy looked at the number of books in 4th graders’ homes, community income, ethnicity, geography, and home language data from the NAEP and the American Community Survey. They performed a statistical analysis of that data and produced this map showing the estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books at the state, county and census tract levels.
LEGEND: Estimated percentage of homes with more than 100 books.
I zoomed in to take a look at Austin. It was no surprise to me that Interstate 35 was a huge dividing line. While Austin can definitely boast to be the most liberal city in a very conservative state, it very unfortunately has also been said to be one of the most segregated. I-35 goes right up the middle of the city. I think you will be able to see where the poorer population lives by taking a look at this map.
Find your city and take a screen shot. Next time someone tells you we don’t need libraries, show them this.