Reading Chicago Reading

Who reads? What do they read? How do they read? These are questions essential to the study of literacy, yet fine-grained answers to these questions are difficult to come by, as noted in To Read or Not To Read, a 2007 report from the NEA. Our project Reading Chicago Reading represents a rare opportunity to seek empirical answers to these questions within a large metropolitan area, with a wide variety of texts, and across a great diversity of readers. Read more

New Circulation Modeling Results

We just completed a long-awaiting transition to a database backend for the Reading Chicago Reading data. One of the big changes was the discovery that we had been using incorrect holdings data for one of our books. So, some of the modeling results are now slightly different, and the anomalous results for “Gold Boy” are now gone.

This change also means that we will now be able to process circulation data for books that are not OBOC selections including the books that were chosen as CPL recommendations. We will also be able to explore some new aspects of the circulation data such as the … Read more

Presentation at Chicago City Data Users Group

On May 3rd, Hyunyou Choi and Yingting Guan gave a presentation about Reading Chicago Reading at the Chicago City Data Users Group. This is a Meetup group for end users, business users, enthusiasts, students, entrepreneurs, anyone interested in how to use city data to create positive social impacts on the city.

On the presentation, they explained the goals of the project, its data sources, and the data mining techniques what we used. They demonstrated an updated version of our “Exploring Circulation Data” app:

This visualization allows users to select branch library, see its location … Read more

Digital Collections As Data

Ana Lucic, Digital Scholarship Librarian at DePaul and co-PI, writes:

Historically, circulation data and the demographic characteristics of library branch patrons have been used to analyze reading patterns and behaviors of different audiences. To date, our “Reading Chicago Reading” project has taken advantage of the circulation data we received from the Chicago Public Library and from the American Community Survey to shed light on the reception of different OBOC selections throughout diverse Chicago neighborhoods. See e.g. our earlier post.

We are also interested in the text … Read more

“The Book Is Just The Beginning” – Part 1

The “One Book One Chicago” (OBOC) program has evolved since the fall of 2001, expanding and diversifying its programming around the city. As noted in an earlier post, reading the chosen OBOC book is only one kind of participation in the larger social space of engagement with literary culture.

Archiving Chicago Public Library’s One Book materials, English graduate student Mihaela Stoica has documented the great variety of OBOC-related events of the past several seasons. The main branch of the CPL holds physical files for previous OBOC seasons, with information on programming… Read more