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

“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

Exploring Circulation Data

Thanks to the work of graduate student Hyunyou Choi, our circulation strip-chart tool has now been made interactive. This tool allows for the interactive visualization of the circulation patterns of the various “One Book, One Chicago” selections across different clusters of library branches and to highlight individual branches.

See below for an example. Follow this link to try it yourself:

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Library as Platform, Library as Cloud …

In 2012, in Library Journal, David Weinberger wrote about how libraries should perhaps best be conceived as platforms, canopies, and even clouds — beautiful, and suggestive, imagery useful to help capture the emergent architectures of public libraries.

According to the 2016 18-month update of the City of Chicago Tech Plan, “Since the [new BiblioCommons] website’s launch in April 2014, CPL has seen a nearly 18 percent increase in website visits via mobile devices. Residents have been taking advantage of the new social features of the CPL site during the last year. More than 170,000 … Read more