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

Thoughts on “The Library Beyond the Book”

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Public libraries, like many institutions, are data-rich but information-poor. In their recent investigation of “the library beyond the book,” Harvard’s Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Matthew Battles muse over the massive data-stream radiated by contemporary libraries: “Every time a book is taken off the shelf, a file is downloaded, or a computer work station is booted up, a story is told, and cataloged, and filed away in a database. In this way, each act of reading in the library broadcasts a handful of seeds, from which new growths of data will either spring—or disappear into a forest of… Read more

NEH Office of Digital Humanities Level II Start-Up Grant

“Reading Chicago Reading” would like to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities for a Level II Start-Up grant.

This NEH ODH award allows our project to continue its efforts to combine humanities and computing to capture — and ultimately predict — the reading habits of a city by studying a repeating series of literary events, the “One Book One Chicago” program.

We also want to thank the Chicago Public Library, DePaul University, and Microsoft for previous and ongoing grant support.… Read more