April 18, 2014

Data reveals the cities with the highest concentration of librarians

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This graphic shows the employment of librarians, by area, in May 2013. The darker the green, the more librarians per capita. Blank areas indicate that data is not available.

This graphic shows the employment of librarians, by area, in May 2013. The darker the green, the more librarians per capita. Blank areas indicate that data is not available.

The United States Department of Labor has released employment statistics for librarians, and analysis of the data by FiveThirtyEight has revealed where to find the most librarians per capita (Ownesboro, Kentucky) and where librarian pay is highest (Fresno, California).

And while the number of librarians in many U.S. cities has decreased due to funding cuts, there’s also been a significant increase of librarians in other cities.  Basically there’s both good news and bad news:

It’s a mixed picture. Nationally, from 2001 to May 2013, the number of librarians fell by 9 percent. In New Mexico, there are 48 percent fewer librarians than there were in 2001. In Michigan, there was a 36 percent drop. But there are states where the number of librarians has risen; at the top of the list is Idaho, where there are 167 percent more librarians. But most places that have seen an increase didn’t have many librarians in the first place (Idaho only had 240 in 2001).

Among the cities with the most librarians, it’s not surprising that the common factor is that they all are university towns.

 

Claire Kelley is a the former Director of Library and Academic Marketing.

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