LITERACY; City Needs Help

Article excerpt

Jacksonville's literacy rate is by no means stellar.

And the recently released American's Most Literate Cities report has confirmed it. But this time, areas for improvement have been spotlighted.

The study looked at major cities with populations of 250,000 and above, focusing on newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources. In all, there were 69 cities in the study. Jacksonville ranked 50th.

Topping the list was Seattle, followed by Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. Atlanta came in fourth. Tampa ranked 24th on the list, with Miami ranked at 27th. Jacksonville was the only other Florida city on the list.

Here are the rankings in the various categories:

-- Newspaper circulation: Calculated on both a weekday circulation and a Sunday circulation, Jacksonville ranked 58. Miami was 55 and Tampa was 11. Newark, N.J., topped that ranking.

-- Bookstores: The study looked at the number of stores and rare bookshops per 10,000 people. Jacksonville ranked 59th on the list, with Miami at 21 and Tampa at 27. San Francisco topped that category.

-- Libraries: The city's libraries ranked 38th, but Jacksonville did better than Tampa and Miami. Tampa ranked 47 and Miami ranked 51. That category was graded on the number of school media personnel per 1,000 public school students; the number of branch libraries per 10,000 library service population; the number of library professional staff per 10,000 library service population and the number of volumes and circulations per capita of the library service population. …

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