There is a great blog post over at Philadelphia Citypaper looking at Mayor Nutter's proposed budget cuts. Nutter recently released information designed to provide a rationale for the cuts to City Council and the media. Staff writer Issiah Thompson poured over the data and below are the first of his findings:
- The cuts tend to apply to libraries with smaller circulations. The 11 proposed closings, however, do not represent the 11 smallest libraries (just four of the smallest 11 are on the chopping block). Some of the libraries in jeopardy have relatively high circulation rates.
- The cuts are pretty well-spread along income levels, but sorting by family poverty levels shows that the areas with highest and lowest poverty rates have been spared library cuts, while areas in between seem to bear the burden.
- The Holmesburg Library (7810 Frankford Ave.), a branch library scheduled for closing, circulates more books than Lucien Blackwell, a regional library.
- Looking at a map of the proposed closings, they appear to be fairly evenly distributed around the city. But sort by Council district, and the spread could be seen as political as much as geographic. The 11 libraries are represented by eight Council districts; no Council district would take more than two cuts.
That's it for now, but more is coming — promise. Meanwhile, happy hunting!