Taken from Seattle Central Library Economics Benefit paper:
Seattle is the second most literate city in America, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study of cities with populations over 200,000. “Seattle would have been number one,” said researcher Jack Miller, “except for its aging and relatively under used libraries.” This deficiency is rapidly changing, with the Libraries for All program revitalizing libraries across the City. Miller also confirmed what Seattleites have been saying for years: the City supports more bookstores per capita than any other city in the country.
Seattle has been a launching pad for numerous literacy and reading encouragement programs. In 1996, “America’s Favorite Librarian,” Nancy Pearl, launched What If All of Seattle Read the Same Book, a community-wide book club that has been duplicated in more than 50 cities across the country and internationally . Nancy Pearl has since become a cult hero, with two books – Book Lust and More Book Lust – and her own action figure.
According to the Census Bureau, Seattle has one of the highest rates of college education among large U.S. cities, with 49% of the population holding at least a bachelors degree.
This passion for education and reading contributes to the community’s overall quality of life and translates into support for the arts. This support benefits the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Symphony, and the Seattle Opera, which has the highest per capita attendance of any opera company in the country (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 1, 2004).
So what are you waiting for! Get to your local branch today and hug your librarian! 🙂