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Library Closure Plan Would Hit Poorer Areas and West Miami-Dade Harder

Categories: News

librarysign.jpg
via Michael Wayne Cole's Flickr/New Times Flickr Pool
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has proposed a plan to close 22 of the county's 49 library branches, and if you're living either west of the Palmetto Expressway or in a poorer neighborhood, you're a lot more likely to see your local library branch shuttered.

Riptide gathered the median income for the zip code each library branch is located in. We then highlighted which branches are slated for closure in red and arranged the list from lowest to highest median income.

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While a lot of low-income areas will be losing their libraries, that in and of itself doesn't tell much of a story. But then we noticed something. With the exception of one location, every single branch slated to close and located in a zip code where the median income is more than $40,000 is located west of the Palmetto Expressway or in southwest Miami-Dade.

The lone exception is the Virrick Park branch, which shares a zip code with the Coconut Grove branch. Of course anyone who has taking a drive down Grande Avenue through the 33133 knows the area has visually noticeable income disparity. The Coconut Grove branch is located near the village's tourist-friendly center. The Virrick Park branch is located in the neighborhood's poorer "Black Grove," and that's the one that may be closed. Go figure.

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20 comments
verdisvioletta
verdisvioletta

These statistics only reinforce one hypothesis and is hardly a rigorous analysis. What is the distance from the closing libraries to the next nearest branch that will remain open? What are the numbers for monthly attendance at the open versus proposed closed locations? What is the number of books on the shelves at the open versus proposed locations? What is the total average minutes of usage of computers (per unit as all libraries do not have the same number of computers). Realize that the library is also a free internet/computer station for poorer residents who can not afford their own computers and access. An analysis of the closest bus stop/public transportation stop to the open and proposed closed locations is also in order. Will books on the shelves at proposed closed locations be available for order to be sent to locations that will remain open for pick-up? What are the total number of libraries located East and West of the Palmetto? Of those libraries, what are the percentages in total being closed (east and west of the Palmetto). You can not segregate by income and then interject a hypothesis that an area is being disproportionately affected- this is lazy and poor analysis resulting in skewed poor reporting. 

jdomar
jdomar

Is it because people don't go to the library here relative to some other major cities? I always used to go when I was a kid - if he has a rational basis to close them because people here just don't use them much (sad), then how can you/we/us who live here in South Florida inspire kids to go to them to discover?

Maria Arellano
Maria Arellano

We can afford to pay for a colossal [Marlins] stadium but not keep our Libraries open?!? F*ckin' Disgrace!!!!

Theresa Brewer
Theresa Brewer

C'mon Miami Mayor, figure out a better way to save some money.. libraries and the resources that they provide are way too important. Maybe the County could instead save $$ by not planting dozens of new royal palm trees at the landfill?? just one option of many

Gertrude Huber
Gertrude Huber

Of course it would be WEST of US1 & OF COURSE, west of the palmetto. Anything WEST of US 1 costs LESS- hence, LOWER INCOME :(

Linda Yesenia
Linda Yesenia

That sucks, I for one prefer reading a good book.

Dicky Bobby Perez
Dicky Bobby Perez

Libraries should go the electronic route. With the way technology is nowadays, there are no need for them libraries. I think having an E- library is the way of the future. although centers close to deprive neighborhoods should remain open and have access to computers. anybody up for debate, bring it! Save the fire department department!

Alex Fernandez-Casais
Alex Fernandez-Casais

Where are all those "outraged" by the Martin veredict? Aren't they more outraged by this crime against society?!?

Jorge Hurtado
Jorge Hurtado

close all the libraries down and have everyone take drivers ed again.

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

But then again the free stadium we gave to the billionaire is in a low income area too so it balances out.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

how many are closing in Hialeah?! They're illiterate beasts, anyway...

D.f. Basora
D.f. Basora

Aren't early voting machines set up in libraries primarily? Am I the only one who sees this also as a way of screwing with votes /voters YET AGAIN???

Lucy Skipp Craft
Lucy Skipp Craft

but there's plenty of money for the new convention center, marlins stadium, etc?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

You mean you want Kyle to actually research a story? LOL!

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@Gertrude Huber Uh, almost everyone in the county lives west of US1 plus that roadway wasn't even mentioned in the article.

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