Can libraries keep up with demand?


Houston Public Libraries |  Houston, TX  |  Fall 2013 to Fall 2015

Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University

Houston Public Library (HPL) has a system of 34 community libraries known as Neighborhood Libraries. By analyzing library activity data using GIS software, we created 34 maps showing what those “Neighborhood Library Customers” were actually doing. We found that most libraries do not fit the traditional neighborhood library model, but a new set of categories defined by our research team. The neighborhood model is no longer applicable in Houston, and proximity is only 1 factor in determining usage. We presented this to the library administrative staff with policy and future planning scenarios and recommendations. We also presented this to the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium and were awarded the Center for Civic Leadership Award and the Baker Institute for Public Policy Award.

Library Maps: