Fun Reads for Friday

Just two today:

Reykjavik is Declared a UNESCO City of Literature via Visit Reykjavík

There are some great tidbits in this short article, not least the fact that Reykjavík is only the fifth city in the world to earn this designation and also the first one for whom English is not the native language. For reference, the other Cities of Literature are Edinburgh (Scotland), Melbourne (Australia), Iowa City (USA–really? Because of the Writer’s Workshop??) and Dublin (Ireland). Also a good quote from Reykjavík’s mayor, Jón Gnarr, who is himself a talented actor, writer, and comedian. Says Gnarr:

“This is a great honour for Reykjavik. Icelandic art and culture is internationally known and this title confirms just how valuable our cultural heritage actually is. Our culture is the most valuable of all our resources”

What States Have the Highest Concentrations of Librarians? via GalleyCat

More sad news about the decline of working librarians in the last 30 years. There are two different ways of counting librarian populations in the quoted survey, which was complied by Social Explorer: largest librarian populations in general, and highest concentration of librarians, based on the overall population. It breaks down thusly:

Considering the nation today, the states with the largest librarian populations are: Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Texas and California.  Meanwhile, the states with the highest concentrations of librarians (or librarians per capita) are: Vermont, D.C., Rhode Island, Alabama, New Hampshire.

The rest of the report gives all sorts of information about librarian demographics from 1880-2009, for instance, it’s not always been a profession dominated by women (although that has basically been the norm since the 30s), and as a profession, we’re apparently at the height of our marriageability(62% of librarians are married today, vs. 1 in 3 in 1880). The GalleyCat article has some nice links to other organizations and sites tracking librarian data, but for the full Social Explorer report, see here.


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