Thursday, May 8, 2014

A description of the neighborhood

It seems to me I have been negligent in my duties as a blogger to have not given a good description of the neighborhood where all of this good work is taking place.

The North Philadelphia Neighborhood Libraries Cluster consists of the six public libraries that are located within the boundaries of the Schuylkill River on the west, Allegheny Avenue to Glenwood Avenue to the north, Frankford Avenue on the east and just south of Girard Avenue to the south.   The zip codes served by these libraries are:  19132, 19133, 19121, 19122, 19134.  In these zip codes, according to Pew's State of the City Report for 2013, 47.96% of the residents live below the federal poverty line.

Unemployment in the zip codes averages 11.49% which is significantly higher than the January 2014 national level of 6.7%.  Home values have depreciated.  Fewer than 70% of the students who enter Kindergarten obtain a high school diploma. Literacy at all ages is low.  The digital divide is wide and deep.

Most of this information used here came from Pew Charitable Trusts: State of the City - Philadelphia 2013.

There are also lots of good works going on in these neighborhoods.  The Honickman Center (Project Home), Congreso, Impact Services, and Philly Rising are just a few of the groups working alongside the libraries to improve the literacy and the lives of the residents of those living there.

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