There’s Hope: America’s Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s & Starbucks


You know the saying “There’s a Starbucks on every corner”? Turns out there might be more free books on city blocks than those pricy coffees.

America is home to about 17,000 public libraries, according to statistician Justin Grimes with the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Grimes plotted library locations on Google Maps to show their density and outreach. In the shadow of free knowledge, Starbucks operates about 11,000 stores nationwide, and McDonald’s slings burgers in about 14,000. Still, we’d  be curious to find out the average number of people visiting libraries compared to the number of people visiting McDonald’s and Starbucks locations within a given period. We have a feeling that might skew the study’s initial perspective a bit. Sorry, guys.

H/T Galleycat + PicThx Atlantic Cities

By Rachael Stuart

Rachael is a journalism student who desperately wishes Indiana had a seafood-laden coast. When she's not contemplating the intersection of culture and cuisine, she's picking out recipes and typing furiously for her food blog, East by Midwest. Her main goal in life is to one day not be the last person eating.

5 replies on “There’s Hope: America’s Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s & Starbucks”

Rachael, try writing this again with more detail. There are 8,951 public libraries, and many thousands of academic/research/private libraries that aren’t available to everyone. In total there are an estimated 121,169 libraries of all kinds in the United States today. Use that number and then the article content will agree with the title. Heck, throw in all fast food chains, don’t just pick on McD’s.

quit picking on the author; our only hope comes NOT from how many libraries there are compared to fast food and coffee joints there are, but in YOU people taking your kids to a library AND TEACHING THEM HOW TO USE IT instead of parking them in front of your glowing rectangular babysitter every night. So it is YOU that are hopeless, not America.

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