Methodology 2010

Selection of Cities for Inclusion

Cities were selected based on their 2009 U.S. Census population figures. The study was limited to those cities with a population of 250,000 or larger as of July 1, 2009.

Newspaper Data

For the newspaper database, the Daily and Sunday Circulation figures were obtained from the Audit Bureau of Circulation FAS-FAX Report 9/30/2010. Three cities did not have data for 9/30/2010. The figures for Honolulu and New Britain are from 3/31/2010. The figures for Oakland are from 12/31/2009. For all cities, those circulation numbers were then divided by the 2009 U.S. Census population figures for the cities resulting in a ratio, which was then rank ordered. Seven cities (Anaheim, CA; Arlington, TX; Aurora, CO; Glendale, AZ; Henderson, NV; Mesa, AZ; and Plano, TX) had no newspaper published in their city that participates in the ABC report.

Internet Data

Figures for “read a newspaper online” and “purchased a book online” were obtained from Scarborough Research’s February 2009-March 2010 USA+2010 Release. Cities were ranked according to the index figures provided by Scarborough. Please note that Scarborough did not have data for the following cities: Long Beach, CA; Mesa, AZ; Plano, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Aurora, CO; Arlington, TX; New Britain, CT; Anaheim, CA; Omaha, NE; Riverside, CA; Anchorage, AK; Santa Ana, CA; Fort Wayne, IN; Glendale, AZ: Lincoln, NE; Wichita, KS; and Newark, NJ. Hence, all of those cities were ranked last.

Magazines and Journals Data

Figures for this database were gathered from the web edition of the National Directory of Magazines and the Standard Periodical Directory through the website of Oxbridge Communications from December 2-5, 2010. Only those journals with a total circulation of 500 or more were included, and only those magazines with a total circulation of 2,500 or more were included.

Booksellers and Stores Data

For this database, information was gathered from Yellow Pages, Inc. ( for information on retail, rare, and used booksellers as of November, 2010. Also, the American Booksellers Association site ( was used for independent bookseller information. Please note that for figures reported for “retail”, these did not include any “specialty”, “adult”, or “religious” bookstores, and the stores were those listed at these database sites in November of 2010.

Educational Attainment Data

For this database, information was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “American Factfinder” website (, specifically from the results of the American Community Survey, 2009. The Educational Attainment data were gathered from the geographic subset listed as, “Principal City of a Metropolitan Statistical Area.”


Library Data

a) Information regarding library staff per capita, volumes per capita, circulation per capita, and branches per capita was gleaned from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), specifically the “Library Statistics Program” and its “Public Libraries Survey”.

Please note that the number of library staff for Chicago, IL, was not listed. Therefore the number on staff for the previous year’s iteration of this study was used. Also note that the number of library staff listed for Chicago, IL, reflects only librarians, as the total library staff figures were not reported that year.

b) Information regarding the number of students and media specialists comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, specifically the “Public School District” data for the 2008-2009 school year. For the “Media Specialists” total, the number of “Librarians/Media Specialists” was combined with the number of “Library/Media Support” staff.

School districts labeled as “Regular School Districts” in population centers labeled “City: Large” in a “MSA-Central City” metropolitan status were included.

Several cities had multiple school districts that met the criteria. Here is a list of those cities and the school districts included:

Anaheim, CA
Anaheim City
Anaheim Union
Magnolia Elementary
Savanna Elementary

Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield City
Fruitvale Elementary
Greenfield Union Elementary
Kern Union High
Panama-Buena Vista Union
Rosedale Union Elementary

Colorado Springs, CO
Academy 20
Cheyenne Mountain 12
Colorado Springs 11
Harrison 2

Corpus Christi, TX
Calallen ISD
Corpus Christi ISD
Flour Bluff ISD
West Oso ISD
Tuloso-Midway ISD
West Oso ISD

El Paso, TX
El Paso ISD
Socorro ISD
Ysleta ISD

Fresno, CA
Central Unified
Fresno Unified
West Fresno Elementary

Glendale, AZ
Washington Elementary
Glendale Union High

Houston, TX
Houston ISD
North Forest ISD
Spring Branch ISD

Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Public
MSD Decatur Township
MSD Perry Township
MSD Pike Township
MSD Warren Township
MSD Washington Township
MSD Wayne Township

Kansas City, MO
Center 58
Hickman Mills C-1
Kansas City 33
North Kansas City 74
Park Hill

New Orleans, LA
Orleans Parish
Recovery School District LDE

Oklahoma City, OK
Crooked Oak
Oklahoma City
Western Heights

Omaha, NE
Omaha Public
Millard Public
Westside Community

Phoenix, AZ
Alhambra Elementary
Balsz Elementary
Cartwright Elementary
Creighton Elementary
Isaac Elementary
Madison Elementary
Murphy Elementary
Osborn Elementary
Paradise Valley Unified
Pendergast Elementary
Phoenix Elementary
Phoenix Union
Roosevelt Elementary
Wilson Elementary

Portland, OR
David Douglas SD40
Parkrose SD3
Portland SD

Riverside, CA
Alvord Unified
Riverside Unified

Sacramento, CA
Robla Elementary
Sacramento City Unified

San Antonio, TX
Edgewood ISD
Fort Sam Houston ISD
Harlandale ISD
North East ISD
Northside ISD
San Antonio ISD
South San Antonio ISD

San Jose, CA
Alum Rock Union Elementary
Berryessa Union Elementary
Cambrian Elementary
Campbell Union High
East Side Union High
Evergreen Elementary
Franklin-McKinley Elementary
Luther Burbank
Moreland Elementary
Mt. Pleasant Elementary
Oak Grove Elementary
Orchard Elementary
San Jose Unified
Union Elementary

Stockton, CA
Lincoln Unified
Stockton City Unified

Tucson, AZ
Sunnyside Unified
Tucson Unified

Tulsa, OK

Additionally, several cities’ information was based on county school district information reported. They included:

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

Greensboro, NC
Guilford County School District

Henderson, NV
Clark County School District

Honolulu, HI
Hawaii Department of Education

Jacksonville, FL
Duval County School District

Las Vegas, NV
Clark County School District

Lexington, KY
Fayette County School District

Louisville, KY
Jefferson County School District

Miami, FL
Dade County School District

Raleigh, NC
Wake County School District

Tampa, FL
Hillsborough County School District

Finally, the figures for New York, NY were derived from data provided by New York City Geographic Districts 1-32 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database (“Public School District” data for the 2007-2008 school year), as new figures currently are unavailable.