Those snide European putdowns about America as a nation of cultureless junk-munchers might have to be retired, if an infographic from H&R Block is anything to go by. Although not the most likely source for such a study, H&R Block is credited with this wonderful library information digest which shows, among other facts, that there are 16,766 public libraries in the U.S., and only 14,157 McDonald’s. Also, every America taxpayer contributes $31 per year on average for library services. With figures like that, I won’t worry too much about the revelation that “every year, Americans spend three times as much on candy as they do on public libraries.” Because obviously, it can’t be rotting their brains too much …



  1. I don’t see the one statistic that might be meaningful: number of library visits per capita, charted over time. Nobody doubts that libraries have lots of resources: the question is whether those resources are actually being used in a cost-effective way.

    But seven books per year… Seven? My local library offers twenty books for up to three weeks. That’s a theoretical maximum of 340 books per year. Seven books would represent an average use per capita of 2% of the library’s capacity.

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