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Daily Archives: December 11, 2013

How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities

54% of Americans have used a public library in the past year, and 72% live in a “library household.” Most say libraries are very important to their communities. Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell and Maeve Duggan:

  • “Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services.
  • The importance of public libraries to their communities – Some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. Asked about the personal impact of a public library closing, two-thirds (67%) of Americans said it would affect them and their families, including 29% who said it would have a major impact.
  • Moreover, the vast majority of Americans ages 16 and older say that public libraries play an important role in their communities:
    • 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
    • 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading;
    • 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community;
    • 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.”

Pew – On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now

Despite Gains, Many See Roadblocks Ahead: “A new cohort of young women—members of the so-called Millennial generation—has been entering the workforce for the past decade. At the starting line of their careers, they are better educated than their mothers and grandmothers had been—or than their young male counterparts are now. But when they look ahead, theyContinue Reading

Customer Service, Closing the Gap Between Citizens and Officials

“Customer service in government is undergoing a transformation as technology and social media make it increasingly possible for citizens and government officials to engage with each other around the clock. GovLoop’s latest Agency of the Future guide walks you through this transformation, highlighting the customer service trends of today and the direction of customer service in governmentContinue Reading

Fall 2013 Fiscal Survey of States

Fall 2013 Fiscal Survey of States – National Association of State Budget Officers: “State fiscal conditions are modestly improving in fiscal 2014 with spending and revenues projected to rise above fiscal 2013 levels. Signs of fiscal distress continue to subside, and most states expect revenue and spending growth in fiscal 2014. Tax collections outperformed projections in fiscalContinue Reading

OECD’s Pisa Rankings and the EBRD Region

The EBRD region improved its score in the latest PISA education rankings but there is still a substantial gap between it and the OECD average, by Sung-Ah Kyun and Alexander Plekhanov: “Every three years, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducts knowledge tests among 15-year old secondary school students in all the OECD and aContinue Reading

HUD Housing Scorecard November 2013

“Each month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury produce a monthly scorecard on the health of the nation’s housing market. The scorecard incorporates key housing market indicators and highlights the impact of the Administration’s unprecedented housing recovery efforts, including assistance to homeowners through the FederalContinue Reading

Report – Creating the Conditions for Growth in the UK

Creating the Conditions for Growth by Christine Whitehead and Tony Travers with Kathleen Scanlon and Melissa Fernández, LSE London, London School Of Economics. October 2013 • “House building activity is beginning to pick up, especially in London and the South East. However, the period since the financial crisis has been disastrous for investment, worsening the longer-term shortages of both marketContinue Reading

The Volcker Rule: A Comparison

Sherman & Sterling: “On December 10 2013, the final regulation implementing  the Volcker Rule was adopted by the five US federal bank regulatory agencies. This comes over two years after the publication of the proposed regulation. The text below illustrates the differences between the final and proposed texts.” [Andrew Young]

Secrecy News – Redacted Budget Book Provides a Window on NRO

“The National Reconnaissance Office, which builds and operates U.S. intelligence satellites, has just released the unclassified portions of its FY 2014 Congressional Budget Justification, a detailed account of its budget request for the current year. Although more than 90% of the 534-page document (dated April 2013) was withheld from public release under the Freedom of Information Act, some substantiveContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Management, Dodd-Frank Regulation, TARP Audit, Reverse Auctions

DEFENSE MANAGEMENT – Actions Needed to Ensure National Guard and Reserve Headquarters Are Sized to be Efficient, GAO-14-71, Nov 12, 2013 DODD-FRANK REGULATION – Agencies Conducted Regulatory Analyses and Coordinated but Could Benefit from Additional Guidance on Major Rules, GAO-14-67, Dec 11, 2013 FINANCIAL AUDIT – Office of Financial Stability (Troubled Asset Relief Program) Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 FinancialContinue Reading

Census – Age and Sex Table Packages and Race and Hispanic Origin Table Packages: 2012

“Age and Sex Table Packages and Race and Hispanic Origin Table Packages: 2012 — These table packages are from the Current Population Survey and include detailed statistics about five-year age groups by sex, the older population (55 and older), and the Hispanic, black and Asian populations. The tables provide a wide range of social and economicContinue Reading