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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

LIS 810 GIS workshop project proposal

I'm interested both as a librarian and as an arts professional in the interaction of public libraries with cultural institutions and local cultural communities. But I think that finding data to support targeted library service for local artists is going to be difficult. I was struck in reviewing the American FactFinder site by the category of sole-proprietor businesses (which would include many artists); there are also categories for Nonemployers and self-employed people (I would assume that the same persons may have been counted more than once to generate these categories). So my research question at this stage is: what is the smallest census geographic entity at which one can locate (preferably nonretail, that is service-providing) self-employed, nonemployer, or sole-proprietor businesses--state, region, county, municipality, or smaller--to generate a map to support a recommendation for siting an information service for these individuals? I was thinking branch library, but we may be talking about a fantasy service more akin to County Extension as it functioned in the mid-20th century.

In addition to census data, I want to review the literature on library siting discussed by Christine Koontz along with that listed on the class site. This will help refine the question.

The key technical issue is how fine the unit of analysis can be made to generate results of local significance.

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