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Better Living Through Literacy? Study Ranks L.A. Low on List

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A study conducted by Central Connecticut State University takes a look at literacy in major US cities and aims to present a portrait of the country's "cultural vitality," and it's not-so-great news for Los Angeles.

Of the 75 cities ranked, Los Angeles comes in down towards the bottom at a rather unhealthy number 62. The study uses 6 key indicators of a city's literacy: "newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources." Only one California city made the top 30, which is San Francisco at #12. With many of our beloved independent bookstores as well as many big box chain locations closing, the LAUSD's infamous struggles, and the continuing challenges faced by our local community colleges and 4-year public universities is our poor showing all that surprising?

Dr. Jack Miller, the CCSU President, notes that the study can be looked at against other published "quality of life surveys." Miller says he discovered "that quality tends to be associated with quality, and highly literate cities often rank high in other quality of life metrics." Cities in the Top 10 on the literacy ranking happened to be those safer, healthier, and have a more active singles' scene than those below. So maybe a resolution for Angelenos in 2010 should be to read live better.

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