Mapping Colorado: Libraries Supporting Their Communities

Happy holidays, data detectives! At Library Research Service (LRS), we’re wrapping up our posts this year by charting libraries that took an extra step for their community in 2022 by providing services that help fight food insecurity. For the first time this past year we asked libraries on the Public Library Survey whether they distributed meals to children or provided one-on-one help for applying to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2022. Of the 112 public library systems in Colorado, 31% (35 libraries) reported that they provided at least one of these services to community members, and six of these libraries reported providing both services. A variety of library types from across Colorado reported providing these services, so this holiday season we created a map to show which libraries provided this type of community support in 2022.

Maps are a broadly loved and appreciated way to display data, and there are many different ways to map data (too many to discuss in one post). To begin, this post will cover some basics of mapping data and introduce two common types of maps…


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