Library Closure Plan Would Hit Poorer Areas and West Miami-Dade Harder
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has proposed a plan to close 22 of the county's 49 library branches, and if you're living either west of the Palmetto Expressway or in a poorer neighborhood, you're a lot more likely to see your local library branch shuttered.
Riptide gathered the median income for the zip code each library branch is located in. We then highlighted which branches are slated for closure in red and arranged the list from lowest to highest median income.
While a lot of low-income areas will be losing their libraries, that in and of itself doesn't tell much of a story. But then we noticed something. With the exception of one location, every single branch slated to close and located in a zip code where the median income is more than $40,000 is located west of the Palmetto Expressway or in southwest Miami-Dade.
The lone exception is the Virrick Park branch, which shares a zip code with the Coconut Grove branch. Of course anyone who has taking a drive down Grande Avenue through the 33133 knows the area has visually noticeable income disparity. The Coconut Grove branch is located near the village's tourist-friendly center. The Virrick Park branch is located in the neighborhood's poorer "Black Grove," and that's the one that may be closed. Go figure.