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, who recently received top honor in the Senior Living Facility category in the Manteca Bulletin's "Best Of" awards! Congratulations on your success Team #Manteca
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“Is Ronald McDonald Smarter Than Manteca’s Civic Leaders?” I get Google Alerts each day for a few items, one of which is “library, libraries.” (Does the plural make a difference? I do not know, but don’t accuse me of not being thorough.) This headline caught my eye.
There are already stats floating around that in the US, there are — surprisingly — more public libraries than McDonald’s. (Yay!) However, this piece in the Manteca/Ripon Bulletin took an interesting spin on the whole thing, expanding it into economic expansion, China, lifelong learning, and community activism. But first: Where the heck is Manteca/Ripon? (I knew there was a Ripon in Wisconsin [why do I know that?], but this paper actually covers an area between Stockton and Modesto in Northern California.)
Editor Dennis Wyatt interviews resident Mas’ood Cajee, “a dentist by profession and a library advocate by passion.” Apparently there’s chatter in Manteca that Google can and should expand there. “[Cajee] asked a Google manager who lives in Manteca and happens to be a patient whether [this was a possibility]. The answer essentially was no way would Google expand here but you could get the Google style paychecks locally if the community was able to create an environment that fostered learning and entrepreneurship by encouraging young people to innovate and create new products and services.”
How? Cajee looks to China – specifically Shenzen, a city of 12.5 million – as a model. In 1980, Shenzen had a population of 20,000 and was designated the country’s first special economic zone. According to the newspaper piece, “Key to that template is a library system that boasts 627 libraries in the city as of the end of 2016 with the main library covering 533,000 square feet.”
Back to McDonald’s: “The most successful fast food chain the world has ever known and the most successful civic institution the world has ever known have the same rule of thumb for locating a restaurant or library to serve every 15,000 to 20,000 people in urban density settings” and that, therefore, Manteca needs 5 libraries.
McDonald’s, China, and the local press: Awesome (and interesting) call for libraries!