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Justin Grimes, Statistician, (Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at IMLS) recently asked a familiar question– What defines “ruralness”? And like subsistence use under ANILCA VIII, he understands it is important because the way things are classified can impact where, how, and to whom assistance is provided.

Instead of counting cows or grocery chains, IMLS have used a geographic classification.

So how does IMLS define rural libraries? Since 2008, IMLS has used a method developed by colleagues at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in collaboration with the Bureau of the Census that breaks down geographic areas into four major categories: city, suburb, town, and rural. Each of these areas is further divided into three subcategories. Under this locale code scheme, rural is defined as any area outside of a U.S. Census defined urban area – which is defined as an area of high population density

http://blog.imls.gov/?p=4401


Island isn’t used but remote is.

http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/fy2011_pls_data_file_documentation.pdf
Rural, Fringe: Census-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster.

Rural, Distant: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster.

Rural, Remote: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.

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