ERIC Number: ED184749
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
At the Crossroads: An Inquiry into Rural Post Offices and the Communities They Serve.
Margolis, Richard J.
For many small-town citizens the post office remains an essential institution, not only as a collector and distributor of the mails but also as a focal point of sociability and intimacy, as a news center, and as a provider of special neighborhood services and counseling. In order to provide data for the Postal Rate Commission (charged with reviewing appeals from patrons of post offices which the Postal Service has decided to close or consolidate), this research paper reports the sociological implications and community effects resulting from the closing of a post office in a small rural community. Data were derived from interviews with 151 residents in 37 communities in 19 states and in all 5 U.S. Postal Regions. Conclusions focus primarily on the viability of the community whose post office may be closed. If the community shows signs of being a strong one, then the closing of its post office would cause significant, perhaps irreparable, harm. If, however, the community exists in name only, with few people supporting or being served by its post office, the closing of such a facility would have little adverse effect. Twenty-one vital signs, principally tests of the vigor of a community's relationship with its post office, are presented to assist the Postal Service in determining community viability. (NEC)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Communication (Thought Transfer), Community Change, Community Characteristics, Local Issues, Needs Assessment, Population Trends, Public Facilities, Rural Areas, Rural Population
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 (Stock Number 052-062-00034-9, $3.25).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Postal Rate Commission, Washington, DC.