Welcome to Library Research Service

We conduct research about libraries, provide statistics and analyses to library stakeholders, and work with our colleagues in the Colorado library community and beyond to use data more effectively and persuasively.
Pew survey finds that almost a third of Americans are in favor of fewer book shelves, though libraries themselves remain central to communities.
By on October 7, 2015 in Public / The Weekly Number
Pew Research Center’s new report on the state of America’s libraries declares that libraries are approaching a watershed moment of change. Pew based this conclusion off of two central questions from its survey of 2,004 Americans over the age of 16 – Firstly, what should happen to the books that traditionally populated libraries, and secondly, what should happen to the buildings themselves? It appears that Americans are getting more comfortable with the idea of a library with fewer books. 30% of survey respondents say libraries should “definitely” move books to make way for more space and services, compared to 20% in...

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Join us at ARSL for “Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide”
By on September 28, 2015 in Public
Will you be at ARSL this week? If so, we hope you will join us for: Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide Thursday, October 1, 1:45-2:45 PM, Grampas You don’t have to be a graphic designer to present your library statistics in a way that effectively communicates value. In this session, straight from the 2015 Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL), you will learn quick and easy tips for visually displaying statistics that will enable you to tell a powerful story about your library in your board reports, flyers, displays, and more.…...

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LJ survey reveals differences in faculty’s vs. academic librarians’ perceptions of library services
By on September 23, 2015 in Academic / The Weekly Number
A new nationwide study by Library Journal, in partnership with Gale, examines faculty and academic librarian perceptions of the services offered by academic libraries, and the results are mixed. Nearly nine out of ten faculty (87%) feels that the academic library is important for providing resources for their own and their students’ research. However, academic librarians and faculty had different views on what services are most important and whether communication is adequate between faculty and librarians. As far as services go, librarians and faculty do agree that the central function of academic libraries is information literacy instruction and research consultation for...

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New Pew study finds that 57% of today’s teens have made a new friend online
By on September 16, 2015 in Technology / The Weekly Number / Web 2.0
If the younger generation is any indication of how people will live, work, and interact in the future, today’s teens are media omnivores who will set new standards for social communication. In a new study from the Pew Research Center that takes a look at how friendships are formed and maintained in the digital age, it was found that teens are more likely to text message with friends everyday (55%) than interact with them in person every day (25%). The results, obtained from a national survey and in-person focus groups of 13 to 17 year olds, also found that other...

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Be a part of the #RIPLeffect: Come to our PLA preconference!
By on September 15, 2015 in Public
Did you miss out on the inaugural Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) this past summer? Well, now’s your chance to be a part of the #RIPLeffect. RIPL instructors will be offering a full day preconference at PLA 2016 in Denver: Think, Do, Show: Practical Techniques for Analyzing, Using, and Visualizing Data to Improve Practice and Demonstrate Impact. This preconference will take place on Tuesday, April 5, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. The curriculum is straight from RIPL 2015, refined and improved based on participant feedback! Here is the program description: Libraries collect a lot of data: circulation, program attendance, user satisfaction, etc. In...

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Just 35% of 2011 academic library job postings included salary information
While the library job market seems to be improving, there is always room for more data! In the newest College & Research Libraries, two academic librarians did a content analysis of the American Library Association’s (ALA) JobLIST and the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) Job Announcements to capture the academic library job market in 2011, then compared the results to 1996 and 1988. While at this point the 2011 data is a bit stale, the trend information can be useful to those in the job market or hiring. The researchers looked at the number, types and titles, qualifications/skills, salary, and locations...

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  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.


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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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