Archive for the 60 Second Category

15% of American adults don’t use the internet

pew_nonImage credit: Pew Internet

Despite the fact that an increasing number of job applications and other important resources are being offered solely online, not everyone in the U.S. uses the internet. This simple fact has been emphasized countless times in years past, through discussion of the “Digital Divide.” Most recently, in the report Who’s Not Online and Why, Pew Internet indicated that, as of May 2013, 15% of American adults don’t use the internet.

Why not? About one-third (34%) of non-users just don’t believe the internet has any relevance to their lives. These non-users are not interested in using the internet, and some think using the internet is a waste of time. Another one-third of non-users (32%) cite usability issues as reasons for not using the internet. Some of these non-users deem using the internet as too difficult or frustrating, while others claim they are “too old” or physically unable to use the internet. About one-fifth (19%) do not use the internet because of the expense it entails, and 7 percent cite a lack of access to the internet.

Pew’s report provides libraries with a better understanding of non-users and how to serve them. Some non-users might never develop an appreciation for the internet—no matter the efforts of others to demonstrate its utility—and will continue to rely on libraries to provide information in non-digital formats. Other non-users, however, might simply need more incentive to use the internet, and libraries can seize this opportunity to demonstrate why it is beneficial and, in many cases, a necessity. For the non-users who simply do not have access to the internet, or do not know how to use it, libraries can, of course, serve as an important resource, providing free high-speed access and technology-oriented classes. For a great example of this, see LRS’s Fast Facts series on the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), and its positive effects in Colorado:

Libraries: What attempts have you made to reach non-users to market your technology resources and classes? Have they been successful?

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.

What is the value of an MLIS to you?

Forbes.com recently posted an article on “The Best And Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs,”  and a Master’s in Library and Information Science was ranked the No. 1 worst degree. These rankings were based on mid-career median pay and estimated rate of growth of careers in 35 popular degrees. The results of our 60-second poll “The Value of an MLIS to You,” however, show a different picture of the degree’s worth, one beyond monetary potential. Those who completed the survey were certainly concerned about the job market and salaries, but our respondents also left lengthy comments about the intrinsic rewards of the profession, and 79% agreed that the degree was worth the time and money invested.

Read the full report with analysis of the comments here, or see the highlights in our Fast Facts report.

~Julie

Edited to add: ALA President Maureen Sullivan has a nice response to the Forbes article in the Washington Post.

Our new American Libraries feature article– “Who’s the Boss”–is now available

Last November, we asked you in a 60-second survey to share your opinions about privatization and public libraries. We just published the results of this study as a feature article in American Libraries: “Who’s the Boss? Does Private Management Have a Place in Public Libraries?”. Access the article here. The study’s results were also summarized in an earlier blog post.

Thanks again to everyone who responded to our survey! Your participation and thought-provoking comments provided us with an excellent foundation from which to work as we wrote the article. We’re excited to continue sharing your opinions about hot topics in LIS in future studies.

~Linda

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Results from the 60-Second Survey: What is the Value of an MLIS to You?

Over the last two weeks of May, librarians, library staff, and library school students weighed in on the LRS 60-Second Survey “The Value of an MLIS Degree to you.” Almost 2,500 people from every state and 15 countries, representing all library types, responded. Around 1,300 respondents left comments, sharing additional thoughts on the value of the MLIS degree today.

When asked if they thought their MLIS degree was/is worth the money and time invested in it, just over three-fourths of respondents (76%) agreed or strongly agreed that their degree was worth the investment. Seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that their MLIS degree was worth the time and money they invested in it, and another 4 percent strongly disagreed. Ten percent indicated neutral feelings toward the value of their MLIS degree.

My MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it:*
*3 percent of respondents indicated N/A and the question was skipped by 11 respondents.

Respondents who have had their MLIS degree the longest were more likely to indicate that the time and money invested in the MLIS was worth it. Nine out of ten (92%) of respondents who have had their MLIS for 16+ years agreed or strongly agreed that the degree was worth the time and money they invested in it and only 8 percent disagreed, strongly disagreed, or were neutral. Almost 90 percent of respondents who have had their degrees for 11-15 years agreed or strongly agreed that the investment in the MLIS degree was worth it, as did 80 percent of respondents who have had their degrees for 6-10 years. While over two-thirds of newer professionals agreed or strongly agreed that their investment in the degree was worthwhile, they were less likely to strongly agree and were more likely to select neutral or to disagree or strongly disagree. Respondents who completed their degree 1-5 years ago were the most likely to indicate that the degree was not worth the time and money they invested in it, with 21 percent selecting disagree or strongly disagree.

My MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it, by when degree was completed:

Survey respondents also indicated whether or not they would recommend pursuing an MLIS degree if asked today. Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) would recommend pursuing the MLIS degree, with one-fourth of respondents indicating they would “highly recommend” the degree. Close to one in six respondents would not recommend pursuing the degree, and 8 percent would actively dissuade others from pursuing it. Around 14 percent of the respondents said they were not sure if they would recommend the degree if asked.

If asked TODAY, would you recommend pursuing an MLIS degree?
In addition to being more likely to agree that the investment in the MLIS degree was worth it, respondents who have had their degrees the longest were also the most likely to indicate they would recommend pursuing the degree to others, with three-fourths of those who have had their MLIS for 16+ years indicating they would recommend or highly recommend the degree. Around two-thirds (65%) of those who have had their MLIS for 11-15 years and 6-10 years would also recommend or highly recommend the degree to others. Those who have had their degree for 1-5 years were the least likely to highly recommend or recommend the degree (49%) and were also the most likely to indicate that they would not recommend (22%) or actively dissuade (13%) others from pursuing an MLIS.

If asked TODAY, would you recommend pursuing an MLIS degree, by when degree was completed:

Stay tuned for a more in-depth report on the survey results, including a comparison with the 2008 survey results and analysis of the comments left by respondents. Until then, we’d love to hear your thoughts so far – please leave any comments below!

~Lisa

New 60-Second Survey: What is the Value of an MLIS to you?

In 2008 Library Research Service launched our first 60-second survey, “What is the Value of an MLIS to You?,” in response to lively discussions about this topic on various listservs. Close to 2,000 library professionals weighed in, with over 1,000 leaving thoughtful comments about the MLIS degree. Three years later, as libraries and the environments in which they serve continue to change and evolve, LRS wondered how has the value of an MLIS fared? LRS has launched a new 60-Second Survey on the value of an MLIS to you. Do you feel your MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it? If asked today, would you recommend pursuing an MLIS degree? You tell us.

Edited to add: Thank you for your interest! The survey is now closed. Preliminary results will be posted to the blog in early June.

Many thanks!
Lisa

Results from the 60-Second Survey: Privatization of Public Libraries

For the past month, library staff have weighed in on our survey about the privatization of public libraries.  More than 2,500 people from every state and 15 countries responded, making this our most popular 60-Second Survey yet.  The nearly 1,500 comments we received with additional thoughts on privatizing the management of public libraries made it even more clear that this is a topic of great interest to library professionals and other stakeholders.

Given an either-or choice, survey respondents overwhelmingly sided with public sector management, with 86% agreeing with a statement that management should remain in the public sector so that profit does not become libraries’ primary objective.  The other 14% agreed that management should be privatized if it means that libraries can do a better job of providing services and materials to patrons at lower costs.

Should management of public libraries be privatized if it means lowering costs, or remain in the public sector so that profit doesn’t become libraries’ primary objective?

Survey respondents identified whether they thought public or private sector management was more likely – or equally likely – to achieve a list of outcomes for public libraries.  Public sector management scored the highest, by far, on all factors but two:  reducing operating costs and making library operations more efficient.  In these areas, respondents were closely split among the three answer choices, with around 1 in 3 voting for each (the public sector, the private sector, or both as equally likely to achieve these outcomes).

What type of management is more likely to achieve the following outcomes in public libraries?

At least 3 in 4 respondents identified public sector management as the best way to improve the quality of library services, increase the relevance of libraries’ collections, employ qualified staff to meet community needs, and protect patron privacy.  Public sector management drew even more support – from nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (88%) – when they considered the library’s ability to serve all the members of its community and the strength of the library’s connection to the community it serves.

What type of management is more likely to achieve the following outcomes in public libraries?

More than half (53%) the respondents reported that a public library should be run like a public service rather than a business, but almost as many (42%) said it should be run like both.  Just 2 percent thought that a public library should be run like a business.

Should a public library be run like a public service or a business?


Eight in 10 (82%) respondents thought that privatization would have a negative impact on library staff’s job security and benefits or retirement plans.  While the majority (66%) thought the negative impact would also extend to job prospects for degreed librarians, a higher percentage were unsure of the potential impact (17%) or thought privatization would have no impact on job prospects (9%).

Stay tuned for a more in-depth report of survey results in an upcoming Fast Facts.  Until then, we’d love to hear your thoughts so far – please leave comments below!

~ Jamie H.

AL Publishes Article: Booking to the Future

American Libraries will be publishing Jamie Helgren’s (DU-LRS Research Fellow) article on the Future of the Book in their January/February issue. See the article, “Booking to the Future” online now at: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/11302010/booking-future

This article is based on the LRS 60-Second Survey: The Future of the Book conducted earlier this year. Several LRS staff members contributed to the analysis of the data and you can see more about the survey results on the LRS blog and in two Fast Facts issues.

 ~Nicolle

1/5/11 UPDATE
Jamie’s is the cover article for the Jan/Feb issue of  American Libraries. Browse the issue and read the article at:  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/e8e0bcae#/e8e0bcae/1

Privatization Survey Update: Help Us Represent the Opinions of Library Staff Across the US

So far, we’ve had a great response to our 60-Second Survey on privatization! However, our geographic representation is a bit skewed. Nearly three-fourths of our respondents come from just 9 states–those that are colored in the map above. In contrast, the remaining states–those in white–are each represented by less than 2% of the survey respondents. Do you live in a white state or another country? If so, we need your help! Please take a minute to complete the survey so that the results will more accurately represent the opinions of library staff across the United States as well as internationally (as of now, 2.5% of our respondents are international).

Edited to add: Thank you for your interest! The survey is now closed. Preliminary results will be posted to the blog in December.

~Linda

New 60-Second Survey: Privatization of Public Libraries

Recently, the New York Times published an article about the privatization of public libraries. This article described the trend in some communities to turn over the management of public libraries to private organizations. In response to this article, library staff engaged in spirited online discussions about whether libraries should be privatized. Taking notice of these discussions, Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library has launched a new 60-Second Survey to get your opinions about privatization. Do you think privatization is a good option for libraries? How would it impact library collections, services, staff, and patrons? You tell us.

Edited to add: Thank you for your interest! The survey is now closed. Preliminary results will be posted to the blog in December.

~Linda

The Future of the Book 60-Second Survey Results

Last winter, LRS posted a 60-Second Survey on “The Future of the Book.” More than 1,300 people responded, with nearly 950 leaving additional comments about their thoughts on the topic.  With all that information, we were able to write two Fast Facts providing analysis of both the results and the comments.

The comments proved to be one of the most interesting aspects of the survey, revealing passionate and philosophical thoughts on the future of paper and electronic books. Six common themes emerged as influences on future format choices: the existence of multiple formats, technological advantages, emotional/aesthetic appeal of paper books, content, cost, and change over time/generation. The first Fast Facts addresses results and comments related to cost and technological advantages of paper versus electronic formats, while the second report discusses the remaining comment categories and how they related to the type of library in which survey respondents worked and whether they owned an e-reader.

~ Jamie H.

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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.

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