Archive for the Academic Category

What should library staff be paid?

What should library staff be paid?

avg_hrly_wage_by_degreeBased on 5 years of job postings on our own Library Jobline, we’ve found that starting wages for library jobs are stagnant overall (see our Fast Facts). But this is only one piece of the pay equity puzzle: The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has published an updated Pay Equity Bibliography. The bibliography includes resources on pay equity, certification, faculty status, gender, and worker competencies, as well as salary negotiation, legislation, and various economic factors. Salary data and statistical information is also provided to help library professionals understand what they are worth. From the report: “The emphasis for items included in the bibliography is on practical rather than theoretical materials and on more recent information on pay equity; however, there are items from previous versions of the Pay Equity Bibliography included. This list is by no means exhaustive.”

Learn more about the Colorado library job market, salary trends, and other workforce topics in our Fast Facts reports.

Are you currently in the job market? Be sure to visit Library Jobline, for job posting from Colorado and beyond (like Texas and Qatar). And for even more job hunting strategies, visit our Twitter feed @libraryjobline where we’ll share tips and tricks using #JobTip.

Less than 38% of young Americans can complete tech tasks more difficult than sorting e-mails into folders.

Group of students in library using tablet PC

Although the United States invented the personal computer, its young adults are falling behind many other countries in their technological proficiency, according to a recent article in Education Week. The article cites a study performed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in which young adults aged 16 – 24 years, from 19 countries, attempted to perform tasks of three different difficulty levels, including sorting e-mails into folders, organizing data into spreadsheets, and managing reservations for virtual meeting rooms. Young adults from the U.S. performed the worst, as less than 38 percent could successfully complete tasks more difficult than sorting e-mails into folders; and 11 percent were unable to perform the most basic exercises – the second-highest rate among the participating countries. In comparison, 44 percent of Sweden’s young adults achieved the two highest levels of proficiency.

How can the U.S. facilitate digital literacy among young adults? Educators, in particular, can play a role by introducing students to various technologies, and teaching them to use them. In fact, school librarians are uniquely positioned to work with students to increase these skills, with their emphases on 21st-century instruction strategies such as teaching students to use digital resources and to use technology to organize and share information. Also, Brian Lewis, the chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology Education, an educational technology advocacy group, recommends that educators engage students with technologies they are already accustomed to, such as digital games. Once educators have captured their students’ attention, they can then focus their attention toward using technology for, perhaps, less fun, but more useful, purposes.

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.

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

FF_Academic lib salariesOur newest Fast Facts report analyzes results from the 2012 American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salary Survey to better understand how academic librarians’ salaries in the West and Southwest (the region including Colorado) compare to other regions. The survey breaks down salaries by job category and institution type, and it covers positions that require an ALA-accredited MLIS/MLS and offer salaries of more than $22,000.

What did we find? University librarians in the West and Southwest earned higher average salaries in every job position in 2012. Directors and librarians who don’t supervise others earned more in average salary in the West and Southwest across all institution types. But two-year college librarians had challenges: middle management (managers and department heads) and deputy directors in the West and Southwest earned less than the average salaries in all regions.

Read more about the 2012 salary figures in our infographic and Fast Facts report, 2012 Academic Librarian Salaries: The West & Southwest Region Remains Competitive. And compare these figures with 2010 ALA-APA Salary Survey results in Fast Facts No. 297, 2010 Academic Librarian Salaries: West and Southwest Region Offers Competitive Pay.

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.

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Retirement_school libsImage credit: Library Leadership & Management

A new study published in Library Leadership & Management dives into results from a national survey of current library workers regarding their retirement plans, particularly after the economic downturn. Analysis suggests that while more than one-fourth of respondents ages 50-59 and almost three-fourths of respondents in their 60s and 70s plan to retire in the next 5 years, close to half of all respondents said that the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job. For three-fourths of respondents, pay and health benefits were “very important” or “critical” factors in their decisions to keep working. As might be expected, those at school libraries were far more likely to leave the field or retire early than their public and academic library colleagues, perhaps alluding to the vulnerable status of school libraries.

Learn more about the changing library workforce here in Colorado at our webpage devoted to publications, presentations, and research on the topic.

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.

38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year

pew_younger

Image credit: Pew Internet

The Pew Research Center’s newest stats from its Internet & American Life Library Services Survey dive into younger Americans’ (16-29 years old) library and reading habits and reveal an interesting blend of technology and traditional service expectations. Perhaps most telling is that this group is significantly more likely to have either used technology at libraries or accessed online library services than adults older than 30. For example, 38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year, compared with 22% of Americans ages 30 and older. Such tech-centric use is balanced by the younger generation’s ties to print media, as three-quarters say they have read at least one print book in the past year, well above the 64% of older adults. This mix of preferences extends to library services, with 3 out of 4 younger adults saying it’s very important for libraries to offer free access to computers and the internet as well as books for borrowing.

For more on Americans’ reading habits over time, check out Pew’s interactive tool reporting stats by age group.

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.

Attending ALA Annual? Here are the research & statistics sessions that are on our radar

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Will you be attending ALA Annual? These are the research and statistics sessions that are on our radar:

Friday

8:30AM-4:00PM (preconference): Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries of Higher Education into Action

9:00AM-3:00PM (preconference): International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community

Saturday

8:30-9:30AM: Data-Driven Services: Library Research Roundtable Forum

8:30-10:00AM: From Outputs to Outcomes: Measuring What Matters

10:30-11:30AM: Ebook Data Evaluation through the Eyes of an Academic Librarian and a Public Librarian: A Tale of Two Libraries

10:30-11:30AM: Is it Worth it? Assessing Online Instruction

1:00-2:00PM: Research at Your Service: Latinos & Their Information Needs on Center Stage

1:00-2:30PM: 19th Annual Reference Research Forum

1:00-2:30PM: Mentorship Program Forum: Library Research Roundtable Initiative

3:00-4:00PM: The Census, Your Patrons, and the DataFerrett (hands-on workshop about using census data)

4:00-5:30PM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron

Sunday

8:30-10:00AM: Do These Evaluation Statistics Mean Anything?

10:30-11:30AM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The Discussion Continues

10:30-11:30AM: Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making? New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment

1:00-2:30PM: New Pew Research: Libraries + Parents = Innovation and Success

1:00-2:30PM: Studying Ourselves: Libraries and the User Experience

Monday

10:30-11:30AM: Is This Trend a Library Friend? Understanding Current Analytical Measures

10:30-11:30AM: Measuring Up: Developing New Metrics for Assessing Library Performance

1:00-2:30PM: School Library Research

Measuring the Impact of Libraries

cil_impact

In the June 2013 issue of Computers in Libraries, Moe Hosseini-Ara and Rebecca Jones have an article, “Overcoming Our Habits and Learning to Measure Impact.” They highlight 5 issues that libraries struggle with when measuring impact:

1. Libraries do not set targets for their measures.

2. There’s not enough understanding of stakeholders’ value measures.

3. Measures are not viewed as an integral element of services or programs.

4. Value measures are not differentiated from operating measures; outcomes are confused with outputs, which confuses everyone.

5. There’s no clear responsibility for managing measures. 

Are you struggling with any of these issues when trying to measure the impact of your library? Check out the article for practical advice on how to tackle these issues and implement measures that effectively convey your library’s impact.

 

New Fast Facts: More Opportunities, Lower Pay: 2012 Insights from Library Jobline

Our new Fast Facts uses data from Library Jobline to evaluate Colorado’s library job climate. In 2012, almost 400 library jobs were posted to Library Jobline, thus marking the third year in a row in which there was an increase in the number of jobs posted. Although there appear to be more opportunities for library-related employment, the starting wages for library jobs posted to Library Jobline have changed little since 2008. Fortunately for job seekers, there was also little change regarding the number of postings that specified requirements or preferences for certain types of experience (e.g., library experience, supervisory experience) or skills (e.g., Spanish fluency).

~Rebecca

Join us at Computers in Libraries next week!

Will you be attending Computers in Libraries this year? If so, we hope you’ll join us on Monday, April 8 at 3:15 pm in the International Ballroom West for our presentation, “Web Technologies and User Engagement.” We will share our latest results from our biennial study of the websites of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries, including:

  • which web features, such as sharing interfaces,  virtual reference, and blogs, are most common on U.S. public libraries’ websites as of 2012,
  • the extent to which public libraries use responsive and/or mobile-friendly web design, and
  • public libraries’ integration with various social media networks.

Our discussion will be framed in terms of the implications of these web features for usability and patron engagement.

New research from Pew Internet focuses on the reading/library habits of young Americans

Pew Internet has released their latest findings from their multi-year library research project. Highlights of these findings, which focused on the reading and library habits of young Americans, included:

  • 4 in 5 young Americans ( ages 16-29) read a book in the past year
  • 1 in 5 read an e-book
  • 1 in 10 listened to an audiobook
  • 3 in 5 used the library
  • Young Americans are more likely to read e-books on a cell phone or computer than on an e-reader
  • Nearly half (47%) of young Americans read long-form e-content (books, magazines, newspapers)

When further subdivided by age, Pew researchers found that:

  • High schoolers (16-17) were most likely of the subgroups to have used the library in the past year, to have checked out print books, and/or to have received research assistance
  • College-aged adults (18-24) had the highest overall reading rates
  • Adults in their late twenties (25-29) expressed the greatest appreciation for libraries in general

For more details, see http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/10/23/younger-americans-reading-and-library-habits/.

~Linda

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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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