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.
Edited to add: ALA President Maureen Sullivan has a nice response to the Forbes article in the Washington Post.
Are you interested in finding events related to research and statistics at ALA Annual? Here are some of the sessions that are on our radar:
Friday, June 22:
1:30 pm-3:00 pm ARL Library Assessment Forum
Saturday, June 23:
10:30 am-12:00 pm Write For It! Jump Start Your Research Agenda and Join the Conversation (ALCTS)
1:30 pm-2:00 pm National Statistics for Local Advocacy? You Betcha! (COLA, ORS)
Sunday, June 24:
10:30 am-12:00 pm The Rise of E-Reading (OITP)
10:30 am-12:00 pm PLAmetrics User Group and Demonstration (PLA)
10:30 am-12:00 pm Research on Library Use and Users (LRRT)
1:00 pm-2:30 pm Fun with Numbers: Opportunities and Challenges in Collecting Library Use Data (ALA)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm 18th Annual Reference Research Forum (RUSA)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm Let the Data Talk: Communicating Assessment Results to Stakeholders (LLAMA)
Monday, June 25
10:30 am-12:00 pm Seeing is Believing: Understanding Data Visualization for Library Research (ORS)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm Riding the Publishing Rollercoaster: Practical Strategies from Research to Writing (ACRL)
To see a complete listing of sessions related to research, go to the scheduler and narrow by the subject “Research and Statistics.”
LRS recently completed an evaluation of the statewide 24/7 virtual reference service AskColorado, as well as its academic queue AskAcademic. Between April and October 2011, nearly 1,300 users completed customer exit surveys. The results indicate that users are pleased with these services and are likely to be repeat users. Four out of five users (80%) rated AskColorado librarians as “very helpful” or “helpful,” and six out of seven users (85%) said that they would be “very likely” or “likely” to use the service again. Satisfaction was even higher among AskAcademic users. Nearly 9 in 10 AskAcademic survey respondents (89%) indicated that the librarians who assisted them were either very helpful or helpful , and most (94%) said that they were “very likely” or “likely” to utilize the service again. Compared with previous AskColorado evaluations, in 2011 the service received its highest ratings yet on these measures.
See the Fast Facts and Closer Look report for more details.
In Fall 2011, we conducted a study of the statewide courier system to determine the quantity and type of materials that libraries were sending via the courier system, and then to estimate, based on these numbers, the system’s cost effectiveness versus using a commercial service. Our results showed that the courier system continues to provide substantial cost savings to participating libraries. Colorado libraries send an estimated 5.9 million items annually via the courier system. Compared with the costs of using a commercial shipping service (USPS, UPS, or FedEx), they save up to an estimated $7.1 million per year by using the courier.
Find out more in the Fast Facts report.
This week the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published Academic Libraries: 2010 First Look a biennial report that summarizes services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in 2- and 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Highlights from the report include:
• Academic libraries held approximately 158.7 million e-books and about 1.8 million electronic reference sources and aggregation services at the end of FY 2010.
• Academic libraries spent approximately $152.4 million for electronic books, serial backfiles, and other materials in FY 2010. Expenditures for electronic current serial subscriptions totaled about $1.2 billion.
• During FY 2010, some 72 percent of academic libraries reported that they supported virtual reference services.
• Academic libraries reported 88,943 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working in academic libraries during the fall of 2010.
To view the full report please visit
Everyone’s heard of thinking outside the box, right? You know-the ability to break out of unconventional thinking and apply innovative ideas to problem solving. Well, now we invite you to explore ways of thinking outside the survey and using innovative methods to learn about the people who use your library.
Please join us at CALCON11 for:
Beyond the Survey: Innovative Techniques for Learning About Your Patrons
Friday, October 14, 2011, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Snowberry
We’ll present 10 creative-and often fun-ways to engage your patrons, staff, and community and get the information you need. Bring your ideas, questions, and enthusiasm. We’d like to share our ideas and hear yours.
It’s time to think outside the survey!
~Linda, Lisa, & Nicolle
The Compare Academic Libraries tool allows users to compare college and university libraries on a wide range of characteristics. It also allows the user to view and download historical data of a library of interest as far back as FY 2000.
To view this updated tool, visit:
This web tool is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education.
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.
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Library Journal’s 2011 Job Satisfaction Survey–Rocked by Recession, Buoyed by Service: “Budget cuts from coast to coast have turned up the heat, but librarians still love their jobs. Realistically, however, money shortages have reduced advancement opportunities and many feel they’ll have to leave libraries before retiring.”
Read the article at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/newslettersnewsletterbucketljxpress/890617-441/lj_2011_job_satisfaction_survey.html.csp
Read about the results from the LRS survey “What is the Value of an MLIS to You?” at: http://www.lrs.org/news/2011/06/14/results-from-the-60-second-survey-what-is-the-value-of-an-mlis-to-you/
LRS is excited to announce the release of our most recent Closer Look report, “The Impact of the Recession on Public Library Use in Colorado.” We examined Colorado public library use prior to and after the recession’s onset. Our findings indicated that from 2006 to 2007 (prior to the recession), visits per capita, circulation per capita, program attendance per 1,000 served, and Internet computer use per capita remained relatively static or decreased in Colorado public libraries.
In contrast, visits, circulation, and program attendance all increased during the recession (from 2007 to 2009) by at least 11 percent for libraries serving large communities (populations of 25,000 or more). Higher use during this period was also seen in resort communities. Visits, circulation, program attendance, and Internet computer use all increased by between 6 percent and 28 percent in public libraries serving these communities. Libraries serving small communities (populations under 25,000) were not included in the study because of missing and anomalous data.
Public libraries have been a key resource for Coloradans during both the recession and the post-recession recovery period, providing community gathering space, access to entertainment and educational resources, and information about job hunting, economizing, and other topics that are particularly relevant during this time.
Find the report as well as a Fast Facts highlighting key findings at http://www.lrs.org/recession.php