Archive for the Fast Facts Category

Off to a Good Start: A Look at First-Quarter 2012 Statistics from

A recent LRS Fast Facts used statistics from, an online service for job seekers and employers hosted by LRS, to assess the state of Colorado’s library job market in 2011 as compared to previous years. The report showed that after bottoming out in 2009, Colorado has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of library jobs posted per year. Additionally, interest in those positions, as evidenced by the number of views per job, has dropped off. While starting salaries have increased slightly for positions that did not explicitly require an MLIS, the starting salary for positions which did mandate an MLIS were stagnant.

Data from from the first quarter of 2012 suggests good news for those seeking library jobs in Colorado. On average, there have been 33 new jobs posted per month, as compared to 26 jobs per month in 2011—an increase of 27 percent. In contrast to the first quarter of 2011 alone, in which an average of 27 jobs per month were posted, 22 percent more jobs were posted in the first quarter of 2012 (Chart 1).

New jobs posted from January to April of 2012 were viewed an average of 761 times each, a decrease from 1,951 views per posting in all of 2011. This decrease could signify a less competitive job market, although it could be attributed to other reasons, such as the rise in the number of Library Jobline users who receive news about available positions via email, RSS feed, or Twitter.

These “Hot Jobs” were viewed more than any others in the first quarter of 2012:

Librarian, High Plains Library District, Erie Community Library

  • $20/hour
  • 30 hours/week

 Senior Librarian, The Denver Public Library, Hampden Branch Library

  • $22.05/hour
  • 40 hours/week

 Library Assistant (Substitute), City and County of Broomfield, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

  • $15/hour
  • On call

Only 22 percent of first-quarter 2012 postings required an MLS or MLIS degree, as compared with 33 percent in all of 2011. Nineteen percent would give preference to candidates with an MLS or MLIS, and 59 percent of all first quarter 2012 postings did not specify any such preference or requirement (Chart 2).

Of 147 jobs that were open (not posted) in the first quarter of 2012, 17 (12%) did not list starting salaries. With those exceptions, the average starting salary for positions that did not require or prefer an MLIS was $19 per hour, or $2 more than the average starting salary for similar positions in 2011. The starting salary for positions that preferred an MLS/MLIS dipped by $2 however, from $21 to $19 per hour. Starting salaries for positions that required an MLS/MLIS rose slightly, from an average of $24 per hour to $24.25.

Data from the first quarter of 2012 does not conclusively show changes, either for the better or worse, to the library job market in Colorado. However, this information does help job seekers and employers to stay abreast of library hiring trends.


Are you an employer or job seeker? Set up a customized account at, and follow Library Jobline on Twitter: @LibraryJobline.

Clearer Skies Ahead? Using Statistics from to Gauge Changes in Colorado’s Library Job Climate

Data pulled from Library Jobline, the online matchmaking tool for library job seekers and employers maintained by LRS, shows that in 2011, Colorado’s library job market continued to improve for the second consecutive year since the most recent recession.  The average number of jobs posted per month and annually rose from previous years, and starting salaries increased for positions which did not require an MLIS degree.  In addition to examining 2011 data from Library Jobline, this Fast Facts also looks at national trends, using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Library Association, and Library Journal. Click here to read the Fast Facts report in its entirety. Also, an update to this information, discussing Library Jobline data from the first quarter of 2012, can be found here.


School Librarian Numbers Decline from 2004-2005 to 2010-2011

Our new Fast Facts discusses recent trends in public school librarian staffing and student enrollment. Based on an analysis of National Center for Education Statistics data, public school librarian staffing numbers remained relatively stable from 2004-05 (the first year this data was reported) to 2007-08. However, these positions nationwide declined by 8 percent from 2007-08 to 2010-11, while the total number of students increased by 2 percent. In Colorado, this gap was more pronounced: school librarian positions fell by 9 percent during this time period, while the total number of students rose by 5 percent.


New Fast Facts: ALA-MLS Librarian Staffing Levels in Colorado and U.S. Public Libraries

Our new Fast Facts, “ALA-MLS Librarian Staffing in Colorado and U.S. Public Libraries,” will pique the interest of anyone who has wondered about the distribution of librarians to ALA-MLS-accredited librarians, or about the proportions of librarians to other staff, in Colorado or the U.S. at large. Based on an analysis of Colorado and national public library staffing data, we found that in spite of the recent recession, these ratios have remained relatively stable over time, and that Colorado is keeping pace with national trends. The Fast Facts is available here.


What is the value of an MLIS to you? 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.

Coloradans Embrace AskColorado and AskAcademic

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.


New Fast Facts: Public Library Challenges, 2010

Every year, LRS collects information from Colorado public libraries on challenges to their materials and services. 66 challenges were reported in 2010, with challenges to Internet sites and videos both surpassing books for the first time. Read our latest Fast Facts for more: Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2010.


High Traffic, Low Cost: The Colorado Courier Continues to Save Libraries Millions Annually in Shipping Charges

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.


Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies: What’s Happening in Colorado?

LRS’s newest Fast Facts, “Web 2.0 and Colorado Public Libraries: 2010 Update,” highlights the Colorado findings from our 2010 nationwide study of U.S. public libraries and their use of web technologies. Colorado’s results generally mirrored those of libraries nationwide, although it is ahead of its peers in areas such as web presence among libraries that serve less than 10,000 people, and the availability of chat reference service and RSS feeds. One in 3 (34%) Colorado public libraries has a Facebook account, about the same proportion as libraries nationwide. For more information, you can access the Fast Facts at: Or, to view the complete results of the study, as well as the first iteration of the study (from 2008), go to

Fast Facts: Colorado Library Job Trends

There appears to be more competition than ever for Colorado’s library jobs, based on recent activity on A new Fast Facts about the jobs posted on the site over the past four years has just been published: “Colorado’s Library Job Climate: 2007-2010: Insights from” highlights trends in total job postings, salaries, degree requirements, and the most popular jobs from the site. Job postings are up slightly from 2009, but drastically more people are viewing them, and part-time, temporary positions continue to replace full-time, permanent ones. Click on the title above to view the full report.


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