Archive for the Fast Facts Category

The Impact of the Recession on Public Library Use in Colorado

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


Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2009

Every year, LRS collects information from Colorado public libraries on challenges to their materials and services.  Nearly 1 in 5 libraries reported a total of 48 challenges in 2009, the lowest number in a decade.  For more details on the reasons for and results of those challenges, read our latest Fast Facts:  Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2009.

~ Jamie H.

School Librarians’ Contributions to Student Achievement Continue

The 3rd Colorado Impact Study supports the findings of other studies on the relationship between school libraries and student achievement. For a quick look at the findings, check out these two Fast Facts:
Increased Library Staff Links to Higher CSAP Scores
Endorsed Librarian Positions in Colorado Public Schools Trending Downward

For more on the school library impact studies, including video and podcast interviews with researcher Keith Curry Lance and links to other studies, visit our School Impact Studies Resource page at


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.

Fast Facts: More Job Seekers, Fewer Jobs

A new Fast Facts is up!  More Job Seekers, Fewer Jobs: Findings from Library Jobline, Year Three” reports trends found in postings from 2007-2009.  While the number of job postings drastically decreased as the economy struggled, the number of job seekers increased, making the field more competitive.  Click on the title above or visit the Fast Facts page to read more!

– Jamie H.

New Fast Facts and New Field Initiated Study Posted

We’ve just posted a new Fast Facts: Computer Access and Traditional Library Services. This Fast Facts examines what happens to public library visits, circulation, reference, and program attendance as the number of public access computers rises. Do the “traditional services” decrease as libraries provide more computer access, or do those services increase as well? Go to the Fast Facts page or click on the title above to read more!

A new Field Initiated Study has also been posted: Library Sponsored Events and Programming Promotion Ideas. This came from a question posted on the Libnet listserv by Donna Arment, of the Durango Public Library, regarding promoting library sponsored programs. To read the responses received, click on the title above or go to our Field Initiated Studies page.


Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009

A new Fast Facts, “Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009: Patrons Benefit from Additional Databases and Training,” has been published!
This Fast Facts examines the use of electronic databases in Colorado libraries in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and explores the impact of librarian training and a larger database package on overall database use.

To read this Fast Facts, visit our Fast Facts page or click on the title above!

– Lisa

Interlibrary Loan in Colorado

A new Fast Facts has been published! This Fast Facts, State’s Collaborative Climate Fosters Interlibrary Loan in Colorado,  examines interlibrary loan (ILL) use among Colorado’s public and academic libraries, as well as how ILL use impacts circulation overall.

Read this Fast Facts by going to our Fast Facts page, or click the title above!


Public Libraries & Web Technologies – What’s Happening?

LRS is proud to announce the release of our most recent Closer Look Report, “U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies.” In the spring of 2008, we visited the websites of nearly 600 public libraries in the United States, including all Colorado public libraries, looking for the presence of web technologies, including those identified as “Web 2.0.” This report details our findings about what public libraries are doing on the web, and the characteristics that “early adopters” share.

Find the report, and a Colorado-specific Fast Facts report, on the report page:


“ASK” – A National Campaign for Reference?

In late 2008, LRS opened up a 60 Second Survey and asked librarians about the importance of reference, the future of reference, and the promotion of reference.

While the results have been on for some time now, we have a new Fast Facts, “ASK” – A National Campaign for Reference?, that analyzes the findings and the comments left by respondents.

Take a look at what we found on the LRS Fast Facts page, or click on the title above for a pdf.


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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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