Archive for the Library Workforce Category

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.

~Chelsea

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.

New Fast Facts: “A Brief Look at Librarian Salaries in U.S. and Colorado Public Libraries”

Comparisons between the 2010 ALA-APA Annual Salary Survey and the 2010 Public Library Annual Report (PLAR) compiled by the Library Research Service show that across professional library positions in Colorado, salaries are pretty evenly matched with national averages, with the exception of library directors. Within Colorado and nationally, library professionals in large and very large public libraries out-earn their peers in medium-sized libraries.   Read the latest Fast Facts to find out where your salary falls on the Colorado and national public library pay scales: “A Brief Look at Librarian Salaries in U.S. and Colorado Public Libraries.”

~Chelsea

School Library Studies-Next Steps

In response to some questions we’ve received about our School Library Journal article and our future plans for school library research:

The results reported in this article represent the first part of a larger study we are conducting to look at the relationship between school librarian staffing and achievement scores. Our next step is to do a more in-depth analysis of Colorado schools, where we have access to staffing and achievement test data at the building level (the data used for our SLJ article were at the state level). Look for a report of the results in the coming months. We encourage others to pursue this type of research in their state/region.

~Linda

New study shows that as the number of school librarians increases, so do NAEP reading scores

A new study by LRS staff past and present finds that in states that gained school librarians between 2004 and 2008, NAEP 4th grade reading scores increased at a greater rate than in states that lost librarians during this time period. These differences were particularly pronounced for poor, minority, and ELL students. See the complete report here: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissue/currentissue/891612-427/something_to_shout_about_new.html.csp

~Linda

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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Librarian Job Satisfaction Survey

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/

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

Fast Facts: Colorado Library Job Trends

There appears to be more competition than ever for Colorado’s library jobs, based on recent activity on LibraryJobline.org. 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 LibraryJobline.org” 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.

~Julie

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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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