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.
The 2011-2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey (PLFTAS) study results are in and all the various resources based on the data are now available to you and your libraries. Many thanks to all the libraries that participated in the study!
Products You and Your Libraries Can Use
– State Data/Handouts. www.plinternetsurvey.org
– Issue briefs: These are 4-page briefs in the areas of Broadband, Community Access, Digital Literacy, E-government, and Employment (example: http://www.plinternetsurvey.org/sites/default/images/Briefs/EgovBrief2012.pdf)
– Sample op-ed templates, press releases, press kits, and more — all in the Data in Action section of the ALA study website at http://www.ala.org/research/initiatives/plftas/data_in_action
– Infographics: http://ipac.umd.edu/news-and-events/us-public-libraries-weather-storm
– ALA’s Libraries Connect Communities digital supplement (http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/4673a369). This provides a nice summary of the entire study, has selected state data, and also key survey data.
– The full survey report (http://plinternetsurvey.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012_plftas.pdf). This has all the survey data, including more granular data at the state level than appears in the digital supplement).
– Survey executive summary (http://plinternetsurvey.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012_plftasexecutivesummary.pdf). This is a high level and more graphical presentation of selected survey data.
Pew has released the results of their study on libraries, patrons, and e-books. They found that 12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. However, the majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library. A results summary as well as links to the complete report and topline questionnaire can be found here.
ALA has just released the results of the 2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study. The press release, with links to the full report, an infographic, press kit, and other information, is available here.
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.
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.”
Pew researchers gave a presentation at COSLA‘s spring meeting this week, “Public Libraries in the Digital Age.” The presentation slides as well as fact sheets on e-reading and Pew’s timeline for their 3-year study of libraries can be found at this link: http://pewinternet.org/Presentations/2012/Apr/Public-libraries-in-the-digital-age.aspx.
Pew Research has posted a timeline of the various research activities they will engage in for their 2-year study of libraries (funded by the Gates Foundation). Their first major report from this study, on e-reading, has received widespread coverage over the past week. Upcoming activities include:
- a survey of librarians regarding e-books,
- studies on library use by community type and habits of younger library users,
- a study on the role of libraries in special populations, and
- a study of library users’ needs and experiences, from which library user typologies will be developed.
Pew Research is also looking for volunteer study participants. If you’re a librarian working in a public library that has e-books available for checkout, or if you ever check out or download e-books from a public library, you can sign up here.