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:
If you or your library subscribes to Computers in Libraries magazine, look for my article – U.S. Public Libraries and Web 2.0: What’s Really Happening? – on page 6. Find information about the publication at http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/oct09/index.shtml. The article is the first publication recapping our recent study, “U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies.” We are also tying up the loose ends on a Closer Look Report detailing results of the study, and working on a Colorado-specific edition of Fast Facts. Watch for those publications soon on the PL Web Tech study page.
Curious about the challenges received by Colorado’s public libraries? Read our newest Fast Facts, Challenged Materials in Colorado’s Public Libraries, 2008. More than one out of ten public libraries in Colorado received a challenge in 2008. Read more by clicking on the title above or by going to our Fast Facts page.
Are you curious about the library job market in Colorado? Our latest Fast Facts, Library Jobs in Colorado: What Does LibraryJobline.org Tell Us?, analyzes the job postings on LibraryJobline.org since 2007. Some of the topics discussed are the total number of job postings, job postings by library type, and degree requirements. Read more about the changes (and similarities) over the past few years by clicking on the title above or by going to our Fast Facts page.
Are you interested in Internet connection and its administration throughout Colorado’s libraries?
Between October 2008 and March 2009, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation surveyed America’s libraries to learn more about their Internet connectivity. Results were distributed to each state in April 2009.
Out of the 248 libraries (outlets/branches) in Colorado, 242 responded to the survey (98%). The results give a candid assessment of library Internet connections across the state. Data herein covers a variety of topics, including: Number of outlets that provide Internet access to the public, type of Internet service connection, download speed, cost of Internet connection, and more.
A few highlights from the results:
-All but one outlet/branch in Colorado provides Internet access to the public
-Nearly three out of ten (29%) of Colorado’s library outlets receive some Internet connectivity for free, although they may pay for additional connections
-The average cost for library Internet connections is $4,452 per year per outlet
Other findings for the Broadband Assessment project can be found at:
Ever wonder how a return on taxpayer investment in public libraries can be quantified? Our latest Fast Facts, Colorado Library Return on Investment: 5 to 1, discusses how the Library Research Service calculated return on investment (ROI) for eight public libraries from across the state.
Bob Molyneux, former director of statistics and surveys at the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), has assembled a large number of digital versions of publications reporting statistics on various types of libraries. As NCLIS is now closed, this data needed a home, and we are proud to partner with Bob to provide an online archive for these files:
Files currently housed in the archive:File Comments
Public Library Data File (PLDF3) Longitudinal data of a universe file of U.S. public libraries, FY 1987-FY 2007. Updated through FY 2007
State Summary/State Characteristics Data File (PUSUM) Longitudinal file of summary data on public libraries at the state level, FY 1992-FY 2007. Updated through FY 2007
Raw data, documentation, reports, and summary analysis of public libraries A substantial number of publications about these libraries is available now.
This is an important, useful archive, and all materials within are in the public domain. Enjoy!
Public librarians involved in programming may be interested in the newest Field Initiated Study. Defining successful programming in public libraries is a collection of responses received from questions sent to the Libnet listserv by Gail Craig of the High Plains Library District.
Click on the title above to view the compiled responses or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.
Thanks to the newest LRS staff member, Lisa Boyd, the ROI Closer Look report is finally published. The ROI study took place during a time of considerable upheaval at LRS with a staff change in every single position during the course of the project. So, we are very grateful to Lisa for bringing her considerable organizational and publication production skills to bear on this project. She was able to gather together all the individual pieces of the study and produce a document with all the ROI study findings in one place. Of course, the individual library reports, calculators, and other ROI information are still available on the ROI webpage.
For most of the libraries participating in the study, the return on investment (ROI) was approximately five to one—that is, for every $1.00 spent on public libraries, $5.00 of value was realized by taxpayers.
Data for this study were gathered using a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews, and available data sources. Almost 5,000 Colorado residents responded to the library use and value survey.
Thanks to the eight libraries that participated in the study. Staff at these libraries generously shared their time and expertise to make this study possible.
– Cortez Public Library
– Denver Public Library
– Douglas County Libraries
– Eagle Valley Library District
– Fort Morgan Public Library
– Mesa County Public Library District
– Montrose Library District
– Rangeview Library District
For more information, please visit our ROI page at: http://www.lrs.org/public/roi/.
The use of public library resources and services by children has been on the rise both in Colorado and in the U.S. as a whole over the past 10 years. Read the details in our new Fast Facts, The Kids Have It, by Robbie Bravman Marks