Archive for the Public Category

96% of Colorado public libraries offer general computer skills training

Digital Inclusion

Image credit: Digital Inclusion Survey

Full results from the new Digital Inclusion Survey are now available! We shared some features of this public library study a couple of months ago, but since then the entire set of 2013 results have been added to the interactive tools, reports, and state details. Even better: A two-page talking points handout outlines key highlights from the study and offers easy advocacy messaging you can use right away.

The state details neatly organize results for each state and compare them to the national picture. For Colorado, here are a few areas where the state is ahead of the U.S.:

  • Mean number of public computers/laptops: 26.2 in Colorado, 19.8 nationwide
  • Mobile apps: 55% of Colorado public libraries, 43% nationally
  • Offer general computer skills training: 96% of Colorado libraries, 91% nationwide
  • Offer programs on applying for a job: 80% of Colorado libraries, 74% nationally
  • Offer programs on online business information resources: 66% of Colorado libraries, 56% nationally
  • Host creation events like maker spaces: 26% of Colorado libraries, 21% nationwide

You can find the entire Colorado breakdown here. And be sure to check out the executive summary and full report for an in-depth look at the national results, including locale breakdowns (rural, town, suburb, etc.) and emerging trends (maker events, 3D printers, etc.).

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

90% of Colorado libraries received state funds in 2013-14

State grants 2013-14

In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature granted $2 million for libraries to support or enhance early literacy and early learning educational materials. For 2014-15, this funding was renewed and the application period is open now! In the meantime, we’re taking a look back to highlight how 2013-14 went.

Through a non-competitive grant process, each eligible library received $3,000 plus remaining funds designated on a per capita basis. You can find a breakdown of the 2013-14 awards here. For 41 libraries, the grant more than doubled their collection budgets. Nine in 10 Colorado libraries received funding: 88% of all academic libraries, 94% of all public libraries, and 91% of all school and youth correctional libraries. Don’t miss the infographic that breaks down awards by county and highlights stories from grant recipients.

Here are just a few quotes from libraries about how they used their funds last year:

  • We used the funds from the State Library Grant to purchase children’s books to add to our collection we have in our Capulin satellite library. The children were very excited to see and read the new books. We have seen more children and parents coming and using the library since we have the new books. – Conejos County Library District
  • The grant is being used to partially fund Pebble Go for our elementary schools. Schools use the data base to access informational text for all levels of reader. Being able to access informational text that is appropriate for our younger readers and is important in supporting Colorado Academic Standards. – Mesa County Valley 51
  • We are one of the busiest academic libraries in the state. During the spring, summer, and fall semesters, our library is packed with students studying, researching, and preparing for their classes. This grant helped us pay for one of our most important online databases EBSCOHost, which can be used by students both in the library, on campus, and remotely. – Auraria Library

New to state grants? Learn more through an introductory webinar on August 26 at 9:00am. And visit the State Grants to Libraries website for details on eligibility, purchasing recommendations, and reporting details.

Receive a grant in 2013-14? Share your stories with us on Twitter!

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

61% of library user quiz-takers say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them

Pew_typology quiz results

Image credit: Pew Internet Project

We recently shared Pew Internet Project’s new community quiz tool for libraries to find out how engaged their users are. Now Pew has released some data about the more than 15,000 library users who’ve already used the quiz and compared them to their national library typology findings.

Of course the results aren’t really surprising: More than 6 in 10 of the quiz-takers fall into the “Library Lover” category, which was just 10% of the national study. About a quarter (26%) of quiz-takers were in the “Information Omnivore” category, a bit closer to the national picture with 20% falling into this type. These folks are the ones who really get what libraries are all about, too: 3 in 5 (61%) say the closure of their local library would have a major impact on them or their families, twice as many as the overall group (29%).

This group is also active with library services: More than 9 in 10 (94%) have a library card and about 9 in 10 visited a library in person (87%) or through the website (88%) in the past year. Nationally, 61% have a library card, about half (48%) visited a library in the past year, and just 30% used a library website in the past year.

Create your own library user quiz here. Best of all, you and your community will be able to see aggregate group results—share your findings with us on Twitter!

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Kids involved in summer reading program were up to two times more likely to read every day

summer_reading

Image credit: East Lansing Public Library

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), a children’s literacy nonprofit, recently released results of a summer reading survey it undertook with Macy’s. More than 1,000 parents of 5- to 11-year-olds were asked about their opinions about their child’s reading habits and summer reading. (We should also point out that this survey was “intended to gain mediagenic findings” for an RIF campaign in partnership with Macy’s.)

Parents reported their child reading more during the summer, spending an average 5.9 hours per week reading books, than during the school year, with an average 5.4 hours reading per week. In addition, the results indicated that children who participated in a reading program last summer were up to two times more likely to read every day. More than 8 in 10 (83%) parents felt it was extremely or very important that their child read during the summer. Parents who felt this way were twice as likely to say their child read a book at least 4 times a week last summer when compared to parents who felt reading was somewhat or not at all important.

At the same time, reading was not considered the most important activity for their child: Nearly half (49%) said playing outside was the most important activity they wanted their child to do this summer, while less than 1 in 5 (17%) said reading books was the most important activity.

Libraries were the major book provider for parents: A full 3 out of 4 parents said they borrowed books from the library for their child to read during the summer. More than 4 in 5 (86%) ever visited a library with their child, with 30% going to the library at least once a week last summer.

Read the full executive summary here to learn more about what children read during the summer, their preferences, and their parents’ opinions about summer reading.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Median academic librarian pay in 2013 was $53,000

LJ Salary Survey 2014

Image credit: Library Journal

Library Journal recently released results from its first Salary Survey for U.S. librarians and paralibrarians, across all library types. This new survey is a bit different than those we’ve talked about before in Weekly Number posts here and here and Fast Facts reports like this one: It isn’t tied to a particular library type or position category. Library Journal received responses from more than 3,200 librarians of all types—public to special to consortia—from all 50 states.

School librarians had the highest median salary of $58,000, and public librarians had the lowest at $47,446. Having the MLIS degree made a big difference in academic and public libraries: Staff with MLIS degrees earned almost 50% more than those without the degree. But for school librarians, the MLIS degree offered a median pay jump of just about $3,500 compared to non-degreed librarians. Two-thirds received a pay increase last year, with a median raise of 1.5%.

The survey also asked about job satisfaction, and the picture isn’t great: Less than a third (31%) said they were “very satisfied” with their jobs, and just 27% said they felt they had opportunities to advance in their role. Less than a quarter (23%) of those with part-time work reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs.

Part-time status is still a reality for many librarians, according to the survey: 16% of public librarians, and 6% of academic and school librarians said they worked part-time. Perhaps most telling is the fact that half of those part-timers had an MLIS degree.

You can peruse the tables from the report here and additional data here. And keep your eye out for our annual review of Library Jobline’s data to give you an idea of how the library job market and pay is shaping up based on last year’s job posts.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

What kind of library users are in your community?

pew_quiz

Image credit: Pew Internet

Back in April, we blogged about a new Pew Internet Project study that clustered Americans into various groups based on their connection to libraries. The study’s results showed that the majority of Americans are at least somewhat engaged with their libraries–3 in 10 are highly engaged and 4 in 10 have a medium level of engagement.

Do you wonder what these results would be like in your community?  Today, Pew released a new community quiz tool that any library can use to see how engaged their users are. Click here to find out how to administer this quiz to your community. And, let us know what you learn about your users by connecting with us on Twitter!

U.S. public libraries had 1.52 BILLION visits in FY 2011

IMLS2011

Image credit: IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) just released its Fiscal Year 2011 Public Libraries in the United States Report, an annual report that aggregates data from all U.S. public libraries to tease out national trends and state-by-state comparisons. For the first time, this analysis included looking at the relationship between public library investments—revenue, staffing, and resources—and usage—visitation, circulation, program attendance, and computer use. Long story short: “When investment increases, use increases, and when investment decreases, use decreases, and these relationships persist over time.”

Want more specifics? When book and e-book volumes, programs, public access computers, and staffing went up, so did physical visits. When libraries offered more public access Internet computers, computer use went up. When programming and staffing went up, so did program attendance. And when collections and programs increased, so did circulation.

With digital and e-offerings, the picture is a little less clear. Physical visits decreased when investments in e-materials increased, which may be expected if patrons can use more library resources without stepping in the building. However, the report points out an issue near and dear to our hearts here at LRS: We need new survey questions to truly understand what’s happening with e-resources and the delivery and services associated with them.

Take a look at the full report, available here. And for a closer look at Colorado and other states, check out the state profile page. You can also access and manipulate Colorado’s data via our interactive tool.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

2012 Public Libraries Survey data now available

Blog_2012 PLS data

Image credit: Public Libraries Survey, IMLS

New national public library data is now available from the 2012 Public Libraries Survey from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). (This is the data set to which we contribute the Colorado Public Library Annual Report results each year.) Data files for 2012 should be available soon.

In the meantime, dig into the new data with the Compare Public Libraries and Search for Public Libraries tools. Try out the compare tool to see how your library stacks up to similar libraries across the country based on characteristics you choose. And the search tool is a handy way to pull together staff, budget, services, and collection information in one place.

Colorado has 7 times as many libraries as Starbucks stores

quotable_facts

Colorado’s public, school, and academic libraries offer their users a blend of technology services, learning opportunities, community activities, and information literacy initiatives. But what do these services and resources actually look like? We’ve sorted through a variety of data—from annual surveys to national reports—to provide a fresh update to our popular Quotable Facts report. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite statistics that we think help convey the importance of libraries of all kinds to the entire state of Colorado.

Did you know Colorado has 7 times as many libraries as Starbucks stores? And those libraries have more than 66 million visits each year, or more than 5 times as many as our state parks. For those technology buffs, 94% of the state’s public libraries offer technology training on tools like photo editing software and social media. With devices becoming more and more common, public libraries are increasingly offering wireless access (see our recent Fast Facts, Computers in Colorado’s Public Libraries) and saw more than 5 million wireless access uses in 2012, or more than 13,000 uses each day. And Colorado’s school librarians are making sure students are well-versed in 21st-century skills: Nearly 75% teach students how to use digital resources at least once a week.

Check out our new Quotable Facts report here. Please share often! And, if you would like printed copies, please contact us.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

2013 Digital Inclusion Survey results coming soon

Blog_2013 Digital Inclusion Survey

Image credit: Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland

The first Digital Inclusion Survey—conducted by the ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland—captured public library services related to digital literacy, economic and workforce development, education, health information, and internet access. Its overall goal is to highlight the role public libraries play in building “digitally inclusive communities.” (If this sounds familiar, the Digital Inclusion Survey picked up the reins from the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey, or PLFTAS.)

The 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey closed late last year, and researchers hope to release their national data report during ALA’s Annual Conference in a few weeks. In the meantime, we are having a blast playing around with the national interactive map. It combines demographic, economic, and health data from the American Community Survey and select Digital Inclusion Survey results to illustrate what libraries offer their communities and general attributes of those communities as well. Even better: iPAC is adding features to allow users to print pieces of this excellent tool. And if you’re looking for more help to tell the story of your 21st-century library, check out the issue briefs and map visualizations.

We’re looking forward to seeing the final results from this new survey!

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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.

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