Archive for the Public Category

What kind of library users are in your community?

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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

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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

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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

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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!

34% of 6- to 17-year-olds read every day

Child-Teen Reading

Image credit: Common Sense Media

Just in time for summer reading programs, Common Sense Media recently released a new report—along with a handy infographic—summarizing several decades of research on the reading behaviors of children and teens. It examines four main areas: time spent and frequency of reading, reading proficiency/achievement, prevalence of e-reading, and attitudes toward e-reading.

Since 1971, reading achievement scores have gone up for younger children but stayed about the same for older teens. Reading proficiency levels are also still stubbornly different among white (46% proficient), black (18%), and Hispanic/Latino (20%) children. Girls read 10 minutes more than boys, on average, and they read more frequently, with 30% of girls reading daily and just 18% of boys. Younger children read or are read to between 30 minutes to an hour a day, on average.

E-reading is still a mixed bag for parents, with about a third of parents with e-readers saying their kids don’t use the device(s) largely because of concern about screen time or a preference for print. Children continue to spend more time with print books than e-books, and about half (46%) of older kids have read an e-book.

The entire report is well worth diving into, especially for librarians who play such pivotal roles in keeping reading fun for kids and teens. Check out the full report here. And don’t miss the State Library’s extensive resource page on the Colorado Statewide Summer Reading Program.

 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.

Colorado library users received 385K+ computer tutoring sessions during the 2-year BTOP project

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In our newest Fast Facts report, we’ve summarized the final results of the two-year Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant project from April 2011 to March 2013. This project involved building or enhancing Public Computer Centers (PCCs) at 88 libraries, tribes, town halls, and other community spaces around Colorado. More than 1,500 computers were installed, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and ADA stations.

The project went beyond hardware to include support for open access computer use time, intensive individual tutoring sessions, and formal classes on topics like basic internet skills, multimedia tools, job-seeking resources, and office skills. These classes were overwhelmingly supported: 96% of survey respondents said they would recommend the class to someone else and 95% agreed that they learned a valuable skill.

Library staff also tracked open-access sessions to learn more about how computers and their assistance were used. Interestingly, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) of all 3.48 million computer uses were unassisted. Of the more than 385,000 individual tutoring sessions, almost all (96%) were unscheduled.

Head over to www.lrs.org/btop-evaluation to learn more about the BTOP project and read more reports detailing class participant satisfaction survey results, workforce partnerships, and outcome evaluation.

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.

LRS research featured in ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report

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LRS’s biennial study on public library web sites and social media use (“Web Tech”) is featured in ALA’s recently released 2014 State of America’s Libraries report. This report presents a comprehensive summary of current library news and trends, including coverage of hot topics such as libraries and community engagement, ebooks and copyright issues, and social networking, where the Web Tech study is highlighted.

Check out the following resources for more information about this study:

 

64% of U.S. Facebook users visit the site daily

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Image credit: Pew Internet

Facebook turned 10 earlier this year and Pew did a quick survey to make note of new facts regarding the social media behemoth. First off, Facebook is comfortably king: 57% of all adults use the site, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of them using the site daily.

What is it about Facebook that keeps us coming back? Just under half (47%) say photos and videos from friends and being able to share with many people simultaneously (46%) are major reasons for using the site. At the same time, Facebook users are clear about what they don’t like about the site: More than a third (36%) of users cite oversharing and others posting personal information without permission as strong dislikes.

What are people doing on Facebook? Many “like” content posted by friends, with 44% doing so at least once a day and 29% several times a day. Commenting on photos is also popular, with 31% doing so at least once a day and 15% several times a day. At the same time, a quarter of Facebook users never update their own status, while 1 in 10 update daily.

How are libraries reacting to Facebook’s overwhelming popularity with their users? Learn more with our national, longitudinal study on public libraries and social media use and our U.S. and Colorado infographics on our most recent results.

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.

Join us at the CLiC Spring Workshops–Pueblo

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Will you be attending the CLiC Spring Workshops in Pueblo this week? If so, we hope you will join us for our two sessions:

Don’t Say Cheese: Take Great Photos for Your Website and Social Media Networks, Thursday, April 24, 9:45-11:00 AM, Aspen Leaf, Linda Hofschire & Dave Hodgins

Learn how to take better photos with your digital camera, whether you use the camera on your phone, a point and shoot, or an SLR. In this session, we will discuss exposure, composition, photographing people and objects, and basic photo editing. We will also share examples of how libraries are using photos effectively on their websites and social media networks to attract and engage users.

Minute To Win It: Make the Case for Your Library with a Data-Based Elevator Speech,Thursday, April 24, 11:15-12:30, Aspen Leaf, Linda Hofschire & Meghan Wanucha

Circulation, program attendance, website visits—these are just a few of the statistics you are already gathering at your library. But how do you take these data and turn them into effective advocacy? In this interactive session, learn how to develop an elevator speech about your library, use statistics and stories to add value, and tailor the message to various stakeholders. You will have the opportunity to draft an elevator speech and share it with others if desired. You are encouraged to bring any statistics you collect about your library for use in drafting your speech.

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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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