Archive for the Public Category

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.

More than three-fourths of U.S. adults 65+ say they need help to learn new technologies

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Image credit: Pew Internet

A recent Pew Internet study investigates older adults – aged 65 and up – and how this group uses technology and interacts online. While this group may be assumed to be late to the technology game, in fact the research shows two different groups: one that has embraced technology and supports its benefits, and a second group that is more distant from all things digital.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how older adults are using technology: Nearly 3 in 5 older adults use the internet, almost half have a high-speed broadband connection at home, and 77% have a cell phone (just 18% have a smartphone). But younger, higher-income, and college-educated seniors tend to use these technologies at higher rates than their lower-income and less educated peers. Those non-internet users are split on whether they’re hurt by lack of internet access, with about half (49%) agreeing that unconnected people are missing out and 35% disagreeing.

Once older adults become internet users, the online world becomes integrated into their daily lives. Interestingly, just over 4 in 5 older adults who use social networking sites say they socialize with others—in person, online, or over the phone—more often than online seniors who don’t use social media (71%), and much more so than those who aren’t online at all (63%).

When it comes to trying out new technologies, older adults cite health and physical issues, skeptical attitudes about the benefits, and learning challenges. In fact, more than three-fourths of older adults say they would need someone else to help them learn how to use new technologies. This holds true even among those more tech-savvy seniors who own a smartphone, tablet, or e-reader, 70% think they’d still want to ask for help learning new tech. Libraries, there’s your cue!

Here in Colorado, one of the ILEAD USA teams created a resource guide for libraries who are interested in programming geared toward active seniors. And for those 23% of older adults who say they have a physical or health condition that makes reading difficult, the Colorado Talking Book Library has a variety of resources and options to help. How is your library serving your 65+ community?

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.

Top toys & games offered by libraries

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Image credit: Denver Public Library

Looking to expand your entertainment options? Check out some of our favorite toys and games offered by libraries across the country:

What toys or games does your library offer? Share a story or two with us on Twitter.

Note: This post is part of our “Beyond Books” series. From time to time, we’ll be sharing examples of unique lending programs, events, and outreach that libraries are offering.

More than two-thirds of Americans have high or medium engagement with public libraries

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Image credit: Pew Internet

Library data geeks rejoice! Pew Research recently issued its third stage of research about public libraries, this time presenting a typology that clusters Americans into certain groups based on their connection to libraries. The result is a rich and complex portrait of how public libraries fit into people’s lives—we highly recommend reading the full report! To briefly highlight some of the findings, we’ll focus on the highest engaged library users and non-library users.

Three in 10 adults—Library Lovers and Information Omnivores—are highly engaged with public libraries. They’re active community participants, heavy readers, and highly value library services. And they offer one of the most compelling facts about this Pew report: This group of people also includes some of the highest technology users of the sample group. Demographically, this group tends to be younger, female, and well-educated. Members of this group were also likely to be parents, students, and job-seekers—perfect life stages for using those storytimes, resume classes, and research databases.

What about that 14% who have never used a public library? The Distant Admirers (10% of the population) still view libraries positively and feel library services are important to them and their families. The Off the Grid group (4% of the population) is quite distant from the library—although three-fourths of them recognize it would be easy for them to visit a library in person—but this parallels their disengagement with their communities, neighbors, news, and technology.

And exciting news: Pew plans to release a library user type quiz widget for libraries to embed on their websites and capture data on how their community uses the library and compare it to the national picture.

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.

During the next two weeks, 75,000 copies of the book “Grumpy Bird” will be given out to all 4-year-olds in Colorado

OB4co_2014

One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) is a collaborative effort between Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia’s office, Reach Out and Read Colorado, the Colorado State Library, the Denver Preschool Program, public libraries, the private sector, and the nonprofit and foundation communities. It is based on the idea that providing young children with access to books promotes early literacy and helps families serve as their children’s first and most important teachers.

OB4CO is an annual event that started in 2012. Each year, a book is selected to be given away to all 4-year-olds in Colorado over a two-week period in the spring. This year’s book is Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. Between April 7 and April 21, 75,000 copies of the book will be distributed via public libraries, health clinics, and preschools in the Denver Preschool Program. Interested in getting a book? You can find pickup locations here.

Evaluation results from last year’s OB4CO giveaway indicate that the program was a great success! Of those parents who completed a survey about the program, about half said that they spent more time reading with their child after OB4CO. And, 4 out of 5 of the participating agencies reported that the book giveaway helped them promote reading among young children. One parent commented: “My daughter is pre-reading, so she is very encouraged that she can ‘read’ parts of this book with me–I will read ‘hello cow,’ and she can ‘read’ the animal noise from the next line. It is really great for her self esteem!”

Want to learn more about early literacy and libraries? Check out our Weekly Number post about the Supporting Parents in Early Literacy Through Libraries (SPELL) project and our Fast Facts, “Early Literacy Information on Colorado Public Library Websites.”

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.

Three-fourths of internet users say the internet has been good for society

Pew_25th_web

Image credit: Pew Research

The internet has had a transformative impact on Americans’ lives, and libraries have taken that impact in stride, offering equipment, infrastructure, and navigation assistance sought by patrons across the country. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research recently released new survey results that demonstrate the internet’s powerful role in our everyday lives.

We know internet use is wide-spread, with more than 4 in 5 adults using it. But some of the most interesting findings in this research are related to how we view the internet. Despite the vitriol and trolls lurking in comment areas, about 3 in 4 internet users thought interactions were mostly kind. More than half have seen an online group or community come together to solve a problem or help someone. Interestingly, younger internet users (18-29) tended to see more of the good and the bad sides of the internet—being treated kindly and unkindly themselves and seeing people come together and tear each other down—than older users.

Two-thirds say the web has strengthened relationships with family and friends. And more than half of internet users say the internet would be very hard to give up—still more than the 49% of cell phone owners who say the same thing about their phone! Importantly, of those who said the web would be hard to give up, most (61%) said the internet was “essential for job-related or other reasons.”

Of course libraries are well aware of these trends. Most have websites and the number of libraries that offer mobile-friendly websites is increasing accordingly as smartphone usage increases. And with new research breaking down library users and non-users by type, we can also understand the role technology plays in the lives of our users based on their engagement with our services. How has your library changed in the 25 years since the web was created?

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.

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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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