Archive for the Public Category

In 2012, internet computers at Colorado’s public libraries were used more than 6.8 million times

co_comp_use

In our new Fast Facts, Computers in Colorado’s Public Libraries, we dive into data from the 2012 Public Library Annual Report to offer insight into the state of computer use and technology hardware offered in Colorado’s public libraries. We also examined trend data for the past decade (where available) to demonstrate how libraries have adapted to the growing demand for and changes in technology—from number of computers to wireless availability. So what does this demand look like? In 2012, internet computers were used more than 6.8 million times!

Of course library services don’t end in the building: The library website has increasingly become a portal to 24/7 access to what the libraries have to offer. In Colorado, 89% of public libraries have websites, according to original research completed by the Networking & Resource Sharing Office of the Colorado State Library. And patrons are using this access point: Libraries reported about 25 million unique visitors to their websites in 2012.

Learn more about what services libraries are offering online with our national, longitudinal research project U.S. Public Libraries and Web Technologies. Zoom in on the trends in Colorado in our Fast Facts report and infographic.

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.

U.S. children ages 2-10 spend an average of 40 minutes a day reading

Learning at Home_Chart 10_reading

Image credit: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center

In a recent national survey of parents of young children (ages 2-10), researchers asked parents how much time their kids spent with educational media across different formats and what their kids learned, as well as about their kids’ reading behaviors. (“Educational media” was defined as media the parents thought was “good for their child’s learning or growth or that teaches some type of lesson, such as an academic or social skill.”)

Overall, parents said their children spend just over 2 hours a day (2:07) with screen media, with 44% of that deemed “educational” by the adults. The amount of time spent with educational media decreased as age increased, with the youngest group, ages 2-4, spending 1:16 hours a day and the oldest group, ages 8-10, spending just 42 minutes. As might be expected, TV was the dominant form of educational screen media, with three-fourths (76%) of all educational media in a given day being streamed through a TV.

Parents were also asked to indicate what their children learned by using educational media. Among those who used it weekly, more parents said their child learned “a lot” about cognitive skills and reading/vocabulary (both 37%) and math (28%) than science (19%) or the arts (15%). Interestingly, format mattered: More parents said their child learned a lot from educational TV than from mobile devices. The children who use educational media weekly are also doing something about the media they view: Their parents said they talk about what they saw or did (87%), engage in imaginative play about it (78%), and ask questions about it (77%). Even better? Three of 5 parents (60%) said their children taught them something about what they saw or did.

This group of 2- to 10-year-olds spent an average of 40 minutes a day reading or being read to, of which 29 minutes were spent on print books, 8 minutes on a computer, and 5 minutes on an e-reader or tablet.  The amount of time parents and children spent reading together decreased as age increased, with 2- to 4-year-olds spending 44 minutes co-reading and 8- to 10-year-olds spending 24 minutes co-reading. Differences in reading time were not statistically significant based on race, income, or parent education, or among the age groups; however, there was a significant difference in children’s gender, with girls reading for 46 minutes a day and boys reading for 34 minutes, on average.

Read more about how families are interacting with educational media—or choosing not to—in the full report. This rich report also breaks down the topics by race/ethnicity, education level, and family income to gain deeper insight into how parents view educational media.

Libraries: how do you connect families with educational media resources? Let us know by chatting 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.

Top 3 animals and people you can check out at libraries

cooper

Image credit: Harvard Library

Did you know that some libraries loan – or provide access to – animals and people, for the general well-being of their patrons? Students at Harvard, Yale, and Emory can de-stress and momentarily escape the rigors of academic life by checking out a library therapy dog. At Harvard Library, for instance, students can borrow Cooper, a tiny six-year-old Shih Tzu, for 30 minutes at a time. Meanwhile, several public libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada, such as the San Francisco Public Library, have professional social workers and/or outreach workers on staff to provide patrons with information about emergency services (e.g., food, housing), family matters, and immigration. Finally, “human library” programs – offered at places like the Santa Monica Public Library and the Bainbridge Island Public Library – allow patrons to converse, one-on-one, with others who have had unique life experiences. Pioneered in Denmark, human library programs aim to expose patrons to alternative perspectives – thereby increasing their understanding – and produce a sense of common ground. Find out more about these unique programs by following these links:

1.)    Therapy dogs:

Cooper, the Shih Tzu – Harvard Library, Harvard University

Monty, the border terrier mix – Yale University Library, Yale

Multiple therapy dogs – Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University

2.)    Professionals (discussed in Multnomah County Public Library’s report, Homelessness, Human Services, and Libraries):

Social worker – San Francisco Public Library

Outreach/social workers – Edmonton Public Library

Outreach worker – Sacramento Public Library

Public health nurses  – Pima County Public Library

3.)    People to converse with, who have had unique life experiences, via “human library” programs:

Santa Monica Public Library

Bainbridge Island Library

Does your library loan animals and/or humans? Let us know by chatting 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.

A Multnomah County Library survey found that about 1 in 5 patrons using computers did so for job-related purposes

weeklynumber_012914

Image credit: Multnomah County Library

Libraries have always been known for the information resources they provide; however, for some, they provide much more, and even serve as lifelines. A recent survey conducted by the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon affords insight into the ways in which people rely on public libraries during times of hardship. The survey – administered at two separate locations, on different days, to entering patrons – received more than 1,000 responses. Of those patrons who completed the survey, nearly 1 in 5  were homeless. Some key findings included:

  • About half of the respondents visited the library to use the computers; of these, 26% were homeless.
  • About 1 in 5 respondents using computers were doing so for job-related purposes; of these, 44% were homeless.
  • More than 1 in 10 respondents intended to search for essential services online, such as those related to finding housing, jobs, or counseling for mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence; of these, 44% were  homeless.

In response to the survey results, Multnomah County Library created a plan to improve its services for patrons coping with hardships like homelessness and mental illness. Within six to twelve months, the Library will designate and train certain employees to serve as Persons In Charge (PICs), who will be responsible for knowing about essential county- and independently-offered services, in order to “facilitate better referrals to patrons.” Within this timeframe, the Library also hopes to have all PICs complete an eight-hour Mental Health First Aid course. At 12 months, the Library will collaborate with the Department of Human Services to develop a training course for other, non-PIC employees likely to interact with patrons in need.

Though impressive, Multnomah’s efforts are just some of the many ways in which public libraries help those in need. How does your library reach out? How can it improve its efforts? Do you know of a particular public library that deserves recognition in this area? Let us know by chatting 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.

A survey of Colorado parents found that 75% read to their young children (ages 0-3) daily

spell

Image credit: Aurora Public Library Early Literacy Center

The Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries (SPELL) project recently presented findings from its study on effective strategies for developing early literacy messaging and support to low-income families and parents of children from birth to 3 years old. The project included an extensive environmental scan and literature review to find patterns and major trends across disciplines, the results of which are available here.

The next phase of the project included a survey and focus groups of more than 250 families with children from birth to 3 years old in 2 metro and 2 rural communities in Colorado. Topics covered in this phase included use of library services, information-seeking behaviors, and reading activities.

So what did field research have to say? Public libraries are used by people of all income levels, however low-income families made more use of library services, especially the building itself. Low-income families attended library programs for children less frequently than more affluent families, but they reported attending adult programs more frequently. Library staff were considered valuable resources for encouraging reading, while other resources (such as a doctor’s office or church) were consulted for information on raising and educating children. Every survey respondent believed it is important to read to young children. And, three-fourths of the respondents reported reading to their children daily; however, these results varied based on income, number of children at home, and education levels.

Learn more about the results in the study report. A blueprint of best practices based on project findings is also available to help libraries and community partners implement early literacy initiatives.

Want more early literacy information? Check out our Fast Facts, Early Literacy Information on Colorado Public Library Websites, and visit the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy website for extensive resources, practical guides, and real stories from Colorado libraries.

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.

76% of Americans rated librarian assistance as very or somewhat important to them

Pew_Value of PL in Cmty

Image credit: Pew Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released new research results from its report How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities. This powerful study explores what Americans (16 and older) value about public libraries, how libraries impact them and their families, and how they use and perceive libraries. Here are some highlights from the results:

Just over 3 in 5 (61%) of respondents said they have a public library card, and nearly half (48%) have visited a library or bookmobile in the past year. Thirty percent of those surveyed had recently visited a public library website, up 5% from late 2012. For those who have ever been to a public library or had a household member use a library, library services rated most important included: books and media (81%); librarian assistance (76%); having a quiet, safe place (75%); and research resources (72%). An impressive 95% of respondents say public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of learning and provide free access to materials and resources so everyone has a chance to succeed. And respondents recognize the work libraries are doing with technology: 55% disagreed with the statement that public libraries have not done a good job keeping up with new technologies.

Learn more about how education attainment, age, race/ethnicity, and other demographics break down in the full report.

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.

From 2010 to 2012, the percentage of Colorado public library websites catering to mobile devices increased from 3% to 36%

CO_webtech_weeklynumber_121813

Image credit: Poudre River Public Library District

Our new Fast Facts, Trends in Colorado Public Library Websites and Social Media Use, presents findings from the Colorado portion of our longitudinal study of U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies and social media. All 114 of Colorado’s public libraries are included in this study. One of our main findings was that from 2010 to 2012, the percentage of Colorado public libraries catering to mobile devices increased dramatically. Researchers looked for any of the following types of mobile-friendly website access:

  • Mobile version of website: The URL redirects to a mobile site (e.g., “m.citylibrary.org”) when viewed on a mobile device.
  • Mobile app:  A software application is downloaded by users to run on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
  • Responsive design: The website is designed in a way that is accessible to a wide range of devices, from smartphones to desktop LCDs, through the use of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and media queries.

Overall, 36% of Colorado public libraries offered some type of mobile-friendly website access, up from 3% in 2010.

In terms of the specific type of mobile access,

  • About one-fourth (26%) of Colorado public libraries offered mobile apps;
  • 1 in 5 libraries had mobile versions of their sites (i.e., the URL redirects to a mobile version of the website when viewed on a mobile device); however,
  • just 3 libraries used responsive design.

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

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 5 interactive kits loaned by libraries

beyondbooks_interactivekits_Dec13

Image credit: Arapahoe Library District

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project’s newest study, How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities, 4 out of 5 Americans 16 and older think books and media are important services offered by libraries. So what kinds of things are included in that “media” category? At libraries across the country, interactive kits are one form of media that encourages creativity, learning, and storytelling. Here are some examples of interactive kits and libraries that lend them:

  1. BiFolkal Kits – Arapahoe Library District (Colorado): BiFolkal Kits include slides, music, visual images, and other objects to inspire storytelling and remembrances.
  2. Book Club Kits – Madison Public Library (Wisconsin): Book Club Kits make book clubs easier with ready-to-go discussion questions, author information, and at least 8 copies of the same book in each kit. Boone County Public Library District (Kentucky) offers Digital Book Club Kits, which provide books in multiple e-book formats (for Kindle, iThing, Nook, etc.) as well as discussion questions.
  3. Stories to Go – Ann Arbor Library District (Michigan): Designed for parents, teachers, and caregivers, Stories to Go offers kid-friendly materials and activities focused on a single theme.
  4. Mystery Kits – Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (Kentucky) : Mystery Kits for elementary and middle-school kids include everything a group needs to set up and solve dastardly deeds only Snidely Whiplash could imagine.
  5. Super Science Kits – Kasson Public Library (Minnesota); Cubberley Education Library at Stanford Library (California):  Get STEM to go with Science Kits, which explore topics using tools, scientific supplies, and mini-experiments.

Does your library loan any of these items or other types of interactive kits? Let us know by by commenting on our Twitter feed.

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.

Colorado public libraries reported 39 challenges to materials and services in 2012

321_2012_challenges

Public libraries reported only 39 challenges to their materials and services in 2012, through LRS’s annual Public Library Annual Report. The number – down 35 percent from 2011 – is the lowest in at least nine years. More than half (51%) of the challenges pertain to books, though audiobook-related challenges rose by a substantial 550 percent from 2011 to 2012, and now account for 13 percent of all challenges. Challenges to items geared toward children also increased dramatically in 2012, and now make up one-third (33%) of all challenges. The reasons cited for the challenges are in keeping with the previous five years, with “sexually explicit” appearing most frequently. Also mirroring previous years: A majority (85%) of the 2012 challenges resulted in no change to the challenged item, such as removal or reclassification.

For more information on this topic, check out our new Fast Facts, Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2012. Also, tell us your thoughts about the decline in challenges in recent years, by commenting on our Twitter feed.

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.

93% of the largest U.S. public libraries (serving 500,000+) are on Facebook

cpl

Our new report, U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2012, presents the findings of our longitudinal study of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies and social media. One of our main findings was that in 2012, the majority of libraries had social media accounts:

  • Almost all (93%) of the largest libraries (serving 500,000+), a little more than 4 in 5 (83%) libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 7 in 10 (69%) of those serving 10,000 to 24,999, and 54 percent of the smallest libraries (serving less than 10,000) had at least one social media account.
  • Of the 9 social networks that were analyzed, libraries were most likely to be on Facebook (93% of the largest libraries, 82% of libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 68% of libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,999, and 54% of the smallest libraries). From 2010 to 2012, the smallest libraries had the biggest jump in adoption of this social network, from 18 percent to 54 percent.
  • Other common social networks were Twitter (84% of the largest libraries were on this network) and YouTube (60% of the largest libraries). Flickr was also common, however, it has decreased in all population groups from 2010 to 2012; for example, 63 percent of the largest libraries used this social network in 2010 versus 42 percent in 2012.
  • Close to one-third (31%) of the largest libraries were on Foursquare, 23% were on Pinterest, and 8 percent each were on Google+ and Tumblr.
  • The largest libraries were on an average of 3.54 social networks out of the 9 included in the analysis, whereas the smallest libraries averaged less than 1.

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

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.

 

Page 4 of 27« First...23456...1020...Last »

POPULAR RESOURCES

  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.

LIBRARYJOBLINE

See more @ LibraryJobline.org

ABOUT

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).

Staff & Contact Info