The BTOP buzz continues! Recently wrapped, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awarded more than $4 billion to 233 projects nationwide. ALA’s “U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program” report highlights state and local library BTOP projects across the country, which served about 20 percent of all U.S. public libraries. Nationally, programs funded by this initiative enhanced workforce centers and resources, broadband adoption, business development, community infrastructure, and digital literacy training opportunities. Colorado’s initiative focused on bridging the digital divide, and over the course of the 2-year grant period, more than 425,000 Coloradans increased their digital literacy skills by taking computer classes or receiving one-on-one instruction.
Want more details? Our evaluation of Colorado’s program is discussed in our Closer Look and Fast Facts reports, as well as in several presentations.
Note: This is the first post in our new series “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we will highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.
Our new Fast Facts uses data from Library Jobline to evaluate Colorado’s library job climate. In 2012, almost 400 library jobs were posted to Library Jobline, thus marking the third year in a row in which there was an increase in the number of jobs posted. Although there appear to be more opportunities for library-related employment, the starting wages for library jobs posted to Library Jobline have changed little since 2008. Fortunately for job seekers, there was also little change regarding the number of postings that specified requirements or preferences for certain types of experience (e.g., library experience, supervisory experience) or skills (e.g., Spanish fluency).
Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the results of the BTOP outcome study at the annual conference of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition. My talk covered the following topics:
-Streamlining the process of conducting evaluations, using tools such as a data map, a customized website for collecting data, and accessible instructional materials for survey administration, such as the video that we created to help BTOP computer centers understand the survey administration process,
-Results highlights, and
-the resources we’ve provided to our BTOP computer centers to use their results for program planning, marketing, and advocacy purposes.
Here are the slides:
And, the outcome evaluation report can be found here.
Last week, we presented the results of our study “Web Technologies and User Engagement” at Computers in Libraries. Here are the slides:
A report detailing all of the findings will be available soon–stay tuned!
Will you be attending Computers in Libraries this year? If so, we hope you’ll join us on Monday, April 8 at 3:15 pm in the International Ballroom West for our presentation, “Web Technologies and User Engagement.” We will share our latest results from our biennial study of the websites of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries, including:
- which web features, such as sharing interfaces, virtual reference, and blogs, are most common on U.S. public libraries’ websites as of 2012,
- the extent to which public libraries use responsive and/or mobile-friendly web design, and
- public libraries’ integration with various social media networks.
Our discussion will be framed in terms of the implications of these web features for usability and patron engagement.
Are you offering computer assistance in your library – either one-on-one or classes?
Are your open access computers consistently occupied?
Do you wonder what impact these services are having, and how to strategically plan and promote these services?
Join us for:
Knowing Who is Using Your Computer Center: The Key to Savvy Planning & Promotion
Tuesday, April 16
noon – 1 pm
http://connect.enetcolorado.org/btop/ (Please have headset and prepare to participate via chat)
Find out the results of a survey of more than 7,300 public computer center users throughout Colorado, including who is using the computers during open access time, who is taking classes, and how these services are impacting users’ lives.
Discover ways to use these results to better plan and market your services now and in the future.
BTOP libraries that participated in this study by gathering surveys will receive custom reports for your public computer center.
All public library staff are welcome to join and participate.
Presenters: Susan Burkholder, Linda Hofschire, and Sharon Morris of the Colorado State Library
Preliminary data from the 2012 Colorado Public Library Annual Report (PLAR) is now available: : http://lrs.org/documents/plstat12/preliminary-2012-plar-2013-03-22.xls.
A few libraries are still working on getting their data in, however, the vast majority have submitted their reports. The data is considered preliminary until we receive data from all public libraries and all edit checks have been resolved.
About Edit checks
The first round of edit checks are done before respondents complete and submit the survey. The second, third, and even fourth, round of edit checks are done by state library staff (read: me) in cooperation with the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency that collects and verifies the public library data for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Questions? Need more information? Contact me at steffen_n at cde.state.co.us.
Thanks to all the public library directors and their staff for submitting their PLAR data.
Our new Fast Facts presents the results of a study of the early literacy information available on Colorado public library websites. The findings indicated that most libraries broadly referenced early literacy information on their websites, but fewer referenced early literacy skills, discussed the long-term benefits of early literacy, or provided information on the importance of reading aloud.
The Fast Facts also links to an early literacy resource guide provided by the Colorado State Library that libraries can use on their own websites. With the 2013 One Book 4 Colorado event coming this spring, this resource may be particularly useful to libraries as they develop materials and plan activities for this event.
Through a $3.3 million, two year project that began in spring 2011, the Colorado State Library is overseeing the installation of 88 new and enhanced Public Computer Centers (PCCs) throughout Colorado. These PCCs provide internet access and computer training to foster broadband adoption. In 2012, LRS surveyed more than 7,300 PCC users to determine the impacts the PCCs are having on their lives. The results showed that the top outcomes of respondents who used the PCCs during open lab times were to communication with someone (52%), look for employment (38%), and use the printer, scanner, or fax (33%). Top outcomes of computer class attendees included getting better at using the computer (68%), the internet (49%), and software (38%) after taking a computer class. One respondent commented: “Probably the most valuable resource, dollar for dollar, available to community. I have found jobs…researched…located tax information, and have done school work over the years. Thank you!!”
Highlights of the study can be found in our one-page infographic, or for all the details, see our Closer Look Report.
From the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS):
IMLS 2010 Public Library Survey Results Announced: Libraries doing more with less – Local government taking larger funding role Press Release
Highlights from the Report
Public Library Services and Operations
- Public libraries offered 3.75 million programs to the public in FY 2010, which amounts to an average of at least one program a day for every library system in the country. The majority of these programs (61.5%) are designed for children. Attendance at programs has continued to rise, indicating an increased demand for these services.
- Public libraries circulated 2.46 billion materials in FY 2010, the highest circulation in 10 years, representing a continued increasing trend. Circulation of children’s materials has increased by 28.3 percent in the last 10 years and comprises over one-third of all materials circulated in public libraries.
- The composition of public library collections has changed dramatically in recent years. While books in print continue to dominate the physical portion of the collection, making up 87.1 percent of the total in FY 2010, the share of non-print materials, including audio and video materials and electronic books, has increased. The number of e-books has tripled since FY 2003. In FY 2010, there were 18.50 million e-books available for circulation.
- Public access computer use continued to be one of the fastest growing services in public libraries. In FY 2010, public libraries reported a computer use rate of more than one use for every five visits to the library. Public libraries have responded to demand by increasing access, doubling the number of public computers in the past 10 years.
- Physical visits to libraries decreased 1.1 percent in 2010. (Note: the survey does not collect data on online visits or transactions of public libraries.) Physical visits remain strong with an overall 10-year increase of 32.7 percent from FY 2001-FY 2010. On average, Americans visited a public library 5.3 times per year, a ten-year increase of 21.7 percent.
Public Library Resources
- Public libraries had $11.3 billion in revenue in FY 2010, a decrease of 3.5 percent from FY 2009, after adjusting for inflation. Although local governments have generally been the largest source of revenue for public libraries, they have had to take on an even larger role as state support declined over 10 years.
- Public libraries reported operating expenditures of $10.77 billion dollars in FY 2010, the first decrease since FY 2001. Although expenditures across all U.S. public libraries were $36.18 per capita, per-capita expenditures varied greatly by state, with spending as low as $15.99 and as high as $67.78.
Public Library Workforce
- The recession has had an impact on the public library workforce, which has decreased by 6,385 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff since FY 2008, a decrease of 3.9 percent. Staff-related expenditures were $7.21 billion, 67.0 percent of public library expenses in FY 2010.
- Librarians made up one-third of all library staff. Although the majority of these librarians hold a Master’s degree in Library Science from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA-MLS), only half of all libraries reported having a librarian with an ALA-MLS on staff.
A copy of the FY 2010 Public Library Survey can be accessed online at: http://www.imls.gov/research/public_libraries_in_the_us_fy_2010_report.aspx
Blog post by IMLS Director Susan Hildreth: http://blog.imls.gov/?p=2645
Questions? Comments? Contact Nicolle Steffen at: steffen_n at cde.state.co.us