Archive for the School Category

In 2013-2014, 1 in 4 Colorado public schools had an endorsed librarian

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How many endorsed school librarians and other library staff are in Colorado? How many Colorado public schools have any type of library staffing? These answers change depending on a variety of factors: position (endorsed librarian or other staff), grade level, school setting (Denver Metro, rural, etc.), and school size. Based on Colorado Department of Education school staffing data, there were a total of 404 FTE endorsed librarians and 928 FTE library staff in Colorado K-12 public schools in 2013-2014. About 2 in 3 Colorado public schools had some type of library staffing in 2013-2014, but only 1 in 4 had an endorsed librarian. To learn more about school library staffing in Colorado, check our our new Fast Facts. Also be sure to check out our school library impact infographic, which demonstrates the impact of school libraries on student achievement.

615 jobs posted on Library Jobline in 2014

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For our popular library job posting website, Library Jobline, 2014 was a spectacular year! In our newest Fast Facts report, we report a total of 615 jobs were posted in 2014—the most ever since we launched the service in 2007—and up a whopping 170% since 2009, the lowest year for job posts in the middle of the recession. Average wages also hit new highs for posts requiring ($25.31 per hour) or preferring ($24.45 per hour) the MLIS degree.

Library Jobline also became an increasingly national tool. In 2014, we had the most-ever posts for positions located outside Colorado, with the year-end picture split nearly evenly between Colorado (51%) and other states (49%). With more than 600 job seekers and more than 130 employers added in 2014 alone, jobs posted on Library Jobline also reached a wider audience. In fact, we sent the most emails ever—more than 617,000—about new job posts, and job posts were viewed nearly 430,000 times.

Are you hiring at your library? In the library job market yourself? Sign up for Library Jobline as an employer or jobseeker. Jobseekers can tell us what jobs they’re interested in and get emails sent straight to their inbox whenever new posts meet their criteria. And employers can reach more than 3,500 jobseekers and more than 600 followers on Twitter @libraryjobline.

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.

EasyBib reports that 12% of K-12 schools have no information literacy instruction

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Image credit: EasyBib

In a follow up to data collected in 2012, EasyBib completed a survey this year of 1,182 school and academic librarians, and 10,471 students, in order to determine how libraries are evaluating and responding to the need for information literacy instruction in schools and in higher education. The report shows there is a wide gap between K-12 schools and academic institutions in both perception of research ability and instruction offered.

Although school libraries are integral to building an early foundation for information literacy, the data indicates that many students are not receiving dedicated or sustained instruction on how to evaluate information across media platforms until they go to college. Though all higher education institutions had at least some information literacy training, 12% of K-12 schools reported having no research instruction whatsoever. If we look just at high school libraries, the number reporting that they have no instruction of research skills jumps up to over a quarter (26%) of that group.

On top of that, half of high school librarians surveyed responded that students’ understanding of website evaluation was merely “basic,” despite the fact that 60% of all librarian respondents said that students prefer Open Web resources and use them “very often.”

It’s easy to recognize that information literacy instruction is likely getting shortchanged at school libraries due to budget and time restraints. However, because all librarians know the importance of information literacy, and know that its value is likely to increase in the future, EasyBib suggests that many school librarians will need to get creative in their approaches to research instruction. Such strategies might include online video tutorials, creating better awareness of subscription databases, and fostering better channels of communication with teachers and administrators. A combination of these and other methods could make a big difference in ensuring the future success of today’s students.

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.

40% of surveyed school district library supervisors reported cuts in district funding from the previous year

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Image credit: Lilead Project

New research results from the Lilead Project showcase the first national effort to study school district library supervisors since the 1960s. Funded by IMLS and deployed by the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, the Lilead Project collected data via a national survey (which they intend to repeat) for a baseline for future research and established a professional development network and Fellows Program for those who coordinate a school district’s library program.

Focusing on supervisors from districts with 25,000+ students, the survey, which was administered in fall 2012, covered topics ranging from job titles to challenges experienced. The survey also gathered demographics data to profile the typical school district library supervisor. The overwhelming majority of the 166 respondents were female (80%) and white (87%), and nearly 3 in 4 (72%) were former classroom teachers. Perhaps most telling is that about half (49%) were 55-64 years old and nearing retirement age.

Nearly all respondents (93%) reported that they were responsible for tasks/decisions related to providing professional development for library staff. Not quite half (47%) also provided technology support to staff. However, only 1 in 10 district library supervisors were responsible for evaluating school librarians, and just 12% were responsible for hiring librarians.

The final segment of the survey investigated challenges and issues faced by school district library supervisors. More than 2 in 5 (42%) reported a decrease in both funding and staffing in building-level libraries from the previous year. More than 1 in 5 (22%) saw a drop in technology funding. Changes in curriculum were also felt by this group: About 4 in 5 (78%) experienced more emphasis on content standards while 3 in 5 reported greater emphasis on information literacy from the year before. District library supervisors are also spending more time talking about the library’s role in student achievement and encouraging collaboration between librarians and classroom teachers. But the most important responsibility for these district library supervisors? Leadership – more than 4 in 5 (83%) said their leadership responsibilities were extremely important or important.

Learn more about budget challenges and staffing and read comments from survey respondents in American Libraries or visit the Lilead Project website.

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.

SLJ Survey indicates two-thirds of U.S. schools offer e-books, representing a slow but stable growth in e-book access

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Image credit: School Library Journal

As part of our look at e-book usage in U.S. libraries for 2014, we see in School Library Journal’s latest survey of school libraries that e-books are not faring quite as well in this environment as they are in public libraries. In fact, in the survey of 835 U.S. school libraries, one of the most frequent responses given by librarians is that they are far more enthusiastic about e-books than the students. School librarians report that demand exists but is not astounding, and less than half (44%) have seen demand increase. Although two-thirds of responding schools across the U.S. offer e-books (a 10% increase from last year), a shortage of devices and the cost of e-books were cited as the biggest barriers to access and usage.

One growing trend is for schools to provide e-reading devices in a one-to-one ratio for at least a portion of the students’ day. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) respondents to the SLJ survey have a 1:1 device program in place, and demand for e-books is higher in these schools than in those that do not provide individual devices for students. Different school grade levels also show fluctuations in demand. While the demand for e-books in high schools seems to have peaked, it is actually increasing slightly in both elementary and middle schools.

While demand and usage of e-books in school libraries has not displayed the same dramatic trends as in public libraries, the SLJ survey indicates that school libraries are slowly warming up to e-books. Even though meager budgets will continue to be an issue for most school libraries to grapple with, librarians expect e-book spending to quadruple from its current rate by 2019, up to 13% of the total budget. How to get more devices into the hands of students and how to convince them that e-books have something to offer that print books do not, though, will be hurdles that school libraries will continue to face in future years.

Do you want to know about e-book collections and usage in Colorado schools? Check out our 2013-14 Annual Colorado School Library Survey Fast Facts, which reports that e-book collections have risen by 557% since 2008-09.

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.

ALA report on the impact of CIPA finds that software filtering negatively impacts disadvantaged students

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Banned Books Week and Banned Websites Awareness Day only come around once a year, but for students, learning is affected all year long by the content they are able or not able to access. A report by ALA, Fencing Out Knowledge: Impact of CIPA 10 Years Later, seeks to understand the long-term impact of the law requiring filtering software on school computers, and some of its unintended consequences as revealed through existing research and ALA’s own interviews and symposium.

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was passed in 2000 with the intention of blocking obscene and pornographic images from school computers. So why does ALA consider it a problem? While there is good reason to prevent children from viewing certain content, ALA argues that much of this filtering is not very effective and needs to be revised.

In fact, software filters are reportedly so unreliable that they over-block useful content or under-block obscene content 15-20% of the time. But the main takeaway from ALA’s report is that CIPA disproportionately impacts already disadvantaged students, giving those who get unfiltered access at home an advantage over those who only have filtered access at school. In a Pew study of AP and National Writing Project teachers, nearly half (48%) of the respondents in urban areas and/or teaching low-income students responded that filtering had a major impact on the effectiveness of student learning. And while much of the filtered content (as shown in the above graph) appears to be entertainment, the fact is that for young people, online platforms such as games, videos, and social networks are a becoming a major component of learning and the establishment of early digital literacy.

ALA argues that school librarians have the ability to promote and teach the ethical and safe use of information technologies, and urges that schools should make better use of them to train teachers to assess the quality of online sources and to collect valuable resources for student use. CIPA is likely here to stay, but school librarians are well positioned to mitigate any negative effects it may have on student learning.

ALA also looked at the effects of CIPA on public libraries. Check out the full report here.

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 CAL to learn how to create a data-based elevator speech

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Will you be attending CAL this week? If so, we hope you will join us for our session, “If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It! Make the Case for Your Library with a Data-Based Elevator Speech.” Here are the details:

If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It! Make the Case for Your Library with a Data-Based Elevator Speech
Linda Hofschire & Meghan Wanucha
Friday, October 17, 3:00-4:45
River Birch A

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.

State grants doubled the collection budgets of 41 library recipients in 2013-14

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We recently told you about the State Grants to Libraries Act (CRS 24-90-401) that offered $2 million to Colorado’s libraries and how many libraries were able to purchase materials thanks to the funds. We’ve now received preliminary data for the 2013-14 grant cycle highlighting just how those grants were used, and the impact is clear: State funding played a major role in building collections for libraries across the state.

More than 9 in 10 library recipients used the funds to purchase print books, totaling nearly 140,000 books added to library collections. Nearly 40% of recipients bought about 10,000 e-books. And more than half of library grant recipients purchased access to electronic databases for their patrons.

And it’s not just about the data: Libraries shared great stories showcasing the impact the state funding has had on their library and patrons. Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • It was a new book extravaganza! We were able to weed many aged and ragamuffin books. We refreshed our collection and it reignited our love for reading!
  • We are a 1:1 technology district, and this allowed us to expand our digital resources. It is helping us transform the way students think and learn.
  • We saw circulation rise by 13-29% at two branches because we can offer more targeted resources customers want and need.

Want to see more highlights and quotes from the 2013-14 grant cycle? Check out our new Fast Facts.

Final numbers for the 2013-14 grants will be available later this fall. And the cycle for 2014-15 is well underway with the $2 million appropriation renewed by the 2014 Colorado Legislature and funds scheduled for disbursement this fall. We’re looking forward to seeing how libraries use this year’s awards!

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.

Job posts on Library Jobline were viewed more than 423,000 times in 2013

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In our yearly tradition, our newest Fast Facts reviews the past year of Library Jobline, our popular library jobs posting website. We investigate the kinds of jobs that are posted, what skills are required, and how 2013 was in the larger trends of the library job market. Here’s what we found:

In 2013, 431 jobs were posted on Library Jobline. That’s up almost 90% from 2009, the bottom of the job posting curve thanks to the latest recession. But we’ve not yet recovered completely: 523 jobs were posted in 2007, the first year of the service.

Average starting wages for postings not requiring an MLIS/MLS degree have increased more than 20% since 2007, more than starting wages for postings preferring (up 16%) or requiring (up just 4%) the degree. In fact, the average starting wage for positions requiring an MLIS in 2013 was $22.25 while postings preferring the degree had an average starting wage of $22.08—a difference of just 17 cents an hour.

Another interesting trend is how MLIS degree requirements have shifted since 2007. While other skills requirements, such as library experience or language skills, haven’t shifted much since the service began—within 5 percentage points—the degree requirements have changed quite a bit. In 2007, 35% of job posts that indicated a preference said the MLIS degree was required. In 2013, that figure fell to 18%. This hasn’t been mirrored by the percentage of posts that prefer the degree: In 2007, 12% preferred a library degree; in 2013, 15% did.

Learn more about Library Jobline and last year’s job postings through our new Fast Facts, available here. In the job market yourself? Sign up as a job seeker for to receive personalized job announcements. Responsible for hiring at your library? Join the nearly 750 employers and post jobs that are consistently viewed more than 1,000 times. And get even more job announcements, tips, and strategies by following @libraryjobline.

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.

1998: Average copyright date of technology books (600s section in Dewey Decimal System) in Colorado’s public school libraries

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These days, it is not uncommon for children to be adept at using the Internet, cellular phones, and/or digital cameras. They might be hard-pressed, however, to find literature in their school libraries that adequately discusses the modern-day use and significance of these technological advancements. Based on results from the 2013-14 Colorado School Library Survey, the average copyright for books that fall in the 600 range (technology) of the Dewey Decimal System in Colorado public school libraries is 1998—when the Internet was a relatively new concept in most households, cellular phones were a luxury item enjoyed by only a select few, and drug stores were still developing camera film for their customers on a regular basis.

Are you a school librarian who needs funding to update your collection? The Colorado State Library website contains information about a variety of grant opportunities, for example, State Grants to Libraries and the Funding Opportunities webpage.

 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.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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