Archive for the School Category

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

Lilead

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

slj_ebook

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

Jobline2014

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.

90% of Colorado libraries received state funds in 2013-14

State grants 2013-14

In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature granted $2 million for libraries to support or enhance early literacy and early learning educational materials. For 2014-15, this funding was renewed and the application period is open now! In the meantime, we’re taking a look back to highlight how 2013-14 went.

Through a non-competitive grant process, each eligible library received $3,000 plus remaining funds designated on a per capita basis. You can find a breakdown of the 2013-14 awards here. For 41 libraries, the grant more than doubled their collection budgets. Nine in 10 Colorado libraries received funding: 88% of all academic libraries, 94% of all public libraries, and 91% of all school and youth correctional libraries. Don’t miss the infographic that breaks down awards by county and highlights stories from grant recipients.

Here are just a few quotes from libraries about how they used their funds last year:

  • We used the funds from the State Library Grant to purchase children’s books to add to our collection we have in our Capulin satellite library. The children were very excited to see and read the new books. We have seen more children and parents coming and using the library since we have the new books. – Conejos County Library District
  • The grant is being used to partially fund Pebble Go for our elementary schools. Schools use the data base to access informational text for all levels of reader. Being able to access informational text that is appropriate for our younger readers and is important in supporting Colorado Academic Standards. – Mesa County Valley 51
  • We are one of the busiest academic libraries in the state. During the spring, summer, and fall semesters, our library is packed with students studying, researching, and preparing for their classes. This grant helped us pay for one of our most important online databases EBSCOHost, which can be used by students both in the library, on campus, and remotely. – Auraria Library

New to state grants? Learn more through an introductory webinar on August 26 at 9:00am. And visit the State Grants to Libraries website for details on eligibility, purchasing recommendations, and reporting details.

Receive a grant in 2013-14? Share your stories 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.

Median academic librarian pay in 2013 was $53,000

LJ Salary Survey 2014

Image credit: Library Journal

Library Journal recently released results from its first Salary Survey for U.S. librarians and paralibrarians, across all library types. This new survey is a bit different than those we’ve talked about before in Weekly Number posts here and here and Fast Facts reports like this one: It isn’t tied to a particular library type or position category. Library Journal received responses from more than 3,200 librarians of all types—public to special to consortia—from all 50 states.

School librarians had the highest median salary of $58,000, and public librarians had the lowest at $47,446. Having the MLIS degree made a big difference in academic and public libraries: Staff with MLIS degrees earned almost 50% more than those without the degree. But for school librarians, the MLIS degree offered a median pay jump of just about $3,500 compared to non-degreed librarians. Two-thirds received a pay increase last year, with a median raise of 1.5%.

The survey also asked about job satisfaction, and the picture isn’t great: Less than a third (31%) said they were “very satisfied” with their jobs, and just 27% said they felt they had opportunities to advance in their role. Less than a quarter (23%) of those with part-time work reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs.

Part-time status is still a reality for many librarians, according to the survey: 16% of public librarians, and 6% of academic and school librarians said they worked part-time. Perhaps most telling is the fact that half of those part-timers had an MLIS degree.

You can peruse the tables from the report here and additional data here. And keep your eye out for our annual review of Library Jobline’s data to give you an idea of how the library job market and pay is shaping up based on last year’s job posts.

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 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.

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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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