Archive for the School Category

The average copyright year of history/geography books in Colorado’s school libraries is 1995

copyrightIt’s difficult to imagine K-12 schools not teaching students about the tragedies that unfolded on September 11, 2001. Indeed, Colorado K-12 students attending public schools do learn about that day’s events during their history/social studies classes, but they will likely encounter problems if they try to search for additional information about the event in their school library’s history section. According to the 2012-2013 School Library Survey results, the average copyright for books that fall in the 900 range (history and geography) of the Dewey Decimal System is 1995—when Bill Clinton was still serving his first term.

Are you looking for funding sources to update your school library’s resources? Check out this blog post for links to possible grant opportunities.

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.

In 2011-12, 52% of US public school library staff had a master’s degree in a library-related field

In 2011-12, 52% of US public school library staff had a master’s degree in a library-related field

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According to survey results from the 2011-12 National Center for Education Statistics Salary and Staffing Survey, two-thirds of US library media centers in traditional public schools and one-third of public charter schools had at least one paid full-time state-certified library media center specialist. About 20 percent of all public schools with library media centers operated with no full-time or part-time paid, state-certified library media center specialists.

On the surface, these are straightforward facts taken from these survey results. In reality, school librarians and libraries are notoriously difficult to define, count, and report. For example, New York City’s 1,700 public schools now employ 333 certified librarians—however not all of them are working as librarians. It is also worth noting the term “state-certified” is a very specific phrase indicating a staff member who has achieved state certification as a school library media specialist as deemed by the state’s licensure office (see Colorado’s endorsement requirements here). This is not equivalent to the staff member having an MLIS, despite the American Association of School Librarians’ position statement on Preparation of School Librarians that states “the master’s degree is considered the entry-level degree for the profession.” So, while more than 4 out of 5 full-time or part-time paid professional library staff were state-certified according to the NCES survey, only 52 percent had a master’s degree in a library-related major.

These examples call attention to the significance of research definitions and how, as savvy research consumers, we must be aware of context and background when considering results. And don’t get us started on how “library” is defined—we’ll dive into that gem soon, so stay tuned!

Tease out the importance of endorsed school librarians with our impact study summary infographic and webpage detailing the impact these staff members have on student achievement.

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.

23% of U.S. teenagers have a tablet device

23% of U.S. teenagers have a tablet device

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In March of this year, the Pew Research Center conducted a study on teenage technology use, and found that mobile access to the internet among teens is “pervasive.” According to the study, almost half of teens (47%) own a smartphone, and almost 1 in 4 (23%) own a tablet (which is comparable to the general adult population). Additionally, almost 3 in 4 teens (74%) say that they use mobile devices to check the internet at least occasionally, and 1 in 4 (25%) claim to be “cell-mostly” internet users. This apparent enthusiasm for mobile technologies, such as tablet devices, has not yet been matched by the institutions charged with educating teens—not in Colorado, at least. For the 2012-2013 school year, responses to the Colorado School Library Survey indicate that in Colorado’s public high schools, there is a median of less than one tablet (0.67) with access to library resources per 100 students.

Are you looking for funding sources to purchase tablets for your library? Check out these links for possible grant opportunities:

For more information about technology in Colorado school libraries, see our Fast Facts, Colorado School Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2011-2012, as well as the 2012-2013 Colorado School Library Survey 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.

2012-2013 Colorado School Library Survey data now available

2012-2013 Colorado School Library Survey data now available

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Every year, we conduct a survey of Colorado public school libraries. The results of this survey, which include information about library instruction strategies, collections, web presence, staffing, usage, and budgets, help administrators, school library staff, and other stakeholders with planning and evaluation. These results are also used to market and advocate for school libraries; for example, earlier this year we published a school library infographic that shows the impact of school libraries on academic achievement.

Results from the 2012-2013 survey are now available. We’re excited to present a brand new set of tools for interacting with the survey data. The tools will enable you to:

  • quickly locate data for a single year and statistic group
  • build custom data sets by specifying statistics, grade level, enrollment, etc.
  • visualize data using graphs
  • export data in .csv format

Check them out at http://www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/annual-statistics/!

60% of Colorado school librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information at least once a week

60% of Colorado school librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information at least once a week

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Image credit: Pew Internet

According to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,400 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers, digital and web technologies are having beneficial and tangible impacts on student writing and skills needed for the future. When asked to rate the importance of various skills in contributing to their students’ success in life, the ability to judge the quality of information topped the list, with more than 9 out of 10 teachers calling it an “essential” skill for the future. School librarians are vital to building this skill, and the findings of our annual survey of Colorado public school libraries indicate that 60% of certified  librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information and web resources at least once a week.

Other skills deemed “essential” by a majority of teachers in the Pew survey include: behaving responsibly online, understanding online privacy issues, and finding information quickly. School librarians provide the foundation for such skills, by teaching students how to use digital resources, as well as how to use technology to organize and share information. Simply put, skills that teachers believe are important for the future are the same ones being taught by school librarians as part of everyday instruction.

Find out more about what skills Colorado school librarians are teaching with our newly released 2012-13 Colorado School Library Survey results, available at http://www.lrs.org/school/data/.

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.

57% of teens improved their digital media skills through participation in a 21st-century library learning space

57% of teens improved their digital media skills through participation in a 21st-century library learning space

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Image credit: Cynthia Howe

YOUmedia is a 21st-century learning space for teens located in 5 Chicago Public Library branches. It provides a place where teens can access and learn about digital media (photo and video editing, web design, podcasting, audio recording, etc.), and collaborate with their peers and mentors in a supportive environment.

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research recently released the findings of a study they conducted of the impacts of YOUmedia on teen participants. A little more than half (57%) of the respondents reported that they improved their digital media skills (making a video, producing a podcast, creating a website, etc.) through their involvement in YOUmedia. In addition, more than half said that YOUmedia helped them with their schoolwork, and improved their writing skills and their communication with adults.

Through an IMLS and MacArthur Foundation grant, learning labs inspired by YOUmedia will be created by 12 organizations (7 libraries and 5 museums) across the country.

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.

38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year

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Image credit: Pew Internet

The Pew Research Center’s newest stats from its Internet & American Life Library Services Survey dive into younger Americans’ (16-29 years old) library and reading habits and reveal an interesting blend of technology and traditional service expectations. Perhaps most telling is that this group is significantly more likely to have either used technology at libraries or accessed online library services than adults older than 30. For example, 38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year, compared with 22% of Americans ages 30 and older. Such tech-centric use is balanced by the younger generation’s ties to print media, as three-quarters say they have read at least one print book in the past year, well above the 64% of older adults. This mix of preferences extends to library services, with 3 out of 4 younger adults saying it’s very important for libraries to offer free access to computers and the internet as well as books for borrowing.

For more on Americans’ reading habits over time, check out Pew’s interactive tool reporting stats by age group.

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.

The Impact of School Libraries on Academic Achievement

School Libraries Matter: Views from the Research

We are honored to have co-authored a chapter with our founder, Keith Curry Lance, “The Impact of School Libraries on Academic Achievement,” in the new book School Libraries Matter. In addition to reviewing the school library research that LRS and RSL Research have conducted over the past two decades, the chapter also contains a 5-step improvement plan to use this research to improve school library programs, as well as an agenda for future research.

For more information about LRS’s school library impact studies, as well as a bibliography of school library research, see http://www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/impact-studies/.

Attending ALA Annual? Here are the research & statistics sessions that are on our radar

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Will you be attending ALA Annual? These are the research and statistics sessions that are on our radar:

Friday

8:30AM-4:00PM (preconference): Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries of Higher Education into Action

9:00AM-3:00PM (preconference): International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community

Saturday

8:30-9:30AM: Data-Driven Services: Library Research Roundtable Forum

8:30-10:00AM: From Outputs to Outcomes: Measuring What Matters

10:30-11:30AM: Ebook Data Evaluation through the Eyes of an Academic Librarian and a Public Librarian: A Tale of Two Libraries

10:30-11:30AM: Is it Worth it? Assessing Online Instruction

1:00-2:00PM: Research at Your Service: Latinos & Their Information Needs on Center Stage

1:00-2:30PM: 19th Annual Reference Research Forum

1:00-2:30PM: Mentorship Program Forum: Library Research Roundtable Initiative

3:00-4:00PM: The Census, Your Patrons, and the DataFerrett (hands-on workshop about using census data)

4:00-5:30PM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron

Sunday

8:30-10:00AM: Do These Evaluation Statistics Mean Anything?

10:30-11:30AM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The Discussion Continues

10:30-11:30AM: Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making? New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment

1:00-2:30PM: New Pew Research: Libraries + Parents = Innovation and Success

1:00-2:30PM: Studying Ourselves: Libraries and the User Experience

Monday

10:30-11:30AM: Is This Trend a Library Friend? Understanding Current Analytical Measures

10:30-11:30AM: Measuring Up: Developing New Metrics for Assessing Library Performance

1:00-2:30PM: School Library Research

36% of school librarians rated connecting young people to reading and lifelong learning as the top satisfaction of their jobs

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Image Source: Mark Tuchman, http://www.slj.com/2013/05/research/sljs-2013-job-satisfaction-survey/

School Library Journal recently surveyed more than 1,000 school and public librarians to pinpoint sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction within the field. For both school and public librarians, connecting young people to reading and lifelong learning rated first for offering satisfaction with their jobs. Working with young people and matching a child/teen with the perfect book took spots 2 and 3 for both public and school librarians. At the same time, both types of librarians face challenges in having time to get everything done. Budgetary constraints and balancing increased demand with fewer resources are also shared concerns. Find out more about national job satisfaction trends at http://www.slj.com/2013/05/research/sljs-2013-job-satisfaction-survey/.

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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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.

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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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