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/.
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.
In the June 2013 issue of Computers in Libraries, Moe Hosseini-Ara and Rebecca Jones have an article, “Overcoming Our Habits and Learning to Measure Impact.” They highlight 5 issues that libraries struggle with when measuring impact:
1. Libraries do not set targets for their measures.
2. There’s not enough understanding of stakeholders’ value measures.
3. Measures are not viewed as an integral element of services or programs.
4. Value measures are not differentiated from operating measures; outcomes are confused with outputs, which confuses everyone.
5. There’s no clear responsibility for managing measures.
Are you struggling with any of these issues when trying to measure the impact of your library? Check out the article for practical advice on how to tackle these issues and implement measures that effectively convey your library’s impact.
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).
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.
Our new infographic presents highlights of all of LRS’s school library impact studies in an accessible and concise format. We hope this will be an effective tool for school library advocates!
Two versions of the infographic are available:
-One is optimized for online viewing
-And, the second is optimized for printing
A printing note: if you view the infographic PDF file in Firefox PDF viewer, it may not render properly. For best viewing and printing, click on the “open in different viewer” button in the top right corner of your browser, and select the option to open the file with Adobe Reader. The PDF file is optimized for printing on legal size paper.
We also maintain a bibliography of US school library impact studies for those who are interested in delving deeper into this topic.
Our newest Fast Facts uses data from the 2011-2012 Colorado School Library Survey to assess the degree to which public school libraries with endorsed librarians use web technologies. The results indicate that more school libraries offer basic web technologies (e.g., a website, OPAC) than Web 2.0-related technologies, such as wikis and Facebook. Additionally, use of these technologies varies in accordance with the grade level and enrollment of the school served. Middle schools are most likely to use Web 2.0 technologies, while school libraries at schools with more than 1,000 students are most likely to offer most of the technologies noted in the survey.
Using data from the 2011-12 Colorado School Library Survey, our new Fast Facts examines how often endorsed school librarians engage in activities that foster students’ development of 21st-century skills. The results indicate that the most frequent activity across Colorado public school libraries with endorsed librarians, regardless of grade level or enrollment, was “teach students to use digital resources”; 7 in 10 respondents reported helping students develop this skill at least once a week. About 3 in 5 respondents reported that they help students apply critical thinking skills (61%) and use technology to organize and share information (59%) at least once a week.
The deadline for completing the 2012-13 Colorado School Library Survey has been extended to November 30, 2012. Participation by all public school libraries is vital! If you have not yet responded to the survey, it can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey.
School librarians–your responses really do matter, and we hope you will take the time to complete the survey! The results provide important information about the state of school libraries in Colorado that school library staff and administrators can use for advocacy, planning, evaluating, and budgeting.
For questions regarding the survey, or to obtain your username and password, feel free to call Library Research Service at 303-866-6900 or email email@example.com to get your information.