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.
Pew Internet has released their latest findings from their multi-year library research project. Highlights of these findings, which focused on the reading and library habits of young Americans, included:
- 4 in 5 young Americans ( ages 16-29) read a book in the past year
- 1 in 5 read an e-book
- 1 in 10 listened to an audiobook
- 3 in 5 used the library
- Young Americans are more likely to read e-books on a cell phone or computer than on an e-reader
- Nearly half (47%) of young Americans read long-form e-content (books, magazines, newspapers)
When further subdivided by age, Pew researchers found that:
- High schoolers (16-17) were most likely of the subgroups to have used the library in the past year, to have checked out print books, and/or to have received research assistance
- College-aged adults (18-24) had the highest overall reading rates
- Adults in their late twenties (25-29) expressed the greatest appreciation for libraries in general
For more details, see http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/10/23/younger-americans-reading-and-library-habits/.
Letters have been sent to public school libraries throughout the state announcing the opening of the 2012-13 Colorado School Library Survey. It can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. The data gathered in the annual school library survey provides library professionals with important information for planning, evaluating, and budgeting. In addition, the survey’s results serve as the basis for studies that demonstrate the impact of school libraries on student achievement.
Login information is included in the letter, but if you haven’t received your letter and would like to get started, feel free to call LRS at 303-866-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your information.
A recent LRS Fast Facts used statistics from LibraryJobline.org, an online service for job seekers and employers hosted by LRS, to assess the state of Colorado’s library job market in 2011 as compared to previous years. The report showed that after bottoming out in 2009, Colorado has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of library jobs posted per year. Additionally, interest in those positions, as evidenced by the number of views per job, has dropped off. While starting salaries have increased slightly for positions that did not explicitly require an MLIS, the starting salary for positions which did mandate an MLIS were stagnant.
Data from LibraryJobline.org from the first quarter of 2012 suggests good news for those seeking library jobs in Colorado. On average, there have been 33 new jobs posted per month, as compared to 26 jobs per month in 2011—an increase of 27 percent. In contrast to the first quarter of 2011 alone, in which an average of 27 jobs per month were posted, 22 percent more jobs were posted in the first quarter of 2012 (Chart 1).
New jobs posted from January to April of 2012 were viewed an average of 761 times each, a decrease from 1,951 views per posting in all of 2011. This decrease could signify a less competitive job market, although it could be attributed to other reasons, such as the rise in the number of Library Jobline users who receive news about available positions via email, RSS feed, or Twitter.
These “Hot Jobs” were viewed more than any others in the first quarter of 2012:
Librarian, High Plains Library District, Erie Community Library
- 1855 views
- 30 hours/week
Senior Librarian, The Denver Public Library, Hampden Branch Library
- 1828 views
- 40 hours/week
Library Assistant (Substitute), City and County of Broomfield, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library
- 1734 views
- On call
Only 22 percent of first-quarter 2012 LibraryJobline.org postings required an MLS or MLIS degree, as compared with 33 percent in all of 2011. Nineteen percent would give preference to candidates with an MLS or MLIS, and 59 percent of all first quarter 2012 postings did not specify any such preference or requirement (Chart 2).
Of 147 jobs that were open (not posted) in the first quarter of 2012, 17 (12%) did not list starting salaries. With those exceptions, the average starting salary for positions that did not require or prefer an MLIS was $19 per hour, or $2 more than the average starting salary for similar positions in 2011. The starting salary for positions that preferred an MLS/MLIS dipped by $2 however, from $21 to $19 per hour. Starting salaries for positions that required an MLS/MLIS rose slightly, from an average of $24 per hour to $24.25.
Data from the first quarter of 2012 does not conclusively show changes, either for the better or worse, to the library job market in Colorado. However, this information does help job seekers and employers to stay abreast of library hiring trends.
Data pulled from Library Jobline, the online matchmaking tool for library job seekers and employers maintained by LRS, shows that in 2011, Colorado’s library job market continued to improve for the second consecutive year since the most recent recession. The average number of jobs posted per month and annually rose from previous years, and starting salaries increased for positions which did not require an MLIS degree. In addition to examining 2011 data from Library Jobline, this Fast Facts also looks at national trends, using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Library Association, and Library Journal. Click here to read the Fast Facts report in its entirety. Also, an update to this information, discussing Library Jobline data from the first quarter of 2012, can be found here.
Our new Fast Facts discusses recent trends in public school librarian staffing and student enrollment. Based on an analysis of National Center for Education Statistics data, public school librarian staffing numbers remained relatively stable from 2004-05 (the first year this data was reported) to 2007-08. However, these positions nationwide declined by 8 percent from 2007-08 to 2010-11, while the total number of students increased by 2 percent. In Colorado, this gap was more pronounced: school librarian positions fell by 9 percent during this time period, while the total number of students rose by 5 percent.
Forbes.com recently posted an article on “The Best And Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs,” and a Master’s in Library and Information Science was ranked the No. 1 worst degree. These rankings were based on mid-career median pay and estimated rate of growth of careers in 35 popular degrees. The results of our 60-second poll “The Value of an MLIS to You,” however, show a different picture of the degree’s worth, one beyond monetary potential. Those who completed the survey were certainly concerned about the job market and salaries, but our respondents also left lengthy comments about the intrinsic rewards of the profession, and 79% agreed that the degree was worth the time and money invested.
Read the full report with analysis of the comments here, or see the highlights in our Fast Facts report.
Edited to add: ALA President Maureen Sullivan has a nice response to the Forbes article in the Washington Post.
Are you interested in finding events related to research and statistics at ALA Annual? Here are some of the sessions that are on our radar:
Friday, June 22:
1:30 pm-3:00 pm ARL Library Assessment Forum
Saturday, June 23:
10:30 am-12:00 pm Write For It! Jump Start Your Research Agenda and Join the Conversation (ALCTS)
1:30 pm-2:00 pm National Statistics for Local Advocacy? You Betcha! (COLA, ORS)
Sunday, June 24:
10:30 am-12:00 pm The Rise of E-Reading (OITP)
10:30 am-12:00 pm PLAmetrics User Group and Demonstration (PLA)
10:30 am-12:00 pm Research on Library Use and Users (LRRT)
1:00 pm-2:30 pm Fun with Numbers: Opportunities and Challenges in Collecting Library Use Data (ALA)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm 18th Annual Reference Research Forum (RUSA)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm Let the Data Talk: Communicating Assessment Results to Stakeholders (LLAMA)
Monday, June 25
10:30 am-12:00 pm Seeing is Believing: Understanding Data Visualization for Library Research (ORS)
1:30 pm-3:30 pm Riding the Publishing Rollercoaster: Practical Strategies from Research to Writing (ACRL)
To see a complete listing of sessions related to research, go to the scheduler and narrow by the subject “Research and Statistics.”
LRS recently completed an evaluation of the statewide 24/7 virtual reference service AskColorado, as well as its academic queue AskAcademic. Between April and October 2011, nearly 1,300 users completed customer exit surveys. The results indicate that users are pleased with these services and are likely to be repeat users. Four out of five users (80%) rated AskColorado librarians as “very helpful” or “helpful,” and six out of seven users (85%) said that they would be “very likely” or “likely” to use the service again. Satisfaction was even higher among AskAcademic users. Nearly 9 in 10 AskAcademic survey respondents (89%) indicated that the librarians who assisted them were either very helpful or helpful , and most (94%) said that they were “very likely” or “likely” to utilize the service again. Compared with previous AskColorado evaluations, in 2011 the service received its highest ratings yet on these measures.