Archive for the Technology Category

Three-fourths of internet users say the internet has been good for society

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Image credit: Pew Research

The internet has had a transformative impact on Americans’ lives, and libraries have taken that impact in stride, offering equipment, infrastructure, and navigation assistance sought by patrons across the country. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research recently released new survey results that demonstrate the internet’s powerful role in our everyday lives.

We know internet use is wide-spread, with more than 4 in 5 adults using it. But some of the most interesting findings in this research are related to how we view the internet. Despite the vitriol and trolls lurking in comment areas, about 3 in 4 internet users thought interactions were mostly kind. More than half have seen an online group or community come together to solve a problem or help someone. Interestingly, younger internet users (18-29) tended to see more of the good and the bad sides of the internet—being treated kindly and unkindly themselves and seeing people come together and tear each other down—than older users.

Two-thirds say the web has strengthened relationships with family and friends. And more than half of internet users say the internet would be very hard to give up—still more than the 49% of cell phone owners who say the same thing about their phone! Importantly, of those who said the web would be hard to give up, most (61%) said the internet was “essential for job-related or other reasons.”

Of course libraries are well aware of these trends. Most have websites and the number of libraries that offer mobile-friendly websites is increasing accordingly as smartphone usage increases. And with new research breaking down library users and non-users by type, we can also understand the role technology plays in the lives of our users based on their engagement with our services. How has your library changed in the 25 years since the web was created?

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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More than half of Millennials have shared a selfie, but how many have posted a #libraryshelfie?

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Image credit: Linkoping Bibliotek via New York Public Library

Those of you who are familiar with LRS staff may know that a couple of us–Dave and Linda–are photographers. So, we were excited to come across a statistic that touched on our interests in both libraries and photography: a recent Pew study found that more than half of Millennials (ages 18-33) have shared a selfie online, as have about one-fourth of all Americans.

How does this relate to libraries? In January, the New York Public Library designated a day as “library shelfie day.” On this day, they invited patrons to share photos of books (their library’s or their own) on social media with the hashtag #libraryshelfie. Other libraries, such as those at the University of San Francisco, University of California-Davis, and Delaware County Community College joined in on the fun, either by encouraging their users to participate, or by posting photos of their special collections and their staff with their favorite books.

Did your library participate in #libraryshelfie day? If not, why not hold your own event? This is a nice opportunity to encourage your users to engage with you on social media, as well as to reach out to Millennials, who, according to the Pew data, are particularly likely to share.

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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Median e-book circulation in U.S. public libraries more than doubled in 2013

LJ_Ebook usage

Image credit: Library Journal

Last week, we highlighted some of Pew Internet’s recent findings on Americans’ reading habits, including trends in e-book reading and tablet usage. For the library perspective, Library Journal offers an annual survey on how e-books are being used and adopted in U.S. public libraries. In its fourth year, the 2013 survey includes data from more than 500 libraries about e-book circulation, collection, and acquisition.

Generally, e-book demand has eased off and collections are more stable, all while circulation continues to grow. Of those libraries surveyed, nearly 9 of 10 (89%) libraries offer e-books—the same as in 2012—and a quarter of those who don’t offer e-books planned to start in the upcoming year. Median e-book collection size continues to grow, rising from 5,080 in 2012 to 7,380 in 2013. Median circulation more than doubled from 2012, and it surpassed the 12,000 mark in 2013. This despite that 91% of public libraries’ e-book titles are lent using a one-title/one-user model and the average holds-to-copy ratio was 6 to 1.

As is to be expected, respondents reported the major barriers to e-book usage were limited numbers of e-books and availability of popular titles. And the public is still having trouble making the e-book checkout process work: More than 2 in 5 (43%) respondents said they heard patrons ask for help downloading e-books on their devices every day. Resources to purchase e-books are also limited, but libraries seem to be making do, whether by reallocating funds from elsewhere in the materials budget or looking to consortia for help.

Read the full report, available for download courtesy of Library Journal, to learn out more about how public libraries are handling everything from device lending programs to purchasing terms. And check out statistics on e-books in Colorado’s public libraries through our interactive data tool at http://www.lrs.org/public/data/basic/.

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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76% of U.S. adults read a book in the past year

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Image credit: Pew Internet

E-reading continues to grow in popularity among US adults, but print reading still rules, according to recent study results from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) adults reported reading an e-book in the past year, up from 23% in 2012. But 7 in 10 (69%) adults read a print book in the past year. In fact, the “e-book” only crowd remains small, at just 4% of readers.

Across all formats, 76% of adults read a book in the past year. Of those who did read a book in the previous 12 months, the average number read was 16 (the median number was 7). Women and those with higher income and education levels were more likely to have read a book in the past year.

So what about e-books? Of those who read a book in the past year, younger adults and those in urban and suburban areas were more likely to have read e-books than those 65 and older or in rural areas. E-readers and tablets are the devices of choice for e-book readers, with 57% of them using e-readers and 55% using tablets to read e-books (compared to 41% using e-readers and just 23% using tablets in 2011). These trends mirror larger device ownership trends, with half of Americans now having a dedicated handheld device for reading electronic media—up from 43% in September 2013.

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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In 2012, internet computers at Colorado’s public libraries were used more than 6.8 million times

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In our new Fast Facts, Computers in Colorado’s Public Libraries, we dive into data from the 2012 Public Library Annual Report to offer insight into the state of computer use and technology hardware offered in Colorado’s public libraries. We also examined trend data for the past decade (where available) to demonstrate how libraries have adapted to the growing demand for and changes in technology—from number of computers to wireless availability. So what does this demand look like? In 2012, internet computers were used more than 6.8 million times!

Of course library services don’t end in the building: The library website has increasingly become a portal to 24/7 access to what the libraries have to offer. In Colorado, 89% of public libraries have websites, according to original research completed by the Networking & Resource Sharing Office of the Colorado State Library. And patrons are using this access point: Libraries reported about 25 million unique visitors to their websites in 2012.

Learn more about what services libraries are offering online with our national, longitudinal research project U.S. Public Libraries and Web Technologies. Zoom in on the trends in Colorado in our Fast Facts report and infographic.

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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U.S. children ages 2-10 spend an average of 40 minutes a day reading

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Image credit: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center

In a recent national survey of parents of young children (ages 2-10), researchers asked parents how much time their kids spent with educational media across different formats and what their kids learned, as well as about their kids’ reading behaviors. (“Educational media” was defined as media the parents thought was “good for their child’s learning or growth or that teaches some type of lesson, such as an academic or social skill.”)

Overall, parents said their children spend just over 2 hours a day (2:07) with screen media, with 44% of that deemed “educational” by the adults. The amount of time spent with educational media decreased as age increased, with the youngest group, ages 2-4, spending 1:16 hours a day and the oldest group, ages 8-10, spending just 42 minutes. As might be expected, TV was the dominant form of educational screen media, with three-fourths (76%) of all educational media in a given day being streamed through a TV.

Parents were also asked to indicate what their children learned by using educational media. Among those who used it weekly, more parents said their child learned “a lot” about cognitive skills and reading/vocabulary (both 37%) and math (28%) than science (19%) or the arts (15%). Interestingly, format mattered: More parents said their child learned a lot from educational TV than from mobile devices. The children who use educational media weekly are also doing something about the media they view: Their parents said they talk about what they saw or did (87%), engage in imaginative play about it (78%), and ask questions about it (77%). Even better? Three of 5 parents (60%) said their children taught them something about what they saw or did.

This group of 2- to 10-year-olds spent an average of 40 minutes a day reading or being read to, of which 29 minutes were spent on print books, 8 minutes on a computer, and 5 minutes on an e-reader or tablet.  The amount of time parents and children spent reading together decreased as age increased, with 2- to 4-year-olds spending 44 minutes co-reading and 8- to 10-year-olds spending 24 minutes co-reading. Differences in reading time were not statistically significant based on race, income, or parent education, or among the age groups; however, there was a significant difference in children’s gender, with girls reading for 46 minutes a day and boys reading for 34 minutes, on average.

Read more about how families are interacting with educational media—or choosing not to—in the full report. This rich report also breaks down the topics by race/ethnicity, education level, and family income to gain deeper insight into how parents view educational media.

Libraries: how do you connect families with educational media resources? Let us know by chatting 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.

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A national survey of school librarians found that 98% instruct students and teachers in the use of technology tools

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Image credit: School Library Journal

School Library Journal’s 2013 School Library Technology Survey asked more than 750 K-12 school librarians and media specialists at public and private schools about technology topics including technology integration, professional development, filtering, and social media. Results show that almost all respondents (98%) are teaching students and coaching teachers how to use everything from databases to digital textbooks, despite facing challenges with time, budget, bandwidth, and Internet and device policies and restrictions.

Most schools of those responding to the survey are connected, with 92% offering WiFi. About 69% of school librarians use free social applications and similar apps to collaborate and support learning. Top social applications used by respondents were Edmodo, Pinterest, and Goodreads, all noteworthy as free Web-based teaching tools that also offer spaces for learning online etiquette and responsible browsing behaviors.

Nearly three-fourths (72%) of librarians say they’re seen as technology leaders, but only 44% of respondents believe those abilities translate into job security. Anecdotes described frustration with administrative roadblocks to technology implementation and difficulties using resources like YouTube, which is often banned in schools.

Find out how Colorado school libraries compare in our Fast Facts reports, 21st Century Instruction Strategies in Colorado School Libraries and Colorado School Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2011-2012.

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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From 2010 to 2012, the percentage of Colorado public library websites catering to mobile devices increased from 3% to 36%

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Image credit: Poudre River Public Library District

Our new Fast Facts, Trends in Colorado Public Library Websites and Social Media Use, presents findings from the Colorado portion of our longitudinal study of U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies and social media. All 114 of Colorado’s public libraries are included in this study. One of our main findings was that from 2010 to 2012, the percentage of Colorado public libraries catering to mobile devices increased dramatically. Researchers looked for any of the following types of mobile-friendly website access:

  • Mobile version of website: The URL redirects to a mobile site (e.g., “m.citylibrary.org”) when viewed on a mobile device.
  • Mobile app:  A software application is downloaded by users to run on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
  • Responsive design: The website is designed in a way that is accessible to a wide range of devices, from smartphones to desktop LCDs, through the use of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and media queries.

Overall, 36% of Colorado public libraries offered some type of mobile-friendly website access, up from 3% in 2010.

In terms of the specific type of mobile access,

  • About one-fourth (26%) of Colorado public libraries offered mobile apps;
  • 1 in 5 libraries had mobile versions of their sites (i.e., the URL redirects to a mobile version of the website when viewed on a mobile device); however,
  • just 3 libraries used responsive design.

Check out the following resources for more information about this study:

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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93% of the largest U.S. public libraries (serving 500,000+) are on Facebook

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Our new report, U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2012, presents the findings of our longitudinal study of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies and social media. One of our main findings was that in 2012, the majority of libraries had social media accounts:

  • Almost all (93%) of the largest libraries (serving 500,000+), a little more than 4 in 5 (83%) libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 7 in 10 (69%) of those serving 10,000 to 24,999, and 54 percent of the smallest libraries (serving less than 10,000) had at least one social media account.
  • Of the 9 social networks that were analyzed, libraries were most likely to be on Facebook (93% of the largest libraries, 82% of libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 68% of libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,999, and 54% of the smallest libraries). From 2010 to 2012, the smallest libraries had the biggest jump in adoption of this social network, from 18 percent to 54 percent.
  • Other common social networks were Twitter (84% of the largest libraries were on this network) and YouTube (60% of the largest libraries). Flickr was also common, however, it has decreased in all population groups from 2010 to 2012; for example, 63 percent of the largest libraries used this social network in 2010 versus 42 percent in 2012.
  • Close to one-third (31%) of the largest libraries were on Foursquare, 23% were on Pinterest, and 8 percent each were on Google+ and Tumblr.
  • The largest libraries were on an average of 3.54 social networks out of the 9 included in the analysis, whereas the smallest libraries averaged less than 1.

Check out the following resources for more information about this study:

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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From 2010 to 2012, the percentage of U.S. public library websites catering to mobile devices increased dramatically

webtech_mobile_weeklynumber

Image credit: Los Gatos Library

We recently released a report, U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2012, that presents the findings of our longitudinal study of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries’ use of web technologies and social media. One of our main findings was that from 2010 to 2012, the percentage of libraries catering to mobile devices increased dramatically. Researchers looked for any of the following types of mobile-friendly website access:

  • Mobile version of website: The URL redirects to a mobile site (e.g., “m.citylibrary.org”) when viewed on a mobile device.
  • Mobile app:  A software application is downloaded by users to run on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
  • Responsive design: The website is designed in a way that is accessible to a wide range of devices, from smartphones to desktop LCDs, through the use of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and media queries.

We found that three-fourths of the largest libraries (serving 500,000+), about 3 in 5 libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, one-third of libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,999, and 17% of the smallest libraries (serving less than 10,000) offered some type of mobile-friendly website access. In contrast, in 2010, just 12% of the largest libraries, 3% of libraries serving between 100,000-499,999, and no libraries serving less than 100,000 offered mobile-friendly website access.

In terms of the specific type of mobile access,

  • 3 in 5 of the largest libraries, about half of libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 1 in 5 libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,999, and 2% of the smallest libraries offered apps;
  • 2 in 5 of the largest libraries, about one-fourth of libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 1 in 5 libraries serving between 10,000 and 24,000, and 14% of the smallest libraries had mobile versions of their sites; however,
  • just 9 libraries used responsive design.

Check out the following resources for more information about this study:

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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