Archive for the The Weekly Number Category

More than 75,000 books given away during One Book 4 Colorado in 2014

OB4CO 2015 FF

Founded in 2012, One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) is a statewide annual initiative that offers free copies of the same book to every 4-year-old in Colorado. In 2014, the book was Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. More than 75,000 books were given away at more than 500 sites, including public libraries, Reach Out and Read Health Clinics, and Denver Preschool Program preschool classrooms.

LRS surveyed both caregivers and participating agencies to learn more about the impact OB4CO had on families, children, and agencies. As reported in our newest Fast Facts, overall more than 3 out of 5 caregivers agreed that they spent more time reading with their child after receiving the book (64%), their child talked more about books and reading (62%), and their child was more interested in books and reading (64%). Parents with fewer books in their homes had higher levels of agreement with those statements.

Participating agencies also shared positive feedback about OB4CO. Nearly all (99%) of agency respondents agreed that children were excited to receive Grumpy Bird. More than 9 in 10 (92%) agreed that the program helped their agencies promote reading among children, and 88% agreed that OB4CO was an effective use of their time and effort. Agencies also appreciated collaborating with others in the program, with more than 7 in 10 (71%) agreeing that OB4CO provided an opportunity to reach out to other agencies interested in childhood education.

Voting for the OB4CO selection for 2015 is underway now! Watch videos of Colorado celebrities reading the book options here, then vote for your favorite! Voting is open until March 1.

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.

93 million people attended a program at a public library in FY2012

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Image credit: IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) just released its Public Libraries in the United States Report for Fiscal Year 2012, which is based on a survey of 97% of public libraries across the United States and parses out national and state-by-state trends. We contribute data to this survey about Colorado’s public libraries through our Public Library Annual Report. (And data collection for 2014 is open now!)

In this latest report, general post-recession trends—such as declines in revenue, staffing, circulation, and visits—from the last couple of years have continued or remained stable. Public libraries continued to see a positive link between investment and usage. Libraries that had more full-time staff and programs, for example, also had increases in circulation and visits.

There were 1.5 billion in-person visitors to public libraries in FY2012, about the same as FY2011 and up 21% in the past 10 years. Public libraries also reported considerable growth in the circulation of e-books and downloadable audio and video. Nearly 93 million people attended a program at a public library in FY2012, more than a 50% increase in the past 10 years. Children’s programs were especially popular, so even as many visits migrate online, the library’s place as a community center seems firmly established.

You can peruse the full report here and also access at the state-by-state profiles for comparison. And as always, take a look at Colorado’s data with our interactive tool.

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 Pew survey, three-fourths of Internet users see abundance of information as a benefit, not a burden

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Image credit: Pew Internet

In today’s diverse information culture, libraries play an important role in promoting the many ways that communities stay informed about the world around them. As digital technologies and media become more and more ingrained in everyday life, Americans are increasingly recognizing their value as an educational and creative outlet.

Results out from a new Pew survey indicate that Internet users feel digital technology has had an overall positive impact on their ability to learn and share ideas. This survey is part of a series by Pew to evaluate the impact of the Internet 25 years after its conception. The new study elaborates on a survey done earlier this year by offering new insight into Americans’ attitudes about the ways these media can keep them informed and connected to their communities.

The survey of 1,066 adult Americans found that an overwhelming majority thought the Internet has improved their ability to learn and stay informed (87%), and saw the abundance of information online as a boon rather than a burdensome overload (72%).

In addition, not only are Americans confident in how digital and mobile technologies have improved their own ability to learn new things, three-fourths also believe that access to the Internet has made “average Americans” and “today’s students” better informed (76% and 77%, respectively). Since 2006 and 2007, the number of Americans surveyed who said that the Internet has positively impacted their capacity to create and share ideas with others have steadily increased.

As the Internet and other digital media continue to permeate our lives and the ways we relate to those around us, librarians in the U.S. are well positioned to compliment the optimism of users through information literacy education and improved ways for users to access, create, and share knowledge.

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.

Half of kids ages 6-17 (51%) are currently reading a book for fun

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Image credit: Scholastic

There are often debates in the library world about whether or not the younger generation is reading enough, and how much television, computers, and e-devices actually compete for their attention. Scholastic’s Fall 2014 study examines this question, among others, by actually asking kids themselves about reading habits and preferences.

The results, culled from a nationally representative sample of 2,558 parents and children, are mixed. The percentage of kids who read has stayed steady since 2010, but there has been a 6% decline in frequent readers (those who read for fun 5-7 days a week).

The survey found that half of the kids age 6-17 (51%) self-reported that they were currently reading a book for pleasure, and another 20% had just finished one. After the age of 8, however, the study found that there is a sharp decline in the number of children who read frequently. Half of the children surveyed of that same age group (52%) also responded that independent reading was one of their favorite parts of the school day or wished that their school allowed them to read independently more often. Nine out of 10 kids (91%) said that their favorite books were ones they had personally picked out.

Since 2010, the percentage of kids who have read e-books has risen steadily, from a quarter to almost two-thirds (25% to 61%). Despite this trend, 65% (up 5% from 2012) also think that even with the prevalence of e-books, print books will always be desirable.

Finally, librarians rejoice – out of 13 different responses, browsing at the library was the third most popular way for parents to provide their children with access to leisure reading material, behind only book fairs and home libraries. It’s clear that reading is still a popular and important childhood activity, although as kids get older, competing interests and distractions tend to reduce the frequency and volume of extracurricular reading.

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.

56% of online seniors (65+) use Facebook

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Image credit: Pew Internet

Libraries have fully embraced social media as a way of reaching and engaging with patrons in new ways. But social media is no different than any other technology: Trends and usage ebbs and flows as new groups discover existing tools and new tools become popular. One resource for navigating the changing social media landscape is Pew Research Internet Project, which recently released updates to its research based on a survey of U.S. adults who use the internet conducted in September 2014.

Facebook is still king, with 71% of online adults using the site, but this hasn’t changed since 2013. And those who are on Facebook continued to use it often, with 7 in 10 using the site daily and 45% using it several times a day. Another first for Facebook: In the 2014 survey, more than half (56%) of internet users older than 65 were on Facebook (31% of all adults 65 and older).

Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all saw significant growth since 2013, with usage rates of 23% to 28% of online adults. And more than half (52%) of online adults used two or more sites (up from 42% in 2013). Instagram boosted its usage particularly among young adults (ages 18-29), of whom 53% used the site. While female users continue to dominate Pinterest, 13% of online males also used the site in 2014, compared to just 8% in 2013.

Learn more about the changing demographics of social media users and get updated frequency usage stats with the full report. We’re busy digging into analysis of our own research on how public libraries are using social media as part of our biennial study. Keep an eye out for 2014 results from this study later this year. In the meantime, check out our 2012 results for Colorado and the United States overall.

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.

 

Just 20% of teens are purchasing e-books, according to Nielsen study

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Last month, we reported on Library Journal’s and School Library Journal’s survey of public and school libraries, which indicated that e-book acquisition continues to rise steadily in both settings. However, demand for e-books was found to be lackluster in public libraries and downright disappointing in school libraries. Nielsen recently conducted a study that sheds some more light on e-book usage, specifically among teens. Although teens today are more technologically adept that ever before, 13-17 year olds are slightly more likely to be reading print than adult age groups.

For the study, Nielsen combined data from two separate online surveys that together represent 9,000 book buyers from across the U.S. The study found that despite teens’ openness to new technologies and e-books in particular, just 20% of teens are actually buying their reading material in this format, compared to 23% of 18-29 year-olds, and 25% of 30-44 year olds. Economic and parental restraints are cited as possible causes, in addition to the fact that libraries and bookstores are still the primary outlet for obtaining books for more than half of teens.

Though the study does come with the caveat that it appears teens today are reading less for pleasure than previous generations of young people, selection of materials among teens who read remains a very social process that is aided by newer technologies and social media. For example, nearly half (45%) of teens are at least moderately swayed by how books are portrayed on sites like Facebook and Twitter. And the rampant success of many YA series could be partially explained by the finding that three-fourths (76%) of teens cite the author’s previous works as an influence on future selections. With 80% of YA readers over the age of 18, however, both public and school libraries should be concerned with how to capture young readers in all of today’s available formats.

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.

Happy Holidays from LRS!

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Image credit: FreshSpectrum

Wishing all of our fellow library data lovers a wonderful holiday season and a happy 2015! We will be taking a couple weeks off from the Weekly Number and will return on January 7. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out (or revisit–for long time readers of our blog) this heartwarming post about the power of stories (and librarians!) from December 2010.

Pew Survey finds that two-thirds of Americans would like to do more to protect their personal data

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Image credit: Pew Internet Project

Librarians have long been advocates for the privacy rights of ordinary citizens, whether they are protecting citizens from the government, corporations, or even libraries themselves. While it is not news that Americans are increasingly concerned about the status of their personal information, the extent to which they are concerned about their privacy across various media platforms, delineated in a new survey by Pew Research Internet Project, is staggering.

Pew surveyed 607 American adults about their perceptions of their own data security (“security” being the word most closely associated with “privacy” in Americans’ minds for this study), and almost all (91%) of the respondents agreed that they felt a lack of control over what information is collected by the government and commercial entities. Combine this with the fact that nearly all survey respondents (95%) have heard at least “a little” or “a lot” about government surveillance programs, and that those who have heard “a lot” are more likely to feel concerned about sharing information. These data imply that awareness of the issue correlates with heightened insecurity about the status of one’s data. Although respondents said they felt most secure communicating over a landline, out of six communication technologies there wasn’t a single one that they considered “very secure” for sharing private information.

It is difficult to discern, however, whom American adults believe should be most responsible for ensuring data privacy. Two thirds (64%) thought the government should be more involved in protecting personal data, and nearly the same amount (61%) felt that they would like to put forth more effort in securing their own personal information.

It should be noted, though, that while the survey indicates overall concern and distrust about how information in online environments is used, very few respondents actually had a negative experience as a result of their data trail. Yet these results clearly demonstrate a need in the American community for more information on how to advocate for and ensure the privacy of personal data.

Find the full Pew report on Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era here.

And, are you looking for resources to help educate your patrons about internet privacy? Check out the Internet Privacy group on DigitalLearn.org.

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.

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

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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

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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.

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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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