Archive for the The Weekly Number Category

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

FF_Academic lib salariesOur newest Fast Facts report analyzes results from the 2012 American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salary Survey to better understand how academic librarians’ salaries in the West and Southwest (the region including Colorado) compare to other regions. The survey breaks down salaries by job category and institution type, and it covers positions that require an ALA-accredited MLIS/MLS and offer salaries of more than $22,000.

What did we find? University librarians in the West and Southwest earned higher average salaries in every job position in 2012. Directors and librarians who don’t supervise others earned more in average salary in the West and Southwest across all institution types. But two-year college librarians had challenges: middle management (managers and department heads) and deputy directors in the West and Southwest earned less than the average salaries in all regions.

Read more about the 2012 salary figures in our infographic and Fast Facts report, 2012 Academic Librarian Salaries: The West & Southwest Region Remains Competitive. And compare these figures with 2010 ALA-APA Salary Survey results in Fast Facts No. 297, 2010 Academic Librarian Salaries: West and Southwest Region Offers Competitive Pay.

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.

21% of Americans without health insurance do not use the internet

21% of Americans without health insurance do not use the internet

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Image Credit: Pew Research Center

On October 1, 2013, open enrollment began under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and approximately 2.8 million Americans visited Healthcare.gov to compare and apply for health coverage. For many, the online portal is the easiest and quickest way to accomplish these tasks and find related resources. Unfortunately, this option is not a viable one for the 15 percent of American adults who don’t use the internet for various reasons, as discussed in one of our recent Weekly Number posts. Furthermore, the Pew Research Center recently found that about 1 in 5 (21%) uninsured Americans don’t use the internet.

Forever devoted to the principle of equitable access, libraries are integral in ensuring that these offline parties are not denied the opportunity to obtain affordable health coverage. Those who do not use the internet due to lack of access will find it offered for free at the library, and those experiencing difficulty in navigating the internet might benefit from library programs aimed at teaching basic technology skills. Additionally, libraries across the country have taken special efforts to disseminate information about the ACA, and help interested parties obtain coverage. In Colorado, for example, interested parties can find a list of library presentations on the ACA throughout the state—and elsewhere—via the Connect for Health Colorado portal, or via individual libraries’ websites (e.g., the Denver Public Library’s “Affordable Care Act” page). At other libraries, such as the Waukegan Public Library in Illinois, patrons can “drop in” for bilingual group or one-on-one sessions with library staff to determine their eligibility for certain plans, compare prices, and apply for coverage. The passage of the ACA has afforded libraries another opportunity to demonstrate that they are receptive and responsive toward community needs, and they are surely up to the task.

Additional resources:

 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.

More than 3 out of 4 public libraries in the U.S. serve communities of less than 25,000 people

More than 3 out of 4 public libraries in the U.S. serve communities of less than 25,000 people

small_librariesImage credit: IMLS

What’s not surprising: rural and small libraries provide critical resources and serve as community anchors to populations of less than 25,000 and non-urban areas. What is surprising? That small and rural libraries make up more than 80 percent of U.S. libraries as of Fiscal Year 2011, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) brief, “The State of Small and Rural Libraries in the United States.” Across the country, more than 3 out of 4 public libraries serve communities of less than 25,000 people, and nearly half of all U.S. public libraries are in rural areas. The breakdown of “small” and “rural” in Colorado’s 114 public libraries follows fairly closely to national numbers: 54 percent of public libraries are rural while 76 percent are small, according to the IMLS data. (It is important to note that while most rural libraries are also small, not all small libraries are also rural. Get more details about these differences, as well as the breakdown of subcategories within these identifiers, in the full IMLS briefing.)

As might be expected, rural areas have more difficulty obtaining broadband access than their urban counterparts. However, rural libraries are working to ease this divide by increasing the number of public access computers (see the Colorado State Library’s BTOP project for an example of this), up more than 20 percent across 3 years (FY2009-FY2011). Across the same time period, small libraries have had a similar increase in the number of public access computers (18%). Interestingly, libraries serving communities of less than 25,000 provide 21.1 million e-books to their users, or 60 percent of all e-book holdings in the U.S.

And it’s not just technology: both rural and small libraries have seen increases in overall circulation and visitation from FY2009 to FY2011. In fact, visits per capita are higher at rural and small libraries—7.6 visits per year and 5.5 visits per year—than at their more urban and larger (serving 25,000+) counterparts at 5.7 visits per year and 4.5 visits per year, respectively.

Interested in showing how your small or rural library is making an impact? View your library’s annual statistics through our interactive tool, as well as state totals, averages, and ratios. And don’t forget other sources of public library data, such as the Public Library Funding and Technology Access study and the Public Library Data Service study, that also provide useful information.

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.

72% of online adults use social networking sites

72% of online adults use social networking sites

Pew_Adult Social Media Use

You suspected it, but here’s the proof: nearly three-quarters of online adults use social media, according to a May 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center. And more and more older adults are using them, too: adoption rates have jumped to 43 percent among those 65 and older.

So what does this mean for libraries? Meet your users where they are – in this case, on social networking sites. Preliminary data from an LRS study of public library websites and social media use suggest that libraries are getting there: almost 3 in 4 public libraries from our national sample were on Facebook and 2 in 5 were on Twitter. Stay tuned to LRS.org for final results from our biennial study. In the meantime, take a look at what we found in 2008 and 2010 on our page devoted to this study: http://www.lrs.org/data-tools/public-libraries/u-s-public-libraries-and-the-use-of-web-technologies/.

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.

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Retirement_school libsImage credit: Library Leadership & Management

A new study published in Library Leadership & Management dives into results from a national survey of current library workers regarding their retirement plans, particularly after the economic downturn. Analysis suggests that while more than one-fourth of respondents ages 50-59 and almost three-fourths of respondents in their 60s and 70s plan to retire in the next 5 years, close to half of all respondents said that the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job. For three-fourths of respondents, pay and health benefits were “very important” or “critical” factors in their decisions to keep working. As might be expected, those at school libraries were far more likely to leave the field or retire early than their public and academic library colleagues, perhaps alluding to the vulnerable status of school libraries.

Learn more about the changing library workforce here in Colorado at our webpage devoted to publications, presentations, and research on the topic.

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 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

nces

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.

Through the One Book 4 Colorado program, 74,000 copies of a new book were distributed to all 4-year-olds in Colorado

Through the One Book 4 Colorado program, 74,000 copies of a new book were distributed to all 4-year-olds in Colorado

ob4coIn May 2013, about 74,000 free copies of the book Duck on a Bike were distributed to 4-year-olds across Colorado during the second annual One Book 4 Colorado program (OB4CO), which aims to increase awareness of the importance of early-childhood reading. Parental response to the program was positive, as indicated by survey results. Seventy-five percent of parents responding to the survey claimed that they had read Duck on a Bike with their child multiple times. About half of the responding parents also agreed or strongly agreed that they spend more time reading with their child since participating in OB4CO. Additionally, about half of responding parents stated that their child is more interested in/talks more about books thanks to OB4CO.

A recent report by the Pew Research Center, Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading, addresses the use of libraries by families, and further examines parents’ perceptions of the importance of libraries in their children’s development. According to the report, 7 in 10 parents (70%) reported that their child had visited a library in the previous 12 months. Of the children who visited libraries, almost half (46%) attended a library event, such as the OB4CO’s giveaway. More importantly, more than 9 in 10 (94%) parents stated that libraries are important for their children, and 84 percent of these parents believe that “libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.”

Interested in learning more about early literacy and libraries? Check out our Fast Facts, “Early Literacy Information on Colorado Public Library Websites.” This report includes a link to early literacy resources that libraries can add to their websites.

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.

On average, each Colorado resident checked out 12 items from public libraries in 2012

On average, each Colorado resident checked out 12 items from public libraries in 2012

PLAR_circWe know that borrowing books is a very important service libraries provide – 80% of Americans say so. But how does this opinion translate into action? In Colorado last year, libraries circulated more than 66 million items, according to the 2012 Annual Public Library Survey. In other words, each Colorado resident checked out an average of 12 items in 2012, a figure that has generally increased each year since we started collecting these statistics in the late 1980s.

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.

Study shows that one library district’s return on investment to taxpayers was up to 400%

Study shows that one library district’s return on investment to taxpayers was up to 400%

roi

Image credit: Santa Clara County Library District

What value does your library provide to users? A recent return on investment (ROI) study of Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) examined how their community benefited from the library in 5 areas:

  • Enhancing early literacy and youth education
  • Promoting lifelong learning and personal growth
  • Building and bridging diverse communities
  • Providing access to information and technology for all
  • Supporting personal recreation and quality of life

The results showed  that in 2011-12, for every dollar that SCCLD spent, the community received between  $2.50 and $5.17 in quantifiable benefits (computers, programming and community events, materials, etc.). In other words, taxpayers received up to a 400% return on investment. Of course, many library features cannot be easily counted, so stakeholder interviews were also conducted to examine the intangible benefits that users received. A wide range of benefits were identified, including the following:

  • An efficient, environmentally-conscious way to provide shared resources
  • Opportunities for exploration, creativity, and expression
  • A gathering place for diverse communities throughout the library district
  • Individual and community benefits of personal health and wellness
  • Expert guidance in identifying reliable information sources  and the cultivation of information literacy

Are you trying to demonstrate the value of your library to stakeholders? Check out the study report for some ideas on documenting its quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits.

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.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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