Archive for the Web 2.0 Category

New Pew study finds that 57% of today’s teens have made a new friend online


If the younger generation is any indication of how people will live, work, and interact in the future, today’s teens are media omnivores who will set new standards for social communication. In a new study from the Pew Research Center that takes a look at how friendships are formed and maintained in the digital age, it was found that teens are more likely to text message with friends everyday (55%) than interact with them in person every day (25%). The results, obtained from a national survey and in-person focus groups of 13 to 17 year olds, also found that other popular communication methods include talking on the phone, instant messaging, social media, video chat, video games, and messaging apps.

Teens are also not only keeping in touch with established friends online, but are also making new friends. More than half (57%) of teens have made at least one new friend online. However, it is also likely that these friendships will remain exclusively online. The most popular forums for teens to meet and socialize online are social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as playing networked video games. Girls are more likely to meet friends through social networks than boys (78% vs. 52% of boys), and boys are much more likely to meet through online video games (57% vs. 13% of girls).

Despite parental concerns, teens are meeting up in online environments more and more. Of all of the top places where teens get together with close friends, online environments are now the third most common (with 55% of teens saying they spend time with friends regularly online). It is still unclear whether these online interactions have an overall positive or negative impact. More than four-fifths (83%) of teens say that social media helps them to feel more connected to friends’ lives, but some teens do experience negative consequences such as pressure to make themselves look better, having friends that start drama online, and others posting exclusionary or negative comments.

If libraries are to remain vibrant places for teens to gather and interact in the future, they will need to consider ways in which they can harness the fluid and quickly changing social dynamics of this demographic.

You can access the full report on “Teens, Technology & Friendships” here.

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.

Join us at the Pueblo CLiC Workshops!


LRS staff will be partnering with staff from public and academic libraries as well as CLiC to present at 2 sessions at the CLiC workshops in Pueblo:

Colorado Library Websites and Social Media: What’s #Trending Now?
Monday, April 6, 9:30-10:45
Linda Hofschire & Dave Hodgins, Colorado State Library; Midori Clark, Pueblo City-County Library District; Cathalina Fontenelle & Vivienne Houghton, CU Health Sciences Library
Room: Ballroom Central

Facebook, Instagram, mobile design, virtual reference…Website features and social media choices abound for today’s libraries, but are you curious about how your library compares to the rest of the Colorado academic and public library community? Come to this session to learn about Library Research Service’s (LRS) biennial study where we’ve analyzed every—yes, every!—Colorado public library website for features that enable interactivity with patrons or enhance usability. New for 2014, we added all of Colorado’s academic libraries to the mix. We’ll share the highlights of our latest findings and major trends we’ve found since we kicked off the study in 2008. And there’s more! Staff from Pueblo City-County Library District and CU Health Sciences Library will share their website design and social media strategies, best practices, and lessons learned so you can go back to your library armed with the data and tools you need to bring your website and social media into the 21st century.

Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? Community Needs Assessment 101

Monday, April 6, 1:15-2:30
Linda Hofschire & Meghan Wanucha, Library Research Service; Kellie Cannon, Denver Public Library; and Elizabeth Kelsen Huber, CLiC
Room: ASG Chambers

Who does your public library serve? What challenges do they face? What are their needs and interests? What existing resources—such as nonprofits and government agencies—support your community? Join us to learn how to gather this information and use it to target and tailor library resources and services. We’ll cover approaches ranging from analyzing demographic data and surveying your community to more outside-the-box methods. And, we’ll feature homegrown examples like the Douglas County Libraries Community Reference Project, which embeds librarians in local organizations to learn about the needs and goals of their community, and the Denver Public Library’s Teen Asset Mapping Project, which used interviews with community organizations to discover existing resources for Denver teens and how to refine its services to fit into that landscape.

We hope to see you in Pueblo!

Student Monitor survey finds that 64% of college students are satisfied with their campus libraries


Survey results from a in a semiannual study conducted by market-research firm Student Monitor show nearly two-thirds of 1,200 college students surveyed were satisfied with their libraries on campus, with more than a third (35%) saying they were “very satisfied.” Upperclassmen, females, and students who lived on campus reported higher satisfaction levels than their younger, male, and off-campus colleagues.

Almost all (92%) of this group of college students also said they prefer doing research in digital format, but a solid chunk (about 40% depending on the activity) still prefer print when reading, studying, or taking notes for class. About a quarter (26%) said they’ve purchased an e-textbook, and just 10% ever used an e-textbook in high school. Just over 1 in 4 (26%) used Twitter while a whopping 90% used Facebook and 64% used Instagram.

The researchers asked students to rate their experiences with various aspects of college life, including the computer lab, bookstore, dining services, housing, financial aid, and more. As part of a semiannual study, the results also show ratings over time, from fall to spring semester. According to a managing partner from Student Monitor, libraries consistently rise to the top of the value ratings while housing, textbook costs, and campus dining tend to fall to the bottom.

Read more about this study via Library Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education. For more context, check out our previous coverage of Pew’s research on young Americans’ perceptions of public libraries.

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

Pew_Social Media 2014

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.


Three-fourths of academic libraries use social media


The 2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, an annual publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), examines services, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries at accredited colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, 1,495 academic libraries participated in this survey.

We were particularly interested to note the social media use portion of the survey, which shows that about 3 in 4 (76%) academic libraries reported using social media. To break this down a bit further, let’s look at the numbers by type of degree granted by the library’s institution: 91% of doctorate, 83% master’s, 76% bachelor’s, and 60% associate’s degree granting institutions use social media of some kind. The top 3 outlets? Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. Wikis, RSS feeds, and IM were also quite popular at doctorate-granting institutions, although much less so at the other types of institutions.

Libraries were also asked about the purpose of using social media and, as you might expect, promotion of library services, events marketing, and community building were the top choices. Institutions also used social media to communicate with patrons, both about problems (like database downtime) and to gather feedback or suggestions more broadly.

The full 2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics report is available for purchase in print or online via ACRL Metrics. You can learn more about social media and libraries—here in Colorado and across the country—by perusing our biennial study on public libraries and 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.


2013 Digital Inclusion Survey results coming soon

Blog_2013 Digital Inclusion Survey

Image credit: Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland

The first Digital Inclusion Survey—conducted by the ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland—captured public library services related to digital literacy, economic and workforce development, education, health information, and internet access. Its overall goal is to highlight the role public libraries play in building “digitally inclusive communities.” (If this sounds familiar, the Digital Inclusion Survey picked up the reins from the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey, or PLFTAS.)

The 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey closed late last year, and researchers hope to release their national data report during ALA’s Annual Conference in a few weeks. In the meantime, we are having a blast playing around with the national interactive map. It combines demographic, economic, and health data from the American Community Survey and select Digital Inclusion Survey results to illustrate what libraries offer their communities and general attributes of those communities as well. Even better: iPAC is adding features to allow users to print pieces of this excellent tool. And if you’re looking for more help to tell the story of your 21st-century library, check out the issue briefs and map visualizations.

We’re looking forward to seeing the final results from this new survey!

LRS research featured in ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report


LRS’s biennial study on public library web sites and social media use (“Web Tech”) is featured in ALA’s recently released 2014 State of America’s Libraries report. This report presents a comprehensive summary of current library news and trends, including coverage of hot topics such as libraries and community engagement, ebooks and copyright issues, and social networking, where the Web Tech study is highlighted.

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


64% of U.S. Facebook users visit the site daily


Image credit: Pew Internet

Facebook turned 10 earlier this year and Pew did a quick survey to make note of new facts regarding the social media behemoth. First off, Facebook is comfortably king: 57% of all adults use the site, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of them using the site daily.

What is it about Facebook that keeps us coming back? Just under half (47%) say photos and videos from friends and being able to share with many people simultaneously (46%) are major reasons for using the site. At the same time, Facebook users are clear about what they don’t like about the site: More than a third (36%) of users cite oversharing and others posting personal information without permission as strong dislikes.

What are people doing on Facebook? Many “like” content posted by friends, with 44% doing so at least once a day and 29% several times a day. Commenting on photos is also popular, with 31% doing so at least once a day and 15% several times a day. At the same time, a quarter of Facebook users never update their own status, while 1 in 10 update daily.

How are libraries reacting to Facebook’s overwhelming popularity with their users? Learn more with our national, longitudinal study on public libraries and social media use and our U.S. and Colorado infographics on our most recent results.

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


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.

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


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., “”) 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.

Page 1 of 3123


  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.


See more @


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).

Staff & Contact Info