Fast Facts Reports

Subscribe

Pop your email address into the form below, click submit, and we'll do the rest. You'll automatically be notified by email when Library Research Service publishes new Fast Facts reports.

Email:

2003

School Library Budgets Down in Colorado: Print Collections Suffer

The annual Colorado School Library Survey shows that annual operating expenditures in school libraries decreased in 2002. Expenditures per student benchmarks for the state were also down. This is a troubling trend in light of studies like Colorado’s How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards (2000) that have shown strong school libraries contribute measurably to student achievement.

Total operating expenditures for school libraries in Colorado for the years 1999-2002 are shown in Table 1 (see full report). Totals are extrapolated for the entire state by weighting survey respondent answers. The years 2000 and 2001 showed increases over 1999 expenditures at all but the high school level, but 2002 shows decreases at all levels almost back to the year 2000 totals.

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

Courier Service by Regional Systems Saves Libraries Millions of Dollars Annually Over Alternative Delivery Methods

From February 10-14, 2003, 30 Colorado libraries collected statistics on the numbers and types of items they sent to each other via the statewide courier service managed by the Central Colorado Library System and funded by all seven of the state’s Regional Library Service Systems. The data collected were specifically for items sent—not received—via the courier, as any alternative to this mechanism for facilitating resource sharing—the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx—would be a cost to be borne by the sender, not the recipient.

Highlights

  • Via the library courier system, academic and public libraries alone move an estimated 3.3 million items annually.
  • The additional costs of comparable alternative delivery options (US Postal Service, UPS) range from $1.4 to $2.1 million annually.
  • These are delivery charges alone. They do not include other requisite costs, such as labor, packing materials and other supplies, and storage.

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

No Increase in Number of School Librarians in Colorado

Results from the 2002 Colorado School Library Survey show no increase in the number of endorsed school librarians serving Colorado children. This is disappointing in light of the study How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards (Colorado, 2000) which found that strong school libraries staffed by endorsed and licensed school librarians contribute to measurable improvement in student achievement.

The 2002 survey did have good news about how school library staff is spending time. An important finding from the above-mentioned study was that test scores rise when school librarians and teachers work together. This year’s survey shows that school library staff are working collaboratively with classroom teachers and administrators at all grade levels.

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

Older Patrons Rely on Internet Access & Technology Assistance Provided by Colorado Public Libraries

Public libraries are striving to meet the growing technical needs of Colorado pensioners. Providing opportunities for equal participation of all citizens in the information society decreases the disadvantages in day-to-day uses (i.e., online banking, news, government and medical information) that technology “have-nots” face. Sometimes referred to as a “gulf” rather than a “divide” when it comes to residents 55 and older, these seasoned thinkers are taking advantage of equipment and technical support available in public libraries.

  • Colorado’s older patrons rely on Internet access through public library terminals more than any other age group. Half (50%) of respondents age 55 and older indicated having no other Internet access.
  • Over half of the patrons 55 and older (53%) use public library terminals to access the Internet more than once a week.
  • People 55 and older are least likely to teach themselves new technology skills at library computers. They are more likely to learn new skills with staff assistance and through library courses than any other age group.

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

Public Libraries and Adult Literacy

Adult literacy levels correlate to employment and wages. The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) done in 1992 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that literacy proficiency is strongly related to levels of formal schooling. In general, literacy proficiency is lowest for individuals who have not graduated from high school rising to highest for individuals with postsecondary schooling. Individuals with higher literacy levels are more likely to be employed, work more weeks in a year, and earn higher wages than those with lower literacy levels.

The United States 2000 Census found that 13 percent of the Colorado population 25 years of age and older had not graduated from high school. This is an improvement over 1990 when the census found that 15.6 percent of people age 25 and over living in Colorado had not finished high school, but still represents a large number of adults (see Table 1 in full report).

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

Kids & Computers

The ““digital divide”” is a social phenomenon created by the social obstacles that limit access to computer technology and digital resources. Providing access to this technology and these resources are important parts of public library service in the 21st century.

In March 2002, the Library Research Service conducted a survey of users of Internet computers in Colorado public libraries. Of 1,856 responding public library Internet users from throughout the state, 164 were younger than 18. We found that young people are engaged in wide and frequent use of this technology; that they often serve as teachers of technology skills to adults and peers; and that public libraries help to bridge the “”digital divide”” for Colorado’’s youth.

Highlights
Colorado library patrons younger than 18 indicated that…

  • 15 percent of kids who use library Internet computers report no other access to the Internet.
  • Over three-quarters of these young Internet users were visiting libraries because of the access to technology.

Colorado library Internet users older than 18 indicated that…

  • In many instances, kids were their primary source of learning new technology skills.

Click the Download Report button at right to continue reading this Fast Facts.

Page 2 of 212

POPULAR RESOURCES

  • 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.

LIBRARYJOBLINE

See more @ LibraryJobline.org

ABOUT

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