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:

Projected Job Openings in Colorado Libraries

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) projects growth in jobs available in libraries in the coming years. Annual growth in librarian positions in the state is expected to be 1.9 percent, in library assistant positions, 2.8 percent, and for library technicians, 3.2 percent. (Definitions of these terms can be found on page 2 of the full report.) The number of openings in libraries is smaller in number than in some other types of employment, but the annual percentage change is promising for job-seekers in libraries. Expected openings due to replacement needs are higher than openings due to growth, except for library technicians. This suggests current librarians are reaching retirement age and will need to be replaced. See Table 1 in the full report for a summary of these findings compared to growth projected for other professions and jobs with similar requirements. While these projections do not take into account the recent economic downturn, there is not yet any reason to expect the relative positions of these occupations to be dramatically different.

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

Colorado Library Districts Thrive While Other Public Library Types Face Big Cuts

Major fiscal changes affected the state’s public libraries in 2002, primarily for the worse, as the impact of last summer’s line-item vetoes and the continuing downturn in state and local budgets left many scrambling for dollars.

For the lucky public libraries which are library districts, however, things don’t seem so dire. In fact, for calendar year 2002, library districts actually significantly increased their per capita funding from 2001. Median local income per capita for library districts jumped nearly 50 percent, with mean per capita income rising more than 20 percent.

In contrast, non-district public libraries have seen their local revenues stagnate or drop during the same period (see Chart 1 in full report). As a result, the average library district is now collecting nearly $18.00 per person more than its non-district counterpart. The mean local income per capita for library districts in 2002 rose to $44.47, while non-district library jurisdictions fell slightly to $26.69. Put another way, public library districts are supported by 67 percent more funding than their non-district cousins.

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

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.

One Out of Four Colorado Public Schools Has No Librarian

The latest data on libraries in Colorado public schools indicates that endorsed, professionally-trained school librarians are not available to students in all schools.

  • More than 25 percent of the state’s public schools have no librarian at all.
  • The shortage of school librarians is especially acute in elementary and combined schools. Almost 30 percent of elementary schools and almost 40 percent of combined schools (e.g., junior/senior highs, K-12 schools) report no librarian.

The numbers are even higher for schools with librarians on only a part-time basis (less than 20 or 30 hours per week).

  • One-third of all schools are staffed with librarians less than 20 hours per week, and over 36 percent, less than 30 hours per week.
  • Of elementary schools, more than 37 percent have librarians on staff less than 20 hours per week, and over 39 percent, less than 30 hours per week.
  • The majority of combined schools have no or only part-time librarians. More than half report librarian staffing of less than 20 hours per week, and almost 58 percent, less than 30 hours per week.

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

Half of Colorado School Library Books More Than 15 Years Old

A lot has happened in the world since 1986:

  • DNA was first used to convict criminals (1987).
  • Pan Am flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland (1988).
  • The Berlin Wall fell (1989).
  • Lech Walesa became President of Poland, Nelson Mandela was freed, and Iraq invaded Kuwait (1990).
  • The Soviet Union collapsed (1991).
  • Riots in Los Angeles followed the Rodney King verdict (1992).
  • The World Trade Center was bombed—the first time (1993).
  • The Channel Tunnel linked Britain and Europe (1994).
  • The Oklahoma City federal building was bombed (1995).
  • Mad Cow disease hit Britain (1996).
  • A sheep was cloned (1997).
  • President Clinton was impeached (1998).
  • Throughout much of the European Community, the Euro became the new currency (1999).
  • Every personal computer in the world did not crash due to the dreaded “Y2K bug” (2000).

What do these events have in common besides happening since 1986? Public school students will not learn about them from half of the books in Colorado school libraries. Why? Because those books have copyright dates of 1986 or earlier. (In other words, 1986 is the median for average copyright year.) The average copyright date for school library books is 1987.

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

Page 14 of 22« First...1213141516...20...Last »

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