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:

Stronger High School Libraries–Especially Those with More Extensive Networks and Licensed Databases–Linked to Higher CSAP Scores

In 2000, How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards: The Second Colorado Study identified characteristics of library media programs associated with higher levels of academic achievement for elementary and middle school students. That report did not address the impact of libraries on high school students because test score data for those grades were not yet available.

Now that test scores for grades 9 through 11 are available, characteristics of successful library media programs at the high school level can be identified.

Highlights

  • Colorado high school students with stronger library media programs tend to score better on assessments.
  • More successful high schools invest two to three times as much in their library media programs as less successful ones, particularly in networking and resource sharing activities that foster information literacy.

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

Job Outlook for Library Paraprofessionals in Colorado

How many jobs are there for paraprofessionals in public, school, and academic libraries in Colorado? What does the outlook for their employment look like for the rest of this decade? Data available from the Library Research Service (LRS) and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) help to answer these questions. According to the LRS’’s 2000 data files, all posted— or at http://www.LRS.org:

  • Colorado public libraries employ at least 307 and as many as 1,868 “”paraprofessionals.”” This particular sector of the library community demonstrates how difficult it can be to define and count people in this category of employment. Of those with the rank or title of librarian, 307 do not have master’’s degrees in library science (MLS) accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). In addition, public libraries reported a total of 1,561 “”other”” staff. This category includes library assistants and technicians, pages and shelvers, and miscellaneous other staff. It may also include some professionals or “”paraprofessionals”” in other fields such as human resources, marketing, and technology. These two categories together——non-MLS librarians and other staff——total 1,868.
  • The state’’s academic libraries reported 521 “”other”” staff (i.e., not librarians, contributed staff, or student assistants).
  • Colorado school libraries reported 1,130 FTEs of library aides.

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

Librarians, Teachers, & Principals Agree: “Power Libraries” Lead to Higher Student Test Scores

Since 1998, selected Colorado school library media programs have been paired to encourage their mutual development. School library media specialists with “high performance” LM programs mentor “mini-grant” (or developing) schools. These LM staff, classroom teachers, and principals have made commitments to the improvement of their own LM programs. The high performance schools, in turn, take a fresh look at their own programs and recommit themselves to the support of those programs.

Recently, the Colorado State Library surveyed library media specialists (LMSs), classroom teachers, and principals at both high-performance and mini-grant schools to assess the impact of this program. While the samples are small, the message from the respondents is resounding. Librarians, teachers, and principals agree that Power Libraries in schools lead to higher student test scores.

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

Growth in School Librarian Positions Fails to Keep Pace with Growth in Teacher Positions, 1993-98

From 1993 to 1998, growth in the number of school librarian positions failed to keep pace with growth in the number of classroom teacher positions. This was true at both the state and national levels, although the situation was more extreme for Colorado than the nation. This trend is an issue for concern because research has shown that professionally-staffed library media programs have a significant positive effect on academic achievement of students, as measured by standards-based tests like the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).

Throughout the U.S., between 1993 and 1998, the number of school librarian positions grew a scant 3.3 percent. At the same time, the number of classroom teachers nationwide grew by 10 percent——more than three times the growth rate for librarian positions (see Chart 1 in full report).

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

GUI Grants Make a Dent in the Digital Divide

If you are from the metro area, broadband (high-speed) Internet access is probably a given in your local library. In fact, you probably don’t think twice about web pages downloading quickly and having access to sound and video over the net. Unfortunately, in rural areas, this is often not the case. Exorbitant costs, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and lack of vendors have made it difficult, if not impossible, for some rural communities to get broadband Internet access.

Since implementation of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) grant, a $250,000 two-year LSTA grant, 57 public and school libraries that lacked Internet access, or only had dial up, now have some form of broadband Internet access. The GUI grants helped to purchase computers and to offset telecommunications costs by paying for first-time installations and one year of Internet access fees for libraries receiving GUI grants.

What were the far-reaching effects of these grants? Has improved Internet access made a difference to those libraries receiving GUI grants?

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

The Status of Salaries for School Library Media Specialists & Aides in Colorado, 1999

In 1999, the median salary for a full-time endorsed school library media specialist in Colorado was $35,750. This salary is on a par with what the state recommended for housekeeping supervisors and plumbing inspectors.

Half of these LM specialists earned between $28,900 and $41,900. At the low end, this salary range is comparable to state-recommended pay for traffic signal technicians and lottery sales representatives. At the high end, this pay level is comparable to recommended pay for food service managers.

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

The Status of Library Media Center Staffing and its Effect on Student Achievement

The study How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards found that school library media centers are instrumental in students’ academic achievement, including getting higher CSAP scores. In addition to the library media center’s collection and funding, key factors impacting student performance include adequate staffing of library media centers and the professional role of the endorsed library media specialist as an educator and leader.

Highlights

  • More than 1 in 3 public schools have either no library media specialist or one who works less than half-time. For elementary schools, that proportion is 2 out of 5.
  • Statistics from 2000 indicate a trend to staff LM centers with the equivalent of 1 full-time person, moving away from more than 1, as well as less than 1 full-time equivalent.
  • Almost 1 in 5 public schools is staffed by less than 1 full-time LM center employee. In addition, close to a quarter of elementary schools have less than 40 hours a week of such staffing.
  • The total LM center staff-to-student ratio dropped 24 percent in the last six years from 5 per 1,000 students in 1994 to 3.8 in 2000. However, LMS-to-student ratios remained relatively stable, going from 1.4 in 1994 to 1.7 in 2000.
  • Fewer LM center staff can mean that library media specialists are spending less time in the role of teachers and leaders, and as reported in How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards, this can adversely affect student academic achievement and ultimately lower CSAP scores.

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

Library Media Center Collections Suffer as Print Spending Drops

Over the past three years, school library media center spending on print materials (defined as all types of books) per student dropped 10 percent from an average of $12.90 in 1997 to $11.64 in 2000. Elementary schools experienced the biggest cut in expenditures with a 28 percent drop – taking their spending from the most per student to the least per student based on school level.

Highlights

  • From 1997 to 2000, library media center spending on print materials per student decreased by 10 percent, while book costs during the same period increased by 12 percent.
  • Extrapolating from the findings of the study, How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards, a decrease in spending on print collections can adversely impact students’ academic achievement and as a result lower test scores.
  • For all school levels combined, the ratio of print volumes per student increased 14 percent from 1997 to 2000.
  • Middle schools had the greatest increase in the ratio of volumes per student with a rise of 18 percent from 17 volumes per student to 20.

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

Future Trends in Pricing for Library Materials

For each person in your community, how much income does your public library earn? In Colorado the average local income per capita for public libraries in 1999 was $29.67. Now think how much an average hardcover book costs and how it will change between now and 2004. The 45th edition of the Bowker Annual reported the average retail price of a hardback book in 1997 as $34.57. You needed more than $100 per customer in income to buy 3 books at 1997 retail prices.

Of course, public libraries pay jobber prices for materials, not retail. The Public Library Price Index in the 2000 Bowker Annual lists jobber hardcover prices in 1997 as $14.43, trade paperback at $8.54 and mass market at $3.55. We took these jobber prices for all library materials and charted a trend line over 5 years using an exponential formula to forecast pricing for the next 6 years. Chart 1 (see full report) shows hardcover prices in 1998 at $14.35. By 2004, we can expect an average hardcover jobber price of $16.20 for a 13 percent increase.

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

Availability of Public Access Internet Computers in U.S. Public Libraries by State and Size of Jurisdiction, 1999

How many computers does a public library need to provide equitable public access to the Internet?

There are a lot of ways to go about answering this question. One strategy is to consider the typical number of such computers found in libraries of different sizes and in different parts of the nation. To account for the enormous variation in the size of public library jurisdictions, it is also helpful to adjust for that factor by looking at the ratio of computers to a certain level of population—let’s say, 5,000 people.

Highlights

  • The average number of public access Internet computers per 5,000 served rises as size of jurisdiction drops: for 25,000 and higher, one; for 5,000 to 25,000, two; and for less than 5,000, three.
  • States reporting the most public access Internet computers per 5,000 served are: Wisconsin (4.6), Minnesota and Colorado (both 4.0).
  • States reporting the fewest such computers per 5,000 served are: Arkansas and Hawaii (both 0.8), South Carolina (0.7),  Connecticut (0.4).

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

Page 16 of 22« First...10...1415161718...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