Technology

Library Media Specialists & Technology Linked to Higher CSAP Test Scores

In 1997, Colorado fourth graders were the state’s first public schoolchildren to be tested on reading via the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP). Average test scores for a stratified and weighted random sample of 67 (seven percent) of Colorado’s 908 elementary schools were combined with data about their library media programs to answer the following questions:

Are students likely to earn higher reading scores if:

  • their schools have state-endorsed library media specialists?
  • their school library media specialists are supported by aides?
  • their library media specialists play a vital instructional role, complementing the work of classroom teachers?

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Coloradans–and Colorado Public Libraries–Top National Internet Norms

Recent state and national surveys indicate that Coloradans—and Colorado public libraries—meet or exceed several national norms regarding the Internet. Coloradans are 38 percent more likely to be regular Internet users. Nationwide, 34 percent of American adults use the Internet on at least a monthly basis, but 47 percent of Colorado adults do so. Similarly, the state’s public libraries are 22 percent more likely than libraries nationwide to provide Internet access. Sixty percent of U.S. public libraries provide Internet access, compared with 73 percent in Colorado.

Colorado public libraries enjoy this distinction whether they are in urban (i.e., metropolitan) or rural (i.e., non-metropolitan) areas (see table in full report).

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ACLIN & Internet Services in Colorado Public Libraries, 1997

While many still think of libraries primarily as warehouses for books, almost all of Colorado’s public libraries now provide electronic access to information. The two primary channels of such access are ACLIN, the Access Colorado Library and Information Network, and the global Internet. ACLIN includes OVER 230 library catalogs and other informational databases.

Electronic Access to Information
The most ubiquitous form of electronic access to information in Colorado public libraries is to ACLIN. All Coloradans living in public library service areas of 5,000 or more can consult ACLIN at their libraries. The overwhelming majority of the state’s smallest public libraries also provide ACLIN access.

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Technology in School Library Media Centers in Colorado 1997

A first look at 1997 data on school library media centers in Colorado reveals some new insights about the role of technology in Colorado’s school library media programs.

From 1994 to 1997, the number of library media centers (LMCs) making various technologies available to their clients—both teachers and students—increased dramatically.

Highlights:

  • Since 1994, Internet access for students has more than tripled. While only 1 in 6 LMCs provided Internet access for students in 1994, 7 out of 10 provide such access today. While 1 in 5 teachers could access the Internet via their LMC in 1994, 3 out of 4 teachers have such access today. And, practically all of these LMCs provide access to the World Wide Web.
  • In 1994, only 2 out of 5 LMCs provided access to the Access Colorado Library and Information Network (ACLIN). Today, 2 out of 3 LMCs provide such access.

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Electronic Services in Academic Libraries, Colorado & U.S., Fall 1996

For the first time, in Fall 1996, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Library Survey included questions about electronic services in academic libraries. In addition to such familiar services as the library catalog, online databases, and—more recently—Internet access, these libraries now offer a wide variety of additional electronic services, such as electronic full-text of periodical articles, interlibrary loan/document delivery services, and e-mail reference service. The prevalence of these service varies, however, among university, college, and community college libraries. It also varies frequently between Colorado institutions and their peers nationwide.

Catalogs of Library Holdings
Virtually all academic libraries in Colorado and their peers nationwide provide electronic catalogs of their holdings for use in the library. Virtually all university libraries and the majority of college and community college libraries also provide remote access to these catalogs both on campus and beyond.

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Librarian Internet Use Survey Results

In 1995, the High Plains Regional Library Service System administered an Internet Training and Use Grant for Colorado librarians. The goal of the project was to provide librarians without previous Internet experience with a cost-free, short-term account on Colorado SuperNet. Two years later, the Library Research Service conducted a survey of the grant participants to assess their present Internet usage, effectiveness of their initial and ongoing training, and the overall impact on their professional relationships with their patrons.

Surveys were sent to 184 grant recipients in early May 1997; 70 percent returned a completed survey. Eighty-six percent of the respondents continue to use the Internet. Of the 14 percent who no longer subscribe to the Internet, the main reasons given for not continuing the accounts were high Internet costs and not having enough time or help to become proficient in its use after initial training.

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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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