News

Job posts on Library Jobline were viewed more than 423,000 times in 2013

Jobline2014

In our yearly tradition, our newest Fast Facts reviews the past year of Library Jobline, our popular library jobs posting website. We investigate the kinds of jobs that are posted, what skills are required, and how 2013 was in the larger trends of the library job market. Here’s what we found:

In 2013, 431 jobs were posted on Library Jobline. That’s up almost 90% from 2009, the bottom of the job posting curve thanks to the latest recession. But we’ve not yet recovered completely: 523 jobs were posted in 2007, the first year of the service.

Average starting wages for postings not requiring an MLIS/MLS degree have increased more than 20% since 2007, more than starting wages for postings preferring (up 16%) or requiring (up just 4%) the degree. In fact, the average starting wage for positions requiring an MLIS in 2013 was $22.25 while postings preferring the degree had an average starting wage of $22.08—a difference of just 17 cents an hour.

Another interesting trend is how MLIS degree requirements have shifted since 2007. While other skills requirements, such as library experience or language skills, haven’t shifted much since the service began—within 5 percentage points—the degree requirements have changed quite a bit. In 2007, 35% of job posts that indicated a preference said the MLIS degree was required. In 2013, that figure fell to 18%. This hasn’t been mirrored by the percentage of posts that prefer the degree: In 2007, 12% preferred a library degree; in 2013, 15% did.

Learn more about Library Jobline and last year’s job postings through our new Fast Facts, available here. In the job market yourself? Sign up as a job seeker for to receive personalized job announcements. Responsible for hiring at your library? Join the nearly 750 employers and post jobs that are consistently viewed more than 1,000 times. And get even more job announcements, tips, and strategies by following @libraryjobline.

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.

62% of Millennials agree there is a lot of important, useful information not available online

millennials&PLs

Image credit: Pew Internet Project

The Pew Research Internet & American Life Project continues its deep dive into public libraries, and recently released a comprehensive study of young Americans younger than 30 (i.e., Millennials) that examines their attitudes toward and engagement with public libraries. Fittingly for Millennials, the findings were pretty complex. Pew indicated that there are significant differences in the use and perception of public libraries among those aged 16-29, so much so that they distinguished three separate “generations” among this group.

Among the 6,224 Americans aged 16 + that Pew surveyed, one commonality among Millennials they did find was that reading is still a very important activity among the younger generation, and they remain active users of their local public libraries. In fact, Millennials are more likely to have read a book in the past year than their older counterparts (88% compared to 79%), and more likely than those older than 30 to agree that there is useful, important information not available on the internet (62% compared to 53%).

These findings all seem promising, but there are a couple of clear ways that Millennials diverge significantly from the older population. Although library use appears to be steady for the younger generation, the nature of that engagement might be shifting. While the percentage of 16-29-year-olds who visited a public library in person dropped from 2012 to 2013 (from 58% to 50%), the percentage of that same population who visited a library’s website increased by almost the same amount (from 28% to 36%). Also, while the youngest group of Millennials (ages 16-17) were the most likely to use the library on a regular basis, they were also the most likely to say that libraries were not very important to themselves, their family, or their community.

So even as libraries remain important centers for information and learning among the young, how that information is accessed and perceived seems to be in a state of transition.

You can find the full Pew Report 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.

160 billion words read in one year via Scribd’s ebook subscription service

Scribd

Image credit: Scribd

The book subscription service Scribd recently released some brief stats about its service usage as it nears its one year anniversary. While the results are limited to Scribd’s service alone, it captures a snapshot of reading behavior and choices of its readers over the past year. Romance, Mind, Body, & Spirit, and Business were the top book genres begun by readers; the top finished genres were Romance, Fiction, and Kids & YA. The top book was Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and the most highlighted sentence was from that work as well.

For us, the most interesting aspect of this report is the infographic. It’s a nice example of using data effectively to talk about usage and services—and even staffing—without simply rattling off large numbers. For example, all the books in Scribd’s Library stacked up would surpass the top of Mt. Everest—a bit more powerful way to talk about a collection than quoting an overall number of books. This basic idea is behind our own Quotable Facts: making data and numbers more approachable for anyone.

Looking to use numbers to tell an impactful story about your library? Want to turn your annual report into an effective marketing tool? Join us at our CAL session next month, If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It! Tell Your Library’s Story with a Data-Based Elevator Speech, on Friday, October 17 from 3-4:45pm. At this interactive and discussion-rich session, you’ll get the inside scoop on how to talk up your library’s numbers to potential stakeholders, use stats and stories to show value, and develop a powerful elevator speech.

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.

Colorado’s public libraries report 29 challenges in 2013

2013 PLAR challenges

Each year, LRS reviews the Public Library Annual Report for information specifically about challenges: How many items were challenged, reasons for the challenges, and what happened as a result of the challenges. In our newest Fast Facts, we take a deeper look into the results as a snapshot of intellectual freedom issues in Colorado for 2013.

What’s the verdict? After a peak of 87 in 2004, overall numbers of challenges have gradually decreased, reaching a 10-year low of just 29 challenges in 2013. As for the challenges themselves, most attributes have held fairly steady over time. For the past 5 years, the most common action taken after a challenge is filed is no action at all—items aren’t moved or reclassified, simply left as is—presumably after library staff provide additional information on collection development policies. Top reasons for challenges have typically included “sexually explicit,” “unsuited to age group,” and “violence.” Books continue to be the most common format of challenged items, while video has consistently held second place for the past 5 years.

However, one shift in the nature of public library challenges is the intended audience of the challenged materials—adults, young adults, or children. Adults have consistently held the No. 1 spot as the intended audience for challenged materials, but No. 2 has gradually shifted from children to young adult. In fact, in 2013 young adults were the intended audience of 29% of challenges with a specified audience—up nearly 180% from 2012.

Check out other trends from 2013’s public library trends in the full Fast Facts report. Did your library have any challenges last year?

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.

Research Institute for Public Libraries – Summer 2015

ripl

Are you…

… a public librarian, administrator, or other staff interested in getting started using data for savvy and strategic planning?

… looking for both inspiration and instruction in a hands-on, participatory environment?

… seeking to learn about outcomes and how to measure library impact?

… committed to leading your organization in making data-based decisions?

…eager to develop a peer network  to support your research and evaluation efforts?

The Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) will bring together people from across the country (rural, suburban, and urban public libraries) in a sequestered environment in Colorado Springs, Colorado for intensive, experiential learning. From July 27-30, 2015, participants will learn in hands-on workshops topics such as:

  • designing outcome-based evaluation of programs and services
  • assessing the needs of your community
  • techniques for tracking public library data and using these data for planning, management, and proving worth to your community
  • using data and stories to demonstrate library impact
  • aligning research efforts with national initiatives such as Edge Benchmarks and the Impact Survey

 Mark your calendar!

 Enrollment opens January 5, 2015 –and only 75 participants will take part in this immersive learning experience.

If your organization would like to be a sponsor, please see http://ripl.lrs.org/docs/RIPL_Sponsorship_Levels.pdf

Want to connect with others who are interested in public library research and evaluation? Join PL-EVAL, a new listserv where you can ask questions, share ideas, and learn from experiences across the field.

 This event is hosted by the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Consortium. Questions? Please contact ripl.publib@gmail.com

 

Makerspaces in Libraries

maker

Image credit: Anythink Libraries

This week, we’re taking a break from the Weekly Number to highlight our other blog series, “Beyond Books.”

In our last Beyond Books post, we mentioned Denver Public Library’s ideaLAB, a space for teens to make and play with all things digital media. A small survey released last year shows makerspaces are becoming a solid programming choice for libraries, with 41% of respondents currently offering maker activities and 36% planning to start in the near future. Here are just a few that have caught our eye recently:

  • The Studio – Anythink Wright Farms, Colorado
  • Bad art – alt+library by the Sacramento Public Library, California
  • Hand-Made – programs inspired by crafty items in library’s collection, New York Public Library, New York
  • The Bubbler – programs on making/crafting/writing, etc., Madison Public Library, Wisconsin
  • MACH, a space for makers, artists, crafters, and hackers – Phoenix Public Library, Arizona

Want to get into making at your library? Check out the State Library’s resources on Library Creation & Learning Centers here: http://create.coloradovirtuallibrary.org/. And share your favorite makerspaces with us on Twitter!

Note: This post is part of our “Beyond Books” series. From time to time, we’ll be sharing examples of unique lending programs, events, and outreach that libraries are offering.

1998: Average copyright date of technology books (600s section in Dewey Decimal System) in Colorado’s public school libraries

dewey

These days, it is not uncommon for children to be adept at using the Internet, cellular phones, and/or digital cameras. They might be hard-pressed, however, to find literature in their school libraries that adequately discusses the modern-day use and significance of these technological advancements. Based on results from the 2013-14 Colorado School Library Survey, the average copyright for books that fall in the 600 range (technology) of the Dewey Decimal System in Colorado public school libraries is 1998—when the Internet was a relatively new concept in most households, cellular phones were a luxury item enjoyed by only a select few, and drug stores were still developing camera film for their customers on a regular basis.

Are you a school librarian who needs funding to update your collection? The Colorado State Library website contains information about a variety of grant opportunities, for example, State Grants to Libraries and the Funding Opportunities webpage.

 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.

96% of Colorado public libraries offer general computer skills training

Digital Inclusion

Image credit: Digital Inclusion Survey

Full results from the new Digital Inclusion Survey are now available! We shared some features of this public library study a couple of months ago, but since then the entire set of 2013 results have been added to the interactive tools, reports, and state details. Even better: A two-page talking points handout outlines key highlights from the study and offers easy advocacy messaging you can use right away.

The state details neatly organize results for each state and compare them to the national picture. For Colorado, here are a few areas where the state is ahead of the U.S.:

  • Mean number of public computers/laptops: 26.2 in Colorado, 19.8 nationwide
  • Mobile apps: 55% of Colorado public libraries, 43% nationally
  • Offer general computer skills training: 96% of Colorado libraries, 91% nationwide
  • Offer programs on applying for a job: 80% of Colorado libraries, 74% nationally
  • Offer programs on online business information resources: 66% of Colorado libraries, 56% nationally
  • Host creation events like maker spaces: 26% of Colorado libraries, 21% nationwide

You can find the entire Colorado breakdown here. And be sure to check out the executive summary and full report for an in-depth look at the national results, including locale breakdowns (rural, town, suburb, etc.) and emerging trends (maker events, 3D printers, etc.).

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.

90% of Colorado libraries received state funds in 2013-14

State grants 2013-14

In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature granted $2 million for libraries to support or enhance early literacy and early learning educational materials. For 2014-15, this funding was renewed and the application period is open now! In the meantime, we’re taking a look back to highlight how 2013-14 went.

Through a non-competitive grant process, each eligible library received $3,000 plus remaining funds designated on a per capita basis. You can find a breakdown of the 2013-14 awards here. For 41 libraries, the grant more than doubled their collection budgets. Nine in 10 Colorado libraries received funding: 88% of all academic libraries, 94% of all public libraries, and 91% of all school and youth correctional libraries. Don’t miss the infographic that breaks down awards by county and highlights stories from grant recipients.

Here are just a few quotes from libraries about how they used their funds last year:

  • We used the funds from the State Library Grant to purchase children’s books to add to our collection we have in our Capulin satellite library. The children were very excited to see and read the new books. We have seen more children and parents coming and using the library since we have the new books. – Conejos County Library District
  • The grant is being used to partially fund Pebble Go for our elementary schools. Schools use the data base to access informational text for all levels of reader. Being able to access informational text that is appropriate for our younger readers and is important in supporting Colorado Academic Standards. – Mesa County Valley 51
  • We are one of the busiest academic libraries in the state. During the spring, summer, and fall semesters, our library is packed with students studying, researching, and preparing for their classes. This grant helped us pay for one of our most important online databases EBSCOHost, which can be used by students both in the library, on campus, and remotely. – Auraria Library

New to state grants? Learn more through an introductory webinar on August 26 at 9:00am. And visit the State Grants to Libraries website for details on eligibility, purchasing recommendations, and reporting details.

Receive a grant in 2013-14? Share your stories with us on Twitter!

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.

61% of library user quiz-takers say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them

Pew_typology quiz results

Image credit: Pew Internet Project

We recently shared Pew Internet Project’s new community quiz tool for libraries to find out how engaged their users are. Now Pew has released some data about the more than 15,000 library users who’ve already used the quiz and compared them to their national library typology findings.

Of course the results aren’t really surprising: More than 6 in 10 of the quiz-takers fall into the “Library Lover” category, which was just 10% of the national study. About a quarter (26%) of quiz-takers were in the “Information Omnivore” category, a bit closer to the national picture with 20% falling into this type. These folks are the ones who really get what libraries are all about, too: 3 in 5 (61%) say the closure of their local library would have a major impact on them or their families, twice as many as the overall group (29%).

This group is also active with library services: More than 9 in 10 (94%) have a library card and about 9 in 10 visited a library in person (87%) or through the website (88%) in the past year. Nationally, 61% have a library card, about half (48%) visited a library in the past year, and just 30% used a library website in the past year.

Create your own library user quiz here. Best of all, you and your community will be able to see aggregate group results—share your findings with us on Twitter!

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.

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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.

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