News

School Library Studies-Next Steps

In response to some questions we’ve received about our School Library Journal article and our future plans for school library research:

The results reported in this article represent the first part of a larger study we are conducting to look at the relationship between school librarian staffing and achievement scores. Our next step is to do a more in-depth analysis of Colorado schools, where we have access to staffing and achievement test data at the building level (the data used for our SLJ article were at the state level). Look for a report of the results in the coming months. We encourage others to pursue this type of research in their state/region.

~Linda

New study shows that as the number of school librarians increases, so do NAEP reading scores

A new study by LRS staff past and present finds that in states that gained school librarians between 2004 and 2008, NAEP 4th grade reading scores increased at a greater rate than in states that lost librarians during this time period. These differences were particularly pronounced for poor, minority, and ELL students. See the complete report here: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissue/currentissue/891612-427/something_to_shout_about_new.html.csp

~Linda

NCES Updates Compare Academic Libraries Web Tool with 2010 Data

The Compare Academic Libraries tool allows users to compare college and university libraries on a wide range of characteristics. It also allows the user to view and download historical data of a library of interest as far back as FY 2000.

To view this updated tool, visit:
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/compare/

This web tool is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

2009 Public Library Data Files Released

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the release of the 2009 Public Libraries Survey (PLS) data. It is available on the IMLS web site at: http://harvester.census.gov/imls/data/pls/index.asp. All 50 states and the District of Columbia participate in the Public Libraries Survey every year and the collection includes data on visitation, circulation, the availability and use of library computing resources, staffing, library collections and services, and fiscal information such as operating revenue and expenditures.

Our new American Libraries feature article– “Who’s the Boss”–is now available

Last November, we asked you in a 60-second survey to share your opinions about privatization and public libraries. We just published the results of this study as a feature article in American Libraries: “Who’s the Boss? Does Private Management Have a Place in Public Libraries?”. Access the article here. The study’s results were also summarized in an earlier blog post.

Thanks again to everyone who responded to our survey! Your participation and thought-provoking comments provided us with an excellent foundation from which to work as we wrote the article. We’re excited to continue sharing your opinions about hot topics in LIS in future studies.

~Linda

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Who is in the Queue: Public Access Computer Users

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) just published the research brief:  “Who’s in the Queue? A Demographic Analysis of Public Access Computer Users and Uses in U.S. Public Libraries” by Carlos A. Manjarrez and Kyle Schoembs.

 Highlights from the report include:

• The demographic analysis in this brief dispels some myths about the beneficiaries of public access computer services in U.S. public libraries. Public access computer users largely resemble the general public in terms of age, education, and even in the overall level of home computer and Internet access.

 • The fact that many different people report that they are able to fulfill a wide variety of information needs is a clear indication that public libraries are providing much more than basic technology access

• Substantive uses of public access computers mirror the needs people have at different stages of the life course. Young people identify education activities as their main use, people between the ages of 25 and 54 identifying employment activities as their top use, and people 55 and older reporting health and wellness research as the main public access computer use.

Research brief link: http://www.imls.gov/pdf/Brief2011_04.pdf

Librarian Job Satisfaction Survey

Library Journal’s 2011 Job Satisfaction Survey–Rocked by Recession, Buoyed by Service:  “Budget cuts from coast to coast have turned up the heat, but librarians still love their jobs. Realistically, however, money shortages have reduced advancement opportunities and many feel they’ll have to leave libraries before retiring.”

Read the article at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/newslettersnewsletterbucketljxpress/890617-441/lj_2011_job_satisfaction_survey.html.csp

Read about the results from the LRS survey “What is the Value of an MLIS to You?” at: http://www.lrs.org/news/2011/06/14/results-from-the-60-second-survey-what-is-the-value-of-an-mlis-to-you/

2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Report Now Available

ALA officially released the 2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access report: http://www.ala.org/plinternetfunding

The full survey report, including state data, is available at http://plinternetsurvey.org/?q=node/13.  

Also available is a highly shareable executive summary: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2010_2011/plftas11-execsummary.pdf.  

Results from the 60-Second Survey: What is the Value of an MLIS to You?

Over the last two weeks of May, librarians, library staff, and library school students weighed in on the LRS 60-Second Survey “The Value of an MLIS Degree to you.” Almost 2,500 people from every state and 15 countries, representing all library types, responded. Around 1,300 respondents left comments, sharing additional thoughts on the value of the MLIS degree today.

When asked if they thought their MLIS degree was/is worth the money and time invested in it, just over three-fourths of respondents (76%) agreed or strongly agreed that their degree was worth the investment. Seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that their MLIS degree was worth the time and money they invested in it, and another 4 percent strongly disagreed. Ten percent indicated neutral feelings toward the value of their MLIS degree.

My MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it:*
*3 percent of respondents indicated N/A and the question was skipped by 11 respondents.

Respondents who have had their MLIS degree the longest were more likely to indicate that the time and money invested in the MLIS was worth it. Nine out of ten (92%) of respondents who have had their MLIS for 16+ years agreed or strongly agreed that the degree was worth the time and money they invested in it and only 8 percent disagreed, strongly disagreed, or were neutral. Almost 90 percent of respondents who have had their degrees for 11-15 years agreed or strongly agreed that the investment in the MLIS degree was worth it, as did 80 percent of respondents who have had their degrees for 6-10 years. While over two-thirds of newer professionals agreed or strongly agreed that their investment in the degree was worthwhile, they were less likely to strongly agree and were more likely to select neutral or to disagree or strongly disagree. Respondents who completed their degree 1-5 years ago were the most likely to indicate that the degree was not worth the time and money they invested in it, with 21 percent selecting disagree or strongly disagree.

My MLIS degree was/is worth the time and money invested in it, by when degree was completed:

Survey respondents also indicated whether or not they would recommend pursuing an MLIS degree if asked today. Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) would recommend pursuing the MLIS degree, with one-fourth of respondents indicating they would “highly recommend” the degree. Close to one in six respondents would not recommend pursuing the degree, and 8 percent would actively dissuade others from pursuing it. Around 14 percent of the respondents said they were not sure if they would recommend the degree if asked.

If asked TODAY, would you recommend pursuing an MLIS degree?
In addition to being more likely to agree that the investment in the MLIS degree was worth it, respondents who have had their degrees the longest were also the most likely to indicate they would recommend pursuing the degree to others, with three-fourths of those who have had their MLIS for 16+ years indicating they would recommend or highly recommend the degree. Around two-thirds (65%) of those who have had their MLIS for 11-15 years and 6-10 years would also recommend or highly recommend the degree to others. Those who have had their degree for 1-5 years were the least likely to highly recommend or recommend the degree (49%) and were also the most likely to indicate that they would not recommend (22%) or actively dissuade (13%) others from pursuing an MLIS.

If asked TODAY, would you recommend pursuing an MLIS degree, by when degree was completed:

Stay tuned for a more in-depth report on the survey results, including a comparison with the 2008 survey results and analysis of the comments left by respondents. Until then, we’d love to hear your thoughts so far – please leave any comments below!

~Lisa

We’re on Twitter!

Did you know that LRS is now on Twitter? We use our account to highlight new research and statistics from the field, share resources for libraries to use for advocacy and decision-making purposes, get feedback about LIS trends and hot topics, and more!  This is also a great way to communicate with us if you have a quick question or comment. Come join the conversation–you can find us at @LRS_CO.

~Linda

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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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