News

Preliminary Public Library Data Now Available

Attn: Public Library Directors & PLAR Respondents

Preliminary data from the 2010 Public Library Annual Report (PLAR) is now available in an Excel spreadsheet and ready for your review. There is still time for revisions, so please let me know if you have any changes to your library’s data. A more current version of the data will be available on LRS-i the last week in April.

Please note, this preliminary data does not include complete data for libraries that had not submitted reports prior to March 23, 2011. In addition, the data is not verified (i.e., it has not been through all phases of edit checks).

~Nicolle
steffen_n@cde.state.co.us

2011 State of America’s Libraries — ALA Releases Annual Report

From ALA:

“Library trends of the past year are detailed in the State of America’s Libraries, 2011, released during National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011, by the American Library Association.

Even as budget-cutters take aim at libraries and their services, more than two-thirds of the 1,000-plus adults contacted in a survey in January said that the library’s assistance in starting a business or finding a job was important to them, according to the poll, conducted for the American Library Association (ALA) by Harris Interactive.

Sixty-five percent of those polled said they had visited the library in the past year; women are significantly more likely than men (72 percent vs. 58 percent) to fall into this category, especially working women, working mothers and women aged 18-54. Overall, 58 percent of those surveyed said they had a library card, and the largest group was, again, women, especially working women and working mothers. College graduates and those with a household income of more than $100,000 were also well represented among card holders, according to the survey.”

Report: http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries2011/index.cfm

The Impact of the Recession on Public Library Use in Colorado

LRS is excited to announce the release of our most recent Closer Look report, “The Impact of the Recession on Public Library Use in Colorado.” We examined Colorado public library use prior to and after the recession’s onset. Our findings indicated that from 2006 to 2007 (prior to the recession), visits per capita, circulation per capita, program attendance per 1,000 served, and Internet computer use per capita remained relatively static or decreased in Colorado public libraries.

In contrast, visits, circulation, and program attendance all increased during the recession (from 2007 to 2009) by at least 11 percent for libraries serving large communities (populations of 25,000 or more). Higher use during this period was also seen in resort communities. Visits, circulation, program attendance, and Internet computer use all increased by between 6 percent and 28 percent in public libraries serving these communities. Libraries serving small communities (populations under 25,000) were not included in the study because of missing and anomalous data.

Public libraries have been a key resource for Coloradans during both the recession and the post-recession recovery period, providing community gathering space, access to entertainment and educational resources, and information about job hunting, economizing, and other topics that are particularly relevant during this time.

Find the report as well as a Fast Facts highlighting key findings at http://www.lrs.org/recession.php

~Linda

CO Public Library Technology Data Now Available

The Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey has released state level data and you can find the Colorado report at: http://www.plinternetsurvey.org/?q=node/32&&id=CO&&u. In addition, there are state briefs on E-Government and Employment in public libraries.

Public Libraries & the Internet: http://www.plinternetsurvey.org/?q=Home-Page

Colorado School Library Salaries: Mixed News

Based on data collected by the Colorado Department of Education, the state’s school librarian/media consultants and assistants have seen notable increases in their salaries in the last five years. For the librarians, that increase has kept them in the ballpark with national salary averages for school librarians, but Colorado school library assistants continue to earn much less than the national average. Read more in the latest Fast Facts—Colorado School Library/Media Center Salaries: Mixed News.

Academic Libraries Survey Deadline Extended

The 2010 Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) deadline has been extended until March 18, 2011. The quality of this national survey depends on your library’s participation.  Please find the on-line questionnaire at http://surveys.nces.ed.gov/libraries/als.  If you need your library’s user id and password, please contact the ALS Help Desk at 1-877-749-4925.

Why should you participate?
The U.S. Congress and your state government use data from this survey when considering policy changes concerning academic libraries. To produce valid results, the survey must obtain at least an 85 percent response rate – your survey counts!

The data from the ALS are used to produce on-line reports and supplemental tables for the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.  The Library Statistics Program web site at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/ offers many resources for libraries, including the Compare Academic Libraries tool, which is an easy way to compare your library to other, similar libraries. The peer comparison tool is only available for libraries that respond to the survey.

Thank you for your cooperation and support of this national academic library survey.  If you have any questions about the survey, please contact survey administrators at govs.aclib@census.gov.

Reminder: School Library Survey Webinar this Thursday, February 17

The Library Research Service will be hosting a School Library Survey Webinar this Thursday, February 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. The purpose of the webinar is to get feedback from school librarians about the annual Colorado school library survey—suggestions for improvements, changes, additions, deletions, etc.

To participate in the webinar, you will need an Internet connection for your computer and a separate phone line. Attendees will be able to communicate with each other both on the phone and via text chat.

Step 1: Access the meeting room online:  http://connect.cboces.org/sls/.   Please choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name when you log in.

Step 2: Upon entering the meeting room, you will see a pop-up form to Connect My Audio.  You have the option to “Dial-in to the conference,” or, to “Receive a call from the meeting (Dial-out).” If you choose to receive a call, be sure your phone is on the hook so the call can come through!

Note: if your phone line has an extension, please use the Dial-in option.  The call out option is automated and can’t handle an extension.

In advance of the meeting, please run through the connection test: http://connect.cboces.org/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm.

Please consider logging in to the meeting 5 – 10 minutes in advance to make sure we can troubleshoot any technical issues, and not take time away from our session to do so.

We encourage you to review the current school library survey prior to the meeting, so that you will be prepared to provide feedback, and to print a copy for use during the meeting so that you won’t have to toggle between windows on your computer. You can access it at http://www.lrs.org/documents/slmc10/survey.pdf.

Questions? Contact Linda Hofschire at Hofschire_L@cde.state.co.us.

~Linda

School Library Survey Webinar on February 17

The Library Research Service will be hosting a School Library Survey Webinar on Thursday, February 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. The purpose of the webinar is to get feedback from school librarians about the annual Colorado school library survey—suggestions for improvements, changes, additions, deletions, etc. To participate in the webinar, you will need access to the Internet as well as a separate phone line.

Interested in attending? Please email Linda Hofschire at Hofschire_L@cde.state.co.us to get information about how to access the webinar.

View the current school library survey at http://www.lrs.org/documents/slmc10/survey.pdf.

~Linda

Preliminary 2010-11 School Library Survey Results Now Available

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2010-11 Colorado School Library Survey. Preliminary results are now available at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey/prelim.php. If you responded to the survey, please take a minute to review your responses and make sure they are accurate. Please respond with any changes to the email address listed below.

Thanks!

Linda

Hofschire_L@cde.state.co.us

The Power of Stories

It’s no secret that we like numbers here at LRS. Give us a rich data set and we will get lost in it for days. However, we also recognize the power of good stories to resonate with people on a deeper level than numbers often do. Take Olly Neal’s story, for example. In the late 1950s, Olly was a high school senior in Arkansas who liked to cut class and get in fights. One day, he was in the school library and noticed a book by African American author Frank Yerby. While it interested him, he was concerned that if anyone saw him checking it out, they would tell his friends he liked to read and then his reputation would be ruined. So, he hid the book under his jacket and walked out. After finishing the book, he returned to the library to sneak it back on the shelf, was pleasantly surprised to discover another Yerby title there, and snuck that one out as well. This process repeated itself several times over the course of the semester.

Thirteen years later, Olly ran into his school librarian while attending his high school reunion, and she told him she had spotted him when he “stole” his first Yerby book. Initially, she wondered why he was trying to smuggle the book out of the library when he could check it out for free. But soon she caught on to his motives, and decided to encourage his budding interest in reading any way she could. Unfortunately, the works of African American authors were not widely available during that time period, and neither the school library nor the other local libraries had additional Yerby titles. So, she drove to a library in Memphis to pick up another Yerby title for him to read. She repeated this process each time he took out a book. Olly credits his school librarian, and the extraordinary efforts she made on his behalf, with getting him interested in reading. This interest set him on a path that ultimately led to his acceptance to law school. Today, Olly is a judge for the 1st Judicial District in eastern Arkansas.

Listen to Olly tell this story here, courtesy of StoryCorps.

Do you have a story about how your library has impacted you or someone you know? Share it here.

~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.

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