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EasyBib reports that 12% of K-12 schools have no information literacy instruction

easybibskills

Image credit: EasyBib

In a follow up to data collected in 2012, EasyBib completed a survey this year of 1,182 school and academic librarians, and 10,471 students, in order to determine how libraries are evaluating and responding to the need for information literacy instruction in schools and in higher education. The report shows there is a wide gap between K-12 schools and academic institutions in both perception of research ability and instruction offered.

Although school libraries are integral to building an early foundation for information literacy, the data indicates that many students are not receiving dedicated or sustained instruction on how to evaluate information across media platforms until they go to college. Though all higher education institutions had at least some information literacy training, 12% of K-12 schools reported having no research instruction whatsoever. If we look just at high school libraries, the number reporting that they have no instruction of research skills jumps up to over a quarter (26%) of that group.

On top of that, half of high school librarians surveyed responded that students’ understanding of website evaluation was merely “basic,” despite the fact that 60% of all librarian respondents said that students prefer Open Web resources and use them “very often.”

It’s easy to recognize that information literacy instruction is likely getting shortchanged at school libraries due to budget and time restraints. However, because all librarians know the importance of information literacy, and know that its value is likely to increase in the future, EasyBib suggests that many school librarians will need to get creative in their approaches to research instruction. Such strategies might include online video tutorials, creating better awareness of subscription databases, and fostering better channels of communication with teachers and administrators. A combination of these and other methods could make a big difference in ensuring the future success of today’s students.

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.

More than 75,000 books given away during One Book 4 Colorado in 2014

OB4CO 2015 FF

Founded in 2012, One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) is a statewide annual initiative that offers free copies of the same book to every 4-year-old in Colorado. In 2014, the book was Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. More than 75,000 books were given away at more than 500 sites, including public libraries, Reach Out and Read Health Clinics, and Denver Preschool Program preschool classrooms.

LRS surveyed both caregivers and participating agencies to learn more about the impact OB4CO had on families, children, and agencies. As reported in our newest Fast Facts, overall more than 3 out of 5 caregivers agreed that they spent more time reading with their child after receiving the book (64%), their child talked more about books and reading (62%), and their child was more interested in books and reading (64%). Parents with fewer books in their homes had higher levels of agreement with those statements.

Participating agencies also shared positive feedback about OB4CO. Nearly all (99%) of agency respondents agreed that children were excited to receive Grumpy Bird. More than 9 in 10 (92%) agreed that the program helped their agencies promote reading among children, and 88% agreed that OB4CO was an effective use of their time and effort. Agencies also appreciated collaborating with others in the program, with more than 7 in 10 (71%) agreeing that OB4CO provided an opportunity to reach out to other agencies interested in childhood education.

Voting for the OB4CO selection for 2015 is underway now! Watch videos of Colorado celebrities reading the book options here, then vote for your favorite! Voting is open until March 1.

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.

Top 10 Library Mascots

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Image credits: Oak Park Public Library, Poudre River Public Library District, and Princeton Public Library

Library cats are all the rage, at least according to Mental Floss, Flavorwire, and of course, the famous Dewey. But some libraries are going a step further with official library mascots to showcase the library during programs, outreach events, and around the community. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Colorado’s Poudre River Library District has a new mascot, Piercival—better known as Percy—the owl
  • Baxter, the Maine Coon Cat Library Mascot, Maine
  • Ernie the cat at Bealeton Library, Virginia
  • Curious the Chameleon at Calgary Public Library, Canada
  • Stacks the cat at Litchfield Public Library District, Illinois
  • Ralph and Mudge the gerbils at Oak Park Public Library, Illinois
  • Roary the lion at Princeton Public Library, New Jersey
  • Dewey the Dragon at Burbank Public Library, California
  • Buddy the Bookworm at North Las Vegas Public Library, Nevada
  • Ohio the Orangutan at Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, Ohio

There’s also a compilation of Unshelved comic strips, Library Mascot Cage Match, in case you’re wondering how your favorite mascot would fare in a fight.

Does your library have a mascot? How does your mascot help with programs and outreach? Tell us about it 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.

93 million people attended a program at a public library in FY2012

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Image credit: IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) just released its Public Libraries in the United States Report for Fiscal Year 2012, which is based on a survey of 97% of public libraries across the United States and parses out national and state-by-state trends. We contribute data to this survey about Colorado’s public libraries through our Public Library Annual Report. (And data collection for 2014 is open now!)

In this latest report, general post-recession trends—such as declines in revenue, staffing, circulation, and visits—from the last couple of years have continued or remained stable. Public libraries continued to see a positive link between investment and usage. Libraries that had more full-time staff and programs, for example, also had increases in circulation and visits.

There were 1.5 billion in-person visitors to public libraries in FY2012, about the same as FY2011 and up 21% in the past 10 years. Public libraries also reported considerable growth in the circulation of e-books and downloadable audio and video. Nearly 93 million people attended a program at a public library in FY2012, more than a 50% increase in the past 10 years. Children’s programs were especially popular, so even as many visits migrate online, the library’s place as a community center seems firmly established.

You can peruse the full report here and also access at the state-by-state profiles for comparison. And as always, take a look at Colorado’s data with our interactive tool.

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.

In Pew survey, three-fourths of Internet users see abundance of information as a benefit, not a burden

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Image credit: Pew Internet

In today’s diverse information culture, libraries play an important role in promoting the many ways that communities stay informed about the world around them. As digital technologies and media become more and more ingrained in everyday life, Americans are increasingly recognizing their value as an educational and creative outlet.

Results out from a new Pew survey indicate that Internet users feel digital technology has had an overall positive impact on their ability to learn and share ideas. This survey is part of a series by Pew to evaluate the impact of the Internet 25 years after its conception. The new study elaborates on a survey done earlier this year by offering new insight into Americans’ attitudes about the ways these media can keep them informed and connected to their communities.

The survey of 1,066 adult Americans found that an overwhelming majority thought the Internet has improved their ability to learn and stay informed (87%), and saw the abundance of information online as a boon rather than a burdensome overload (72%).

In addition, not only are Americans confident in how digital and mobile technologies have improved their own ability to learn new things, three-fourths also believe that access to the Internet has made “average Americans” and “today’s students” better informed (76% and 77%, respectively). Since 2006 and 2007, the number of Americans surveyed who said that the Internet has positively impacted their capacity to create and share ideas with others have steadily increased.

As the Internet and other digital media continue to permeate our lives and the ways we relate to those around us, librarians in the U.S. are well positioned to compliment the optimism of users through information literacy education and improved ways for users to access, create, and share knowledge.

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.

Academic Library Survey moving to IPEDS

Big changes are underway in the area of academic library survey data. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) formerly gathered data on academic libraries via the voluntary Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), which collected statistics every other year from degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Now, the ALS has been rolled up into a new Academic Libraries (AL) component in annual mandatory spring data collection for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Data collection for the new 2014-15 IPEDS AL component is going on now and continues through the beginning of April. Data will be released in the IPEDS Data Center.

We’re particularly hopeful this shift will mean more academic libraries will participate in data collection—resulting in more reliable and complete data—and a quicker turnaround for results. In the meantime, the NCES resource page has a handy comparison chart, variables crosswalk, and technical review report to help explain the changes.

Half of kids ages 6-17 (51%) are currently reading a book for fun

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Image credit: Scholastic

There are often debates in the library world about whether or not the younger generation is reading enough, and how much television, computers, and e-devices actually compete for their attention. Scholastic’s Fall 2014 study examines this question, among others, by actually asking kids themselves about reading habits and preferences.

The results, culled from a nationally representative sample of 2,558 parents and children, are mixed. The percentage of kids who read has stayed steady since 2010, but there has been a 6% decline in frequent readers (those who read for fun 5-7 days a week).

The survey found that half of the kids age 6-17 (51%) self-reported that they were currently reading a book for pleasure, and another 20% had just finished one. After the age of 8, however, the study found that there is a sharp decline in the number of children who read frequently. Half of the children surveyed of that same age group (52%) also responded that independent reading was one of their favorite parts of the school day or wished that their school allowed them to read independently more often. Nine out of 10 kids (91%) said that their favorite books were ones they had personally picked out.

Since 2010, the percentage of kids who have read e-books has risen steadily, from a quarter to almost two-thirds (25% to 61%). Despite this trend, 65% (up 5% from 2012) also think that even with the prevalence of e-books, print books will always be desirable.

Finally, librarians rejoice – out of 13 different responses, browsing at the library was the third most popular way for parents to provide their children with access to leisure reading material, behind only book fairs and home libraries. It’s clear that reading is still a popular and important childhood activity, although as kids get older, competing interests and distractions tend to reduce the frequency and volume of extracurricular reading.

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.

56% of online seniors (65+) use Facebook

Pew_Social Media 2014

Image credit: Pew Internet

Libraries have fully embraced social media as a way of reaching and engaging with patrons in new ways. But social media is no different than any other technology: Trends and usage ebbs and flows as new groups discover existing tools and new tools become popular. One resource for navigating the changing social media landscape is Pew Research Internet Project, which recently released updates to its research based on a survey of U.S. adults who use the internet conducted in September 2014.

Facebook is still king, with 71% of online adults using the site, but this hasn’t changed since 2013. And those who are on Facebook continued to use it often, with 7 in 10 using the site daily and 45% using it several times a day. Another first for Facebook: In the 2014 survey, more than half (56%) of internet users older than 65 were on Facebook (31% of all adults 65 and older).

Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all saw significant growth since 2013, with usage rates of 23% to 28% of online adults. And more than half (52%) of online adults used two or more sites (up from 42% in 2013). Instagram boosted its usage particularly among young adults (ages 18-29), of whom 53% used the site. While female users continue to dominate Pinterest, 13% of online males also used the site in 2014, compared to just 8% in 2013.

Learn more about the changing demographics of social media users and get updated frequency usage stats with the full report. We’re busy digging into analysis of our own research on how public libraries are using social media as part of our biennial study. Keep an eye out for 2014 results from this study later this year. In the meantime, check out our 2012 results for Colorado and the United States overall.

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.

 

Just 20% of teens are purchasing e-books, according to Nielsen study

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Last month, we reported on Library Journal’s and School Library Journal’s survey of public and school libraries, which indicated that e-book acquisition continues to rise steadily in both settings. However, demand for e-books was found to be lackluster in public libraries and downright disappointing in school libraries. Nielsen recently conducted a study that sheds some more light on e-book usage, specifically among teens. Although teens today are more technologically adept that ever before, 13-17 year olds are slightly more likely to be reading print than adult age groups.

For the study, Nielsen combined data from two separate online surveys that together represent 9,000 book buyers from across the U.S. The study found that despite teens’ openness to new technologies and e-books in particular, just 20% of teens are actually buying their reading material in this format, compared to 23% of 18-29 year-olds, and 25% of 30-44 year olds. Economic and parental restraints are cited as possible causes, in addition to the fact that libraries and bookstores are still the primary outlet for obtaining books for more than half of teens.

Though the study does come with the caveat that it appears teens today are reading less for pleasure than previous generations of young people, selection of materials among teens who read remains a very social process that is aided by newer technologies and social media. For example, nearly half (45%) of teens are at least moderately swayed by how books are portrayed on sites like Facebook and Twitter. And the rampant success of many YA series could be partially explained by the finding that three-fourths (76%) of teens cite the author’s previous works as an influence on future selections. With 80% of YA readers over the age of 18, however, both public and school libraries should be concerned with how to capture young readers in all of today’s available formats.

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.

Happy Holidays from LRS!

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Image credit: FreshSpectrum

Wishing all of our fellow library data lovers a wonderful holiday season and a happy 2015! We will be taking a couple weeks off from the Weekly Number and will return on January 7. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out (or revisit–for long time readers of our blog) this heartwarming post about the power of stories (and librarians!) from December 2010.

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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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