News

Total e-book collection figures in Colorado’s school libraries have increased by 557% since 2008-09

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Colorado’s school librarians are busy teaching students how to use digital resources, apply critical-thinking skills, and evaluate the credibility of information resources. They’re co-teaching with instructors across the school, serving as technology leaders and subject matter experts in helping students achieve 21st-century skills. To help demonstrate these activities, school library staff participate in the annual Colorado School Library Survey. In our newest Fast Facts report, we’ve highlighted statewide estimates extrapolated from 2013-14 survey results as well as specific survey responses to demonstrate what’s happening in the bustling world of school librarianship in the state.

Statewide, it’s clear school libraries are humming with activity. In a typical week, more than 2.2 million items are circulated and individuals visit more than 791,000 times—yes, that’s in just one typical school week. Of the more than 412,000 school computers with access to library resources, more than 90,000 are actually in the library itself.

School librarians are also deeply involved in the life of the school overall: For those survey respondents who are endorsed librarians, nearly all (96%) participate in school committees, 90% meet regularly with the principal, and 87% provide in-service training for teachers. School libraries are also making their presence known virtually, with nearly all (95%) respondents offering an online automated catalog, close to 9 in 10 (88%) offering wireless internet, and 4 in 5 have a library website or catalog that’s linked from the school homepage.

Learn more about the impact of school libraries in our powerful school library impact study page, and don’t forget to keep a copy of our infographic handy. You can also access your own library’s information through our interactive tool and customized profiles.

Interested in seeing how this year’s results compare with last year’s? Check out our Fast Facts summarizing the 2012-13 results.

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.

34% of 6- to 17-year-olds read every day

Child-Teen Reading

Image credit: Common Sense Media

Just in time for summer reading programs, Common Sense Media recently released a new report—along with a handy infographic—summarizing several decades of research on the reading behaviors of children and teens. It examines four main areas: time spent and frequency of reading, reading proficiency/achievement, prevalence of e-reading, and attitudes toward e-reading.

Since 1971, reading achievement scores have gone up for younger children but stayed about the same for older teens. Reading proficiency levels are also still stubbornly different among white (46% proficient), black (18%), and Hispanic/Latino (20%) children. Girls read 10 minutes more than boys, on average, and they read more frequently, with 30% of girls reading daily and just 18% of boys. Younger children read or are read to between 30 minutes to an hour a day, on average.

E-reading is still a mixed bag for parents, with about a third of parents with e-readers saying their kids don’t use the device(s) largely because of concern about screen time or a preference for print. Children continue to spend more time with print books than e-books, and about half (46%) of older kids have read an e-book.

The entire report is well worth diving into, especially for librarians who play such pivotal roles in keeping reading fun for kids and teens. Check out the full report here. And don’t miss the State Library’s extensive resource page on the Colorado Statewide Summer Reading Program.

 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.

The median annual wage for librarians in Colorado is $61,560

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Image credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fivethirtyeight recently crunched the numbers to learn more about librarians, their pay, and where they’re located based on national data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course they framed the discussion in terms of the future of libraries—a premise we’d argue with the authors—but we were interested to look at the data from a more objective standpoint: Where are the country’s librarians?

While we can get much of the employment data (and perhaps more reliable data) from library-specific sources, we don’t always get to see compiled data more granular than the state level. And perhaps the most interesting BLS data point is the “location quotient,” which compares the area concentration of an occupation to the national average concentration. In other words, it tells us where there’s a high number of librarians compared to the national librarian picture. (The map above shows location quotient by Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which includes both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.)

So who’s on top? Vermont, DC, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Mississippi all have the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for librarians. Colorado’s middling location quotient of 0.9 means librarians are less prevalent in the state than the national average.

Zooming in to the metropolitan area gives us a bit more context, with the top 5 areas listed as: Owensboro, KY; Nassau-Suffolk, NY; Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD; New Haven, CT; and, Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH. In Colorado, the top metro areas are of course on the Front Range, with Boulder leading the pack.

For nonmetropolitan areas, the top 5 include: North Central and Northwest Massachusetts, Western New Hampshire, Northern Vermont, and Northeastern Wyoming. In Colorado, the top nonmetro area is Greeley.

Read up on library jobs here in Colorado with our workforce-related Fast Fact reports. And if you’re in the job market, check out one of our most popular resources, Library Jobline, where you can set up your own account and get personalized job notifications sent directly to you.

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 library users received 385K+ computer tutoring sessions during the 2-year BTOP project

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In our newest Fast Facts report, we’ve summarized the final results of the two-year Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant project from April 2011 to March 2013. This project involved building or enhancing Public Computer Centers (PCCs) at 88 libraries, tribes, town halls, and other community spaces around Colorado. More than 1,500 computers were installed, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and ADA stations.

The project went beyond hardware to include support for open access computer use time, intensive individual tutoring sessions, and formal classes on topics like basic internet skills, multimedia tools, job-seeking resources, and office skills. These classes were overwhelmingly supported: 96% of survey respondents said they would recommend the class to someone else and 95% agreed that they learned a valuable skill.

Library staff also tracked open-access sessions to learn more about how computers and their assistance were used. Interestingly, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) of all 3.48 million computer uses were unassisted. Of the more than 385,000 individual tutoring sessions, almost all (96%) were unscheduled.

Head over to www.lrs.org/btop-evaluation to learn more about the BTOP project and read more reports detailing class participant satisfaction survey results, workforce partnerships, and outcome evaluation.

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.

Frequent library use positively impacts well-being

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Does library use impact people’s sense of well-being? According to the results of a study commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, the answer to this question is yes. This study, conducted by the London School of Economics, examined the impacts of cultural engagement (with the arts and the library) and sports participation on well-being. Using a cost-benefits approach, it found that each of these factors positively impacted well-being, with frequent library use having an impact on well-being equivalent to receiving an annual pay raise of £1,359 (approximately $2,307).

For the data geeks out there who are curious about how the researchers estimated this monetary value, they used a method for non-market valuation called the Well-being Valuation Approach. This approach examines the impact of various non-monetary determinants of well-being (in this case, library use) and then calculates marginal rates of substitution between money and these various determinants. For example:

“if a 20% reduction in local crime rates increases [the well-being] of an individual by one index point and an increase in household income of £5,000 per year also increases [well-being] by one index point, then we would conclude that the 20% reduction in crime is worth £5,000 per year to them” (Fujiwara, Kudrna, & Dolan, 2014, p. 13).

We enjoy discovering unique approaches to estimating the library’s impact. Have you come across any interesting studies lately? Let us know by chatting 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.

 

LRS research featured in ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report

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LRS’s biennial study on public library web sites and social media use (“Web Tech”) is featured in ALA’s recently released 2014 State of America’s Libraries report. This report presents a comprehensive summary of current library news and trends, including coverage of hot topics such as libraries and community engagement, ebooks and copyright issues, and social networking, where the Web Tech study is highlighted.

Check out the following resources for more information about this study:

 

64% of U.S. Facebook users visit the site daily

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Image credit: Pew Internet

Facebook turned 10 earlier this year and Pew did a quick survey to make note of new facts regarding the social media behemoth. First off, Facebook is comfortably king: 57% of all adults use the site, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of them using the site daily.

What is it about Facebook that keeps us coming back? Just under half (47%) say photos and videos from friends and being able to share with many people simultaneously (46%) are major reasons for using the site. At the same time, Facebook users are clear about what they don’t like about the site: More than a third (36%) of users cite oversharing and others posting personal information without permission as strong dislikes.

What are people doing on Facebook? Many “like” content posted by friends, with 44% doing so at least once a day and 29% several times a day. Commenting on photos is also popular, with 31% doing so at least once a day and 15% several times a day. At the same time, a quarter of Facebook users never update their own status, while 1 in 10 update daily.

How are libraries reacting to Facebook’s overwhelming popularity with their users? Learn more with our national, longitudinal study on public libraries and social media use and our U.S. and Colorado infographics on our most recent results.

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.

Join us at the CLiC Spring Workshops–Pueblo

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Will you be attending the CLiC Spring Workshops in Pueblo this week? If so, we hope you will join us for our two sessions:

Don’t Say Cheese: Take Great Photos for Your Website and Social Media Networks, Thursday, April 24, 9:45-11:00 AM, Aspen Leaf, Linda Hofschire & Dave Hodgins

Learn how to take better photos with your digital camera, whether you use the camera on your phone, a point and shoot, or an SLR. In this session, we will discuss exposure, composition, photographing people and objects, and basic photo editing. We will also share examples of how libraries are using photos effectively on their websites and social media networks to attract and engage users.

Minute To Win It: Make the Case for Your Library with a Data-Based Elevator Speech,Thursday, April 24, 11:15-12:30, Aspen Leaf, Linda Hofschire & Meghan Wanucha

Circulation, program attendance, website visits—these are just a few of the statistics you are already gathering at your library. But how do you take these data and turn them into effective advocacy? In this interactive session, learn how to develop an elevator speech about your library, use statistics and stories to add value, and tailor the message to various stakeholders. You will have the opportunity to draft an elevator speech and share it with others if desired. You are encouraged to bring any statistics you collect about your library for use in drafting your speech.

More than three-fourths of U.S. adults 65+ say they need help to learn new technologies

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Image credit: Pew Internet

A recent Pew Internet study investigates older adults – aged 65 and up – and how this group uses technology and interacts online. While this group may be assumed to be late to the technology game, in fact the research shows two different groups: one that has embraced technology and supports its benefits, and a second group that is more distant from all things digital.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how older adults are using technology: Nearly 3 in 5 older adults use the internet, almost half have a high-speed broadband connection at home, and 77% have a cell phone (just 18% have a smartphone). But younger, higher-income, and college-educated seniors tend to use these technologies at higher rates than their lower-income and less educated peers. Those non-internet users are split on whether they’re hurt by lack of internet access, with about half (49%) agreeing that unconnected people are missing out and 35% disagreeing.

Once older adults become internet users, the online world becomes integrated into their daily lives. Interestingly, just over 4 in 5 older adults who use social networking sites say they socialize with others—in person, online, or over the phone—more often than online seniors who don’t use social media (71%), and much more so than those who aren’t online at all (63%).

When it comes to trying out new technologies, older adults cite health and physical issues, skeptical attitudes about the benefits, and learning challenges. In fact, more than three-fourths of older adults say they would need someone else to help them learn how to use new technologies. This holds true even among those more tech-savvy seniors who own a smartphone, tablet, or e-reader, 70% think they’d still want to ask for help learning new tech. Libraries, there’s your cue!

Here in Colorado, one of the ILEAD USA teams created a resource guide for libraries who are interested in programming geared toward active seniors. And for those 23% of older adults who say they have a physical or health condition that makes reading difficult, the Colorado Talking Book Library has a variety of resources and options to help. How is your library serving your 65+ community?

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 toys & games offered by libraries

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Image credit: Denver Public Library

Looking to expand your entertainment options? Check out some of our favorite toys and games offered by libraries across the country:

What toys or games does your library offer? Share a story or two 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.

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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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