News

2012 Public Libraries Survey data now available

Blog_2012 PLS data

Image credit: Public Libraries Survey, IMLS

New national public library data is now available from the 2012 Public Libraries Survey from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). (This is the data set to which we contribute the Colorado Public Library Annual Report results each year.) Data files for 2012 should be available soon.

In the meantime, dig into the new data with the Compare Public Libraries and Search for Public Libraries tools. Try out the compare tool to see how your library stacks up to similar libraries across the country based on characteristics you choose. And the search tool is a handy way to pull together staff, budget, services, and collection information in one place.

Colorado has 7 times as many libraries as Starbucks stores

quotable_facts

Colorado’s public, school, and academic libraries offer their users a blend of technology services, learning opportunities, community activities, and information literacy initiatives. But what do these services and resources actually look like? We’ve sorted through a variety of data—from annual surveys to national reports—to provide a fresh update to our popular Quotable Facts report. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite statistics that we think help convey the importance of libraries of all kinds to the entire state of Colorado.

Did you know Colorado has 7 times as many libraries as Starbucks stores? And those libraries have more than 66 million visits each year, or more than 5 times as many as our state parks. For those technology buffs, 94% of the state’s public libraries offer technology training on tools like photo editing software and social media. With devices becoming more and more common, public libraries are increasingly offering wireless access (see our recent Fast Facts, Computers in Colorado’s Public Libraries) and saw more than 5 million wireless access uses in 2012, or more than 13,000 uses each day. And Colorado’s school librarians are making sure students are well-versed in 21st-century skills: Nearly 75% teach students how to use digital resources at least once a week.

Check out our new Quotable Facts report here. Please share often! And, if you would like printed copies, please contact us.

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.

2013 Digital Inclusion Survey results coming soon

Blog_2013 Digital Inclusion Survey

Image credit: Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland

The first Digital Inclusion Survey—conducted by the ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland—captured public library services related to digital literacy, economic and workforce development, education, health information, and internet access. Its overall goal is to highlight the role public libraries play in building “digitally inclusive communities.” (If this sounds familiar, the Digital Inclusion Survey picked up the reins from the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey, or PLFTAS.)

The 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey closed late last year, and researchers hope to release their national data report during ALA’s Annual Conference in a few weeks. In the meantime, we are having a blast playing around with the national interactive map. It combines demographic, economic, and health data from the American Community Survey and select Digital Inclusion Survey results to illustrate what libraries offer their communities and general attributes of those communities as well. Even better: iPAC is adding features to allow users to print pieces of this excellent tool. And if you’re looking for more help to tell the story of your 21st-century library, check out the issue briefs and map visualizations.

We’re looking forward to seeing the final results from this new survey!

New school library profiles show what is happening in Colorado school libraries

final_profiles

Every year, LRS conducts a survey of Colorado school libraries. And, we’re continually thinking about how the results can be made more useful to respondents as well as to school library stakeholders. With this goal in mind, we are excited to debut our new school library profiles, which present information about individual school libraries based on the results of the 2013-14 survey responses. These are available in two formats:

  • Summary Profile: This profile presents information about the weekly use, collection, technology, and library hours of individual school libraries.
  • Expanded Profile: This profile contains this same information as the summary profile, and additionally presents data about the instructional and leadership activities of individual school librarians.

The profiles were designed to be a companion piece to our school library impact infographic.This piece summarizes two decades of school library research that demonstrates the impact of school libraries on student achievement.

Want more information about Colorado school libraries? You can access the complete 2013-14 school library survey results here. And, a summary of the results for all Colorado public schools is here.

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

school_survey_highlights

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

BSL_location quotient

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

BTOP_weeklynumber

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

library_well_being

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

state_of_americas_libraries

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:

 

Page 2 of 4312345...102030...Last »

POPULAR RESOURCES

  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.

LIBRARYJOBLINE

See more @ LibraryJobline.org

ABOUT

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).

Staff & Contact Info