News

Study Shows How Americans Benefit from Internet Access at Libraries

Released at PLA this week, the study Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries shows what most librarians already knew—patrons are using the library for more than checking out paper books.  The study is already generating buzz outside of the library profession and is being picked-up by news outlets around the country. (I saw it this morning on the local news.)

From IMLS:
Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older – roughly 77 million people – used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year, according to a national report released today. In 2009, as the nation struggled through a recession, people relied on library technology to find work, apply for college, secure government benefits, learn about critical medical treatments, and connect with their communities.

The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Full report : http://tascha.washington.edu/usimpact.

For broadcast-quality footage, high-resolution still photography, and information about the foundation’s work, please visit: www.gatesfoundation.org/press-room/Pages/news-market.aspx.

 ~Nicolle
steffen_n@cde.state.co.us

2009 LSA Populations Posted

The 2009 Library Service Area Populations are posted on the Colorado Statistics/Profiles  page (scroll down to open the 2009 LSA Populations Spreadsheet). This is the latest legal service area population data. These LSA population figures will be used for each public library on the 2009 Colorado Public Library Annual Report.

New Fast Facts and New Field Initiated Study Posted

We’ve just posted a new Fast Facts: Computer Access and Traditional Library Services. This Fast Facts examines what happens to public library visits, circulation, reference, and program attendance as the number of public access computers rises. Do the “traditional services” decrease as libraries provide more computer access, or do those services increase as well? Go to the Fast Facts page or click on the title above to read more!

A new Field Initiated Study has also been posted: Library Sponsored Events and Programming Promotion Ideas. This came from a question posted on the Libnet listserv by Donna Arment, of the Durango Public Library, regarding promoting library sponsored programs. To read the responses received, click on the title above or go to our Field Initiated Studies page.

-Jamie

Results from the 60-Second Survey: The Future of the Book

Last month we asked what you thought of the future of the book in our latest 60-second survey, aptly titled, The Future of the Book. More than 1,300 people took our survey and this is what they said…

When asked, “Do you think paper books will eventually disappear,” almost 2 out of 3 respondents (63%) said paper books would never disappear. 15 percent said books would disappear within the next 50 years, 11 percent said within 51-100 years, and 11 percent said books would disappear in more than 100 years.
(Click on a chart for a larger, more detailed image.)

When asked, “What do you predict libraries will circulate in 10 years,” 43 percent of our respondents predict an equal amount of physical and electronic materials. On the other hand, only a slightly lower percentage of respondents – 39% – predict that libraries will circulate more electronic materials than physical.

Our survey also asked in what format (audio, electronic, or paper) respondents currently read fiction, non-fiction, and textbooks, as well as how they predict how they will read those materials 10 years from now. Those that use audio did not expect much change in 10 years (less than 1% change in each category). The largest expected transformation among respondents was for textbooks. 10 percent currently read them in an electronic format, but 59% expect to be reading them electronically in 10 years.

Survey respondents also predicted a change in how they will read fiction and non-fiction. Currently, 86 percent of our respondents read non-fiction in a paper format, but only 59 percent expect they will still be reading non-fiction that way in 10 years.

As for fiction, 88 percent of our respondents read fiction from paper books, but only 70% predict they will still read fiction that way in 10 years.

Additionally, almost 3 out of 4 of our respondents (71%) left comments about the future of the book. Stay tuned for more details about the results and the comments provided in an upcoming Fast Facts.

Let us know what you think about these results and the future of the book by leaving a comment below.

-Jamie

ALA Releases New Report – The Condition of Libraries: 1999-2009

From ALA:
CHICAGO – At every turn, news reports and research indicate fairly dramatic changes in U.S. library funding, services and staffing – most occurring in the last 18 months. According to a new report prepared by the American Library Association (ALA), libraries of all types are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn while managing sky-high use.

Compiled from a broad range of available sources, The Condition of Libraries: 1999-2009 presents U.S. economic trends (2009), and summarizes trends in public, school and academic libraries across several library measures, including expenditures, staffing and services. The report also highlights trends in services provided to libraries by library cooperatives and consortia.
[More at: http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2010/january2010/outlook_ors.cfm]

Report: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/Condition_of_Libraries_1999.20.pdf
Reports by library type: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/index.cfm

Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007

From IMLS, Washington, DC:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announces the release of a new research brief, Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007. The brief identifies important changes public libraries have made to address patron needs in an increasingly Internet-centric environment and explores service differences in urban and rural communities.

A comparison of more than 11 years of Public Library Survey data suggests that service changes in U.S. public libraries are having an impact on visitation and circulation, as record numbers of people now use public libraries nationwide. Several findings from the survey include:

• The availability of Internet terminals in public libraries rose sharply between 2000 and 2007, increasing by 90 percent on a per capita basis. This dramatic increase is one example of the way U.S. public libraries are expanding their range of services to meet patron demand.

• Between 1997 and 2007, per capita visits to public libraries increased nationwide by 19 percent. During the same period per capita circulation increased by 12 percent. This growth in demand for library services occurred even as people increasingly turned to the Internet to meet other information needs.

• The study identified very different trajectories between urban and rural communities for select service trends, highlighting the importance of local context for identifying patron needs and improving services.

To read the research brief please go to: http://www.imls.gov/pdf/Brief2010_01.pdf

Colorado Public Library data: http://www.lrs.org/pub_stats.php

NCES Published 2008 Academic Library Statistics

The report “Academic Libraries: 2008 First Look” presents tabulations for the 2008 Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) conducted by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Look for statistical reports summarizing services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in 2- and 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

~Nicolle
steffen_n@cde.state.co.us

2009-10 Preliminary School Library Survey Results Available

Thank you to all 710 respondents to the 2009-10 Colorado School Library Survey. Preliminary data is now available from our school library statistics pages (http://www.lrs.org/school_stats.php). If you responded to the survey, please take a minute to review your data and make sure it is accurate. Respond to us with any changes.

Thanks,
Zeth
-lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009

A new Fast Facts, “Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009: Patrons Benefit from Additional Databases and Training,” has been published!
This Fast Facts examines the use of electronic databases in Colorado libraries in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and explores the impact of librarian training and a larger database package on overall database use.

To read this Fast Facts, visit our Fast Facts page or click on the title above!

– Lisa

60-Second Survey: Future of the Book

Recently, news outlets and blogs have been busy deriding and celebrating the recent ascension of e-readers. The growing popularity of this new format has come with murmurs about the death of paper books and some even surmise that as technology advances libraries will cease to exist!

Taking notice of the chatter, Library Research Service has decided to survey librarians on the matter. This new 60-Second Survey asks your opinions on e-readers and how you think they will transform reading. Will e-readers be the demise of the paper book? What will libraries circulate? What is the future of the book? You tell us.
Click the link below to take the 60-Second Survey.

Survey closed–thanks for your interest.

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