News

Libraries and the Economic Recession Survey Results

In April, we launched the 60-second survey, “Libraries and the Economic Recession.” This survey was prompted by several news articles discussing the recession’s impact on libraries and librarians.

We wanted to know what folks on the front lines had observed about the economy, and how the recession had impacted their work and their career plans. Nearly 500 people responded.

The results indicate that libraries are indeed seeing increases in use and requests for assistance, and librarians are feeling the squeeze themselves.

When asked, “In the last 12 months, have you had to help more library patrons with the following services,” 70 percent selected “computer use,” which included help with software and Internet searching. More than three in five (66%) said they’ve had more requests for assistance with job-seeking activities, such as online job applications and resume preparation.

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Similarly, when asked, “In the last 12 months, have you personally noticed an increase in use of the following resources in your library,” 67 percent reported increases in public access computer use by patrons, while more than half said they’ve noticed an increase in library visits (63%) and circulation of materials (54%).

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When asked, “To better serve patrons, do you feel a need for additional professional training in any of the following areas,” nearly half of the respondents (46%) indicated they could use training on available public assistance/social programs.

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When asked, “As a result of the current economic downturn, do you feel a need for additional training in any of the following areas for your own professional development,” more than two in five (44%) said they would benefit from stress management training. One in three (31%) indicated they could use additional training on how to deal with difficult patrons.

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In addition, more than half the respondents shared personal observations about how the recession is impacting their libraries and their patrons.

More detail about the results of this 60-second survey will be published in an upcoming edition of Fast Facts. Let us know what you think about the recession’s impact on libraries by leaving a comment below.

Briana

Programming Field Initiated Study

Public librarians involved in programming may be interested in the newest Field Initiated Study. Defining successful programming in public libraries is a collection of responses received from questions sent to the Libnet listserv by Gail Craig of the High Plains Library District.

Click on the title above to view the compiled responses or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.

-Jamie

ROI Closer Look Published – Colorado Public Libraries Return on Investment 5 to 1

Thanks to the newest LRS staff member, Lisa Boyd, the ROI Closer Look report is finally published. The ROI study took place during a time of considerable upheaval at LRS with a staff change in every single position during the course of the project. So, we are very grateful to Lisa for bringing her considerable organizational and publication production skills to bear on this project. She was able to gather together all the individual pieces of the study and produce a document with all the ROI study findings in one place. Of course, the individual library reports, calculators, and other ROI information are still available on the ROI webpage.

For most of the libraries participating in the study, the return on investment (ROI) was approximately five to one—that is, for every $1.00 spent on public libraries, $5.00 of value was realized by taxpayers.

Data for this study were gathered using a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews, and available data sources. Almost 5,000 Colorado residents responded to the library use and value survey.

Thanks to the eight libraries that participated in the study. Staff at these libraries generously shared their time and expertise to make this study possible.

– Cortez Public Library
– Denver Public Library
– Douglas County Libraries
– Eagle Valley Library District
– Fort Morgan Public Library
– Mesa County Public Library District
– Montrose Library District
– Rangeview Library District

For more information, please visit our ROI page at: http://www.lrs.org/public/roi/.

~Nicolle
steffen_n@cde.state.co.us

Watchmen Who Knew?

In an alternate history, as the United States and the Soviet Union teeter on the edge of a nuclear war and being a superhero is illegal, who will save the world? Enter the Watchmen…

As graphic novel readers and teen librarians know, Watchmen delivers a complex plot that goes far beyond deconstructing the idea of a superhero. Here are some tidbits to help the rest of us understand the cult phenomenon that is Watchmen.

The Graphic Novel
o Watchmen is not only in Time magazine’s top 10 graphic novels list, it is included in Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to Present.

o The original 12 issues of the Watchmen comic book series were published by DC Comics in 1986-87.

o After two decades the graphic novel is still selling. In 2007 about 100,000 copies were sold, but when the trailer for the “Watchmen” movie was shown before “The Dark Night” in July 2008, sales skyrocketed. By mid-August DC put another 900,000 copies into print to meet demand (over 62,500 copies sold in July/August 2008). “Watchmen” became the top selling graphic novel in 2008.

o In 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment released a narrated version of the original comic called Watchmen: Motion Comics. The first chapter sold on iTunes and other digital stores for the 1986 cover price of $1.50. The Complete Motion Comic was released March 3, 2009.

The Movie
Opening night midnight viewings of the “Watchmen” generated $4.55 million in sales. The film opened in 1,595 theaters across the country and spread to 3,611 around the world, the most theaters ever to show an R-rated movie.

“Watchmen” was directed by Zack Snyder, and has been compared to Snyder’s 2007 feature film “300”, here are a few comparative stats from each opening weekends:
o While “Watchmen” brought in a total of $55.7 million in opening weekend tickets sales, “300” had a much stronger opening weekend with $70 million in tickets sales.
o The movie-goer’s desire to see action films on IMAX screens brought in $5.5 million in IMAX ticket sales for “Watchmen” during its opening weekend; “300” reached 65% of that mark with $3.6 million.
o Snyder’s “300” opened on 62 domestic IMAX screens and “Watchmen” opened on 124.
o “Watchmen” is 45 minutes longer than “300”, making it hard for theaters to have more than one showing per evening. “300’s” shorter running time gave theaters the opportunity to play two showings per evening, which likely had an affect on ticket sales.
o “300” had a production budget of $60 million. “Watchmen’s” budget is reported to be between $120 and $150 million.

Intrigued? Learn more at the following websites.

Watchmen movie and graphic novel:
www.afterwatchmen.com

DC Comics:

http://www.dccomics.com/dcu/

Watchmen writer Alan Moore:

http://www.alanmoorefansite.com/

Comic and graphic novel sales/ trends:

http://www.icv2.com/index.php

Movie box office data:

http://www.the-numbers.com/

-R. Sean Lamborne
sean@lrs.org

References

Gustines, G.G. (2008, August 13). Film trailer aids sales of ‘Watchmen’ novel. The New York Times Online. Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/arts/14arts-FILMTRAILERA_BRF.html?_r=1&ref=arts&oref=slogin

ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – August 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13297.html

ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – July 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13104.html

Michael White. (2009, March 6). ‘Watchmen’ may open with $70 million, lift box office. Bloomberg.com Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aiiSmRwjr8lQ&refer=muse

Paul William Tenny. (2009, March 10). Watchmen experiences mass walkouts in new york city. Newsvine.com. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from http://pwtenny.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/10/2527065-watchmen-experiences-mass-walkouts-in-new-york-city

The Numbers: Box Office Data, Movie Stars, Idle Speculation. Watchmen [Data File]. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/WATCH.php

Watchmen (2004, July 22). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen#cite_note-57

New Field Initiated Study

A new field initiated study was just posted. Therapeutic Reading Programs and Reading Education Assistant Dogs is a compilation of responses received from Samantha Hagar’s inquiry to the Libnet listserv on how libraries use dogs in therapeutic reading programs.

For more information, click the title above or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.

-Jamie

New Fast Facts: Book, Newspaper, and Periodical Prices, 2004-2010

Take a leisurely look at the new Fast Facts! “Book, Newspaper, and Periodical Prices, 2004-2010″ examines past pricing for library materials and includes calculations for future pricing if the current pricing trends continue.

Read the complete report on the Fast Facts page.

-Sean
sean@lrs.org

New Fast Facts: Colorado Public Librarian Salaries

LRS has published a new Fast Facts, “Colorado Public Librarian Salaries Keeping Pace with National Averages.” The report compares salary data collected by LRS to national averages reported by the American Library Association.

Read the full text on our Fast Facts page.

-Briana

2008-09 School Library Profiles Now Available

The 2008-09 School Library Profiles have been created and are now available for all school libraries that responded to this year’s survey. To access them, go to http://www.lrs.org/school/profiles08/index.php.

Thank you to all 830 schools who responded.

-Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Reference Service – Where is it Going? Survey Results

In December 2008, we launched the 60-second survey, “Reference Service – Where is it Going?” The survey was prompted by a discussion on a listserv for librarians working on virtual reference desks around the country. (Thanks Kris Johnson for the tip!)

Clearly a hot topic, we received 1,500 responses from library staff and others reading library blogs, listservs, etc.

Not surprisingly, respondents indicated that reference services are important to both the public and the library itself.

(Click on a chart for a larger, more detailed image.)

When asked “how great is the need for librarian-assisted search services in today’s information environment,” nearly everyone (99%) said it was needed or greatly needed.


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Similarly, respondents thought reference was vital to the library as an institution. 98% of respondents indicated important or very important when asked “how critical are reference services to the survival of libraries?”



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Respondents widely believed that virtual reference will play a big part in the future of library services. Asked “do you think virtual reference services are the future of library reference” nearly 9 out of 10 respondents said “yes.” However, most did not believe it would replace in-person reference.


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In spite of its importance, respondents felt reference was not promoted adequately. 9 out of 10 indicated “the library profession should do more to promote reference services.”


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Recently there has been discussion among librarians about establishing a national effort to promote reference services at libraries. For example, an “ASK” campaign that would be similar to ALA’s “Read” campaign. The majority of respondents (83%) thought “a professional organization should launch a national campaign promoting reference services at libraries.”


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More detail about the results of this 60-second survey will be published in an upcoming edition of Fast Facts. Let us know what you think about reference services in libraries by leaving a comment below.

-Zeth & Nicolle

Interlibrary Loan Among Colorado Academic Libraries

A new Fast Facts has just been published. Interlibrary Loan Among Academic Libraries – Ups and Downs in Colorado, examines interlibrary loan trends. Find out what is increasing and what is decreasing.

Read this Fast Facts and more at our Fast Facts page.

-Jamie

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