Each year, the American Library Association and the Center for Library & Information Innovation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, surveys a national sample of public libraries regarding their Internet connectivity and computing access resources. The 2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study survey (PLFTAS) is now open and survey announcement postcards should be arriving at libraries this week.
The survey portal is www.plinternetsurvey.org – respondents can find FAQs and other support, and then head to “start survey.” That is also where you will find the 4 issue briefs (Broadband, Community Access, E-government, and Employment), as well as state summaries for Employment and E-government.
Why participate in this survey?
- At the national level, the data have been used by NTIA, the FCC, Congress, ALA, and B&MGF to help make the case that libraries are critical community anchor institutions that should be included in any broadband plan initiatives; help libraries secure BTOP funds; and work with policy makers to secure LSTA funds for libraries. The data is also being combined with a range of geocoded data so that policymakers can see how libraries make a difference in their communities through their public access technologies.
- At the state level, 72% of state librarians said they currently are using or are likely to use the data for state-level testimony and to develop messaging related to public library technology resources. The data is used to develop state-level issue briefs, data summaries (employment and e-government), and other tools to help state libraries advocate on behalf of their libraries.
- At the local level, survey administrators have worked with a number of libraries to get stories out about the importance of libraries in their communities. They have also been working with the National Association of Counties to take the message to local governing bodies and decision makers. You can see several media stories using PLFTAS data at: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2009_2010/media.cfm.
The survey closes November 5, 2010.
Last winter, LRS posted a 60-Second Survey on “The Future of the Book.” More than 1,300 people responded, with nearly 950 leaving additional comments about their thoughts on the topic. With all that information, we were able to write two Fast Facts providing analysis of both the results and the comments.
The comments proved to be one of the most interesting aspects of the survey, revealing passionate and philosophical thoughts on the future of paper and electronic books. Six common themes emerged as influences on future format choices: the existence of multiple formats, technological advantages, emotional/aesthetic appeal of paper books, content, cost, and change over time/generation. The first Fast Facts addresses results and comments related to cost and technological advantages of paper versus electronic formats, while the second report discusses the remaining comment categories and how they related to the type of library in which survey respondents worked and whether they owned an e-reader.
~ Jamie H.
Published earlier this year, The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap showed that “Students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participate.” For more see…
Linda Hofschire is the new Research Analyst at the Library Research Service. Previously she worked as a social science researcher in the fields of Mass Communication and Education, designing and implementing surveys and analyzing statistics. She recently received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois.
Dave Hodgins is our new Data Coordinator and Web Developer and comes to LRS from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he was Assistant Professor and Access Services Librarian. Dave’s research interests include library web design and development and the application of new and emerging technologies to traditional library services.
We are all very excited to welcome our new colleagues to LRS and the State Library and look forward to exploring new library research territory with them.
IMLS recently published the 2008 Public Libraries Survey Report: http://harvester.census.gov/imls/pubs/pls/index.asp.
An analysis of the data shows that nationally public library visits and circulation went up 20% from 1999 to 2000 while staff numbers stay the same: http://www.imls.gov/news/2010/063010.shtm
Using an online survey, the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is soliciting feedback from the entire Colorado library community. Rochelle Logan, current CAL president, wrote:
“It has been quite a few years since CAL conducted a survey to ask you if the association is meeting your needs. With the Board in the midst of writing a strategic plan, we decided it was time to put our finger on the pulse and find out what you want from CAL. Not only are we looking for feedback from our members, but non-members as well. Please take 5 minutes to answer this short questionnaire at http://www.formsite.com/calforms/membsurvey2010/index.html. It is very important that we hear from you as we plan for our future.”
The survey closes the end of June, so respond soon!
The National Center for Education Statistics today released The Condition of Education 2010, a Congressionally mandated report to the nation on education in America today. It covers all aspects of education, with 49 indicators that include findings on enrollment trends, demographics, and outcomes.
The report projects that public school enrollment will rise from 49 million in 2008 to 52 million by 2019, with the largest increase expected in the South. Over the past decade, more students attended both charter schools and high-poverty schools (those in which more than 75 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch). One in six U.S. students attends a high-poverty school; and the number of charter school students has tripled since 1999.
Full report: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/
Two reports have been added to our Field Initiated Studies page! These reports come from Bonnie McCune and Heidi Baker with the Colorado Special Populations & Issues Committee.
The first, “The Future of Diverse Libraries,” is a survey from library staff members and indicates benchmarks, needs, and future steps. The second, based on personal interviews with leaders, “Key Informants: Opinions and Advice on Special Populations,” gives perspectives and general guidance.
To view these reports, click on the titles above or go to our Field Initiated Studies page at www.lrs.org/field.php.
The IMLS search and compare tools have been updated with the 2008 national public library data.
Search tool: http://harvester.census.gov/imls/search/index.asp
Compare tool: http://harvester.census.gov/imls/compare/index.asp