News

New Field Initiated Studies

The three new Field Initiated Studies (FIS) posted should interest a wide range of librarians and library directors.

The Criminal and Credit Checks on Employees and Volunteers FIS is a summary of responses to a question regarding who is using criminal and credit checks as a pre-employment screening process. The question was posed to the Colorado Public Library Directors listserv by Claudine Perrault, director of the Estes Park Public Library.

The ILS Used by the Rocky Mountain Chapter and Solo Division of SLA FIS is a summary of responses received by Mariwayne Scully and Emily Lynch of Mountain States Employers Council when they asked the Rocky Mountain Chapter and Solo Division of SLA listserv what Integrated Library System they use, if they are happy with their system, and what previous system they have used.

The Language Competency and Hiring Survey FIS includes the results of a survey posted by Eladia Rivera of the Boulder Public Library to the REFORMA-CO listserv. The survey asked what types of pre-hire evaluations of language proficiency are done, if any, for applicants with second language skills. It was also asked if there was any type of incentive for second language speakers and if so, in what form. Finally, the survey asked if language training for staff was paid for by the library or local government. Many comments were also added by respondents.

For more information, click on the titles above or visit our Field Initated Studies section.

-Jamie

Colorado Summer Reading Programs

We’ve just published a new Fast Facts — Colorado Summer Reading Programs More Popular Than Ever, by Robbie Bravman Marks. Find it on our Fast Facts page.

-Zeth

New Research Fellows

The LRS is going through a bit of a transition, as we welcome a brand new set of Research Fellows from the University of Denver. Briana Hovendick, Sean Lamborne, and Jamie Archuleta all joined our ranks in the last few weeks. It’ll be exciting to move forward with our new corps. Join me in welcoming them to the crew.

Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Challenged Materials – Fast Facts

Our latest Fast Facts has just been published – Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries.

See our Fast Facts page to find out what was challenged last year.

-Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

New Fast Facts – Computer Users at JCPL

We’ve just released our latest Fast Facts – Computer Users at JCPL are More Likely to be Very Active Patrons. About a year ago, we collected computer usage data from Jefferson County Public Library, and found that patrons who were using the library’s computers also tended to check out more materials.

See more at http://www.lrs.org/documents/fastfacts/261_jcpl_computers.pdf

Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

LRS-Interactive Tutorial Available

Want to get the most out of our dynamic public library statistics pages? We now have a tutorial available which will help you better navigate the tools and find the statistics you are looking for more easily.

Public Library Statistics Available

2007 Public Library Statistics are now available for libraries in Colorado. Public libraries throughout the state completed their portions of the 2007 Public Library Annual Report this spring, and we have now completed state and federal edit checks to ensure the quality of the data.

Check out the stats at http://www.lrs.org/pub_stats.php.

Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Research Studies at ALA

While I was at ALA, I had the chance to be exposed to several sessions that presented research that is in a very similar vein to what we’re doing here at the LRS. I’ll mention three such studies that I was able to learn about:

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is doing a study that is very close to our hearts – the Workforce Issues in Library & Information Science (http://www.wilis.unc.edu/index.html). They’re treating it as a two-step process. First, they’ve surveyed LIS graduates from their school dating to 1964, and are currently processing that data. Next, they will be using what they’ve done to attempt to develop a model for career tracking of LIS graduates. It should be interesting to see what they come up with.

Second, Old Dominion University is conducting an exploratory study of the relationship between National Board Certification (NBC) in Library Media and Information Science (LMS) and student academic achievement ( http://www.odu.edu/~spribesh/imls-nbc.shtml). This is well in line with the school library impact studies done by LRS and others found at http://www.lrs.org/impact.php.

Finally, I got to sit in on a session presented by OCLC which discussed their study, “From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America” (http://www.oclc.org/reports/funding/default.htm). They’re analyzing the data from a very large study of library support that found, among many other things, that the library’s most committed funding supporters are not the heaviest library users.

Though all of these studies are still in the data analysis stage at the moment, I look forward to seeing what comes from them.

Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Colorado Library Districts Show Greater Increases in Public Use and Financial Support than Other Public Library Types

This latest issue of Fast Facts compares libraries districts to their non-district peers to determine if they continued to show strong financial stability since the budget cuts of 2002. And if library districts have increased their funding more than non-district libraries, have they also increased the utilization of their resources and materials more than the other library types?

See the Fast Facts article here: http://www.lrs.org/documents/fastfacts/260_PL_districts_jur.pdf

Comment on the article here: http://www.lrs.org/blog/

Jennifer French
Senior Research Analyst
Library Research Service

Who Knew?… Summer Reading Fun Facts

Summer reading programs are an integral part of public library culture, and many libraries strive to serve all ages including children, young adults, and adults. Some fun facts about summer reading include:

• In the summer of 2007, nearly 205,000 Colorado children participated in summer reading at their public library. In fact, over the past 10 years, approximately 1.5 million participants registered for summer reading programs at Colorado public libraries.

• Children in every income group who read six or more books over the summer gain more in reading achievement than children who do not.

• On average, children from low-income families lose nearly three months of grade-level equivalency during the summer months each year, compared to an average of one month lost by middle-income children.

• Despite some studies that claim teenagers are reading less than ever before, in January 2005 the Gallup organization asked 1,078 teenagers, ages 13-17 about the books they read for pleasure over the last six months. 82% said they had read at least one book.

• Libraries have used blogs as a platform for presenting adult summer reading programs to their patrons. The creator of Maggie Reads (http://www.maggiereads.blogspot.com) notes that in the summer of 2007, her first blog-based reading challenge prompted comments by over 80 bloggers in the community.

The Colorado State Library provides additional summer reading resources for libraries at:

http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/SummerReading/

Sources (in order of being quoted):

http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/SummerReading/Downloads/pdf/SummerReadingPressRelease_CSL.pdf

http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/research.htm

http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/SummerReading/Downloads/pdf/PreventSummerSetback_English08.pdf

http://sdkrashen.com/pipermail/krashen_sdkrashen.com/2005-July/000182.html

Maggie Moran. (2008). Reading + blogging: One perfect adult summer reading program. Mississippi Libraries, 72(1), p. 6-8.

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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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