Welcome to Library Research Service

We conduct research about libraries, provide statistics and analyses to library stakeholders, and work with our colleagues in the Colorado library community and beyond to use data more effectively and persuasively.
National Endowment of the Arts survey finds that 53% of American adults read a book for pleasure in 2017
By on August 21, 2019 in The LRS Number
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently updated their Humanities Indicators with information gathered during the National Endowment of the Arts’ Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. These updates focused on capturing book-reading behaviors of American adults in 2017. The survey found that a little over half (53%) of American adults had read at least one book for pleasure in the past 12 months, the lowest level since the survey began in 1982. Reading rates declined the most among adults aged 55 and younger. However, respondents’ participation in book clubs and reading groups increased to 1 in 20 (5%, up from 3.5% in...

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Two years of preschool creates positive impact 50 years later
By on July 31, 2019 in Public / The LRS Number
A longitudinal study of the impacts of preschool participation found that the study participants as well as their children experienced a variety of positive outcomes. The original participants had lower rates of crime, higher rates of employment, better health, and better executive function than the control group over the course of their lives. Children of the original preschool participants had a better chance of completing high school without suspension, never being arrested, and being employed full time compared to the children of the control group. The control group did not attend preschool and had similar social and economic backgrounds. The study...

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Library Jobline posts a record 815 jobs in 2018
Library Jobline, LRS’s website for library job postings and resources, broke its own record again for the number of jobs posted in 2018 while the number of job seekers and job posters continued to rise. Data collected from the Library Jobline website are highlighted in the most recent Fast Facts report. In 2018 employers posted 815 jobs to Library Jobline, 114 more total jobs than were posted in 2017. January and April tied for Jobline’s busiest months, with 83 new jobs posted in each. Like in previous years, nearly two-thirds (64%) of the jobs posted were located in Colorado. The number of...

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OSU study estimates that children who are read to every day hear 1.4 million more words by age 5
By on July 3, 2019 in Public / School / The LRS Number
A study recently published by Ohio State University researchers in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that young children whose parents frequently read to them could enter kindergarten having heard an estimated 1.4 million more words than children who were rarely or never read to. The researchers propose that more book reading sessions with young children is one way to address the 30 million word gap. The researchers worked with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to identify the 100 most circulated books for babies and young children, which the researchers used to determine an average of how many words were...

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What questions do states add to the national Public Libraries Survey?
By on June 19, 2019 in Public
The annual Institute of Museum and Library Services Public Libraries Survey (PLS) contains 102 questions that all US public libraries complete. However, most states ask additional questions as well. The topics of these questions have been of great interest to public library data stakeholders for a variety of reasons, including that they may be the first indicators of new trends. As part of the Measures that Matter initiative, Ithaka S+R conducted an analysis of state-added questions. The researchers found that states added an average of 180 questions to the PLS, with the most common topics including operating expenditures, human resources, services,...

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99% of Colorado Talking Book Library patron survey respondents rated the overall quality of library service as excellent or good
By on June 13, 2019 in The LRS Number
Patrons of the Colorado Talking Book Library continue to report being pleased with the quality of the library’s services. On the 2018 biennial patron survey, 99% of respondents reported that the overall quality of service was good or excellent. And, 95% or more respondents reported that the following areas of service were good or excellent:  courtesy of staff, speed of delivery, condition of materials, ease of contacting the library, and the playback machine loaned by the library. The survey also asked patrons how the service has been valuable to them. The most common response was to “read for enjoyment: fiction,” which...

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  • 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.

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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.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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