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.
Library Journal and SirsiDynix find that 2 in 5 public libraries offer a mobile device app to their patrons
App design for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina Library Journal, in collaboration with SirsiDynix, recently conducted a survey of 618 public libraries to gather information about mobile device trends in libraries. Their report reveals the increasing use of mobile-friendly websites and apps in public libraries. Out of the libraries that responded to the survey, about 2 in 5 (37%) currently offer a mobile app to their patrons and nearly three-quarters (72%) have a website that is optimized for use on mobile devices. Libraries serving more than 500,000 patrons were more likely to respond that they have an app, resulting in about...

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OCLC report shows changes in US voter perception of libraries over the last ten years
By on April 4, 2018 in The LRS Number
OCLC recently published From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, an update to a 2008 report. The report highlights key findings from their national study of U.S. voters about their perceptions of libraries. Two areas showed noteworthy change over the past ten years: the use of libraries as a community space and commitment to library funding. Many public libraries have been working on transforming into community hubs over the past few years, and the voters surveyed by OCLC seem to have noticed. More than 2 in 5 (44%) voters said that they value the library...

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School Library Journal examines national, state, and local factors contributing to the loss in school librarian jobs
By on March 20, 2018 in School / The LRS Number
School Library Journal recently published the School Librarian State of the Union. This national overview of the profession takes a look at the data gathered about school librarianship. One of the articles, “A Perfect Storm Impacts School Librarianship Numbers,” uses this data to reflect on the national, state, and local factors that together contribute to the dropping number of school librarians. Nationwide, the school librarian profession has lost about 1 in 5 (19%) full-time positions since 2000, translating to about 10,000 jobs. One explanation for this loss could be a trend of not replacing school librarians when they retire, and many...

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“Lost Einsteins” can be alleviated by childhood exposure to invention and inventors, particularly inventors of the same gender
By on March 8, 2018 in The LRS Number
A recent paper from the Equality of Opportunity Project explores the question: “What factors induce people to become inventors?” The investigators looked into the origins of patent holders in the U.S. using tax records and school district data with test scores. The study reports that “children with parents in the top 1% of the income distribution are ten times more likely to become inventors than children with below-median income parents.” Strong math skills also contribute to the likelihood someone will grow up to invent, but the income of their parents has an impact on even the most talented math students: “Children...

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SHLB Coalition report estimates that it would cost $13-$19 billion to connect all community anchor institutions to high-speed broadband internet
By on February 21, 2018 in Technology / The LRS Number
The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition recently released a report prepared by CTC Technology & Energy estimating how much it would cost to expand high-speed, fiber optic broadband internet to community anchor institutions – schools, libraries, hospitals, health care clinics, community colleges, and other public institutions that do not currently have direct fiber connections. SHLB estimates that 34 million people living in the United States do not have access to broadband internet. However, nearly all (95%) Americans live in the same zip code area as a community anchor institution (Anchor). The authors argue that using Anchors as hubs to...

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Library Journal survey finds noticeable differences in genre popularity between print books and ebooks
By on February 7, 2018 in Public / The LRS Number
Library Journal recently published the results of its Materials Survey 2018, an annual survey that gathers materials expenditure and circulation data from public libraries across the United States. Although print book circulation has dropped in the past few years, print book purchases still make up over half (54%) of public libraries’ materials budgets, while netted media (audiobooks, DVDs/Blu-rays, and streaming media) used a little under one-third (30%) of the budget and ebooks used about a tenth (9%). Within netted media spending, audiobook spending rose 16% across all of the responding libraries, including a notable rise in downloadable audio.  Included for the...

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  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
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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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