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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.
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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Scholastic survey finds that 95% of parents believe that every child should have access to a school and public library
By on May 29, 2019 in Public / School / The LRS Number
Scholastic recently published a report highlighting the importance of summer reading for children as part of their biennial Kids & Family Reading Report. The report explores attitudes and behaviors towards reading using information gathered during a national survey of children ages 6-17 and their parents, and parents of kids ages 0-5. The report reveals both parent and child attitudes towards summer reading. Nearly all (94%) parents agree that reading over the summer helps their child during the school year, but only about half (53%) are aware of the “summer slide” that is largely due to lack of reading. Children are also...

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Pew finds that a quarter (26%) of lower-income Americans rely on their smartphones for internet access
Pew recently published their latest post in a series examining how different demographic groups use technology and access the internet. Their analysis found that a digital divide persists between lower- and higher-income Americans, despite growing internet and technology use across the board. Survey respondents making less than $30,000 per year have lower levels of technology adoption than their wealthier counterparts do. About 3 in 10 (29%) lower-income respondents reported they do not own a smartphone, while nearly all respondents making above $100,000 per year do. Similarly, more than 2 in 5 lower-income respondents do not have access to home broadband services (44%) or a traditional desktop or laptop computer (46%), while...

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Library Journal survey finds that public library circulation has dipped slightly (0.5%) for the first time since 1999
By on April 26, 2019 in Public / The LRS Number
Library Journal recently released the results of its annual materials survey tracking circulation statistics in public libraries nationwide. Materials circulation in public libraries decreased by half a percent (0.5%) in 2018, falling, though only slightly, for the first time since 1999. Two in 5 (40%) survey respondents reported that they saw their circulation decrease. Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) items circulated in 2018 were books, 1 in 10 (9%) were ebooks, and about a third (31%) were other media like audiobooks, DVD/Blu-ray, music CDs, and streaming media. Book and ebook circulation both increased from 2017 to 2018, while...

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University of California System opts out of more than $10 million contract with scholarly publisher Elsevier
By on April 11, 2019 in Academic / The LRS Number
The University of California System is made up of 10 schools and over 100 libraries, including several prestigious research universities, such as UC-Berkeley. Inside Higher Ed reports that the UC System “accounts for almost 10 percent of the research output of the United States.” And, Elsevier is an information and analytics company that distributes many prestigious academic journals, such as the Lancet, through their online databases including ScienceDirect and Scopus. Many universities and academic libraries view providing access to scholarly journals through online databases as an essential service to promote research and scholarly communication. The open access movement has been growing,...

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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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