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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.
Pew survey finds that 1 in 5 Americans have never visited a library
By on September 14, 2016 in Public / The LRS Number
Pew Research recently released their annual report on attitudes of Americans towards their public libraries, Libraries 2016. Alongside a plethora of information detailing who is visiting public libraries and why, Pew also reported on those who are not visiting the library. Among those surveyed, 1 in 5 (19%) said that they have never visited a public library or bookmobile. The demographic analysis of this data points to groups that the library could make a more concerted effort to reach. Someone who has never visited a library is most likely to be male (a quarter of all male respondents said they had...

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Library Journal survey finds that digital audiobook circulation has risen by 86% in the past year
By on August 30, 2016 in Public / Technology / The LRS Number
In the beginning of 2016, Library Journal surveyed 395 public libraries to create the Audiobooks and Public Libraries report. The findings included how often audiobooks are being circulated, the genres that are most popular to collect, and the changing format preference of audiobook patrons. In 2015, audiobook circulation amounted to a little over 1 out of 10 items circulated (13%). A majority (66%) of the audiobooks circulated were physical CDs or Playaway players, rather than digital downloads. However, nearly 9 in 10 (86%) libraries reported an increase in digital audiobook circulation, while about one-third (35%) reported an increase in physical audiobook...

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Digital divide between Latinos and whites at lowest point in 6 years, according to Pew
By on August 17, 2016 in Technology / The LRS Number
Pew Research recently published the results of a survey examining internet use of Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos in the United States. Overall, they found that the digital divide that between Latinos and whites is at its narrowest point since 2009, declining from 16% to 5% in 2015. The share of Latino adults who report using the internet increased by 20% in the past six years, with more than 4 in 5 (84%) Latinos reporting regularly using the internet. However, less than half (46%) of Latinos who access the internet do so through a home broadband connection, a number that has only...

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Survey finds that public library program attendance has steadily increased over the past 3 years
By on August 3, 2016 in Public / The LRS Number
The Public Library Association (PLA) recently published the results of their Public Library Data Service Annual Survey. The survey data are from fiscal year 2014 and include finances, resources, service usage, and technology use in public libraries. One finding documented in the report is the recent tendency of libraries to hire more non-MLS staff than MLS librarians. The percentage of staff with “librarian” in their job title has steadily increased over the past ten years to make up just under a third (31%) of all library staff. The average percentage of MLS-degreed librarians employed by reporting libraries increased by 2.4% since...

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Number of materials challenges in Colorado public libraries is relatively consistent from 2013 to 2015
By on July 20, 2016 in Public / The LRS Number
The Library Research Service’s latest Fast Facts report summarizes the results of our yearly investigation into the materials that are challenged in public libraries across Colorado. The report details the format, intended audience, reasons, and resolutions of challenges that were reported in the 2015 Public Library Annual Report. The information provided about these challenges help us to determine the attitude towards intellectual freedom in Colorado public libraries each year and to track changes over time. In 2015, the number of challenges remained relatively consistent with what was reported in 2013 and 2014 – hovering just under 30 challenges across the three-year...

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 State-funded preschool programs contribute to boosted test scores and higher graduation rates
By on July 6, 2016 in The LRS Number
Many reports have been published on the importance of high-quality preschool programs, but there is little practical information available to help those trying to implement preschool programs. The Learning Policy Institute recently published a report on early childhood education that is intended to inform educators and policymakers about the essential elements of creating a high quality early education system. The report describes and analyzes how four states (Michigan, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina) have built successful early education systems in order to provide examples for how best to leverage resources and develop practices to improve learning opportunities for young...

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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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