Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007

From IMLS, Washington, DC:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announces the release of a new research brief, Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007. The brief identifies important changes public libraries have made to address patron needs in an increasingly Internet-centric environment and explores service differences in urban and rural communities.

A comparison of more than 11 years of Public Library Survey data suggests that service changes in U.S. public libraries are having an impact on visitation and circulation, as record numbers of people now use public libraries nationwide. Several findings from the survey include:

• The availability of Internet terminals in public libraries rose sharply between 2000 and 2007, increasing by 90 percent on a per capita basis. This dramatic increase is one example of the way U.S. public libraries are expanding their range of services to meet patron demand.

• Between 1997 and 2007, per capita visits to public libraries increased nationwide by 19 percent. During the same period per capita circulation increased by 12 percent. This growth in demand for library services occurred even as people increasingly turned to the Internet to meet other information needs.

• The study identified very different trajectories between urban and rural communities for select service trends, highlighting the importance of local context for identifying patron needs and improving services.

To read the research brief please go to: http://www.imls.gov/pdf/Brief2010_01.pdf

Colorado Public Library data: http://www.lrs.org/pub_stats.php

NCES Published 2008 Academic Library Statistics

The report “Academic Libraries: 2008 First Look” presents tabulations for the 2008 Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) conducted by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Look for statistical reports summarizing services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in 2- and 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

~Nicolle
steffen_n@cde.state.co.us

Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009

A new Fast Facts, “Use of Statewide Databases Skyrockets in 2009: Patrons Benefit from Additional Databases and Training,” has been published!
This Fast Facts examines the use of electronic databases in Colorado libraries in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and explores the impact of librarian training and a larger database package on overall database use.

To read this Fast Facts, visit our Fast Facts page or click on the title above!

– Lisa

60-Second Survey: Future of the Book

Recently, news outlets and blogs have been busy deriding and celebrating the recent ascension of e-readers. The growing popularity of this new format has come with murmurs about the death of paper books and some even surmise that as technology advances libraries will cease to exist!

Taking notice of the chatter, Library Research Service has decided to survey librarians on the matter. This new 60-Second Survey asks your opinions on e-readers and how you think they will transform reading. Will e-readers be the demise of the paper book? What will libraries circulate? What is the future of the book? You tell us.
Click the link below to take the 60-Second Survey.

Survey closed–thanks for your interest.

Public Libraries & Web Technologies – What’s Happening?

LRS is proud to announce the release of our most recent Closer Look Report, “U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies.” In the spring of 2008, we visited the websites of nearly 600 public libraries in the United States, including all Colorado public libraries, looking for the presence of web technologies, including those identified as “Web 2.0.” This report details our findings about what public libraries are doing on the web, and the characteristics that “early adopters” share.

Find the report, and a Colorado-specific Fast Facts report, on the report page:

http://www.lrs.org/public/webtech

-Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

LRS is searching for a new DU Research Fellow

We’ve recently watched one of our University of Denver Research Fellows graduate and move on to her professional career – good luck Briana, you’ll be missed. But as one door closes another opens, and now we’ve started the process of hiring a new Research Fellow. As the result of our partnership with DU’s LIS program which allows us to employ 3-4 current DU LIS students as Research Fellows. More information about the Fellowship is available at http://www.lrs.org/fellowship.php.

If you are a current student in the DU LIS program and think the Fellowship sounds like a good opportunity, or if you know someone in the program who you think would be a great fit for us, our online application form and instructions are available at http://www.lrs.org/rfapp.

-Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

LRS Study Featured in Computers in Libraries Magazine

If you or your library subscribes to Computers in Libraries magazine, look for my article – U.S. Public Libraries and Web 2.0: What’s Really Happening? – on page 6. Find information about the publication at http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/oct09/index.shtml. The article is the first publication recapping our recent study, “U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies.” We are also tying up the loose ends on a Closer Look Report detailing results of the study, and working on a Colorado-specific edition of Fast Facts. Watch for those publications soon on the PL Web Tech study page.

-Zeth

2009-10 Colorado School Library Survey Now Open

Letters have been sent to public school libraries throughout the state announcing the opening of the 2009-10 Colorado School Library Survey, open now at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. Login information is included in the letter, but if you haven’t received your letter and would like to get started, feel free to call LRS at 303-866-6900 to get your information.

-Zeth