Archive for the Public Category

Pew analysis finds that Millennials are the most likely generation to use their public libraries

In a new analysis of data collected in a 2016 survey, Pew Research Center found that Millennials were the most likely generation to say they used their public library in the past year, either through the library’s physical premises or online. The analysis also reveals other demographic trends in library use.

Over half (53%) of the Millennials (those ages 18 to 35) surveyed report that they have used a public library or bookmobile within the previous year. This is compared to about 2 in 5 of both Gen Xers (those ages 36-51; 45%) and Baby Boomers (those ages 52-70; 43%) and a little over a third (36%) of respondents in the Silent Generation (ages 71-88). Millennials also tend to take advantage of the resources found on their public library’s website most often – more than 2 in 5 (44%) Millennials report using their library website in the past year, while a third (33%) of GenXers, about a quarter (24%) of Baby Boomers, and about 1 in 10 (11%) of the Silent Generation report the same.

Pew’s new analysis also reveals differences in library use based on gender and parental status. In the 2016 survey, over half of women (54%) said that they had visited a public library or bookmobile in that past year, while about 2 in 5 men (39%) said the same. Similarly, about 2 in 5 (37%) women had visited their library’s website, while about a quarter of men (24%) did. Parents were also more likely to have visited their library’s physical premises than nonparents in the past year (54% vs. 43%).

For more information about generational and demographic library use, the full article can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

More than three-fourths of survey respondents are likely to buy a state parks day pass after participating in the Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Colorado State Library program Check Out Colorado State Parks

 

 

 

 

Check Out Colorado State Parks, the result of a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado State Library, provides 287 Colorado libraries with two park passes and adventure backpacks filled with information and educational activities. Patrons of participating public, military, and academic libraries can check out a backpack for a week at a time to visit state parks for free.

Between June and November 2016, 720 patrons completed a survey about their experience with the program. The results indicated that most patrons (97%) were likely to recommend a visit to a state park, and more than three-fourths (77%) were likely to buy a state park day pass. In addition, 85% agreed that the experience helped them learn about nature, and 94% agreed that the program changed their view about what libraries have to offer.

See more highlights from the survey in our new Fast Facts.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Agree Fake News Has Caused “A Great Deal of Confusion”

Fakenews

Image credit: Pew Research

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey on Americans’ sentiments about fake news.  Participants were asked to fill in the blank in the following sentence: “Completely made-up news has caused _____ about the basic facts of current events.” Nearly two out of three of U.S. adults surveyed (64%) said that completely made up news has caused a great deal of confusion. The Pew Research Center report highlights that this response was shared across “incomes, education levels, partisan affiliations and most other demographic characteristics.”

Participants were also asked about their confidence in their ability to recognize fake news. About 4 out of 10 (39%) people surveyed said they were “very confident” they could recognize made-up news, and an additional 45% said they were “somewhat confident.” Although people had high confidence in their abilities to recognize fake news, many people had still shared it online. Overall, about a quarter (23%) of respondents had shared made-up news, sometimes because they did not initially realize it was fake and sometimes for other reasons, like entertainment.

Finally, participants were asked whose responsibility it is to stop the spread of fake news. Respondents could select multiple groups with “great responsibility.” About 2 out of 5 people (43%) chose “members of the public,” a little less than half (45%) chose “the government, politicians, and elected officials,” and about 2 out of 5 (42%) chose “social networking sites and search engines.”

While librarians and librarians were not included specifically as a group that has a great responsibility to prevent the spread of fake news, many library publications–including American Libraries, School Library Journal, and Public Libraries Online–have pointed out the important role that strong information literacy skills play in preventing the spread of fake news, and how this vital skill set can be taught by librarians.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Apply for a travel stipend for the 2017 Colorado RIPL Regional!

RIPL CO Travel App

The Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) are sponsoring up to 14 travel stipends for Colorado public library staff and current MLIS students to attend the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) Regional – Colorado on July 31-August 1, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What is a RIPL Regional? It’s a scaled-down version of the national data boot camp – 2 days, 3 instructors, and 50 public library participants from Colorado – that provides the training necessary to begin using data and evaluation for managing, planning, and communicating impact.

The ideal candidate for this stipend is:

  • Interested in getting started using data for savvy and strategic planning.
  • Looking for both inspiration and instruction in a hands-on, participatory environment.
  • Seeking to learn about outcomes and how to measure library impact.
  • Committed to leading his/her organization in making data-based decisions.
  • Eager to develop a peer network to support research and evaluation efforts.

 To be eligible for a stipend, you must be:

  1. employed by a public library in Colorado, OR a Colorado resident either enrolled in a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program or a 2017 MLIS graduate at the time of the institute (this opportunity is most appropriate for students intending to work in public libraries),
  2. a first-time RIPL participant, and
  3. based outside of the Colorado Springs metro area (there is no registration fee for the event; the stipend covers travel expenses including lodging, meals, and mileage)

Special consideration will be given to applicants working in small or rural libraries and/or those working with underserved populations, as well as those with a demonstrated financial need. However, staff working in any Colorado public library and/or Colorado residents enrolled in an MLIS program are encouraged to apply for stipends.

For more information and to apply, please see https://www.lrs.org/2017-colorado-ripl-regional-travel-stipend-application-process/. Travel stipend applications are due by 5 PM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by March 3.

General registration opens at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 6 at https://ripl.lrs.org/co2017/.

More than 75,000 4-Year-Olds Received a Free Book During the 2016 One Book 4 Colorado

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One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) began in 2012 as a statewide initiative to distribute free copies of the same book to every 4-year-old in Colorado. In 2016, the book chosen was Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, which was distributed in both English and Spanish. More than 75,000 books were given away at more than 500 sites, including Denver Preschool Program preschools and both military and public libraries. LRS surveyed caregivers and participating agencies to learn more about the impact of this year’s OB4CO program on Colorado’s children. The results are compiled in our newest Fast Facts report.

After receiving Giraffes Can’t Dance, nearly three-quarters (72%) of caregivers who responded to a survey agreed that their child was more interested in books and reading, and more than two-thirds (68%) said that their child talked more about books and reading. Caregivers who reported reading to their child less than once a day were more likely to agree that the OB4CO book helped their child become more interested in books and reading. After participating in OB4CO, 4 in 5 (80%) caregivers felt that their community promoted a culture of reading.

The participating agencies surveyed also felt that the program had a positive impact. Nearly all agencies who responded to the survey (98%) reported that the 4 year-olds were excited to receive their copies of Giraffes Can’t Dance, and 9 in 10 (89%) said that the children talked about their book with others. Agencies also noticed an impact on the children’s parents; 7 in 10 (70%) of the participating agencies felt that parents showed an increased awareness of the importance of childhood reading and over half (54%) said that the OB4CO program brought new families to the library.

Voting for next year’s OB4CO will open in early January. Be on the lookout for the 2017 book options and vote for your favorite! More information about the OB4CO program can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Let’s Get Visual! Harnessing Data Visualization to Demonstrate a Library’s Impact

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Are you interested in getting started with data visualization? Check out our column in the November/December 2016 American Libraries: Let’s Get Visual! In this column, we share four simple steps for visualizing your data.

Coming to CAL 2016? Join us for “Measuring Your True Impact: Getting Started With Outcome-Based Evaluation”

cal2016

Will you be at CAL 2016? If so, we hope you will join LRS on Thursday, October 20, 3:15-4:15 in Golden Glow for Measuring Your True Impact: Getting Started With Outcome-Based Evaluation:

Your library offers a lot of great programs, but how can you determine what effects these have on your users? In this session, you’ll learn practical tips for getting started with outcome-based evaluation. You will gain a deeper understanding of a) what outcomes are and how they work in conjunction with inputs and outputs to provide meaningful information about your library’s impact on your community; b) how to measure them (including an overview of several free or low-cost outcome survey tools; and c) how outcome-based evaluation results can be used for management, strategic planning, and demonstrating the value of your library programs.

Pew survey finds that 1 in 5 Americans have never visited a library

Pew_library visits

Image credit: Pew Internet

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 never visited a library), part of a minority group (nearly a third of both black and Hispanic respondents), and have less education (29% of those with a high school degree or less). Members of other demographic groups also reported that they had never visited a library: about 1 in 10 of both those with college degrees (11%) and those in households earning $75,000 or more (12%).

Despite having never visited a library, respondents maintained a generally positive view of the libraries in their communities. More than half (56%) of non-users agree that closing the library would have a major impact on their communities, and about 1 in 5 (19%) think that it would have a major impact on their families. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of non-users thought that the library actually does provide them with the resources they need, so it is possible that they are still accessing library resources through friends and family.

The results of this survey revealed that the primary difference between frequent library users and non-users has to do with the information sources they trust. Respondents who had visited the library at least once in the past year were 39% more likely than non-users to agree “a lot” that libraries are a trustworthy information resource.

You can find more information about library non-visitors here, and the entire Libraries 2016 report can be found here.

Library Journal survey finds that digital audiobook circulation has risen by 86% in the past year

audiobooks_2016

Image credit: Library Journal

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 circulation. LibraryJournal projects that by 2019, downloadable and streaming audiobooks will make up 51% of an average public library’s collection, as opposed to 38% in 2016.

The audiobook collections of the libraries surveyed lean heavily towards adult fiction. Three-quarters (75%) of current audiobook collections are adult titles, while the remaining quarter (25%) is comprised of young adult and children’s titles. Across all titles, about 4 in 5 (79%) are fiction; for comparison, print book collections are typically about 60% fiction. Patron request is overwhelmingly the most important factor influencing audiobook purchases for the libraries surveyed. Others influencing factors included the popularity of the print book, positive reviews, and the audiobook’s narrator.

For more information about audiobook use in public libraries, check out the full report here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Survey finds that public library program attendance has steadily increased over the past 3 years

PLDS FY2014_program attendance

Image credit: Public Library Association

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 FY 2009, while non-MLS librarians increased by 3.5%. Non-MLS librarians currently represent about 4 in 10 (39%) of all librarian staff, the highest percentage since FY2009.

Libraries also reported steady increases in both the number of library programs offered and program attendance. Although growth has been reported for the past three years, FY2014 marked the fastest rate – programs offered by public libraries increased by 7.3%, while program attendance increased by 6.3%. As PLA notes, more library programming combined with declining circulation numbers suggests that libraries are shifting their service delivery priorities.

The full report provides a wealth of information about public libraries in the United States and can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

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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.

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