CHICAGO – At every turn, news reports and research indicate fairly dramatic changes in U.S. library funding, services and staffing – most occurring in the last 18 months. According to a new report prepared by the American Library Association (ALA), libraries of all types are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn while managing sky-high use.
Compiled from a broad range of available sources, The Condition of Libraries: 1999-2009 presents U.S. economic trends (2009), and summarizes trends in public, school and academic libraries across several library measures, including expenditures, staffing and services. The report also highlights trends in services provided to libraries by library cooperatives and consortia.
[More at: http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2010/january2010/outlook_ors.cfm]
Reports by library type: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/index.cfm
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
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!
A new Fast Facts has been published! This Fast Facts, State’s Collaborative Climate Fosters Interlibrary Loan in Colorado, examines interlibrary loan (ILL) use among Colorado’s public and academic libraries, as well as how ILL use impacts circulation overall.
Read this Fast Facts by going to our Fast Facts page, or click the title above!
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:
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.
Curious about the challenges received by Colorado’s public libraries? Read our newest Fast Facts, Challenged Materials in Colorado’s Public Libraries, 2008. More than one out of ten public libraries in Colorado received a challenge in 2008. Read more by clicking on the title above or by going to our Fast Facts page.
Are you curious about the library job market in Colorado? Our latest Fast Facts, Library Jobs in Colorado: What Does LibraryJobline.org Tell Us?, analyzes the job postings on LibraryJobline.org since 2007. Some of the topics discussed are the total number of job postings, job postings by library type, and degree requirements. Read more about the changes (and similarities) over the past few years by clicking on the title above or by going to our Fast Facts page.
Are you interested in Internet connection and its administration throughout Colorado’s libraries?
Between October 2008 and March 2009, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation surveyed America’s libraries to learn more about their Internet connectivity. Results were distributed to each state in April 2009.
Out of the 248 libraries (outlets/branches) in Colorado, 242 responded to the survey (98%). The results give a candid assessment of library Internet connections across the state. Data herein covers a variety of topics, including: Number of outlets that provide Internet access to the public, type of Internet service connection, download speed, cost of Internet connection, and more.
A few highlights from the results:
-All but one outlet/branch in Colorado provides Internet access to the public
-Nearly three out of ten (29%) of Colorado’s library outlets receive some Internet connectivity for free, although they may pay for additional connections
-The average cost for library Internet connections is $4,452 per year per outlet
Other findings for the Broadband Assessment project can be found at:
Ever wonder how a return on taxpayer investment in public libraries can be quantified? Our latest Fast Facts, Colorado Library Return on Investment: 5 to 1, discusses how the Library Research Service calculated return on investment (ROI) for eight public libraries from across the state.