Archive for the School Category

Study finds 7 school library characteristics linked to student achievement

SLJ_SC_ImpactStudy

Image credit: School Library Journal

School Library Journal recently reported on the newest statewide study on the impact of school libraries for student success, commissioned by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL). While this now marks more than a dozen states that have conducted studies showing a link between school library programs and student achievement, this study was the first to show school library’s contribution through test results for specific English language arts (ELA) and writing standards.

In South Carolina in 2012-2013, 7 school library characteristics were linked to student achievement, even when controlling for factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, disability, and free or reduced meal eligibility. Those characteristics are: 1) library staffing, 2) total library expenditures, 3) librarian hours spent on teaching activities, 4) circulation of library materials, 5) size of collection, 6) availability of computers, and 7) number of group visits to the library.

While an increase in each of these areas was positively correlated with better test scores and strengths in standards that were available for this study, a few findings stood out above the rest. First, students saw the most benefits when their school librarian spent at least 20 hours a week collaborating with instructors on teaching activities. Second, although ebooks are not yet widespread in South Carolina school libraries (with a median of 40 titles), students at schools with larger print and ebook collections were more likely to show strengths on writing standards. This was especially true for poor students and students eligible for meal subsidy. Third, while all students were positively impacted by access to computers, this was especially true for males, Hispanics, those with limited English and eligibility for meal subsidy.

Based on this study and others like it, the trend is clear – school libraries and the librarians who lead them are making a difference in education.

You can get more information about other school library impact studies conducted in Colorado and across the county here. A more detailed report on the South Carolina study can also be found here.

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

Job postings on LibraryJobline have increased 188% since 2009

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LibraryJobline, LRS’s website for library job postings and resources, saw its best year yet in 2015 in terms of jobs that were posted. In the latest Fast Facts Report, 656 total job postings were added to LibraryJobline last year, which is almost three times the number of job postings in LibaryJobline’s slowest year, 2009. More than two-thirds (68%) of those job postings were located in Colorado, and just over half (53%) of jobs were full-time, a slight decrease from the previous year.

Average librarian salaries are continuing to increase and surpass their recession levels, although significant progress is slow. Jobs not requiring an MLIS saw the biggest salary increase in 2015, up to $17.05 after hovering around $15.00 for the past several years. MLIS required ($24.80) and preferred ($22.37) saw slight decreases from the previous year, although they are both still well above the average starting salary for any year before 2014.

Subscriptions to the site continued to show healthy growth, with 546 new job seekers and 115 new employers added in 2015, and we sent 741,000 emails – the most ever in a single year!

Are you hiring at your library? In the library job market yourself? Sign up for Library Jobline as an employer or jobseeker. Jobseekers can tell us what jobs they’re interested in and get emails sent straight to their inbox whenever new posts meet their criteria. And employers can reach more than 4,000 jobseekers and more than 900 followers on Twitter @libraryjobline.

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

The 2014-15 School Library Survey data is now available

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The 2014-15 Colorado School Library Survey data has been posted at http://www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/annual-statistics/. From this page, you can view individual school library profiles for all schools that completed the survey as well as statewide estimates and benchmarks for selected statistics, and use our interactive tool to explore the data in more depth. There is also a Fast Facts available that presents highlights from the 2014-15 results. Many thanks to all of the Colorado schools who participated in the survey!

LJ reports that more than four-fifths of new library graduates are employed full time, up 19% from 2013

LJ_Salaries2015

Image credit: Library Journal

Library Journal has released the findings from their 2015 Placement & Salaries Survey, which tracks yearly trends in employment among newly graduated MLIS students. In 2014, out of 4,331 estimated library school graduates, 32% participated in Library Journal’s survey. The results show an overall increase in full-time employment among new graduates, as well as steadily increasing salaries, though many new librarians are frustrated at the rigor of the application process and the number of available entry-level positions that actually require an MLIS degree.

The number of new library school graduates with full-time employment increased from 70% in 2013 to 83% in 2014. What’s more, those new graduates are earning even more starting off; starting salaries increased 2.9% from 2013, to $46,987. Women’s salaries increased slightly more than men’s as well, which represents a modest gain in closing the gender wage gap, though men continue to earn 14.9% more than women.

Of course, all regions and job titles are not experiencing these trends equally. The Pacific reported the highest average salaries, while the Southeast had the lowest, and the Northeast and Midwest were close to the average. These differences did, however, correspond closely to standard cost of living differences. One shift across the board is the fact that the highest paid positions are increasingly ones with non-traditional titles – positions that contain phrases such as “software developer,” “usability designer,” “data analyst,” etc. Meanwhile, many new graduates expressed frustration that some other full-time positions did not appear to require an MLIS at all

You can peruse all of Library Journal’s data on salaries and placement here.

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

Join us at CAL for “Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide”

calcon2015

Will you be at the CAL Conference on Friday? If so, we hope you will join us for:

Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide

Friday, October 23, 10:30 AM-12:15 PM, Aspen Daisy

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to present your library statistics in a way that effectively communicates value. In this session, straight from the 2015 Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL), you’ll learn quick and easy tips for displaying your statistics in a way that tells a powerful story about your library, whether your data visualization aspirations consist of adding a few Excel charts to a board report or designing a complex infographic for your website. As part of this session, several free and/or low-cost infographic creation software tools will be demonstrated.

In new SLJ survey, nearly two-thirds of school librarians see themselves as tech leaders in their school

SLJ_TechSuvey_2015

Image credit: School Library Journal

School Library Journal’s 2015 Technology survey of 1,259 school librarians provides insight into the positive and negative effects that technology is having on school libraries. On the positive side, the survey suggests that school librarians are more enthusiastic than ever about incorporating tech as a component of teaching and learning. Makerspaces, 3-D printers, and coding skills were cited as the most coveted tech resources. In fact, more than a third (38%) of respondents reported having maker activities and technology already, while another 13% said they would be adding these features in the next year. School librarians are also quite confident in their own advocacy of technology, with nearly two-thirds (64%) expressing that they see themselves as tech leaders in their schools.

School librarians’ use of applications for instruction and social media for providing information and resources has continued to increase. Application use has increased from 57% in 2013 to 71% in 2015, and the use of social media for information sharing shot up from 59% in 2013 to 76% in 2015.

Yet despite this rapidly growing interest and demand for technology many school libraries are seeing budgets fall short of their need. In particular, the amount of bandwidth is becoming a concern. While nearly all (97%) of the schools surveyed have Wi-Fi, the speed of connection is comparable to many private homes. Only 63% of school librarians surveyed deemed their bandwidth access adequate, compared to 82% in 2013. In addition, the funding to improve these services is often stagnant at best.

It is almost certain that the supply of digital information will continue to skyrocket along with the demand to complement these resources with technology-based instruction. School librarians and those who partner with them will need to combine advocacy efforts with creative solutions for how to stretch funds to accommodate the need for more tech-based learning.

Read the full SLJ report on technology in school libraries here.

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

3 in 4 TELL survey respondents said teachers & students have access to current, diverse, & ability-appropriate materials through the library

2015 TELL

Image credit: Colorado Department of Education

New results from the Colorado Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL Colorado) survey are now available! Administered through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), this biennial survey asks Colorado teachers and administrators about teaching and learning conditions in their school. The 2015 iteration included two new questions about school libraries and librarians:

  • Teachers receive appropriate training and guidance from school library staff to help students to become proficient in 21st century skills.
  • Teachers and students have access to current, diverse and ability-appropriate materials through the library.

About 3 out of 4 (74%) respondents agreed or strongly agreed that teachers and students have access to current, diverse, and ability-appropriate materials through the library. More than half—57%—agreed or strongly agreed that teachers receive appropriate training and guidance from school library staff to help students to become proficient in 21st century skills.

These data help demonstrate the broader role school library services are playing in their schools in Colorado and dovetails with extensive existing research on the impact school libraries have on student achievement.

Review the fact sheet about the 2015 results here and check out your local district’s results here, available if the minimum 50% response rate was reached.

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

Study finds that high-poverty schools with a certified teacher librarian achieve a 5-year graduation rate of 79%

WLMA

Image credit: Washington Library Media Association

There’s yet more reason to invest in school library programs! Even as the number of endorsed librarians in today’s schools continues its downward trend, studies are consistently finding that there is no substitute for a quality school library program (You can peruse through research done by LRS and other institutions on this subject here). A new study conducted by the Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) and reported by School Library Journal further corroborates these findings. The study, which drew from 1,486 K-12 public schools across Washington state, concludes that students in schools that have a certified teacher-librarian (CTL) are more likely to perform better on standardized tests and to graduate, regardless of whether they live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, and regardless of the income of their household.

While 85% of students in schools with CTLs graduate in 5 years compared to 79% of students in schools without a CTL, the difference is far more profound in high-poverty schools. In areas where poverty is prevalent, nearly four-fifths (79%) of students in schools that have a CTL graduate in 5 years. This five year graduation rate, however, falls to well under half (43%) of students for schools that do not have a CTL.

While these findings are in line with many other recent studies, the WLMA took their research a step further by creating a method for evaluating the overall quality of library services. The Library Quality Scale (LQS) that they use assigns a score from 0-35 to each program based on the number of hours open, visits per week, the inventory of books and databases, and the number of computers available for instruction. Using this scale, the WLMA discovered that while nearly all of the schools (97%) report having some kind of library facility, minimal resources did not equate to higher performance. Programs that achieved a score over 26, however, had higher student achievement. This suggests that in order to see meaningful impact on student achievement, making an investment in library facilities and staff is critical.

Check out the full report from the WLMA here.

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

In 2013-2014, 1 in 4 Colorado public schools had an endorsed librarian

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How many endorsed school librarians and other library staff are in Colorado? How many Colorado public schools have any type of library staffing? These answers change depending on a variety of factors: position (endorsed librarian or other staff), grade level, school setting (Denver Metro, rural, etc.), and school size. Based on Colorado Department of Education school staffing data, there were a total of 404 FTE endorsed librarians and 928 FTE library staff in Colorado K-12 public schools in 2013-2014. About 2 in 3 Colorado public schools had some type of library staffing in 2013-2014, but only 1 in 4 had an endorsed librarian. To learn more about school library staffing in Colorado, check our our new Fast Facts. Also be sure to check out our school library impact infographic, which demonstrates the impact of school libraries on student achievement.

615 jobs posted on Library Jobline in 2014

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For our popular library job posting website, Library Jobline, 2014 was a spectacular year! In our newest Fast Facts report, we report a total of 615 jobs were posted in 2014—the most ever since we launched the service in 2007—and up a whopping 170% since 2009, the lowest year for job posts in the middle of the recession. Average wages also hit new highs for posts requiring ($25.31 per hour) or preferring ($24.45 per hour) the MLIS degree.

Library Jobline also became an increasingly national tool. In 2014, we had the most-ever posts for positions located outside Colorado, with the year-end picture split nearly evenly between Colorado (51%) and other states (49%). With more than 600 job seekers and more than 130 employers added in 2014 alone, jobs posted on Library Jobline also reached a wider audience. In fact, we sent the most emails ever—more than 617,000—about new job posts, and job posts were viewed nearly 430,000 times.

Are you hiring at your library? In the library job market yourself? Sign up for Library Jobline as an employer or jobseeker. Jobseekers can tell us what jobs they’re interested in and get emails sent straight to their inbox whenever new posts meet their criteria. And employers can reach more than 3,500 jobseekers and more than 600 followers on Twitter @libraryjobline.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly 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.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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