Archive for the School Category

60% of Colorado school librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information at least once a week

60% of Colorado school librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information at least once a week


Image credit: Pew Internet

According to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,400 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers, digital and web technologies are having beneficial and tangible impacts on student writing and skills needed for the future. When asked to rate the importance of various skills in contributing to their students’ success in life, the ability to judge the quality of information topped the list, with more than 9 out of 10 teachers calling it an “essential” skill for the future. School librarians are vital to building this skill, and the findings of our annual survey of Colorado public school libraries indicate that 60% of certified  librarians help students evaluate the credibility of information and web resources at least once a week.

Other skills deemed “essential” by a majority of teachers in the Pew survey include: behaving responsibly online, understanding online privacy issues, and finding information quickly. School librarians provide the foundation for such skills, by teaching students how to use digital resources, as well as how to use technology to organize and share information. Simply put, skills that teachers believe are important for the future are the same ones being taught by school librarians as part of everyday instruction.

Find out more about what skills Colorado school librarians are teaching with our newly released 2012-13 Colorado School Library Survey results, available at

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.

57% of teens improved their digital media skills through participation in a 21st-century library learning space

57% of teens improved their digital media skills through participation in a 21st-century library learning space


Image credit: Cynthia Howe

YOUmedia is a 21st-century learning space for teens located in 5 Chicago Public Library branches. It provides a place where teens can access and learn about digital media (photo and video editing, web design, podcasting, audio recording, etc.), and collaborate with their peers and mentors in a supportive environment.

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research recently released the findings of a study they conducted of the impacts of YOUmedia on teen participants. A little more than half (57%) of the respondents reported that they improved their digital media skills (making a video, producing a podcast, creating a website, etc.) through their involvement in YOUmedia. In addition, more than half said that YOUmedia helped them with their schoolwork, and improved their writing skills and their communication with adults.

Through an IMLS and MacArthur Foundation grant, learning labs inspired by YOUmedia will be created by 12 organizations (7 libraries and 5 museums) across the country.

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.

38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year


Image credit: Pew Internet

The Pew Research Center’s newest stats from its Internet & American Life Library Services Survey dive into younger Americans’ (16-29 years old) library and reading habits and reveal an interesting blend of technology and traditional service expectations. Perhaps most telling is that this group is significantly more likely to have either used technology at libraries or accessed online library services than adults older than 30. For example, 38% of younger Americans have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year, compared with 22% of Americans ages 30 and older. Such tech-centric use is balanced by the younger generation’s ties to print media, as three-quarters say they have read at least one print book in the past year, well above the 64% of older adults. This mix of preferences extends to library services, with 3 out of 4 younger adults saying it’s very important for libraries to offer free access to computers and the internet as well as books for borrowing.

For more on Americans’ reading habits over time, check out Pew’s interactive tool reporting stats by age group.

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 Impact of School Libraries on Academic Achievement

School Libraries Matter: Views from the Research

We are honored to have co-authored a chapter with our founder, Keith Curry Lance, “The Impact of School Libraries on Academic Achievement,” in the new book School Libraries Matter. In addition to reviewing the school library research that LRS and RSL Research have conducted over the past two decades, the chapter also contains a 5-step improvement plan to use this research to improve school library programs, as well as an agenda for future research.

For more information about LRS’s school library impact studies, as well as a bibliography of school library research, see

Attending ALA Annual? Here are the research & statistics sessions that are on our radar


Will you be attending ALA Annual? These are the research and statistics sessions that are on our radar:


8:30AM-4:00PM (preconference): Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries of Higher Education into Action

9:00AM-3:00PM (preconference): International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community


8:30-9:30AM: Data-Driven Services: Library Research Roundtable Forum

8:30-10:00AM: From Outputs to Outcomes: Measuring What Matters

10:30-11:30AM: Ebook Data Evaluation through the Eyes of an Academic Librarian and a Public Librarian: A Tale of Two Libraries

10:30-11:30AM: Is it Worth it? Assessing Online Instruction

1:00-2:00PM: Research at Your Service: Latinos & Their Information Needs on Center Stage

1:00-2:30PM: 19th Annual Reference Research Forum

1:00-2:30PM: Mentorship Program Forum: Library Research Roundtable Initiative

3:00-4:00PM: The Census, Your Patrons, and the DataFerrett (hands-on workshop about using census data)

4:00-5:30PM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron


8:30-10:00AM: Do These Evaluation Statistics Mean Anything?

10:30-11:30AM: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The Discussion Continues

10:30-11:30AM: Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making? New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment

1:00-2:30PM: New Pew Research: Libraries + Parents = Innovation and Success

1:00-2:30PM: Studying Ourselves: Libraries and the User Experience


10:30-11:30AM: Is This Trend a Library Friend? Understanding Current Analytical Measures

10:30-11:30AM: Measuring Up: Developing New Metrics for Assessing Library Performance

1:00-2:30PM: School Library Research

36% of school librarians rated connecting young people to reading and lifelong learning as the top satisfaction of their jobs


Image Source: Mark Tuchman,

School Library Journal recently surveyed more than 1,000 school and public librarians to pinpoint sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction within the field. For both school and public librarians, connecting young people to reading and lifelong learning rated first for offering satisfaction with their jobs. Working with young people and matching a child/teen with the perfect book took spots 2 and 3 for both public and school librarians. At the same time, both types of librarians face challenges in having time to get everything done. Budgetary constraints and balancing increased demand with fewer resources are also shared concerns. Find out more about national job satisfaction trends at

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.

Measuring the Impact of Libraries


In the June 2013 issue of Computers in Libraries, Moe Hosseini-Ara and Rebecca Jones have an article, “Overcoming Our Habits and Learning to Measure Impact.” They highlight 5 issues that libraries struggle with when measuring impact:

1. Libraries do not set targets for their measures.

2. There’s not enough understanding of stakeholders’ value measures.

3. Measures are not viewed as an integral element of services or programs.

4. Value measures are not differentiated from operating measures; outcomes are confused with outputs, which confuses everyone.

5. There’s no clear responsibility for managing measures. 

Are you struggling with any of these issues when trying to measure the impact of your library? Check out the article for practical advice on how to tackle these issues and implement measures that effectively convey your library’s impact.


New Fast Facts: More Opportunities, Lower Pay: 2012 Insights from Library Jobline

Our new Fast Facts uses data from Library Jobline to evaluate Colorado’s library job climate. In 2012, almost 400 library jobs were posted to Library Jobline, thus marking the third year in a row in which there was an increase in the number of jobs posted. Although there appear to be more opportunities for library-related employment, the starting wages for library jobs posted to Library Jobline have changed little since 2008. Fortunately for job seekers, there was also little change regarding the number of postings that specified requirements or preferences for certain types of experience (e.g., library experience, supervisory experience) or skills (e.g., Spanish fluency).


Join us at Computers in Libraries next week!

Will you be attending Computers in Libraries this year? If so, we hope you’ll join us on Monday, April 8 at 3:15 pm in the International Ballroom West for our presentation, “Web Technologies and User Engagement.” We will share our latest results from our biennial study of the websites of nearly 600 U.S. public libraries, including:

  • which web features, such as sharing interfaces,  virtual reference, and blogs, are most common on U.S. public libraries’ websites as of 2012,
  • the extent to which public libraries use responsive and/or mobile-friendly web design, and
  • public libraries’ integration with various social media networks.

Our discussion will be framed in terms of the implications of these web features for usability and patron engagement.

Make the case for school libraries with our new impact studies infographic

Our new infographic presents highlights of all of LRS’s school library impact studies in an accessible and concise format. We hope this will be an effective tool for school library advocates!


Two versions of the infographic are available:

-One is optimized for online viewing

-And, the second is optimized for printing

A printing note: if you view the infographic PDF file in Firefox PDF viewer, it may not render properly. For best viewing and printing, click on the “open in different viewer” button in the top right corner of your browser, and select the option to open the file with Adobe Reader. The PDF file is optimized for printing on legal size paper.

We also maintain a bibliography of US school library impact studies for those who are interested in delving deeper into this topic.


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  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.


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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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