It’s no secret that we like numbers here at LRS. Give us a rich data set and we will get lost in it for days. However, we also recognize the power of good stories to resonate with people on a deeper level than numbers often do. Take Olly Neal’s story, for example. In the late 1950s, Olly was a high school senior in Arkansas who liked to cut class and get in fights. One day, he was in the school library and noticed a book by African American author Frank Yerby. While it interested him, he was concerned that if anyone saw him checking it out, they would tell his friends he liked to read and then his reputation would be ruined. So, he hid the book under his jacket and walked out. After finishing the book, he returned to the library to sneak it back on the shelf, was pleasantly surprised to discover another Yerby title there, and snuck that one out as well. This process repeated itself several times over the course of the semester.
Thirteen years later, Olly ran into his school librarian while attending his high school reunion, and she told him she had spotted him when he “stole” his first Yerby book. Initially, she wondered why he was trying to smuggle the book out of the library when he could check it out for free. But soon she caught on to his motives, and decided to encourage his budding interest in reading any way she could. Unfortunately, the works of African American authors were not widely available during that time period, and neither the school library nor the other local libraries had additional Yerby titles. So, she drove to a library in Memphis to pick up another Yerby title for him to read. She repeated this process each time he took out a book. Olly credits his school librarian, and the extraordinary efforts she made on his behalf, with getting him interested in reading. This interest set him on a path that ultimately led to his acceptance to law school. Today, Olly is a judge for the 1st Judicial District in eastern Arkansas.
Listen to Olly tell this story here, courtesy of StoryCorps.
Do you have a story about how your library has impacted you or someone you know? Share it here.
Based on standardized testing, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey ranks countries and their success in educating K-12 students. We hear a lot about these rankings when they come out—I’ve heard/seen three news reports in the last week.
Here’s a wonderfully concise summary of what the PISA study measures and its findings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D-JpL5fFgc.
See more on international findings here: http://tinyurl.com/2ax2f7n.
Or NCES for U.S. specific findings: http://tinyurl.com/2wv5e6h.
American Libraries will be publishing Jamie Helgren’s (DU-LRS Research Fellow) article on the Future of the Book in their January/February issue. See the article, “Booking to the Future” online now at: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/11302010/booking-future.
This article is based on the LRS 60-Second Survey: The Future of the Book conducted earlier this year. Several LRS staff members contributed to the analysis of the data and you can see more about the survey results on the LRS blog and in two Fast Facts issues.
Jamie’s is the cover article for the Jan/Feb issue of American Libraries. Browse the issue and read the article at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/e8e0bcae#/e8e0bcae/1
The 3rd Colorado Impact Study supports the findings of other studies on the relationship between school libraries and student achievement. For a quick look at the findings, check out these two Fast Facts:
Increased Library Staff Links to Higher CSAP Scores
Endorsed Librarian Positions in Colorado Public Schools Trending Downward
For more on the school library impact studies, including video and podcast interviews with researcher Keith Curry Lance and links to other studies, visit our School Impact Studies Resource page at http://www.lrs.org/impact.php.
The deadline for completing the 2010-11 Colorado School Library Survey has been extended to November 30, 2010. Participation by all public school libraries is vital! If you have not yet responded to the survey, it can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. The data gathered in the annual school library survey provides library professionals with important information for planning, evaluating, and budgeting. For questions regarding the survey, or to obtain your username and password, feel free to call Library Research Service at 303-866-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your information.
Listen to Keith’s latest interview about the impact of school libraries and librarians on student achievement. The interview is part three in a series of reports Bob Edwards has done about libraries. This is a great interview to share with non-librarians that want (or need) to know more about the vital role of school librarians in the 21st Century learning environment.
Hear the podcast “The State of American libraries, Part 3” at: http://podcast.com/episode/64457129/32910/
Or on iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bob-edwards-weekend/id268584710
Letters have been sent to public school libraries throughout the state announcing the opening of the 2010-11 Colorado School Library Survey. It can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. The data gathered in the annual school library survey provides library professionals with important information for planning, evaluating, and budgeting. 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 or email email@example.com to get your information.
Last winter, LRS posted a 60-Second Survey on “The Future of the Book.” More than 1,300 people responded, with nearly 950 leaving additional comments about their thoughts on the topic. With all that information, we were able to write two Fast Facts providing analysis of both the results and the comments.
The comments proved to be one of the most interesting aspects of the survey, revealing passionate and philosophical thoughts on the future of paper and electronic books. Six common themes emerged as influences on future format choices: the existence of multiple formats, technological advantages, emotional/aesthetic appeal of paper books, content, cost, and change over time/generation. The first Fast Facts addresses results and comments related to cost and technological advantages of paper versus electronic formats, while the second report discusses the remaining comment categories and how they related to the type of library in which survey respondents worked and whether they owned an e-reader.
~ Jamie H.
Published earlier this year, The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap showed that “Students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participate.” For more see…
Using an online survey, the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is soliciting feedback from the entire Colorado library community. Rochelle Logan, current CAL president, wrote:
“It has been quite a few years since CAL conducted a survey to ask you if the association is meeting your needs. With the Board in the midst of writing a strategic plan, we decided it was time to put our finger on the pulse and find out what you want from CAL. Not only are we looking for feedback from our members, but non-members as well. Please take 5 minutes to answer this short questionnaire at http://www.formsite.com/calforms/membsurvey2010/index.html. It is very important that we hear from you as we plan for our future.”
The survey closes the end of June, so respond soon!