Materials Challenges 1995

Challenges to Displays
This year, the single most common reason for a challenge was “homosexuality.” This accounted for almost two-thirds of all complaints. The next most common objection was “unsuited to age group.” Both objections challenged displays in Colorado.

The challenges in Colorado public libraries in 1995 included 3 displays; one by P-FLAG at Mesa County Public Library District, “Banned Books Week” and “Population and Planet Earth” at Jefferson County Public Library.

In Mesa County, the library received 53 challenges against a display by Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (P-FLAG). The library also received an equal number of supportive comments, after widespread community discussions about the display. The Board of Trustees voted to keep the policy allowing community groups to sign up to use display space.

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Public Information Officers in Selected Public Libraries, 1996

At the request of one of Colorado’s public libraries, the Library Research Service conducted a survey to determine prevailing salaries and related data for public information officers (PIOs) in public libraries. The survey was sent to all Colorado public libraries with budgets of $675,000 and over and to public libraries nationwide serving 75,000-99,999. Sixteen responses were received including 6 from Colorado and 10 from other states.

Position Titles
The PIO function is served by public library staff bearing a variety of position titles. For full-time, professional positions, the following 8 titles were reported by 9 responding libraries.

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Location, Location, Location

With over half of their outlets in non-metropolitan areas, public libraries are well-situated to be on-ramps to the Information Superhighway for residents of outlying and rural areas.

Public libraries can serve as on-ramps to the Information Superhighway—access points to electronically networked information for those who cannot afford—or otherwise easily obtain—a computer with a modem and a subscription to a commercial online service or a non-profit Internet access provider. The nation’s public libraries are especially well-situated to play this role in non-metropolitan areas where the availability of computers, access providers, and an adequate telecommunications infrastructure cannot be taken for granted.

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Wages of Colorado Librarians & Library Assistants in Context 1994

If you are a professional librarian or a library assistant, you probably feel like your job is a combination of several other types of jobs, most of which are a lot better paid. Perhaps you are right. Consider the following data excerpted from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s February 1996 publication: Occupational Wages in Colorado: Average Wages for Over 700 Occupations.

In 1994, professional librarians in Colorado earned an average hourly wage of $17.33, while library technicians and assistants averaged $10.75 and $9.20 per hour, respectively. The following tables (see full report) provide context for these figures by ranking average hourly wages of librarians and library assistants with related occupations. Note: OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) codes are included to assist readers in other states in replicating these tables using data from their own state labor departments.

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Give Yourself a Little Credit, Get a Library Card

In Colorado, public library cards are as prevalent as Visa credit cards. In 1996, Americans had over 200 million Visa credit cards. If Coloradans held a proportional share of those cards, there were an estimated 2.8 million Visa cards in the Centennial state. In 1995, Coloradans had 2.5 million library cards. If registration of new borrowers by the state’s public libraries continued at the rate demonstrated between 1993 and 1995, the number of library cards in 1996 was 2.8 million.

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Availability of Federal & State Tax Forms

Of Colorado’s 18 larger public libraries in metropolitan areas, 15 (83 percent) are making available federal and state tax forms this year. As more libraries develop home pages on the World Wide Web, this service is likely to become less common. In recent years, many public libraries have discontinued this service, owing to the extraordinary demands it makes on library staff during the tax “season.” Some believe that this service generates questions that many reference staff are not trained adequately to address.

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User Fees & Charges for Resort Libraries in Colorado 1996

At the request of one of Colorado’s 12 public libraries in resort communities, this group of libraries was surveyed regarding the range of services they provide and the types and amounts of fees or other charges they assess for services. The results of this survey indicate that free public library service is alive and well in the overwhelming majority of the state’s resort communities.

Loans of Materials

  • All Colorado resort libraries have audio book collections that are available to the public at no cost.
  • Eight of the state’s 12 resort libraries provide music on cassette, all at no cost to the public.
  • Eleven of the dozen libraries in Colorado resort areas have video collections. Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, the only one that charges for video loans, charges one dollar per week. Basalt Library District assesses a one dollar per day late fee on videos returned after their due dates.

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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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