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Challenged Materials in Colorado Public Libraries, 2015

Every year, the Library Research Service’s Public Library Annual Report surveys Colorado public libraries about challenges to their materials or services. The libraries that report receiving one or more challenges are then asked to provide additional information. This Fast Facts addresses the number, nature, and outcome of the challenges reported in 2015.

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2015: The Rise of Library Jobline Continues

Postings for library jobs continued their upward trajectory in 2015, according to LRS’s popular library job posting website, LibraryJobline.org. In 2015, 656 jobs were posted—the most ever since the service’s launch in 2007—and almost 3 times that of 2009’s low of 228 postings. Average hourly salaries for Academic ($21.79) and Public ($20.80) library positions were at an all time high, though the average salary for School libraries ($16.62) fell by 20% since its high in 2012 ($20.74). Read on to learn more about how the rest of 2015 shaped up.

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2014-15 Annual Colorado School Library Survey Highlights

The Colorado School Library Survey is administered each year by the Library Research Service, an office of the Colorado State Library. Surveys are sent to traditional K-12 public educational institutions. Statewide estimates are produced by weighting survey data to reflect the universe of school libraries in Colorado. Survey responses are totals based on results from the school library staff who participated in the survey. This report highlights results from the 2014-15 Colorado School Library Survey.

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Colorado School Library Staffing, 2013-2014

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. Here we dig deeper into those numbers.

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2014: A Banner Year for Library Jobline

Library jobs have officially recovered from the Great Recession, according to LRS’s popular library job posting website, LibraryJobline.org. In 2014, 615 jobs were posted—the most ever since the service’s launch in 2007—and more than twice that of 2009’s 228 jobs, a site low. We also saw the highest average starting wages for positions preferring the MLIS ($24.45 per hour) and requiring the MLIS ($25.31 per hour). Read on to learn more about how the rest of 2014 shaped up.

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State Grants to Libraries: First Look at 2013-14

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A Year of Library Jobline: 2013 Edition

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2013-14 Annual Colorado School Library Survey Highlights

The Colorado School Library Survey is administered each year by the Library Research Service, an office of the Colorado State Library. Surveys are sent to traditional K-12 public educational institutions. Statewide estimates are produced by weighting survey data to reflect the universe of school libraries in Colorado. Survey responses are totals based on results from the school library staff who participated in the survey. This report highlights results from the 2013-14 Colorado School Library Survey.

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2012-13 Annual Colorado School Library Survey Highlights

2012-13 Annual Colorado School Library Survey Highlights

The Colorado School Library Survey is administered each year by the Library Research Service, an office of the Colorado State Library. Surveys are sent to traditional K-12 public educational institutions. Statewide estimates are produced by weighting survey data to reflect the universe of school libraries in Colorado. Survey responses are totals based on results from the school library staff who participated in the survey. This report highlights results from the 2012-13 Colorado School Library Survey.

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More Opportunities, Lower Pay: 2012 Insights From Library Jobline

Introduction
An examination of data from Library Jobline, a job-posting website operated by the Library Research Service, provides insight into Colorado’s library job climate. The data from 2012 shows that, for the third year in a row, the number of employment opportunities in the field has increased, but the level of compensation for professional-level library positions1 has decreased slightly since 2011.

Job Postings
In 2012, 393 library positions were posted to Library Jobline, thus continuing the upward trend since 2009, when the number was just 228 (Chart 1).2 On average, 33 library positions were posted to Library Jobline each month during 2012. Compared with other months, June saw the most postings (49), whereas April saw the fewest (25).

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Library Jobline’s website redesign in early 2012 may have contributed to the influx in its subscriptions. An additional 97 employers registered with Library Jobline in 2012—an increase of 19 percent over the previous year—which brought the total number of registered employers to 602. The number of registered job seekers rose by 44 percent, or 729 members, which propelled Library Jobline’s total number of registered job seekers to almost 2,400.

Views
Despite sizeable increases in the number of job postings and the number of registered job seekers, LibraryJobline.org experienced less traffic in 2012 than in the previous two years. In 2012, Library Jobline postings were viewed 521,655 times—down more than 100,000 views from 2011, and more than 200,000 views from 2010. Curiously, more than one-third (37%) of the 2012 views were of jobs that were posted prior to 2012.

The diminished traffic might be partially attributed to job seekers’ reliance on alternative notification channels. By the end of 2012, Library Jobline (@libraryjobline) had accrued 345 Twitter followers (up from 202 at the end of 2011), and tweeted 616 times—159 times more than in 2011. Additionally, Library Jobline generated 272,243 email notifications in 2012, and individual RSS feeds were accessed 64,737 times.3

Requirements and Preferences
About one-fifth (21%) of the Library Jobline postings for 2012 specified that a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree was required—a decrease from 2011, when one-third (33%) required one (Table 1). An additional 15 percent of job postings in 2012 specified a preference for candidates with an MLIS degree, compared with 13 percent in 2011. The remaining 64 percent either specified that an MLIS degree was not required, or simply included no information about it. The percentage of job postings that listed additional requirements and/or preferences changed little from 2011.

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Starting Wages
Compared to 2011, the average starting hourly wage decreased by $0.34 per hour for Library Jobline postings that specified the requirement of an MLIS/MLS degree, and $0.67 per hour for those that listed it as a preference (Chart 2). Conversely, the average starting hourly wage for postings that did not require an MLIS/MLS degree increased by $0.66 per hour. Although this may be unsettling for those who choose to pursue MLIS/MLS degrees, it is too soon to determine whether the decline in compensation for professional-level library jobs since 2011 is a trend.

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Conclusion
Library Jobline’s 2012 data offers mixed messages about Colorado’s library job climate. The number of employment opportunities listed with Library Jobline has steadily increased since 2009, and offers hope that it might soon reach pre-recession levels. Unfortunately, average starting hourly wages for library positions posted with Library Jobline do not demonstrate the same upward trend.

Indeed, 5 years of data suggest that starting wages are stagnant overall. Job seekers can likely expect more opportunities for Colorado library employment in the coming years; however, they should not count on higher levels of compensation.

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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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