Selected Policies and Practices of School Library Media Programs in Colorado, 1997

The 1997 Survey of School Library Media Centers (LMCs) in Colorado included, for the first time, items about a variety of issues including: LMC development plans, the Colorado Information Literacy Guidelines, policies on materials selection and challenges, and the relationship of the school library media center to the local public library.

LMC Development Plan

  • Seven out of 10 LMCs report having a plan for the development of the library media program.

Information Literacy

  • Eight out of 10 LMCs use the Colorado Information Literacy Guidelines.
  • Of that group, 2 out of 3 use them as part of an integrated curriculum, while the remaining third use them with the library media program alone.

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Technology in School Library Media Centers in Colorado 1997

A first look at 1997 data on school library media centers in Colorado reveals some new insights about the role of technology in Colorado’s school library media programs.

From 1994 to 1997, the number of library media centers (LMCs) making various technologies available to their clients—both teachers and students—increased dramatically.

Highlights:

  • Since 1994, Internet access for students has more than tripled. While only 1 in 6 LMCs provided Internet access for students in 1994, 7 out of 10 provide such access today. While 1 in 5 teachers could access the Internet via their LMC in 1994, 3 out of 4 teachers have such access today. And, practically all of these LMCs provide access to the World Wide Web.
  • In 1994, only 2 out of 5 LMCs provided access to the Access Colorado Library and Information Network (ACLIN). Today, 2 out of 3 LMCs provide such access.

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The Status of School Library Media Centers in Colorado, Neighboring States, and the United States 1993-94

The youngest of the national statistical surveys on libraries is the one for school library media centers. The first installment of this survey, which is scheduled for every 5 years, was conducted during the 1993-94 school year. Some preliminary results have just been published in SASS by State, 1993-94 Schools and Staffing Survey: Selected State Results. Though certainly dated, these results provide some important insights into the status of school library media centers in Colorado. To give those results context, they are also compared here with the results for neighboring states as well as the nation.

Highlights

  • Elementary schools more likely to lack library media specialists.
  • Poorer Colorado schools more likely to have understaffed LMCs, particularly to lack library media specialists.
  • Smallest Colorado schools more likely to have understaffed LMCs.
  • Colorado teachers indicate higher awareness of library media specialist’s role in instructional process.

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School Library Media Centers in Colorado: A 1995-96 Status Report

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Whoever said it, it could not have been truer of Colorado’s school library media centers (LMCs) in 1996. The 1995-96 school year was another year of dramatic changes associated with the information superhighway, but it was also the second year in a row of alarming LMC staff cuts.

Following is a brief summary of the good news and the bad news about LMCs:

The Good News

  • School libraries really have become multimedia information centers. Almost 28,000 CD-ROM products are available via the state’s LMCs—an increase of more than three and a half times since 1994. Video collections have almost doubled in size during the same period.

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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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