News

Library Jobline posts a record 815 jobs in 2018

Library Jobline, LRS’s website for library job postings and resources, broke its own record again for the number of jobs posted in 2018 while the number of job seekers and job posters continued to rise. Data collected from the Library Jobline website are highlighted in the most recent Fast Facts report.

In 2018 employers posted 815 jobs to Library Jobline, 114 more total jobs than were posted in 2017. January and April tied for Jobline’s busiest months, with 83 new jobs posted in each. Like in previous years, nearly two-thirds (64%) of the jobs posted were located in Colorado. The number of full-time jobs posted decreased slightly, from over three-quarters (78%) in 2017 to about 7 in 10 (69%) in 2018. The majority of jobs posted were in public libraries (68%), followed by academic libraries (19%), “other” (9%), institutional libraries (2%), and school libraries (2%).

Average hourly salaries for both school ($22.37) and academic ($23.28) library positions rose by at least $1/hour in 2018. The average hourly salary for public library positions dropped slightly to $21.98. Like in 2017, about a third (35%) of the jobs posted required a MLIS degree, while a little under half (45%) preferred a MLIS.

Subscriptions to Library Jobline continued to grow, adding 288 new jobseekers and 155 new employers in 2017. This led to more than 1,000,000 emails with job opportunities sent to job seekers – that’s more than 2,500 emails per day!

Are you hiring at your library? In the library job market yourself? Sign up for Library Jobline as an employer or jobseeker. Jobseekers can specify what jobs they’re interested in and get emails sent straight to their inbox whenever new posts meet their criteria. Employers can also reach nearly 3,000 jobseekers and more than 1,100 followers on Twitter @libraryjobline.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

OSU study estimates that children who are read to every day hear 1.4 million more words by age 5

A study recently published by Ohio State University researchers in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that young children whose parents frequently read to them could enter kindergarten having heard an estimated 1.4 million more words than children who were rarely or never read to. The researchers propose that more book reading sessions with young children is one way to address the 30 million word gap.

The researchers worked with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to identify the 100 most circulated books for babies and young children, which the researchers used to determine an average of how many words were found in each book. They found that board books intended for babies contain an average of 140 words and children’s picture books contain an average of 228 words.

Based on these estimates, children whose parents read to them once every other month would hear 4,662 words from books by age 5. One to 2 reading sessions per week lead to children hearing 63,570 words; 3-5 sessions per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day, 1,483,300 words. The estimated word gap from reading sessions is different from the conversational word gap mentioned above because reading books can expose children to words and topics that do not typically come up in daily conversation.

The full article can be found here, but is behind a paywall. A more in depth summary of the article can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

What questions do states add to the national Public Libraries Survey?

The annual Institute of Museum and Library Services Public Libraries Survey (PLS) contains 102 questions that all US public libraries complete. However, most states ask additional questions as well. The topics of these questions have been of great interest to public library data stakeholders for a variety of reasons, including that they may be the first indicators of new trends.

As part of the Measures that Matter initiative, Ithaka S+R conducted an analysis of state-added questions. The researchers found that states added an average of 180 questions to the PLS, with the most common topics including operating expenditures, human resources, services, governance, and operating revenues. To learn more, check out the full report and supporting documents:

Measures that Matter Action Plan Step 2.1: A Review of State Public Library Survey Data Elements (Full Report)

Inventory of State-Added Elements to the PLS

How to Use the Inventory for State-Added Elements to the PLS

 

99% of Colorado Talking Book Library patron survey respondents rated the overall quality of library service as excellent or good

Patrons of the Colorado Talking Book Library continue to report being pleased with the quality of the library’s services. On the 2018 biennial patron survey, 99% of respondents reported that the overall quality of service was good or excellent. And, 95% or more respondents reported that the following areas of service were good or excellent:  courtesy of staff, speed of delivery, condition of materials, ease of contacting the library, and the playback machine loaned by the library.

The survey also asked patrons how the service has been valuable to them. The most common response was to “read for enjoyment: fiction,” which was selected by 85% of respondents. The second most common response was “keeps my mind active,” from 80% of respondents.

In 2018, the survey asked patrons “What’s the hardest thing about your day?” More than one out of every four respondents (26%) said transportation was the hardest thing about their day. The second most common response was “isolation, depression, or motivation,” which 17% of respondents reported.

This version of the survey also had a new respondent age category. Instead of 61+ as the oldest age group, survey respondents could select 61 to 75 or 76+. This additional category was helpful because the largest portion of survey respondents was in the 76+ age group (45%), which reflects that this age group is also the largest category of CTBL patrons, making up more about half (51%) of all patrons.

Information from the survey helps the Colorado Talking Book Library continue to refine their offerings to provide the best possible service to their patrons.

For the full report on the 2018 survey findings, click here, and for the Fast Facts, click here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Scholastic survey finds that 95% of parents believe that every child should have access to a school and public library

Image credit: Scholastic

Scholastic recently published a report highlighting the importance of summer reading for children as part of their biennial Kids & Family Reading Report. The report explores attitudes and behaviors towards reading using information gathered during a national survey of children ages 6-17 and their parents, and parents of kids ages 0-5.

The report reveals both parent and child attitudes towards summer reading. Nearly all (94%) parents agree that reading over the summer helps their child during the school year, but only about half (53%) are aware of the “summer slide” that is largely due to lack of reading. Children are also aware of the importance of reading – about three-quarters (77%) agree that reading over the summer helps them in school.

The children who responded to the survey read an average of nine books for fun in the summer of 2018 and 3 in 5 (59%) say that they “really enjoy” reading books over the summer in addition to the academic benefits. When asked why they enjoyed summer reading, 7 in 10 (70%) children say they like having the power to choose what and when to read. About half (53%) view reading in the summer as an enjoyable way to pass the time, and half (52%) say that they also read in order to keep their brains active.

The most common places that children get books are schools (53%) and public libraries (50%). Perhaps because of this, nearly all parents say they believe that every child needs to have a school library (95%) and every community needs to have a public library (95%).

The full Kids & Family Reading Report can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Pew finds that a quarter (26%) of lower-income Americans rely on their smartphones for internet access

Pew recently published their latest post in a series
examining how different demographic groups use technology and access the
internet. Their analysis found that a digital divide persists between lower-
and higher-income Americans, despite growing internet and technology use across
the board.

Survey respondents making less than $30,000 per
year have lower levels of technology adoption than their wealthier counterparts
do. About 3 in 10 (29%) lower-income respondents reported they do not own a
smartphone, while nearly all respondents making above $100,000 per year do.
Similarly, more than 2 in 5 lower-income respondents do not have access to home
broadband services (44%) or a traditional desktop or laptop computer (46%),
while more than 90% of the wealthiest respondents have adopted both of these
technologies.

Higher-income respondents are also more likely to
own multiple options for online access. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents
making more than $100,000 per year have home access to broadband internet, a
smartphone, a traditional computer, and a tablet. A little less than 1 in 5
(18%) lower-income respondents said the same. A quarter (26%) of lower-income
respondents said that they rely on smartphones for internet access, a number
that has doubled since 2013 (12%). Reliance on smartphones can make online
tasks that are not optimized for smartphones, like doing homework and applying
for jobs, more difficult.

The full report can be found here.

Note:
This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century
library.

Library Journal survey finds that public library circulation has dipped slightly (0.5%) for the first time since 1999

Image credit: Library Journal

Library Journal recently released the results of its annual materials survey tracking circulation statistics in public libraries nationwide.

Materials circulation in public libraries decreased by half a percent (0.5%) in 2018, falling, though only slightly, for the first time since 1999. Two in 5 (40%) survey respondents reported that they saw their circulation decrease. Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) items circulated in 2018 were books, 1 in 10 (9%) were ebooks, and about a third (31%) were other media like audiobooks, DVD/Blu-ray, music CDs, and streaming media. Book and ebook circulation both increased from 2017 to 2018, while netted media circulation decreased.

Like in previous years the majority of materials circulated
were fiction (64%). Nonfiction made up a little over a third (36%) of items
circulated. Half (51%) of items circulated were adult materials, 2 in 5 (41%)
were children’s materials, and about 1 in 12 (8%) were items for young adults.

The fiction genres that respondents cited as their top 5
most popular print book circulators were mystery/suspense (95%), general
fiction (81%), thrillers (72%), romance (63%), and Christian fiction (41%). The
genre order changes slightly for ebook circulation – mystery/suspense is still
the most popular (84%), but romance moves up to second (79%), thrillers remain
in third (77%), and historical and literary fiction, not present in the print
top five, are tied for fourth (both at 35%).

In print nonfiction, cooking reclaimed its top spot as the
most popular circulator in 2018, with 4 in 5 (82%) respondents ranking it in
their top 5. Rounding out the most popular print circulators were
biography/memoir (74%), self-help/psychology (50%), history (48%), and
medicine/health (40%). Like in the fiction rankings, nonfiction genre
popularity changes for ebook circulation. Biography/memoir (89%),
self-help/psychology (67%), and history (61%) are still popular, while cooking
drops to 6th place (29%). Current events/politics (46%) and
fitness/weight loss (33%) are more popular in ebook format than in print.

The full report can be found here.  

Note:
This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century
library.

University of California System opts out of more than $10 million contract with scholarly publisher Elsevier

The University of California System is made up of 10 schools and over 100 libraries, including several prestigious research universities, such as UC-Berkeley. Inside Higher Ed reports that the UC System “accounts for almost 10 percent of the research output of the United States.” And, Elsevier is an information and analytics company that distributes many prestigious academic journals, such as the Lancet, through their online databases including ScienceDirect and Scopus.

Many universities and academic libraries view providing access to scholarly journals through online databases as an essential service to promote research and scholarly communication. The open access movement has been growing, but authors are typically still required to pay an additional fee to have their article be open access. Elsevier’s pricing to publish open access ranges from $150-$5,000 per article. Since the UC-System is a large and research-driven system, the decision to break with Elsevier could potentially be the beginning of a larger change in scholarly publishing and access.

The UC-Elsevier Negotiating
Team was made up of six members, including one university librarian. In an open statement, the team explained that the primary reasons for turning down the
Elsevier contract were higher costs, reduced rights, limitation on
institutional support for authors, and excluded journals. The Los Angeles Times reported than in addition to the high cost of the UC contract
with Elsevier, the system was also negotiating to have “universal free access
to articles written by UC researchers and professors.”

The UC-System is not alone
in their decision. Inside Higher Ed recently reported that Norway joined Sweden and Germany in opting
out of their contracts with Elsevier. Norway’s negotiating authority also
wanted an agreement where they could freely publish their own research articles
for public access.

To read the full Los
Angeles Times article, click here.

To read the full Inside
Higher Ed article click here.

Note:
This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century
library.

CUNY Open Education Resource program saves students $9.5 million on textbook costs

In 2017, the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) systems received funding to adopt Open Education Resources (OER) for many courses offered. This funding was awarded in response to librarian requests at both institutions and was adopted in 2,800 Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses impacting 76,000 students and resulting in $9.5 million saved on textbook costs. CUNY recently published the results of a survey their students to see what they thought about using the OER materials for their coursework.

The materials for ZTC classes were entirely digital which
marks a change in the typical paper textbooks that students previously used for
class. However, three-quarters (76%) of the students surveyed rated their ZTC
materials easier to access than materials for prior courses. Out of these
students, 4 in 10 (40%) cited the convenience of being able to use their ZTC
materials anywhere, at any time, from any device as why they are easier to
access. Almost a quarter (23%) said that all their materials being online or on
Blackboard make them easier to access, and about 1 in 8 (12%) cited the fact
that all the materials are free as why they are easier to access.

Using digital materials did not seem to impact students’
learning. One in five (20%) survey respondents accessed their ZTC course
materials before the semester started, indicating high engagement with learning
resources. Two-thirds (66%) of the respondents said that they feel they learn
as well with digital materials as with print, and two-thirds (65%) also
responded that they completed all of their readings for the course. Nearly all
(95%) respondents said that they would recommend taking a ZTC course to other
students.

The
full report can be found here.

Note:
This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century
library.

EdBuild finds a $23 billion funding gap between white and nonwhite school districts

Image credit: EdBuild

EdBuild, a research organization that promotes equity in public schools, recently released the results of their analysis of 2016 public school funding on the national and state levels. The purpose of the analysis was to examine this funding based on racial and socioeconomic characteristics.

They found that, despite decades of desegregation efforts, more than half of students still attend schools that are located in either predominantly white (26%) or predominantly nonwhite (27%) school districts. Nationwide, white school districts received $23 billion more in funding in 2016 than school districts that mostly served students of color. This means that the average white school district received $13,908 for every student, while nonwhite districts received $11,682 per student.

The
racial divide becomes more apparent in racially concentrated high-poverty
school districts. Of all the students in the U.S., 1 in 5 (20%) are enrolled in
a high-poverty nonwhite school district, while only 1 in 20 (5%) are enrolled
in a high-poverty white school district. High-poverty nonwhite districts tend
to be larger than their white counterparts, serving an average of 10,500
students compared to an average of 1,500 students. There are 6 times more
predominantly white school districts than nonwhite districts in the U.S.,
offering white districts more opportunity for funding advocacy in state
legislatures.

Racial
disparities also exist in our home state of Colorado. Nearly a third (31%) of
students are enrolled in racially isolated school districts. About 1 in 10
(12%) Colorado students are enrolled in a high-poverty nonwhite district, while
only 1% of students are enrolled in a white district with the same financial
issues. On average, nonwhite districts have 16% less funding than white districts.
This means that a Colorado student attending school in a high-poverty nonwhite
district receives $2,770 less than a student in a high-poverty white district.

The full report can be found here.

Note:
This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century
library.

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