News

National Education Association study finds substantial differences in student access to school libraries/media centers

The National Education Association published a report containing the findings of a study analyzing school library data collected between 2000 and 2013. The results show considerable differences in student access to school libraries/media center across the country.

At the time this study concluded, 9 in 10 (90%) U.S. public schools reported that they have a library/media center, a percentage that has increased slightly (by 1.4%) since 2003. Inner city schools were the only category to report a loss in the number of school libraries/media centers during the time of the study, while small town, rural, and suburban schools all reported increases in the number of public schools with libraries/media centers.

The total number of public school librarians/media specialists has also grown overall, increasing 8.8% during the time period studied. Currently, there is an average of one full-time, state-certified librarian/media specialist employed for every 2 public schools, or one librarian/media specialist for every 1,129 public school students. The librarian/media specialist to student ratio is substantially lower in charter schools, with one librarian/media specialist for every 4,397 charter school students. There is an average of about 4 school library/media center support staff for every certified librarian/media specialist across the U.S.

The percentage of students who belonged to ethnic minorities in public schools was a strong predictor of whether the school would have a library/media center. Districts with the most ethnic minority students averaged about 1 librarian/media specialist for every 7 schools, regardless of the districts’ poverty levels, while districts with few ethnic minority students averaged about 1 librarian/media specialist for every 3 schools. At the ends of the spectrum, the wealthiest school districts with low ethnic minority numbers had 5 times more librarians/media specialists per school than the poorest schools in districts with many ethnic minority students.

For more information, you can find the full report 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.

More than three-fourths of survey respondents are likely to buy a state parks day pass after participating in the Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Colorado State Library program Check Out Colorado State Parks

 

 

 

 

Check Out Colorado State Parks, the result of a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado State Library, provides 287 Colorado libraries with two park passes and adventure backpacks filled with information and educational activities. Patrons of participating public, military, and academic libraries can check out a backpack for a week at a time to visit state parks for free.

Between June and November 2016, 720 patrons completed a survey about their experience with the program. The results indicated that most patrons (97%) were likely to recommend a visit to a state park, and more than three-fourths (77%) were likely to buy a state park day pass. In addition, 85% agreed that the experience helped them learn about nature, and 94% agreed that the program changed their view about what libraries have to offer.

See more highlights from the survey in our new Fast Facts.

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.

McGraw-Hill survey finds a gap in how librarians and faculty perceive academic libraries

Image credit: McGraw-Hill

McGraw-Hill recently published a white paper presenting the results of a survey of more than 1,000 librarians and faculty members to learn more about how each group views the importance of academic libraries. The results reveal a gap between what librarians and faculty view as the most valuable functions of their university library.

In the survey, faculty respondents were asked to report their perceptions of how the library is used and those numbers were compared to actual usage statistics reported by librarians. This revealed some large gaps in the way that faculty think the library is being used compared to the librarians’ reality. For example, faculty respondents believed that reference requests occur twice as often as reported by librarians. Conversely, librarians reported twice as many technology requests and double the interest in library programs than perceived by faculty. Librarians also reported 28% more requests for access to materials (e-books, journals, databases, and other resources) than faculty expected.

There is also a gap between what library staff and faculty view as the most important need that libraries fulfill on campus. While nearly 9 in 10 (88%) faculty respondents felt that the library’s most important role was offering access to information (online databases, journals, etc.), less than half (43%) of librarians felt the same. About a third (34%) of librarians responded that access to technology was the biggest need addressed by librarians, while only 1 in 5 (20%) faculty felt the same way. Librarians and faculty did feel similarly about some roles of the academic library: about a quarter of librarians (27%) and faculty (25%) felt that services and programs were among the library’s most important functions, and about 1 in 10 (10% of librarians and 11% of faculty) felt that providing research opportunities was the library’s most important function.

The entire report and corresponding infographic contain a wealth of information about the perceptions of academic libraries. This information can help librarians determine what makes their libraries valuable to other groups on campus, which is useful when negotiating a budget and planning for the future of the library.

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.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Agree Fake News Has Caused “A Great Deal of Confusion”

Fakenews

Image credit: Pew Research

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey on Americans’ sentiments about fake news.  Participants were asked to fill in the blank in the following sentence: “Completely made-up news has caused _____ about the basic facts of current events.” Nearly two out of three of U.S. adults surveyed (64%) said that completely made up news has caused a great deal of confusion. The Pew Research Center report highlights that this response was shared across “incomes, education levels, partisan affiliations and most other demographic characteristics.”

Participants were also asked about their confidence in their ability to recognize fake news. About 4 out of 10 (39%) people surveyed said they were “very confident” they could recognize made-up news, and an additional 45% said they were “somewhat confident.” Although people had high confidence in their abilities to recognize fake news, many people had still shared it online. Overall, about a quarter (23%) of respondents had shared made-up news, sometimes because they did not initially realize it was fake and sometimes for other reasons, like entertainment.

Finally, participants were asked whose responsibility it is to stop the spread of fake news. Respondents could select multiple groups with “great responsibility.” About 2 out of 5 people (43%) chose “members of the public,” a little less than half (45%) chose “the government, politicians, and elected officials,” and about 2 out of 5 (42%) chose “social networking sites and search engines.”

While librarians and librarians were not included specifically as a group that has a great responsibility to prevent the spread of fake news, many library publications–including American Libraries, School Library Journal, and Public Libraries Online–have pointed out the important role that strong information literacy skills play in preventing the spread of fake news, and how this vital skill set can be taught by librarians.

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.

Apply for a travel stipend for the 2017 Colorado RIPL Regional!

RIPL CO Travel App

The Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) are sponsoring up to 14 travel stipends for Colorado public library staff and current MLIS students to attend the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) Regional – Colorado on July 31-August 1, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What is a RIPL Regional? It’s a scaled-down version of the national data boot camp – 2 days, 3 instructors, and 50 public library participants from Colorado – that provides the training necessary to begin using data and evaluation for managing, planning, and communicating impact.

The ideal candidate for this stipend is:

  • Interested in getting started using data for savvy and strategic planning.
  • Looking for both inspiration and instruction in a hands-on, participatory environment.
  • Seeking to learn about outcomes and how to measure library impact.
  • Committed to leading his/her organization in making data-based decisions.
  • Eager to develop a peer network to support research and evaluation efforts.

 To be eligible for a stipend, you must be:

  1. employed by a public library in Colorado, OR a Colorado resident either enrolled in a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program or a 2017 MLIS graduate at the time of the institute (this opportunity is most appropriate for students intending to work in public libraries),
  2. a first-time RIPL participant, and
  3. based outside of the Colorado Springs metro area (there is no registration fee for the event; the stipend covers travel expenses including lodging, meals, and mileage)

Special consideration will be given to applicants working in small or rural libraries and/or those working with underserved populations, as well as those with a demonstrated financial need. However, staff working in any Colorado public library and/or Colorado residents enrolled in an MLIS program are encouraged to apply for stipends.

For more information and to apply, please see https://www.lrs.org/2017-colorado-ripl-regional-travel-stipend-application-process/. Travel stipend applications are due by 5 PM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by March 3.

General registration opens at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 6 at https://ripl.lrs.org/co2017/.

73% of adult readers prefer print books, according to Gallup survey

book reading_gallup

Image credit: Gallup

A recent Gallup survey revealed that most Americans are still reading books at about the same rate as they were in 2002, before digital diversions like smartphones and social media became popular.

More than 1 in 3 adults (35%) can be considered “heavy readers,” meaning that they have read more than 11 books in the past year. Close to half (48%) of the respondents reported reading between 1 and 10 books in the past year, and less than 1 in 5 (16%) adults surveyed did not read any books.

Respondents across age groups reported a similar amount of reading, with the youngest and oldest adults reading slightly more than middle-aged adults. About 9 in 10 (91%) adults aged 18-29 reported reading at least one book in the past year, and out of that group about 2 in 5 (38%) report reading more than 10 books in the past year. Out of older adults (aged 65 and older), more than 4 in 5 (85%) reported reading at least 1 book a year, and about 2 in 5 (37%) read more than 10 books a year. Middle aged readers (30-64 years old) are not far behind, with 4 in 5 (81%) also reporting that they read at least one book in the last year, and a third (33%) reporting that they read more than 10 books.

When asked whether they read mostly printed books, electronic books, or audio books, survey respondents overwhelmingly preferred print books. About three-quarters (73%) indicated that they primarily read print books, while 1 in 5 (19%) read e-books on a tablet or e-reader, and a small group of readers (6%) mostly listened to audiobooks.

For more information on reading trends, you can find the full report 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.

More than 75,000 4-Year-Olds Received a Free Book During the 2016 One Book 4 Colorado

summerreadingwn

One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) began in 2012 as a statewide initiative to distribute free copies of the same book to every 4-year-old in Colorado. In 2016, the book chosen was Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, which was distributed in both English and Spanish. More than 75,000 books were given away at more than 500 sites, including Denver Preschool Program preschools and both military and public libraries. LRS surveyed caregivers and participating agencies to learn more about the impact of this year’s OB4CO program on Colorado’s children. The results are compiled in our newest Fast Facts report.

After receiving Giraffes Can’t Dance, nearly three-quarters (72%) of caregivers who responded to a survey agreed that their child was more interested in books and reading, and more than two-thirds (68%) said that their child talked more about books and reading. Caregivers who reported reading to their child less than once a day were more likely to agree that the OB4CO book helped their child become more interested in books and reading. After participating in OB4CO, 4 in 5 (80%) caregivers felt that their community promoted a culture of reading.

The participating agencies surveyed also felt that the program had a positive impact. Nearly all agencies who responded to the survey (98%) reported that the 4 year-olds were excited to receive their copies of Giraffes Can’t Dance, and 9 in 10 (89%) said that the children talked about their book with others. Agencies also noticed an impact on the children’s parents; 7 in 10 (70%) of the participating agencies felt that parents showed an increased awareness of the importance of childhood reading and over half (54%) said that the OB4CO program brought new families to the library.

Voting for next year’s OB4CO will open in early January. Be on the lookout for the 2017 book options and vote for your favorite! More information about the OB4CO program 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 only 1 in 5 Americans feel the effects of “information overload”

Image credit: Pew Research

Image credit: Pew Research

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the majority of American adults do not feel overwhelmed by information, contradicting a long-held anxiety about the consequences of “information overload.”

Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents like having so much information easily available to them, compared to the 1 in 5 (20%) who feel overwhelmed by information (down from 27% who reported feeling overwhelmed in 2006). Two-thirds (67%) of respondents were happy about having more information at their disposal, saying that it helps to simplify their lives.

In general, respondents that were considered to be “gadget rich” (having a combination of broadband home internet, a smartphone, and a tablet computer to access information) were less overwhelmed by the amount of information present. More than 4 in 5 (84%) “gadget-rich” respondents like having so much information available, while only just over half of “gadget-poor” respondents said the same. “Gadget-poor” respondents were also more likely to say that the amount of information available makes their lives more complex, that they have difficulty finding the information they need, and are not confident using the internet as an informational tool.

There is no sign that the flow of information will slow down anytime soon. Librarians have an opportunity to help their patrons feel comfortable interacting with information, using information tools, and identifying false information online. As the survey results indicate, providing patrons with access to more information gadgets can be helpful for those who may not be able to afford them, as can teaching information literacy classes to increase their patrons’ ability to find the information they need.

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.

Maine State Library study finds that Librarian is one of the most trusted professions

librarian_trustworthiness

Image credit: Maine State Library

A recent survey by the Maine State Library shows that librarians are the second most trusted professionals out of the 22 professions studied. The purpose of this research was to determine the perceived trustworthiness of librarians compared to other professions and to assess perceptions of librarians across demographic groups.

When asked about their perceptions of trustworthiness, more than three-quarters of respondents (78%) rated librarians as “very high” or “high.” The only profession viewed as more trustworthy is nursing; 4 in 5 respondents (81%) rated nurses as highly trustworthy. Five other professions received either “very high” or “high” ratings from at least half of the respondents. These include pharmacists (74%), medical doctors (68%), high school teachers (59%), police officers (59%), and clergy (54%). The least trusted positions include stockbrokers (9%), lobbyists (4%), advertisers (3%), members of Congress (3%), car salespeople (2%), and telemarketers (2%).

The survey also revealed that more highly educated respondents were more likely to give the most trusted professions a higher rating. For example, 3 in 5 respondents (60%) with a high school education or less rated librarians as trustworthy, while about 4 in 5 of those with some college (78%) or a four-year college degree or more (85%) rated librarians as trustworthy. Respondents with a yearly income between $50,000 and $100,000 were most likely to trust librarians, with more than 4 in 5 (85%) rating librarians as trustworthy. About three-quarters of respondents with an income of less than $50,000/year (73%) and above $100,000/year (75%) perceive librarians to be trustworthy.

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.

Pew survey finds that 65% of Americans read a print book in the past year

book-reading-2016

Image credit: Pew Research

A recent Pew survey found that print books remain the most popular method of reading books, despite more options like e-books and audiobooks that are readily available. The results presented in this report came from an annual survey started in 2011 to measure book reading among American adults.

In the past year nearly three-quarters (73%) of American adults report reading at least one book. Out of the people surveyed, about two-thirds (65%) have read a print book in the last year. This is more than double the number of people who reporting reading an e-book (28%), and more than four times the number that reporting listening to an audiobook (14%). The share of people using e-books and audiobooks to consume book content has also remained stable in recent years.

The number of books American adults read per year, in any format, has also remained steady since 2011. In the last year, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per person, while the typical (median) American read 4 books.

Americans reported reading books for varying reasons over the past year. More than 4 in 5 (84%) respondents said that they read to research specific topics of interest, 10% more than in 2011. A similar number (82%) read to keep up with current events, and nearly half (47%) of these respondents did so every day. Eighty percent of respondents also reported that they read for pleasure, which is exactly the same share as 2011. About 3 in 5 (57%) respondents reported that they read for work or school.

For more information, you can find the full Book Reading 2016 report here.

Page 1 of 5412345...102030...Last »

POPULAR RESOURCES

  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.

LIBRARYJOBLINE

See more @ LibraryJobline.org

ABOUT

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).

Staff & Contact Info