Recently, the New York Times published an article about the privatization of public libraries. This article described the trend in some communities to turn over the management of public libraries to private organizations. In response to this article, library staff engaged in spirited online discussions about whether libraries should be privatized. Taking notice of these discussions, Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library has launched a new 60-Second Survey to get your opinions about privatization. Do you think privatization is a good option for libraries? How would it impact library collections, services, staff, and patrons? You tell us.
Edited to add: Thank you for your interest! The survey is now closed. Preliminary results will be posted to the blog in December.
The deadline for completing the 2010-11 Colorado School Library Survey has been extended to November 30, 2010. Participation by all public school libraries is vital! If you have not yet responded to the survey, it can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. The data gathered in the annual school library survey provides library professionals with important information for planning, evaluating, and budgeting. For questions regarding the survey, or to obtain your username and password, feel free to call Library Research Service at 303-866-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your information.
Listen to Keith’s latest interview about the impact of school libraries and librarians on student achievement. The interview is part three in a series of reports Bob Edwards has done about libraries. This is a great interview to share with non-librarians that want (or need) to know more about the vital role of school librarians in the 21st Century learning environment.
Hear the podcast “The State of American libraries, Part 3” at: http://podcast.com/episode/64457129/32910/
Or on iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/bob-edwards-weekend/id268584710
Colorado’s “star” libraries include:
Fleming Community Library
Denver Public Library
San Miguel Library District # 1/Telluride
Swink School/Public Library
La Veta Regional Library District
Douglas County Libraries
Ridgway Library District
Pitkin County Library
“The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2010, Library Journal’s national rating of public libraries, identifies 258 “star” libraries. Created by Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance, and based on 2008 data from the IMLS, it rates 7,407 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three stars. All included libraries, stars or not, can use their scores to learn from their peers, expand service to their communities, and advocate for support.” More at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/articlereview/886935-457/americas_star_libraries_2010_top-rated.html.csp
LRS and its director, Nicolle Steffen, won awards at this past weekend’s annual Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Conference. LRS.org, which provides dynamic, on-demand access to statistics for public, school, and academic libraries in Colorado, received the Library Advocate Award. This award recognizes far-reaching, sustained contributions to the promotion and/or support of library and information services to the state of Colorado. Nicolle received the CAL President’s Award for providing superior service and support to the organization in the past year in her position as treasurer.
A number of past and present LRS staff attended the awards banquet, including Nicolle Steffen, Keith Lance, Rochelle Logan, Zeth Lietzau, Jennifer French, Dave Hodgins, Linda Hofschire, and Jamie Helgren.
The Web site just launched for Colorado’s new library awareness campaign, “What’s Next?!”. Check it out at http://www.whatsnextlibraries.org/. LRS staff is providing the content for the “Did You Know” page–a regularly updated collection of interesting facts and statistics about libraries. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for “Did You Know” via this link: http://www.whatsnextlibraries.org/category/Did-You-Know/feed
Letters have been sent to public school libraries throughout the state announcing the opening of the 2010-11 Colorado School Library Survey. It can be accessed at http://www.lrs.org/slsurvey. The data gathered in the annual school library survey provides library professionals with important information for planning, evaluating, and budgeting. Login information is included in the letter, but if you haven’t received your letter and would like to get started, feel free to call LRS at 303-866-6900 or email email@example.com to get your information.
Each year, the American Library Association and the Center for Library & Information Innovation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, surveys a national sample of public libraries regarding their Internet connectivity and computing access resources. The 2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study survey (PLFTAS) is now open and survey announcement postcards should be arriving at libraries this week.
The survey portal is www.plinternetsurvey.org – respondents can find FAQs and other support, and then head to “start survey.” That is also where you will find the 4 issue briefs (Broadband, Community Access, E-government, and Employment), as well as state summaries for Employment and E-government.
Why participate in this survey?
- At the national level, the data have been used by NTIA, the FCC, Congress, ALA, and B&MGF to help make the case that libraries are critical community anchor institutions that should be included in any broadband plan initiatives; help libraries secure BTOP funds; and work with policy makers to secure LSTA funds for libraries. The data is also being combined with a range of geocoded data so that policymakers can see how libraries make a difference in their communities through their public access technologies.
- At the state level, 72% of state librarians said they currently are using or are likely to use the data for state-level testimony and to develop messaging related to public library technology resources. The data is used to develop state-level issue briefs, data summaries (employment and e-government), and other tools to help state libraries advocate on behalf of their libraries.
- At the local level, survey administrators have worked with a number of libraries to get stories out about the importance of libraries in their communities. They have also been working with the National Association of Counties to take the message to local governing bodies and decision makers. You can see several media stories using PLFTAS data at: http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2009_2010/media.cfm.
The survey closes November 5, 2010.
Last winter, LRS posted a 60-Second Survey on “The Future of the Book.” More than 1,300 people responded, with nearly 950 leaving additional comments about their thoughts on the topic. With all that information, we were able to write two Fast Facts providing analysis of both the results and the comments.
The comments proved to be one of the most interesting aspects of the survey, revealing passionate and philosophical thoughts on the future of paper and electronic books. Six common themes emerged as influences on future format choices: the existence of multiple formats, technological advantages, emotional/aesthetic appeal of paper books, content, cost, and change over time/generation. The first Fast Facts addresses results and comments related to cost and technological advantages of paper versus electronic formats, while the second report discusses the remaining comment categories and how they related to the type of library in which survey respondents worked and whether they owned an e-reader.
~ Jamie H.
Published earlier this year, The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap showed that “Students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participate.” For more see…