Ever wonder how a return on taxpayer investment in public libraries can be quantified? Our latest Fast Facts, Colorado Library Return on Investment: 5 to 1, discusses how the Library Research Service calculated return on investment (ROI) for eight public libraries from across the state.
Bob Molyneux, former director of statistics and surveys at the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), has assembled a large number of digital versions of publications reporting statistics on various types of libraries. As NCLIS is now closed, this data needed a home, and we are proud to partner with Bob to provide an online archive for these files:
Files currently housed in the archive:File Comments
Public Library Data File (PLDF3) Longitudinal data of a universe file of U.S. public libraries, FY 1987-FY 2007. Updated through FY 2007
State Summary/State Characteristics Data File (PUSUM) Longitudinal file of summary data on public libraries at the state level, FY 1992-FY 2007. Updated through FY 2007
Raw data, documentation, reports, and summary analysis of public libraries A substantial number of publications about these libraries is available now.
This is an important, useful archive, and all materials within are in the public domain. Enjoy!
Interested in the work prison librarians are doing? Check out our new Fast Facts Restorative Librarianship in the Colorado Department of Corrections. This edition consists of a look at Colorado’s “Out for Life” program – an Institutional Library Development (ILD) program designed to promote libraries’ role in helping prisoners successfully reenter society.
A new Field Initiated Study (FIS) has been posted! ID Requirements for Library Card Registration consists of responses compiled by Heidi Baker, of the Special Populations Committee, from several questions posed to the Libnet and REFORMA-CO listservs. The questions posted to the listservs asked about the identification requirements libraries have for patrons to obtain a library card.
To see this Field Initiated Study, click the title above or go to our Field Initiated Studies section.
In April, we launched the 60-second survey, “Libraries and the Economic Recession.” This survey was prompted by several news articles discussing the recession’s impact on libraries and librarians.
We wanted to know what folks on the front lines had observed about the economy, and how the recession had impacted their work and their career plans. Nearly 500 people responded.
The results indicate that libraries are indeed seeing increases in use and requests for assistance, and librarians are feeling the squeeze themselves.
When asked, “In the last 12 months, have you had to help more library patrons with the following services,” 70 percent selected “computer use,” which included help with software and Internet searching. More than three in five (66%) said they’ve had more requests for assistance with job-seeking activities, such as online job applications and resume preparation.
Similarly, when asked, “In the last 12 months, have you personally noticed an increase in use of the following resources in your library,” 67 percent reported increases in public access computer use by patrons, while more than half said they’ve noticed an increase in library visits (63%) and circulation of materials (54%).
When asked, “To better serve patrons, do you feel a need for additional professional training in any of the following areas,” nearly half of the respondents (46%) indicated they could use training on available public assistance/social programs.
When asked, “As a result of the current economic downturn, do you feel a need for additional training in any of the following areas for your own professional development,” more than two in five (44%) said they would benefit from stress management training. One in three (31%) indicated they could use additional training on how to deal with difficult patrons.
In addition, more than half the respondents shared personal observations about how the recession is impacting their libraries and their patrons.
More detail about the results of this 60-second survey will be published in an upcoming edition of Fast Facts. Let us know what you think about the recession’s impact on libraries by leaving a comment below.
Public librarians involved in programming may be interested in the newest Field Initiated Study. Defining successful programming in public libraries is a collection of responses received from questions sent to the Libnet listserv by Gail Craig of the High Plains Library District.
Click on the title above to view the compiled responses or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.
Thanks to the newest LRS staff member, Lisa Boyd, the ROI Closer Look report is finally published. The ROI study took place during a time of considerable upheaval at LRS with a staff change in every single position during the course of the project. So, we are very grateful to Lisa for bringing her considerable organizational and publication production skills to bear on this project. She was able to gather together all the individual pieces of the study and produce a document with all the ROI study findings in one place. Of course, the individual library reports, calculators, and other ROI information are still available on the ROI webpage.
For most of the libraries participating in the study, the return on investment (ROI) was approximately five to one—that is, for every $1.00 spent on public libraries, $5.00 of value was realized by taxpayers.
Data for this study were gathered using a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews, and available data sources. Almost 5,000 Colorado residents responded to the library use and value survey.
Thanks to the eight libraries that participated in the study. Staff at these libraries generously shared their time and expertise to make this study possible.
– Cortez Public Library
– Denver Public Library
– Douglas County Libraries
– Eagle Valley Library District
– Fort Morgan Public Library
– Mesa County Public Library District
– Montrose Library District
– Rangeview Library District
For more information, please visit our ROI page at: http://www.lrs.org/public/roi/.
In an alternate history, as the United States and the Soviet Union teeter on the edge of a nuclear war and being a superhero is illegal, who will save the world? Enter the Watchmen…
As graphic novel readers and teen librarians know, Watchmen delivers a complex plot that goes far beyond deconstructing the idea of a superhero. Here are some tidbits to help the rest of us understand the cult phenomenon that is Watchmen.
The Graphic Novel
o Watchmen is not only in Time magazine’s top 10 graphic novels list, it is included in Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to Present.
o The original 12 issues of the Watchmen comic book series were published by DC Comics in 1986-87.
o After two decades the graphic novel is still selling. In 2007 about 100,000 copies were sold, but when the trailer for the “Watchmen” movie was shown before “The Dark Night” in July 2008, sales skyrocketed. By mid-August DC put another 900,000 copies into print to meet demand (over 62,500 copies sold in July/August 2008). “Watchmen” became the top selling graphic novel in 2008.
o In 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment released a narrated version of the original comic called Watchmen: Motion Comics. The first chapter sold on iTunes and other digital stores for the 1986 cover price of $1.50. The Complete Motion Comic was released March 3, 2009.
Opening night midnight viewings of the “Watchmen” generated $4.55 million in sales. The film opened in 1,595 theaters across the country and spread to 3,611 around the world, the most theaters ever to show an R-rated movie.
“Watchmen” was directed by Zack Snyder, and has been compared to Snyder’s 2007 feature film “300”, here are a few comparative stats from each opening weekends:
o While “Watchmen” brought in a total of $55.7 million in opening weekend tickets sales, “300” had a much stronger opening weekend with $70 million in tickets sales.
o The movie-goer’s desire to see action films on IMAX screens brought in $5.5 million in IMAX ticket sales for “Watchmen” during its opening weekend; “300” reached 65% of that mark with $3.6 million.
o Snyder’s “300” opened on 62 domestic IMAX screens and “Watchmen” opened on 124.
o “Watchmen” is 45 minutes longer than “300”, making it hard for theaters to have more than one showing per evening. “300’s” shorter running time gave theaters the opportunity to play two showings per evening, which likely had an affect on ticket sales.
o “300” had a production budget of $60 million. “Watchmen’s” budget is reported to be between $120 and $150 million.
Intrigued? Learn more at the following websites.
Watchmen movie and graphic novel:
Watchmen writer Alan Moore:
Comic and graphic novel sales/ trends:
Movie box office data:
-R. Sean Lamborne
Gustines, G.G. (2008, August 13). Film trailer aids sales of ‘Watchmen’ novel. The New York Times Online. Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/arts/14arts-FILMTRAILERA_BRF.html?_r=1&ref=arts&oref=slogin
ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – August 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13297.html
ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – July 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13104.html
Michael White. (2009, March 6). ‘Watchmen’ may open with $70 million, lift box office. Bloomberg.com Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aiiSmRwjr8lQ&refer=muse
Paul William Tenny. (2009, March 10). Watchmen experiences mass walkouts in new york city. Newsvine.com. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from http://pwtenny.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/10/2527065-watchmen-experiences-mass-walkouts-in-new-york-city
The Numbers: Box Office Data, Movie Stars, Idle Speculation. Watchmen [Data File]. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/WATCH.php
Watchmen (2004, July 22). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen#cite_note-57
A new field initiated study was just posted. Therapeutic Reading Programs and Reading Education Assistant Dogs is a compilation of responses received from Samantha Hagar’s inquiry to the Libnet listserv on how libraries use dogs in therapeutic reading programs.
For more information, click the title above or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.
Take a leisurely look at the new Fast Facts! “Book, Newspaper, and Periodical Prices, 2004-2010” examines past pricing for library materials and includes calculations for future pricing if the current pricing trends continue.
Read the complete report on the Fast Facts page.