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Pew survey finds that only 51% of US teens use Facebook, down from 71% in 2015

Pew Research Center recently published the results of its Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018 study. Pew surveyed US teens aged 13-17 to gather information about their use and views of social media, providing an update to a similar study published in 2015.

For the first time, Facebook is no longer the most popular social media platform among America’s teenagers. About half (51%) of teens surveyed report that they use Facebook, down from the 7 in 10 (71%) who said the same in 2015. In 2018, higher percentages of the teens surveyed say they use YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%), and Snapchat (69%) than Facebook.

The largest share of teens surveyed (45%) say that social media has neither a positive nor negative effect on themselves and their peers. About a third (31%) believe that social media has a mostly positive effect, while about a quarter (24%) say the effects of social media have been mostly negative.

Of the teens who say that the effect of social media is mostly positive, 2 in 5 (40%) cite staying connected with friends and family as the main reason for its positive impact. Others say that social media makes it easier to find news and information (16%), meet others with similar interests (15%), and express themselves (9%).

About a quarter (27%) of teens with a negative perception of social media say that social media has made it easier to bully and spread rumors about others. Other respondents believe that social media is harmful to relationships (17%), gives an unrealistic view of others’ lives (15%), or that there is peer pressure to live up to that unrealistic view (12%).

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.

A record 701 jobs posted to Library Jobline in 2017

Library Jobline, LRS’s website for library job postings and resources, broke its own record for the number of jobs posted in 2017 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 2017 employers posted 701 jobs to Library Jobline, an average of 13 new jobs a week. January was Jobline’s busiest month, with 73 new jobs posted. Similar to 2016, about two-thirds (67%) of the jobs posted were located in Colorado. However, the percentage of full-time jobs posted saw a big jump, from about half (53%) in 2016 to over three-quarters (78%) in 2017. The majority of jobs posted were in public libraries (66%), followed by academic libraries (21%), “other” (8%), institutional libraries (3%), and school libraries (2%).

Average hourly salaries for both academic ($22.06) and public ($22.26) library positions remained steady and didn’t change much from 2016. The average salary for school library positions ($19.86) has risen 19% since its low in 2015 ($16.62). About a third (32%) of the jobs posted required a MLIS degree, while a little under half (44%) preferred a MLIS.

Subscriptions to Library Jobline continued to grow, adding 407 new jobseekers and 128 new employers in 2017. This led to almost 960,000 emails with job opportunities sent to job seekers – edging closer to one million!

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 more than 5,000 jobseekers and more than 1,000 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.

“Quotable Facts about Colorado Libraries” highlights libraries working for access, knowledge, and community in Colorado

LRS recently released the latest version of Quotable Facts about Colorado Libraries, a booklet containing data and statistics about public, school, and academic libraries in Colorado. The booklet focuses on libraries working with and for their patrons, broken down into three sections: libraries working for access, knowledge, and community.

Public, school, and academic libraries circulated more than 22 items for each person in the state in the past year, which provided Coloradans with access to about 123 million items overall. More than 1 in 10 Colorado households do not have access to a computer or the internet at home, but all Colorado public libraries offer free public access internet computers and public wireless internet. Public library patrons use public access wifi at their libraries more than 10,000 times each day.

Colorado’s libraries have nearly 6,000 staff that work to provide knowledge to Coloradans. Public librarians answered about 3.6 million reference questions last year, ranging from researching family genealogy to applying for Social Security online. Every week, 7 in 10 (69%) school librarians teach their students how to use digital resources to find information.

Libraries help build community by providing meeting spaces and programming that offer Coloradans an opportunity to connect with each other. There are 6 times as many libraries in Colorado than there are Starbucks coffee shops, another popular meeting space. The Read to the Children program, run by institutional libraries in Colorado’s state prisons, allowed nearly 3,000 children to stay connected with incarcerated family members in the past year.

An online infographic version of the booklet is available here. If you are interested in receiving printed booklets (3.5 inches by 3 inches), contact us at (303)866-6900 or lrs@lrs.org.

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 reports that 2 in 5 American adults did not read a book in the past year

Pew Research Center recently updated a report delving into the characteristics of the quarter of American adults who say that they haven’t read a book in the past year. This includes reading all or part of a book, in any format (print, electronic, or audiobook).

Education seems to impact how often American adults read books. About 2 in 5 (37%) adults with a high school degree or less reported that they did not read a book in the past year. This makes them about five times more likely to be a non-book reader than college graduates (7%). Similarly, only about 1 in 10 (13%) of the most affluent adults reported not reading books, while over a third (36%) of adults with an annual income of $30,000 or less said the same.

Age and ethnicity also correlated with non-book reading. Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) Hispanic adults reported not reading a book in the past twelve months, compared to 1 in 5 (20%) white adults. Older adults (over 50 years old) are somewhat more likely than their younger counterparts to be non-book readers (28% and 20%, respectively).

The traits that correlate to non-book reading match those of American adults who have never been to a library, as identified by a 2016 Pew Survey. In their responses to this survey, Hispanics, older adults, less affluent adults, and those who have a high school education or less were most likely to report that they had never visited a library.

The full post 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.

Early literacy ranks as the most important topic on a survey of literacy professionals

Image credit: International Literacy Association

The International Literacy Association regularly conducts a survey of literacy leaders to find out what topics in literacy are trending and which topics are the most important. The most recent survey was open from August to September 2017. It had 2,097 responses representing 91 countries and territories. Classroom teachers made up the largest portion of respondents (27%).

The survey asks respondents to rank 17 topics as a “hot” or trendy topic, and rank the same topics on importance. “Early literacy” and “strategies for differentiating instruction” were the only two topics ranked in the top five as both a hot topic and as an important topic. Eighty-seven percent of respondents ranked “early literacy” as very or extremely important and 85% of respondents ranked “strategies for differentiating instruction” as very or extremely important.

Two interesting findings about respondents were: 1) “K-12 educators are more likely than those in academia to say early literacy is extremely important” and 2) “International respondents are more likely than U.S. respondents to say that summative assessments are important.” Across all respondents, “summative assessment,” often a test at the end of a unit or year, was ranked the least important of all topics, but ranked third for trendiness.

Topics with high importance but low trendiness rankings are seen as areas that need more attention. “Access to books and content” ranked fifth in importance and eleventh as hot topic. “Digital literacy” ranked first in trendiness, but thirteenth in importance, indicating that respondents perceive it as a less important topic that is nonetheless receiving a lot of attention.

Libraries can use this information as partners in literacy with schools and communities. Since digital literacy ranked low in importance on this survey, libraries can engage in conversations about what digital literacy means in different contexts. The standout importance of early literacy in the survey is an excellent common ground for libraries to continue to build partnerships. Libraries can also continue to bring attention to the key issue of access to books and content, where they have expertise to offer.

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 and SirsiDynix find that 2 in 5 public libraries offer a mobile device app to their patrons

App design for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina

Library Journal, in collaboration with SirsiDynix, recently conducted a survey of 618 public libraries to gather information about mobile device trends in libraries. Their report reveals the increasing use of mobile-friendly websites and apps in public libraries.

Out of the libraries that responded to the survey, about 2 in 5 (37%) currently offer a mobile app to their patrons and nearly three-quarters (72%) have a website that is optimized for use on mobile devices. Libraries serving more than 500,000 patrons were more likely to respond that they have an app, resulting in about 7 in 10 (69%) larger libraries compared to a little less than a quarter (22%) of smaller libraries. Mobile optimization of the library website is more consistent across library sizes; 2 in 3 (65%) smaller libraries described their website as mobile-friendly and about three-quarters (74%-77%) of larger libraries said the same.

Library apps serve varying purposes for each library, but nearly all (97%) of the responding libraries reported that their library provides mobile access to the library’s catalog. Catalog access is by far the most common app functionality, followed by a library event calendar (68%), ebook and audiobook checkout (60%), and mobile library card/digital barcode (60%). Respondents also clarified the functionalities that they want their apps to offer, including fine payment (69%), library event calendars (62%), and remote sign-up for events or library cards (51%).

Libraries reported that about 1 in 10 (12%) library users have actually downloaded the library’s app to their smartphone or tablet. About 2 in 5 (38%) acknowledged that their app appeals to certain patrons, including young adults, students, and “everyone but seniors.” These audiences could influence how libraries market their apps. Most respondents said that their apps were advertised via the library website (64%) and on social media (30%). Less off-line marketing took place, but some respondents advertised the app using posters (19%), newsletters (12%), and bookmarks (6%).

For more survey results, check out 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.

OCLC report shows changes in US voter perception of libraries over the last ten years

Image credit: OCLC

OCLC recently published From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, an update to a 2008 report. The report highlights key findings from their national study of U.S. voters about their perceptions of libraries. Two areas showed noteworthy change over the past ten years: the use of libraries as a community space and commitment to library funding.

Many public libraries have been working on transforming into community hubs over the past few years, and the voters surveyed by OCLC seem to have noticed. More than 2 in 5 (44%) voters said that they value the library as a gathering place, and nearly a third (30%) view the library as a community hub. A little over 2 in 5 (43%) respondents in 2018 say that the library “offers activities and entertainment you can’t find anywhere else in the community,” compared about a third (34%) who said the same in 2008. Just under half (48%) now view this as an important role for the library, while about 2 in 5 (38%) did in 2008.

Although a majority (55%) of the voters surveyed view the public library as an essential local institution, this opinion does not always translate to a willingness to vote for library funding. Only about a quarter (27%) of voters answered that they would “definitely” vote in favor of measures to support the public library, with a further third (31%) who said that they would “probably” vote in favor. While the two categories still make up a majority of voters (58%), the percentage has dropped from the three-quarters (73%) of voters in 2008 who said that they would “probably” or “definitely” vote in favor of library support measures. The gap between support for libraries and support for library funding may indicate a lack of understanding among voters about how libraries are funded in their communities.

The full report and an infographic providing a snapshot of the report’s findings can be found here. OCLC will also host a webinar discussing their findings on April 17.

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.

School Library Journal examines national, state, and local factors contributing to the loss in school librarian jobs

Image credit: School Library Journal

School Library Journal recently published the School Librarian State of the Union. This national overview of the profession takes a look at the data gathered about school librarianship. One of the articles, “A Perfect Storm Impacts School Librarianship Numbers,” uses this data to reflect on the national, state, and local factors that together contribute to the dropping number of school librarians.

Nationwide, the school librarian profession has lost about 1 in 5 (19%) full-time positions since 2000, translating to about 10,000 jobs. One explanation for this loss could be a trend of not replacing school librarians when they retire, and many school librarians are retiring – more than 3 in 5 (63%) librarians in 2016 were 54 years old or older. Another national trend is taking place in LIS programs. Over the past five years, the number of school library certification programs has dropped by about a third (32%).

On a state level, spending on U.S. schools has risen slightly for the second year in a row but has not matched the increasing student population and the rising costs of providing educational services. Between 2010-2015, the average per pupil spending in public schools rose by 7.5% while school librarian positions were cut by 17%. School librarian positions are often vulnerable to being cut because less than half of states (22) have legislative regulations requiring schools to employ a school librarian.

Locally, there is a lack of knowledge among school administrators about the impact of school library programs and certified librarians on student success. Only 1 in 10 (10%) principals report receiving formal training related to school librarians, and they said that most of their knowledge came from face-to-face interactions with school librarians.

The entire School Librarian State of the Union 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.

“Lost Einsteins” can be alleviated by childhood exposure to invention and inventors, particularly inventors of the same gender

Image credit: Equality of Opportunity Project

A recent paper from the Equality of Opportunity Project explores the question: “What factors induce people to become inventors?” The investigators looked into the origins of patent holders in the U.S. using tax records and school district data with test scores.

The study reports that “children with parents in the top 1% of the income distribution are ten times more likely to become inventors than children with below-median income parents.” Strong math skills also contribute to the likelihood someone will grow up to invent, but the income of their parents has an impact on even the most talented math students: “Children at the top of their 3rd grade math class are much more likely to become inventors, but only if they come from high-income families.” The study also found that race and gender have an impact: “white children are three times more likely to become inventors than black children” and “only 18% of inventors are female.”

Exposure to innovation while growing up also impacted whether children grow up to be inventors.  Children from areas of the U.S. with more inventors are “much more likely to become inventors themselves.”  The gender of the adult innovators children see has an effect too.  According to the study, “our estimates imply that if girls were as exposed to female inventors as much as boys are to male inventors, the gender gap in innovation would fall by half.” The report concluded that “if women, minorities, and children from low-income families invent at the same rate as high-income white men, the innovation rate in America would quadruple.”

Libraries, as places that encourage exploration and curiosity, have an interest in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs. And, libraries can play a role in exposing children to innovation and inventors. Many libraries have makerspaces or areas for creation, which can expose children to creative problem solving and applications of math.  For example, the 2017 Library Journal best small library, Boundary County Library District, emphasizes invention.  Libraries also host speakers and programs, and they could bring in local inventors and innovators, or discuss famous inventors, who reflect the identities of children in their community.  Libraries can also strive to have collections that showcase inventors of many backgrounds and periodically highlight these titles. The Library of Congress has many suggested titles in their online guide to women inventors.

For more information, 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.

SHLB Coalition report estimates that it would cost $13-$19 billion to connect all community anchor institutions to high-speed broadband internet

Image credit: Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition recently released a report prepared by CTC Technology & Energy estimating how much it would cost to expand high-speed, fiber optic broadband internet to community anchor institutions – schools, libraries, hospitals, health care clinics, community colleges, and other public institutions that do not currently have direct fiber connections.

SHLB estimates that 34 million people living in the United States do not have access to broadband internet. However, nearly all (95%) Americans live in the same zip code area as a community anchor institution (Anchor). The authors argue that using Anchors as hubs to connect their surrounding communities to high-quality internet could be a cost-effective strategy to solve the digital divide, especially in rural areas.

The report provides estimates of the percentage of Anchors that are not yet connected to high-speed broadband connections. In dense metro areas, more than 4 in 5 (85%) Anchors are already connected. This is compared to only about 3 in 10 (30%) Anchors in the rural West and 2 in 5 (40%) in the Plains that are connected to high-speed broadband.

Based on the models used by the authors, the total cost to connect all the unconnected Anchors in the continental United States and Hawaii would be between $13 billion and $19 billion over the next 5-7 years. The cost per Anchor varies based on the regional and environmental difficulty of connecting the fiber network. For example, connecting an Anchor in a dense metro area would cost about $34,000 while an Anchor in a rural desert area would cost about $151,000 because the builders would not be able to take advantage of existing infrastructure. While these costs seem steep, the price for connecting anchors could drop by as much as half if a major, national effort is undertaken in cooperation with regional authorities and broadband providers.

For more information, 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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