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Archive for the ‘Studies on Library Trends’ Category

ALA releases 2016 “The State of America’s Libraries Report”

The American Library Association has released its annual “The State of America’s Libraries Report” in a special issue of American Libraries magazine. The report covers the latest issues and trends affecting libraries of all types–academic, school, and public. Some of the major challenges, affecting the profession as a whole, that the report identifies include community engagement, intellectual freedom, and online privacy. The report also reviews professional demographics for each type of library.

For academic libraries, the report notes the main challenge as being able to demonstrate the library’s value to the broader institution it serves, especially in helping students succeed academically. ACRL’s “Assessment in Action” program has helped gather an increasing amount of evidence showing conclusively that libraries have a significant impact, particularly in five areas.

  • strengthening the information-literacy standards for first-year students–this is especially important, as many new students lack experience finding research articles or evaluating the quality of information
  • solidifying the link between student academic success and using the library–this has been acknowledged by the majority of top academic administrators; they consider the resources and services libraries provide as having a greater impact than do classroom and online courses, scholarly research, and analyses of institutional data
  • ensuring that library instruction has a significant impact on retaining students–not only freshmen, but also seniors, have acknowledged that the library plays a significant role in enhancing their ability to find, analyze, and use information
  • documenting that libraries make a substantial contribution to campus-wide academic support services for students, as libraries have placed a high priority on the “learning commons” concept of providing collaborative spaces for students to exchange ideas and experiment with multimedia technology
  • improving the student learning experience by providing research consultation-faculty have given libraries high marks for giving one-on-one consultations, in addition to classroom instruction sessions

The report also includes some facts and figures on current demographics and finances for academic libraries.

  • in 2015, academic libraries supplied nearly 27% of jobs for new LIS graduates; the average beginning salary was approximately $42,000
  • in 2014, doctorate-granting and research institutions had the largest staff size, with around 50 employees; associate-granting schools had the smallest, with an average of just over five staff members
  • conversely, salaries and wages made up the largest percentage of the budget at associate-granting colleges; they took up the lowest percentage at doctorate-granting and research institutions

To see the full report, go here. The section covering academic libraries is on pages 7-8.

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HEDS Research Practices Survey Now Open

(via Lizabeth Pinkerton, Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN)

Registration for the spring administration of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium’s Research Practices Survey is open. The HEDS Research Practices Survey only takes about 15 minutes to complete and includes questions that map to each of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ five information literacy competency standards. When administered to incoming first-year students, the survey provides important comparative baseline information that faculty and librarians can use in developing pedagogies and materials to advance their students’ research and information literacy skills. When administered to both incoming and upper-level students, the HEDS Research Practices Survey can be used to assess the outcomes of liberal arts instruction in college-level research skills (longitudinally or by cross-section).

Please click here to find out more about the survey and registration. To register for the survey, go here. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Adrea Hernandez at hernanda@wabash.edu.

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(via Gwen Gregory, IACRL President)

ACRL announces the publication of 2014 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The three-volume set includes Associate of Arts institutions, Master’s Colleges and Universities/Baccalaureate Colleges and Research/Doctoral-granting Institutions. The individual volumes for Associates CollegesMasters/Baccalaureate, and Doctoral-Granting institutions are also available for purchase.

The 2014 data show that library expenditures for collection materials averaged $6,471,262 for doctoral degree-granting institutions; $776,119 for comprehensive degree-granting institutions; $509,643 for baccalaureate schools; and $143,254 for associate-degree granting institutions. The percentage of the collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources purchases (including subscription expenditures) averaged 70% of the total materials budget. On average, doctoral degree granting institutions spent 74.6% of their materials budgets on ongoing purchases in 2013; comprehensive schools spent an average of 76.5%; baccalaureate schools spent an average 71.5%; and associate degree granting institutions spent an average of 55.6%.

The 2014 data show that expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 57.3% of the total library expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 77.9% of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 52.7% for baccalaureate, 54.7% for comprehensive schools, and 44% for doctoral/research institutions.

Of the libraries surveyed, 34.3% of doctoral degree-granting institutions, 33.8% of comprehensive degree-granting institutions, 20.6% of baccalaureate schools, and 16.9% of associate-degree granting institutions require professional development for tenure-track consideration or other advancement. Less than half of academic libraries have measures or methods in place to assess the impact of professional development, but a small percentage of libraries require staff to report how their professional development activities support student learning or research outcomes at their institutions, with 10.46% of baccalaureate schools using this method. In the past three years, funding for professional development has increased for more doctoral/research institutions (30.8%) than comprehensive schools (19.9%), baccalaureate schools (19.3%), or associate-degree granting institutions (11.4%). Of the libraries surveyed, most budgeted between .01 and 1.99% for professional development including 49% of doctoral/research schools, 42.6% of comprehensive schools, 38% of baccalaureate schools, and 23.4% of associate degree granting institutions.

The 2014 survey includes data from 1,449 academic libraries in seven major categories: collections (including titles held, volumes, and electronic books), expenditures (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.), personnel and public services (staff and services), degrees granted, faculty, student enrollment, and professional development. The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean and median) for all elements. The 2014 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications, and benchmarking.

The 2014 Academic Library Trends and Statistics report is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

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2016 NMC Horizon Report on Higher Ed. Trends Released

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released its annual report, which is a collaboration between NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The document, titled NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition (there are other editions for different levels of schooling, in addition to one for libraries), is based on yearly findings from the ongoing NMC Horizon Project. The Project identifies and examines those emerging technologies that are most likely to have a significant effect on learning and teaching in the future, particularly as they relate to creative inquiry. Through these findings, the report zeroes in on the key trends, developments, and challenges in educational technology, over both the short-term and the long-term. The report is intended for not just educators and technology experts, but also administrators and other leaders in higher education.
The 2016 edition identifies the following key issues in technology and higher education.

Short-Term Impact

  • Increased emphasis on measuring learning
  • More use of blended learning models

Mid-Term Impact

  • Reconfiguring learning spaces
  • Moving to deeper approaches to learning

Long-Term Impact

  • Promoting cultures of innovation
  • Reconsidering how institutions function


Developments in Technology
Near-Term (1 year or less)

  • Bring your own device
  • Learning analytics and adaptive technology

Mid-Term (2-3 years)

  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Makerspaces

Far-Term (4-5 years)

  • Affective computing
  • Robotics


  • Mixing formal and informal learning
  • Increasing digital literacy


  • Competing educational models
  • Personalization of learning


  • Balancing “wired” and “unwired” lives
  • Ensuring that education remains vital

To access the full report, go here.

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Study on College Graduates’ Long-Term Information Needs

Project Information Literacy, in collaboration with the University of Washington Information School and the Institute of Museum and Libraries, recently released the report Staying Smart: How Today’s Graduates Continue to Learn Once They Complete College. The impetus behind the report was that not much research had been done on the information-seeking behaviors of college graduates once they have finished their schooling. In particular, the role that lifelong learning has in the professional and personal lives of graduates is a topic that the report’s authors deemed merited more attention. Formal learning (through workplace training and continuing education) and informal learning (through pursuing hobbies or receiving information from family and friends) both have a key role to play in how people acquire information throughout their lives. The questions that guided the report’s authors revolved around what information needs people have, what information sources they use, and what skills they learned in college (such as critical thinking) are applied to seeking information. The ultimate goal of the report was to modify the information-seeking framework for lifelong learning, if necessary.

The report came to the following conclusions.

  • College graduates have a broad skill set that allows them to acquire additional competencies and knowledge.
  • The most-common uses of information were to solve relatively simple problems in their own lives, including those related to financial management.
  • In the workplace, graduates wanted career and professional guidance, including advice on interpersonal communication skills.
  • For actually finding information, search engines (such as Google) and blogs were the most popular.
  • Despite the desire to stay informed, many people found it difficult to do so, due to the vast amount of information they have to navigate.
  • Most graduates agreed that the skills they had acquired in college, including critical thinking, did carry over to their post-college lives.

To view the full report, click here.

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Report on Open Access in Europe

Knowledge Exchange, a European partnership for enhancing services in higher education and research, has released a report on open access, Putting Down Roots: Securing the Future of Open Access Policies. The report examines the relationship between open-access policies and services in five European countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), plus the European Union. Open access has taken on an increasingly prominent role in Europe over the past decade, as more academic and research institutions–at both the national level and across countries–have adopted open-access policies. Even though these policies often differ in emphasis, the report finds them to contain several common elements, including requiring or encouraging that documents be deposited in repositories and that publishing be done via open access. The report also identifies a number of service types that facilitate the implementation of open-access policies, including abstracting and indexing, support and dissemination, repository, open-access publishing, and monitoring.

The report identifies the following areas as needing further action in the near future.

  • Adopting sound governance structures–ensuring that supporting services operate efficiently and fairly, and that consistent standards are enforced by national and international governing bodies
  • Ensuring the financial stability of vital services-enabling cooperation among publishers, institutions, and funders to keep key open-access providers solvent; and exploring the feasibility of an international funding and governance system for particular services
  • Creating a completely-interoperable repository service for open-access-encouraging self-archiving of open-access materials through establishing central nodes and rules for interoperability
  • Making the transition from individual services to a larger open-access infrastructure-communicating with the publishing industry, and creating new rules and mechanisms, to ensure that all stakeholders in open access benefit from centralized services

To read the full report, click here.

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Assessment in Action Comprehensive Bibliography Now Available

(via Gwen Gregory, IACRL President)

As the higher education association for librarians, ACRL supports academic and research librarians as change leaders in their campus communities through programs like Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). The more than 200 participating AiA teams are contributing to innovation in higher education assessment by creating approaches, strategies, and practices that document the contribution of academic libraries to the overall goals and missions of their institutions.

Through AiA, librarian-led teams carried out assessment projects over 14 months at their community colleges, colleges and universities. The projects examined the impact of the library (instruction, reference, collections, space, and more) on student learning/success. Learn more in the new Assessment in Action Bibliography, listing dozens of journal articles, conference presentations and other public reports. This bibliography aims to be comprehensive, capturing all scholarly and practice-based literature and presentations about AiA and campus projects conducted as part of the AiA program by campus team members, facilitators, and ACRL staff.

Stay tuned for more on AiA results in the weeks ahead through:

AiA Project Synthesis: A report synthesizing the second year AiA projects and leadership of campus assessment teams will be coming out in early 2016. For the first year synthesis, see the full report and executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders. Find first and second year poster abstracts, images and full project descriptions in a searchable online collection.

Putting Assessment into Action: Selected Projects from the First Cohort of the Assessment in Action Grant. This forthcoming ACRL case book, edited by Eric Ackerman, will showcase 27 short reflections by first year AiA team leaders on the inquiry methods they used in their assessment projects. Assembled into three groupings — Assessing Information Literacy and Library Instruction; Assessing Outreach, Services, and Spaces; and Longitudinal Assessment — the cases describe assessment methods used and the successes and/or failures of these methods along with lessons learned.

College and Research Libraries: The March 2016 special issue of ACRL’s scholarly journal will proudly features a selection of 7 action research studies by AiA teams, along with an introductory essay. The aim of the special issue is to help C&RL readers learn more about action research as an approach to scholarship and showcase examples of fruitful action research studies undertaken by AiA teams.

For additional background on the Assessment in Action Bibliography, go here.

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OCLC Annual Report for FY 2015 Available

OCLC has released its annual report for 2014-15. The report details the organization’s progress in meeting its goals, including sharing knowledge, connecting users, delivering value, and transforming spaces. Several of the major projects that OCLC has undertaken to reach these goals include helping national and regional institutions in Spain, China, and the Netherlands add millions of titles to their collections; working with the Library of Congress to advance its BIBFRAME bibliographic-description initiative; streamlining collection-development tasks, such as analyzing e-book and e-journal packages, through WorldShare Reports; and working with Sustainable Collection Services to help libraries balance space needs with maintaining physical collections.

In the sharing category, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign makes several “Top 10” lists. These lists cover lending members (ninth, with 31,965 items lent via OCLC in 2015; Minnesota’s statewide Minitex system leads the list) and online original catalogers (also ninth, with 10,999 original records added to OCLC in 2015; the University of Hong Kong is number one).

Other interesting numbers from the report:

  • OCLC currently has 16,912 member institutions, spread across 118 countries. Sixty-nine of these nations (58 percent) are in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; 28 (24 percent) are in the Americas; and 21 (18 percent) are in the Asia Pacific.
  • The Americas have the highest number of OCLC member institutions, with 11,244 (66 percent). Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have 3,871 members (23 percent), and the Asia Pacific has 1,797 (11 percent).
  • Over the past year, 61 institutions have joined OCLC. In addition, 11 countries that did not previously have any member institutions are now represented. These nations include Cameroon, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, and Saint Lucia.
  • Public libraries make up the largest proportion of member institutions, with 5,392 (32 percent), followed by college and university libraries, at 4,912 (29 percent). There is a separate category for community college and vocational libraries, which number 1,086 (about 6.5 percent).
  • State and national libraries are at the bottom of the list, with 112 (0.66 percent). This category does not include federal, state, and municipal government libraries, which number 1,533 (9 percent).
  • The total number of holdings in OCLC is almost 2.3 billion. Nearly 150 million holdings were added in the past year, amounting to a 7-percent increase.
  • The total number of records is over 340 million. This includes more than 20 million that were added in FY 2015, or an increase of just over 6 percent.
  • The number of digital records in OCLC is now over 43 million, up about 2.5 million from the year before, an increase of 6 percent. There are over 14 million e-book records, an increase of more than 300,000, or a little over 2 percent.
  • Sixty-one percent of records are in a language other than English. There are 482 languages and 15 scripts used in WorldCat. The most-common languages are English, German, and French. Scripts include Cyrillic, Devanagari, and Tamil.

To access the full report, go here.

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Digital Inclusion and Health Literacy

The Information Policy & Access Center has released its Digital Inclusion Survey, which was compiled last year. The survey acknowledges the crucial role that public libraries play in providing access to digital resources, particularly to members of the community who would otherwise be cut off from the online environment. The study was intended not just to record the technology infrastructure that libraries possess, but to note the ways in which outreach efforts by libraries are improving the quality of life for underserved communities. These efforts are critical, as simply providing members of the public with digital access does not ensure understanding of those resources, including the most effective ways to navigate them in order to complete a key task, such a submitting a job application online. Through documenting the ways in which public libraries improve digital literacy and help close the ”

The Information Policy & Access Center has released its Digital Inclusion Survey, which was compiled last year. The survey acknowledges the crucial role that public libraries play in providing access to digital resources, particularly to members of the community who would otherwise be cut off from the online environment. The study was intended not just to record the technology infrastructure that libraries possess, but to note the ways in which outreach efforts by libraries are improving the quality of life for underserved communities. These efforts are critical, as simply providing members of the public with digital access does not ensure understanding of those resources, including the most effective ways to navigate them in order to complete a key task, such a submitting a job application online. Through documenting the ways in which public libraries improve digital literacy and help close the “Digital Divide”, the study also reinforces the efforts of libraries to meet the ever-changing needs of their users and that libraries are no longer merely repositories for print materials, even though that is still a key service.

One area that the study covers is health literacy. The following key findings emerge.

  • A substantial number of public libraries provide some types of health and wellness resources. 56.2 percent provide access to subscription databases. 59.4 percent provide resources on health insurance, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • That having been said, significant differences exist between urban and rural public libraries in the health-information services they provide. City libraries’ budgets are larger (even if they may be somewhat smaller on a per-capita basis), and they serve more people.
    • Libraries in urban areas (74.5 percent) are far more likely to offer access to subscription databases, such as EBSCO Consumer Health Complete and Gale Health & Wellness Center, than are libraries in rural regions (39.8 percent).
    • Similarly, public libraries in urban areas (48.9 percent) are far more likely to have STEAM programming than are libraries in rural regions (19.7 percent).
    • In providing health-insurance information, including resources on ACA, city libraries do so at a 76.8-percent level, whereas rural libraries do so at only a 46.0-percent level.
  • Disparities also exist between public libraries that were renovated in the last five years and those that were last renovated longer ago. It is not clear what the exact cause is more available space, greater funding resources, or a combination of the two.
    • 48.1 percent offer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programming; the number falls to 30.6 percent among libraries that have not been renovated recently.
    • 22.1 percent hold maker-space events related to STEAM; the number is 13.1 percent for other libraries.
    • 70.6 percent have services to assist patrons with locating free health information; the percentage declines to 54.6 for libraries that have not been updated recently.
    • 67.0 percent provide access to subscription databases on health-related topics; the number falls to 53.9 percent for other libraries
    • 71.1 percent help patrons find health-insurance resources; this applies to only 56.8 percent of other libraries.
    • 53.6 percent educate users in particular areas of health and wellness; this is true of only 46.4 percent of libraries that have been renovated less recently.
  • The vast majority (91.9 percent) of public libraries that offer STEAM activities do so through formal programming.

For more information on the Digital Inclusion Survey, go here.

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2015 Report on Digital Use Worldwide

The company comScore has released the 2015 edition of the Global Digital Future in Focus Report. The report examines trends across the entire globe, while also analyzing data at the regional level and putting it into a broader context. The major topics covered in the report include the characteristics and behaviors of various digital users, including Millennials; the level of engagement with specific types of mobile apps, such as social-media ones; and the prevalence of multi-platform usage, which is across different kinds of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. The report uncovered the following trends.

  • Residents of the United Kingdom are the heaviest users of desktop computers, in terms of the average amount of time spent on one each year. The United States is third, behind Canada. Among East Asian countries, Taiwan has the highest use. The country whose population spends the least amount of time using desktop computers is South Africa.
  • Japan has the highest average online-video use, in terms of the number of minutes each person spends watching them. The United States is closer to the middle of the pack, although this may be due to Americans’ watching many shorter videos. The countries that spend the least amount of time watching online videos are India and the Philippines. The most popular category for videos is entertainment.
  • The use of multi-platform and mobile-only programs is being driven by Millennials in virtually every region. Desktop-only use is less popular among this age group, although using desktops for instant-messaging is relatively common. Regionally, Latin America and East Asia have more youths using just desktops, while Europe has shifted to mobile-only use among the younger population.
  • In Europe and adjoining countries, the Russian Federation and Germany have the highest percentage of desktop-only users, while Ireland and Norway have the lowest. Desktop-only use is evenly spread across age groups, with slightly more men than women using desktop computers. The most popular categories of programs are social media and entertainment.
  • In Latin America, Brazil is the largest market for desktop users, by far, followed by Mexico. Uruguay and Puerto Rico are at the bottom. There is a steady decline in desktop use by age, and men are significantly more likely to use desktops than are women.
  • In East Asia, China leads the way in desktop-only use by a substantial margin, with India in second. New Zealand and Singapore have the fewest users. As in Latin America, desktop-only use declines with age, and men are more likely than women to favor desktops.
  • Across all three major regions, multi-platform use is having the largest impact on mobile use of newspapers. This transition is particularly pronounced is East Asia, while it is somewhat less so in Latin America. Particular publishers, also, are being affected by the shift in all three regions.

Three overall findings emerged from the study.

  • An increasing use of mobile and multi-platform programs is leading to a significant jump in the total size of the “digital population”.
  • Use of mobile devices among Millennials is making the multi-platform approach even more necessary for reaching individuals.
  • Even though desktop use has declined as a percentage of total digital use, it is still a popular option across all geographic regions and age groups.

To access the report, go to http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2015/The-Global-Mobile-Report. You will need to complete a brief survey first.

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