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Using LRS for Library Administrators
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Using LRS for Library Administrators

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  • Tomorrow’s presentation at the LISSAA meeting will cover the ways that LRS.org helps us as MLIS students, but today’s presentation takes the approach of, what can LRS do for managers of academic, public, and school libraries. From that standpoint, one of the main topics I’ll be covering is advocacy.
  • So, that being said, I should explain that LRS is a division of the Colorado State Library. Wherever you end up after school, in your career as a library administrator, check with that state library and for other library consortiums, such as CLiC, that organize resources to help the library community.Every state has a state library, but they can be drastically differentAll state libraries receive funding from IMLS’s federal LSTA grants, which are matched by the stateMost state libraries report on library usage, manage distribution of federal funds, and provide continuing education opportunities for librariansNow I’m going to show you a great resource for managers which is produced by the State Library, the Library Development page. From the main State Library page, choose public libraries, and then voila.You can see that this page contains a number of resources organized by the State Library to help you with:AdvocacyBoards & TrusteesFacilitiesStrategic PlanningPublic Library Standards**Last week we ended class talking about benchmarks. I relayed that conversation to Nicolle, the director of LRS, and she in turn sent me here. So, I’m glad to share this with you today—herein are these benchmarks or “industry standards”.(Anyone who saw Battle Decks at CAL will recognize Gene Hainer, our State Librarian, though this video likely isn’t as funny.)
  • As far as we know, no other state libraries have a unit that is specifically dedicated to library research and housed within state library, but all states have a “data coordinator” to at least conduct the public library annual report.LRS has 4 full-time staff: Director, Research Analyst, Web Developer/Data coordinator, Administrative assistant; 3 research fellows. Last winter we also had an additional contract position to help with BTOP.In a nutshell, LRS collects, analyzes and report statistics on public, school, and academic libraries in CO, and also oversees projects:Annual and special projects: surveys, studies, reports, tools.
  • An example of a whopper of a project is BTOP, which we’ve discussed in class before. This is a grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and matched by ARRA funds that is establishing/improving approximately 91 public computer centers in Colorado. Maybe one day, as a manger, you’ll find yourself reporting figures to a State Library for BTOP or another such project. So, real quick, I’m just going to show you one of the tools we set up to collect this data.(Chelsea, bandit00) Go to report page, show fields  Go to instructions page. Okay, let’s get rolling on some LRS resources that can help you all in your future endeavors as library administrators . . .
  • First, there’s Library Jobline. Jobline can be used by administrators in two ways: To recruit staff. (demo)To read other job descriptions. (demo)That’s straightforward enough, so let’s take a look at another LRS tool that can be used by library managers.
  • Obviously, one of the main things that LRS does is to churn out reports. These are useful to you not just for continuing education, or to understand the environment/climate you’re functioning in, but also for advocacy. 2 examples of this areFast Facts: Program attendance at public libraries is on the riseCloser Look Study: The impact of the recession on public libraries in ColoradoLike their names suggest, fast facts provide a snapshot of an issue, whereas Closer Look studies are more detailed.
  • The resources page of LRS.org seems to contain a jumble of resources and links worth exploring when there’s a library issue you want to know more about. I’d recommend the Research Methods page for information on designing surveys, which is something that I think is done a lot in libraries and often without the planning that it warrants.I asked around LRS before putting this presentation together, and Linda, our Research Analyst, wanted me to be sure to show you the Community Analysis tool. This is another great tool for advocacy, or for planning or justifying new programming or services
  • So, I’ve saved the best for last. The Data & Tools page of LRS.org is—in my opinion—the most valuable when it comes to planning and advocacy. Here is where you can find the statistics that you need.There’s a lot here, so I encourage you again to get in here and play around. You’ll see it’s broken out into 4 categories: Academic, Public, Schools, & General.Data for academic libraries is “pre-canned” or “pre-packaged,” meaning that you select a year and download a spreadsheet or PDF.For information on school libraries, you can either download a school library profile, or use an interactive tool similar to the one I’ll show you for public library data.Now I’m going to skip to my favorite piece, the Colorado Public Library Statistics & Profiles page, and I’m going to show you how the interactive statistics can be used. Some of the good stuff in here includes: Program information: how many programs does a library offer annually, and how many people attended those programs? These are further broken down into sub-categories: YA, Children’s, and Adult programmingComputer Availability & UsageStaffing InformationAt it’s very simplest, you can get website informationSalary informationSort libraries by LSA populationI have a couple of scenarios in mind.You are Library Director at Estes Valley Public Library, and you are adding a new position: Library Assistant. You want to see what this position pays in the other resort libraries.(Click resort libraries, salaries, 2010)Computers by LSA (10,000-24,999). Trinidad could use this information to say, look how far behind we are!You are the LPA at Gunnison, tracking changes to children’s program attendance.Once you’ve chosen your data, you can export it into an Excel spreadsheet, which makes it easier to play around with, or to create compelling graphs and what have you. A really exciting thing about all of these scenarios is that—if you go back to that Community Analysis tool, or go out and get Census data—and combine that with the numbers from these reports, you have a winning case for a grant, or a new project, or for why people should vote for your library, whatever the scenario may be . . .
  • That’s all I have today, but again, I encourage you to play around on LRS.org—you won’t hurt anything, and you could find a valuable resource that you’ll rely on for years.

Transcript

  • 1. LIS 4040USING LRS.ORG: FOR MANAGERSPLANNING & ADVOCACY
  • 2. State Libraries  Every state has a statehttp://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/ library, but they can be drastically different  All state libraries receive funding from IMLS’s federal LSTA grants, which are matched by the state  Most state libraries report on library usage, manage distribution of federal funds, and provide continuing education opportunities for librarians
  • 3. Functions of LRS • Partnership between CSL and DU • Collect, analyze and report statistics on public, school, and academic libraries in CO • Annual and special projects – Surveys – Studies – Reports – Tools
  • 4. BTOP(Broadband Technology Opportunity Program)http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/BTOP/http://btop.lrs.org/login/
  • 5. Library Joblinewww.libraryjobline.org1. Recruit staff2. Read job descriptionshttp://twitter.com/#!/libraryjobline @libraryjobline
  • 6. LRS.org Reportswww.lrs.orgFast Facts•Should public library management be privatized? Viewpoints from the field•Program attendance at public libraries is on the riseCloser Look Studies•US public libraries and the use of web technologies, 2010•The impact of the recession on public libraries in ColoradoBIG Facts & Quotable Facts•Statistics about libraries in the US and Colorado
  • 7. LRS.org Resourceswww.lrs.org  Changing Library Workforce  Field Initiated Studies  Library Technology  Library Tools  Research Tools
  • 8. LRS.org Statistics & Profileswww.lrs.org Use the link to “Data & Tools” or any of the links at the bottom of the LRS.org homepage Academic, School, Public, & General Public Library Annual Report  Profile information  Sort libraries by LSA population  Computer & Internet availability & usage  Programming  Salaries  Trends (longitudinal data)
  • 9. Thank you!Please take a moment to respond to a very brief survey aboutthis presentation:http://surveys.lrs.org/respond.php?sid=209Be sure to friend & follow LRS:http://www.facebook.com/LibraryResearchServicehttp://twitter.com/#!/libraryjobline @libraryjobline