ALA Journal Summer 2012


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Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011–2012


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ALA Journal Summer 2012

  2. 2. New books from alastore.ala.orgNew & booksBestselliNg from Neal-Schuman is now an imprint of the ALA.ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.
  3. 3. CONTENTS AMERICAN LIBRARIES | Digital Supplement | Summer 2012 Special Report: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011–20125 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY An overview of the 2011–2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study findings.10 PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING LANDSCAPE At the same time that demand for critical services has increased, many state and local libraries face continued funding challenges.18 PUBLIC LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY LANDSCAPE U.S. public libraries are investing in a range of innovative technology and Internet services to ensure all people are able to thrive online.32 REPORTS FROM THE FIELD Findings from interviews with public library and state library staff in Georgia and Idaho. 3445 STATE SUMMARY DATA State-level public library data for 48 states and the District of Columbia. Departments OPINION AND COMMENTARY 4 SPECIAL REPORT Strength in Numbers  BY LAMAR VEATCH ISBN 978-0-8389-9394-8 2 INDEX TO ADVERTISERS 95 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 9 780838 994948
  4. 4. CONTENTS AMERICAN LIBRARIES | D I G I TA L S U P P L E M E N T | SUMMER 20125 List of Figures 7 Figure A-1: U.S. Public Library Challenge: Use vs. Funding, 21 Figure C-4: Public Access Workstation Replacement Proce- FY2011-2012 dure, by Metropolitan Status 8 Figure A-2: U.S. Public Libraries: Trends in e-books and e- 21 Figure C-5: Public Access Workstation Replacement Sched- access ule, by Metropolitan Status 9 Figure A-3: Urban/Rural Digital Divide 21 Figure C-6: Public Access Workstations Additions, by Met- 11 Figure B-1: Public Library Systems Average Total Operating ropolitan Status Expenditures Change, FY2008 to FY2013 22 Figure C-7: Average Public Access Workstations Additions 11 Figure B-2: Public Library Systems Cumulative Change in due to BTOP/BIP Awards, by Metropolitan Status Full Time Equivalent Staff FY2010–FY2012, by Metropoli- 22 Figure C-8: Sources of IT Support Provided to Public tan Status Library Outlets, by Metropolitan Status 12 Figure B-3: Average Percentage Change FY2008 to FY2013 23 Figure C-9: Bandwidth Speeds at Public Libraries Total Operating Expenditures by Type 24 Figure C-10: Public Library Outlets Maximum Speed of 12 Figure B-4: Average Percentage Change FY2008 to FY2013 Public Access Internet Services, by Metropolitan Status Urban Total Operating Expenditures by Type 24 Figure C-11: Public Access Wireless Internet Connectivity 12 Figure B-5: Average Percentage Change FY2008 to FY2013 in Public Library Outlets, by Metropolitan Status Suburban Total Operating Expenditures by Type 25 Figure C-12: Adequacy of Public Library Outlets Public Ac- 13 Figure B-6: Average Percentage Change FY2008 to FY2013 cess Internet Connection, by Metropolitan Status Rural Total Operating Expenditures by Type 25 Figure C-13: Public Library Outlets Offering Formal or 13 Figure B-7: Public Library Systems Operating Budget Informal Technology Training Availability, by Metropolitan Change, FY2009–FY2012, by Metropolitan Status Status 14 Figure B-8: Public Library Systems Cumulative Budget 26 Figure C-14: Formal Technology Training Classes Offered Change FY2010–FY2012, by Metropolitan Status by Public Library Outlets, by Metropolitan Status 14 Figure B-9: Public Library Systems Technology Budget 27 Figure C-15: Online Resources and Services that the Library Change FY2012, by Metropolitan Status Makes Available to Patrons 15 Figure B-10: Average Percentage Change, FY2010–FY2012 28 Figure C-16: Public Library Systems Use of Social Media Total Technology-Related Operating Expenditures, by Type Technologies and Metropolitan Status 28 Figure C-17: Public Library Systems Use of Mobile Technol- 15 Figure B-11: Average Percentage of Public Library Systems ogy, by Metropolitan Status that Applied for an E-Rate Discount, FY2012 29 Figure C-18: Job-seeking Services Provided by Public 16 Figure B-12: Regional Changes in State Funding for Public Library Outlets, by Metropolitan Status Libraries, FY2012 30 Figure C-19: E-government Roles and Services of Public 19 Figure C-1: U.S. Public Libraries: Sole Community Provider Library Outlets, by Metropolitan Status of Free Access to Computers and Internet 20 Figure C-2: Average Number of Public Access Internet advertisers | page Workstations, by Age and Metropolitan Status American Library Association ALA Editions | Cover 3 20 Figure C-3: Sufficiency of Public Access Internet Worksta- Neal-Schuman | Cover 2 Booklist | Cover 4 tions, by Metropolitan Status ALA TechSource | 31
  5. 5. Contributors | MASTHEADAMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION Judy Hoffman is Project Manager for the ALA Office for Research and Statistics. She joined the office in November 2010 after working for over 11 years as marketing communications specialist for the North Suburban Library System, a multitype system supporting libraries in the Chicago suburbs. Previously, Hoffman held positions in the satellite communications THE MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION and advertising industries in Chicago and New York. She holds a B.A. in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Denise M. Davis is deputy director of Sacramento Public Library (SPL) since October 2010. Prior to joining SPL, Davis directed the ALA Office for 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611 Research and Statistics, leading many research activities for ALA to expand email the knowledge base of the field, to understand association membership toll free 800-545-2433 plus extension trends, and to collect useful statistics about all types of libraries. Among local 312-944-6780 • fax 312-440-0901 that work was the ongoing study of Public Library Funding and Technology online career classified ads: Access. Davis has worked in a variety of capacities in academic, state, and public libraries, and with the National Commission on Libraries and Editor and PublisherInformation Science. Laurie D. Borman • • x4213 Managing EditorR. Norman Rose is Program Officer for the ALA Office for Research and Statistics. He has Sanhita SinhaRoy • • x4219been with the office since January 2008. Rose studied Public Administration at New York Senior EditorUniversity, and has previously worked in program management and program analysis for Beverly Goldberg • • x4217nonprofits and the City of New York. Senior Editor, American Libraries Direct George M. Eberhart • • x4212Caroline Jewell is Awards Coordinator for the Association for Library Service for Children, Associate Editor and previously worked in the ALA Office for Research and Statistics. Jewell received her Pamela A. Goodes • • x4218Master of Liberal Art in Arts Administration and Art History at Oklahoma City University. Advertising and Marketing Specialist Katie Bane • • x5105 INFORMATION POLICY & ACCESS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND design and production Production Director Benjamin Segedin John Carlo Bertot, Ph.D., is Professor and Co-director of the Information Production Editors Jennifer Brinson Policy & Access Center ( in the College of Information Carlos Orellana Studies at the University of Maryland. Bertot is the architect of the publishing department Associate Executive Director Donald Chatham PLFTAS survey, design, methodology, and analysis. He is President of Marketing Director Mary Mackay the Digital Government Society of North America and serves as chair of Rights, Permissions, Reprints Mary Jo Bolduc • x5416 the International Standards Organization’s Library Performance Indicator (ISO 11620) working group. His research focuses on the intersection of membership development information policy, technology, and access to information.  Over the years, Director Ron Jankowski • rjankowski@ala.orghis research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Bill & MelindaGates Foundation, the Government Accountability Office, the American Library Association, advisory committeeand the Institute of Museum and Library Services. More information on Bertot is available at Chair Paul Signorelli, Brian Coutts, Luren Dickinson, Brenda Pruitt-Annisette, Sarah Rosenblum, David Tyckoson, Susan M. Weaver;Ruth Lincoln is a master’s student and a Research Associate at the Information Policy & Interns Sian Brannon, Molly KrichtenAccess Center in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Editorial policy: ALA Policy Manual, section 10.2Abigail McDermott is a master’s student and a Research Associate at the Information Policy& Access Center in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. advertising representative Doug Lewis • 770-333-1281Kaitlin Peterson is a master’s student and a Research Associate at the Information Policy &Access Center in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute endorse- ment. ALA reserves the right to refuse advertising.Brian Real is a doctoral student and a Research Associate at the Information Policy & AccessCenter in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. indexed summer 2012 1996–2010 index at MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT SERVICES, LLC Available full text from ProQuest, EBSCO Publishing, H. W. Wilson, LexisNexis, and Information Access.Charles R. McClure, Ph.D., is President of Information Management Consultant Services,LLC, and also serves as the Director of the Information Institute at Florida State University. subscribeMcClure, who began these surveys in 1994, served as a consultant on this project. More Libraries and other institutions: $45/year, 6 issues,information on McClure is available at U.S., Canada, and Mexico; foreign: $60. Subscription |  price for individuals included in ALA membership dues. 800-545-2433 x5108, email, or visit digital supplement Claim missing issues: ALA Member and C ­ ustomer Service. Allow six weeks. Single issues $7.50, with 40% discount for five or more; contact Charisse P ­ erkins, 800-545-2433 x4286. published American Libraries (ISSN 0002-9769) is published 6 times yearly with occasional supplements by the American Library Association (ALA). Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals |  postage paid at Chicago, Illinois, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Personal members: Send address american libraries  changes to American Libraries, c/o Membership Records, ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. ©2012 Ameri- can Library Association. Materials in this journal may be reproduced for noncommercial educational purposes. 3
  6. 6. SPECIAL REPORT | A Message From COSLA Strength in Numbers Study findings provide foundation for advocacy D uring this slow and cies (COSLA) on state support for literacy initiatives of the Federal winding economic re- public libraries, and field interviews Communications Commission and covery, how do we ef- with library staff to help illuminate the National Telecommunications fectively advocate to the quantitative responses. As a re- and Information Administration. regain, sustain, and enhance library sult, the critical data was already I share some of the PLFTAS histo- funding? How do we make the case available when we needed it the most ry as this is the last year and final re- that libraries are an essential pub- – at the beginning of what has been port for the Public Library Funding lic service, along with the fire and termed the Great Recession. and Technology Access Study. Many police departments, and streets and Utilizing the available PLFTAS individuals and organizations have sanitation? The foundation for all data and supporting resources, state contributed to the success of this local, state, and national advocacy is and public libraries throughout the study. I would like to especially thank built with the same material: reli- U.S. have been able to conduct truly staff members at the state library able, thorough, and timely data. effective advo- agencies that co- The importance of statistics to cacy initiatives. The foundation ordinated par- library advocacy is certainly not new, The PLFTAS has ticipation by but many library leaders and advo- provided for all local, their public cates were not always sufficiently libraries with state, and libraries, and of aware of what was available and how much more national course, the thou- to effectively utilize data. But the than raw data. It sands of library advocacy summer 2012 market downturn, and subsequent has given staff members consecutive years of cuts to library libraries a is built with the same who contributed funding, have thrust advocacy educa- number of material: reliable, their time and tion and action for libraries of all siz- quality advocacy effort to this im- thorough, and timely data.|  es and types to the forefront. resources and portant supplement  Most fortunately, in 2006, the tools: state- A most sincere American Library Association (ALA) specific handouts that provide na- thank you is due to the ALA and the and the Bill & Melinda Gates Founda- tional comparisons, national maps Gates Foundation for the commit- tion joined forces to fund the Public that give visual impact to discus- ment of funding and leadership they Library Funding & Technology Access sions on broadband connectivity have provided in support of this Study (PLFTAS). This support al- and digital literacy, and press re- study, as well as for their many other|  lowed for the continuation and ex- lease and op-ed templates for dis- contributions that have  pansion of groundbreaking research semination of our stories to local, public access technology in U.S. pub- on the availability of public access regional, and state media. lic libraries. technology in libraries that was initi- Libraries continue to be support- ­—Lamar Veatch ated in 1994. The expanded study ed by the use of PLFTAS data to in- President, Chief Officers of State added questions to provide more ex- form and influence national policy. Library Agencies (COSLA) tensive analysis of public library bud- It has been used in Congressional LAMAR VEATCH is the State Librarian of the gets and expenditures, a survey of the testimony. And it is currently help- Georgia Public Library Service. He has served Chief Officers of State Library Agen- ing direct the development of digital in this role since 2001.4
  8. 8. S trategic vision and careful management have helped U.S. public libraries weather the storm of the Great Recession, supporting their role as a lifeline to the technology resources and digital skills essential to full participation in civic life and in the nation’s economy. Libraries continue to transform lives by providing critical services and innovative solutions to technology access, in spite of years’ worth of consecutive and cumulative budget cuts. More Americans than ever are turn- After more than four years of con- creased open hours; however, this ing to their libraries for access to es- secutive budget cuts, it is unclear reflects an improvement when com- sential technology services not found whether libraries will be able to re- pared to last year’s 31.7 percent. elsewhere in the community, including cover the funding needed to return to Nationwide, over 62 percent of free computer and Internet access, pre-recession levels of staffing, open libraries report offering the only free technology training, and assistance hours, collections and technology Internet access in their community. with job-seeking and e-government services. While a segment of U.S. The impact of decreased open hours services. public libraries reported budget im- is substantial, since just 6 percent of The 2011-2012 Public Library Fund- provements, many libraries continue U.S. public libraries, primarily urban ing & Technology Access Study was to grapple with the negative, cumula- libraries, serve almost 60 percent of conducted by the American Library tive effect of ongoing budget woes: the population. Millions of people are Association (ALA) Office for Research n  Twenty-three states report denied essential library services – & Statistics and the Information Policy cuts in state funding for public from access to e-government social & Access Center at the University of libraries this year. For three years in services sites, to literacy resources, Maryland. Begun in 1994, this annual a row, more than 40 percent of to training to meet the demands of study is the largest existing study of states have reported decreased pub- today’s global marketplace. Internet connectivity in public libraries. lic library support. This impact is greater for those Its findings provide an annual “state of n  A majority of public libraries states recording a high percentage of the library” report on the technology (56.7 percent) report flat or de- reduced hours for two years in a row, resources brokered by public libraries creased budgets, a slight improve- including: Nevada (54 percent, and summer 2012 and the funding that enables no-fee ment from the 59.8 percent 27.7 percent last year); Georgia (30.3 public access to these resources. reported last year. percent, and 31.5 percent last year); Facing fiscal challenges on all sides n  Over 65 percent of libraries Florida (19.5 percent, and 21 percent – local, state, and federal – public report an insufficient number of last year); and California (18.7 per-|  libraries strive to meet the expanding public computers to meet demand cent, and 44.5 percent last year).digital supplement  technology needs of their communi- some or all of the time. ties: n  Overall, 41.4 percent of Increasing Demand n  Public computer and Wi-Fi use libraries report that their Internet for Digital Literacy increased last year at more than 60 connection speeds are insufficient Skill Training percent of libraries. some or all of the time. In an information and Internet- n  More than 90 percent of public driven age, where information, ser-|  libraries now offer formal or infor- Funding Cuts vices, and resources are  mal technology training. Restrict Access only available online, people who lack n  Over three-quarters of The 2011-2012 study indicates im- digital knowledge and skills struggle. libraries (76.3 percent) offer access provement among libraries reporting In the 2011-2012 survey, over 36 to e-books, a significant increase reduced open hours (9.1 percent), percent of public libraries report (9.1 percent) from last year. Addi- compared to 15.9 percent last year. For increasing numbers of patrons enroll- tionally, e-book readers are avail- the fourth year in a row, urban ing in technology training classes. able for check-out at 39.1 percent of libraries report the highest numbers Interviewed library staff in Georgia libraries. of libraries (16.5 percent) that de- and Idaho also report that requests6
  9. 9. 76 percent of libraries reported that stafffor one-on-one assistance have in- Internet speeds cent) provide as-creased, with many requests from provide significant helped patrons complete sistance to patronsthose who lack basic computer skills: barriers to improv- online job applications applying for or ac-seniors who need to order medica- ing digital literacy in the past year. cessing e-govern-tions online; truck drivers required through technology ment services, anto renew their commercial driver’s training. increase of nearlylicense online, or displaced manufac- For the third consecutive year, 16 percent from last year.turing workers who need to apply for libraries report that services for job- n  Over 70 percent of librariesjobs online. seekers remain the top-rated Internet report that staff provide assistance Over 44 percent of U.S. public service. Public libraries are often the in completing government forms.libraries support digital literacy skill- only source for training and employ- n  Nearly 31 percent of librariesbuilding through a wide range of ment resources, especially after the partner with government agencies,formal technology training classes: drastic cuts to federal spending for non-profit organizations, and oth- n Libraries (87 percent) offer training over the last six years, includ- ers to provide e-government servic-training in general computer skills ing $1 billion cut since 20101. Library es.(e.g., how to use the mouse or key- services for job-seekers include: However, almost half of all librariesboard, printing). n  Access to job databases and report that they do not have enough n Libraries (73.3 percent) offer other online job resources (92.2 staff, as well as staff expertise, to helptraining in general software use percent). patrons effectively use employment(e.g., word processing, spread- n  Patron assistance to complete and e-government services.sheets). online job applications (76 percent, “Yes, you can access the Internet n Libraries (86.5 percent) offer an increase of nearly 10 percent elsewhere, but will the Starbucks’training in general Internet use from two years ago). barista or McDonald’s server help you(e.g., e-mail set up, Web browsing). n  Collaboration with outside set up your first e-mail account, sub- Many libraries combine formal and agencies or individuals to help pa- mit your first online job application,informal training to create opportuni- trons seek or attain employment or evaluate reliable sources of infor-ties for learners to practice their (34.3 percent). mation?” says Lee Moon, assistantnewly acquired skills. Additionally, Digital literacy skills are essential director, Three Rivers (GA) Regionalmany classes link these skill-building for accessing online government Library System.activities to specific outcomes, such services. Public libraries continue to National initiatives have beenas employment or financial literacy. expand e-government assistance, as launched to help communities face the However, for libraries with flat or well as partnerships with other agen- challenges to their efforts to providedecreasing budgets, a lack of staff, cies to support these services: digital opportunity for all of their resi- summer 2012equipment, space, and insufficient n  Almost all libraries (96.6 per- dents. In March 2012, the Institute of FIGURE A-1: THE U.S. PUBLIC LIBRARY CHALLENGE: USE VS. FUNDING, FY2011–2012 |  digital supplement  |  Technology Electronic FLAT OR DECREASED classes Resources Computers Wi-Fi FUNDING INCREASED % % % % % PUBLIC USE Percentage represents number of libraries reporting 7
  10. 10. FIGURE A-2: U.S. PUBLIC LIBRARIES: TRENDS IN E-BOOKS AND E-ACCESS E-BOOKS SOCIAL NETWORK MOBILE-ACCES S SMARTPHONE E-READERS SITES WEBSITES APPS % % % % % Percentage of libraries that offer services, FY2012 Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the general public, and for mar- enced a notable uptick in smartphone released Building Digital Communities2 keting purposes. market penetration over the last year.3 designed to raise awareness about the n  Almost half of public libraries David Lee King, digital branch and access essential to digital communities (45.6 percent) report using commu- services manager, Topeka and Shaw- and identify goals and strategies for nication tools (e.g., Blogger, Word- nee County (KS) Public Library, re- focus in digital inclusion efforts (e.g., Press, Vox, Twitter) to reach the ported in his April 5, 2012 blog post economic and workforce development, public. that in March 2012, slightly more than education and civic engagement). Last n  Over a third (37.3 percent) re- 11 percent of their library website year, the Department of Commerce’s port using photography sites (e.g., visits were via a mobile device. Ref- National Telecommunications and In- Flickr, Zoomr). erencing the Pew smartphone survey, formation Administration (NTIA), in n  Nearly 28 percent report using King said: “If you haven’t yet started collaboration with other federal agen- video sharing tools (e.g., YouTube, building with mobile in mind, now is cies, launched Vimeo, and Openfilm). definitely the time to start – you are [], a The study also collected data this very close to alienating almost half central website for practitioners and the year on how libraries rely on mobile your customers. They are interacting general public to encourage the sharing technologies to reach their online with their favorite sites online using summer 2012 of content and best practices in teaching users and the community at large: their smartphone (think Facebook, digital literacy skills. n  Over 14 percent of libraries re- Amazon, YouTube, etc.).” port their websites are optimized Libraries Connect for mobile devices. Urban/Rural Digital Divide Through Mobile Apps|  n  Nearly 12 percent report they The current study depicts an emergingdigital supplement  and Social Networks use scanned codes (e.g., QR codes) digital divide: rural libraries (which More U.S. libraries of all types are for access to library services and account for nearly 50 percent of all selecting social media applications content. public library outlets in the U.S.), can and tools to increase community in- n  Over 7 percent report they neither provide adequate volume of teraction, enhance access to library have developed smartphone apps technology training to the public nor services and improve channels for for access to library services and keep pace with new technologies.|  information dissemination. content. These inadequacies continue  This year, for the first time, the The results of a recent Pew Research negatively affect the progress of rural study asked libraries to report on their Center survey points to the impor- libraries to build digitally inclusive use of specific kinds of social media tance of expanding use of mobile communities. For example: tools: technologies. Nearly half of American n  Nearly 32 percent of rural n  A majority of public libraries adults (46 percent) own smartphones libraries, as compared to 63.2 per- (70.7 percent) report using social as of February 2012, an increase of 11 cent of urban libraries, provide for- networking tools (e.g., Facebook, percent from May 2011. Nearly every mal technology training classes. Hi5) to connect with library users major demographic group experi- n  Less than 10 percent of rural8
  11. 11. libraries, as compared to 36.1 percent “triple play” of resources: 1) facilitiesof urban libraries, have launched and physical access to technology FIGURE A-3:websites optimized for mobile infrastructure; 2) a wealth of elec- URBAN/RURALdevices. tronic content; and 3) information DIGITAL DIVIDE n  Only 3.7 percent of rural professionals trained to help people URBAN VS RURALlibraries, as compared to 27.8 per- find and use the information most LIBRARIES LIBRARIEScent of urban libraries, provide relevant to their needs. Unless librarysmartphone apps for access to operating budgets recover ground lost % %library services and content. during the past four fiscal years, there Broadband <10 Mbps While rural libraries have seen is no guaranteed continued access toimprovements in high-speed broad- these vital connectivity, only 17 percent of Data from the 2011-2012 study % %rural libraries report offering speeds portray a fragile environment for Mobile-access websitesgreater than 10 Mbps, as compared to libraries, with limited fiscal improve-57.4 percent of urban libraries. Due ment mainly overshadowed by theirto the broadband demands of stream- inability to meet increasing demands % %ing video (including online instruc- for services. Decreases in several es- E-bookstional courses) and the sharing of sential areas – staffing, open hours,increasingly graphic-heavy content, and the ability to upgrade equipment,many libraries experience network bandwidth speed and infrastructure % %saturation on a daily basis, which – present increasing challenges to the Technology Training Classesseriously affects the work of both quality and availability of librarylibrary staff and the public. services. The importance of the provision of “Our funding has been cut so low Percentage of libraries thatsufficient connectivity at libraries is that we’re really at the end of our fi- offer servicesamplified by data from a 2010 Pew nancial tether,” said Donna Howell,Research Center survey that reports director, Mountain Regional Library ENDNOTESthat only 50 percent of rural householdsSystem in Georgia. “But we’ve beenhad broadband at home, compared to able to keep our spirits up, because 1  National Skills Coalition. Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations for Job despite the budget cuts Training and Education. http:www. of the past five years,“Our funding has been cut so low that the use of our libraries federal-funding/federal-funding-documents/ fy2012finalworkforceapprops_2011_12_20.pdfwe’re really at the end of our financial has grown in double (accessed April 23, 2011) summer 2012tether … but the fact that we’re still digits every year. Yes, 2  Institute of Museum and Library Services, we’re doing a lot more University of Washington Technology &relevant enough to our community with a lot less, but the Social Change Group, International City/ County Management Association. (2012).for them to keep coming back in such fact that we’re still Building Digital Communities. Washington, |  DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services.large numbers gives me hope for our relevant enough to our [ digital supplement  community for them to communities.aspx]future.” keep coming back in 3  Smith, Aaron. 46% of American Adults are such large numbers, Smartphone Owners. Pew Internet & American Life Project, March 1, 2012, http://pewinternet.70 percent of urban households.4 A gives me hope for our future.” org/Reports/2012/Smartphone-Update-2012.2011 survey conducted by the National Libraries are part of the solution aspx (accessed April 23, 2012)Telecommunications and Information for those in search of the digital con- |  4  Smith, Aaron. Home Broadband 2010. PewAdministration (NTIA) reported that nection and literacy required by to- Internet & American Life Project, August 11,  2010, percent of dial-up users, primarily day’s competitive global marketplace. Home-Broadband-2010.aspx (accessed Aprilin rural areas, indicated that they did However, unless strategic invest- 23, 2012)not have access to broadband Internet ments in U.S. public libraries 5  Economics and Statistics Administrationservice in their area.5 are broadened and secured, libraries and National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Exploring the will not be able to continue to pro- Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use atConclusion vide the innovative and critical ser- Home. November 2011, http://www.ntia.doc. gov/files/ntia/punlications/exploring_the_Increasingly, communities across the vices their communities need and digital_nation_computer_and_internet_use_at_U.S. depend on public libraries for a demand. home_11092011.pdf (accessed April 23, 2012) 9
  12. 12. PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING LANDSCAPEI t has been a long and winding road to economic recovery. As the nation sputters toward economic improvement, many state and local libraries have yet toexperience fiscal health. While some budgets haveimproved, others have been reduced further. Despitesome promise of budgetary relief, the extraordinarydemands for service continues to outpace availablefunding needed to respond to these demands. PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING & TECHNOLOGY ACCESS STUDY 2011­ 2012 –
  13. 13. Responses to the 2011-2012 Public FIGURE B-1: PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS AVERAGE TOTALLibrary Funding & Technology survey OPERATING EXPENDITURES CHANGE FY2008 TO FY2013indicate that the funding volatility thatlibraries have faced over the past four FY2008- FY2009- FY2010- FY2011- FY2012-2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 (anticipated)fiscal years has created tremendouschallenges for service planning and Reported averagefunding allocations. total change, all 5.0% -41.8% -3.8% -2.4% -5.3% Key findings include: funding sources n  A majority of public libraries(56.7 percent) report flat or de-creased operating budgets inFY2012, a slight improvement from FIGURE B-2: PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS59.8 percent reported in FY2011. CUMULATIVE CHANGE IN FULL TIME n  Full-time equivalent (FTE) EQUIVALENT STAFF FY2010-FY2012, BYstaffing levels declined for all METROPOLITAN STATUSlibraries during the last three years Overall(-7.2 percent), with a decrease of 10.3percent in FTE at urban libraries. n  Twenty-three states reportcuts in state funding for public Rurallibraries between FY2011 andFY2012. For three years in a row, n  Remained unchanged n  Decreased Suburbanmore than 40 percent of states havereported decreased public library n  Increasedsupport. n  Unable to report n  After falling 41.8 percent in UrbanFY2009, decreases in operating ex-penditures slowed in FY2012 to -2.4percent, and a greater decrease 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70(-5.3 percent) is reported to be an-ticipated for FY2013. This is the sixth year in which the resulting largely from losses in salary n  Rural libraries continue tostudy has asked public libraries about expenditure (the largest budget cate- make double-digit reductions intheir operating budgets and financial gory). Urban libraries anticipate mod- collections (e.g., the highest cutssupport for public access computing est overall improvements (1.3 percent), reported are between -33.9 percent summer 2012services. Detailed responses are avail- and suburban libraries anticipate little and -45.4 percent), reallocatingable online. change (-0.5 percent) next fiscal year. funds to other expenditure catego- The five-year actual and anticipated ries.Reduced Expenditures operating budget figures (FY2008- n  Suburban libraries reduced | for Collections Not Offset 2009 to FY2012-13) by type of expen- other expenditures (e.g., facilities digital supplement by Salaries, Staffing Cuts diture highlight the areas where the maintenance, staff travel, program-Operating budget expenditures re- most severe reductions have occurred, ming, etc.) to protect salaries andported in 2012 show indications of illustrating the year-to-year volatility collections.modest improvement from 2011, with that libraries face in planning for ser- n  Urban libraries continue to re-overall decreases of about 2.4 percent, vices and allocating available resourc- port across-the-board reductions inas compared with 3.8 percent in 2011 es (Figures B3-B6). Notwithstanding FY2012, with only a small increase | (Figure B-1). Libraries anticipate the significant reductions reported in for collections. reductions continuing into FY2013, FY2009-2010 due to the severity of the n  Operating budgets in FY2012-decreasing about 5.3 percent overall recession, it is clear libraries are still 2013 are anticipated to decrease forfrom FY2012 reported budget figures. struggling to recover from the dra- both rural (-6.6 percent) and subur- Anticipated operating expenditures matic reductions experienced during ban (-0.5 percent) libraries, while ur-for FY2012-2013 indicate continued that fiscal year. ban libraries anticipate modest (1.5losses in many expenditure categories, Libraries also face significant chal- percent) budget improvements.with rural libraries reporting the most lenges in maintaining and/or expand- Preliminary findings from the 2012significant reductions (-6.6 percent), ing collections and services. American Library Association-Allied 11
  14. 14. FIGURE B-3: AVERAGE PERCENTAGE CHANGE FY2008 TO 2012 PLFTAS study. (For more infor- FY2013 TOTAL OPERATING EXPENDITURES BY TYPE mation on the salary surveys, see Reported average total change, all funding sources This year’s study asked a new ques- FY2008- FY2009- FY2010- FY2011- FY2012- tion about the cumulative changes in 2013 full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing 2009 2010 2011 2012 (anticipated) over the last three fiscal years (Figure Salaries (including benefits) 7.31% -43.25% -8.60% 7.57% -6.37% B-2). Overall, a majority of respond- Collections 3.01% -47.53% -6.71% -1.64% -4.61% ing libraries (55.2 percent) indicate that staffing levels have remained Other Expenditures 0.24% -34.30% 9.22% -23.01% -2.42% unchanged during the last three fiscal Overall 5.04% -41.79% -3.81% -2.40% -5.26% years; 23.2 percent indicate that staff- ing has decreased; 9.2 percent indicate that staffing has increased; and 12.3 FIGURE B-4: AVERAGE PERCENTAGE CHANGE FY2008 TO percent report that they are unable to FY2013 URBAN TOTAL OPERATING EXPENDITURES BY TYPE respond to this question. Reported average total change, all funding sources n  Urban libraries (60.7 percent) lead in decreases to staffing levels, FY2012- FY2008- FY2009- FY2010- FY2011- 2013 followed by suburban libraries (28.0 2009 2010 2011 2012 percent) and rural libraries (16.2 (anticipated) percent). 8.3% -30.7% -6.7% -3.3% 0.9% n  Suburban libraries (12.9 per- Salaries (including benefits) cent) lead in staffing increases, fol- Collections 9.6% -35.8% -16.3% 3.2% 1.6% lowed by urban libraries (10.7 percent) and rural libraries (6.9 4.5% -22.5% -4.5% -16.7% 2.4% percent). Other Expenditures n  Of those reporting unchanged 7.6% -29.4% -7.3% -6.2% 1.3% staffing levels, the majority are sub- Overall urban (46.5 percent) and rural (65.3 percent) libraries. Only 20.7 per- FIGURE B-5: AVERAGE PERCENTAGE CHANGE FY2008 cent of urban libraries report un- summer 2012 TO FY2013 SUBURBAN TOTAL OPERATING EXPENDITURES changed staffing. BY TYPE More than 70 percent of those re- porting increases or decreases in Reported average total change, all funding sources staffing levels indicate these are|  FY2012- permanent changes (details availabledigital supplement  FY2008- FY2009- FY2010- FY2011- 2013 on Study website, Figures 61 and 63.) 2009 2010 2011 2012 (anticipated) Reduced staffing levels resulted in reductions in public service hours. A 8.5% -45.0% 4.0% 16.4% -2.7% Salaries (including benefits) new question in the 2012 study asked about changes in open hours during 3.3% -49.3% -0.9% 12.6% 0.8% Collections the last three fiscal years (Details|  available on Study website, Figures  -2.5% -33.9% 42.0% -20.9% 5.4% and 64). Overall, the mean (average) Other Expenditures hours declined slightly during the last Overall 5.5% -43.5% 11.9% 5.3% -0.5% three fiscal years (down 0.6 percent), with suburban libraries reporting the largest decrease in hours (down 2.8 Professional Association Librarian this salary study). These findings are percent), compared with urban Salary Survey indicate that salaries have aligned with the reductions in salary libraries (down 0.6 percent) and rural declined since 2010 (the last year of expenditures reported in the 2011- libraries (down 1.2 percent).12
  15. 15. n  Nearly 60 percent of libraries in 2011) and fewer libraries reporting ity with some libraries reporting report no change in hours, while 21.5 budget decreases greater than 6 per- three-year decreases above 15 per- percent indicate reductions and 15.9 cent (14.7 percent in 2012, compared cent. Urban libraries experienced the percent indicate increased hours. with 22.6 percent in 2011). greatest budget fluctuations and rural n  For libraries reporting in- libraries experienced the fewest. creased hours, reasons noted in- Three-Year Operating cluded new outlets opening (23.9 Budget Stability Varied Technology Expenditures percent overall, and 69.2 percent of By Metropolitan Status Volatile for Urban urban libraries). In the 2011-2012 survey, libraries and Rural Libraries n  For libraries reporting de- were asked to estimate the cumulative In FY2012, a majority of libraries (52.4 creased hours, the reasons noted in- effect over three-years of changes in percent) report technology budgets cluded responding to budget operating budgets (Figure B-8). The remained unchanged from the prior reductions (78.5 percent overall) and majority experienced increases of 4 fiscal year (Figure B-9). This is espe- reducing staff (42.7 percent overall). percent or less for the entire three- cially true for rural libraries (55.6 year period. Of those that reported percent), as compared with their sub- Budget Stability – A decreases, there was no clear major- urban (48 percent) and urban (43 Little Less is More From 2011 to 2012, about 3.2 percent more rural libraries reported operating FIGURE B-6 AVERAGE PERCENTAGE CHANGE FY2008 TO budget increases of up to 6 percent, the FY2013 RURAL TOTAL OPERATING EXPENDITURES BY TYPE largest proportion for any type of met- Reported average total change, all funding sources ropolitan area (Figure B-7). Operating FY2012- budgets for suburban libraries were FY2008- FY2009- FY2010- FY2011- 2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 largely unchanged from 2011, with (anticipated) fewer reporting increases or decreas- es in 2012 than in 2011, and the propor- Salaries (including -36.4% 3.1% -8.4% 3.2% -7.4% tion that reported level funding benefits) remained about the same in 2012 as in -15.0% -45.4% -33.9% -37.0% -4.9% 2011. There was positive news re- Collections ported by urban libraries: a slowing in operating budget reductions, with a 9.4 -7.8% -37.2% -16.1% 1.9% -5.6% Other Expenditures percent uptick among those reporting flat funding from 2011 (25.6 percent Overall -25.1% -19.5% -4.7% -4.4% -6.6% summer 2012 in 2012, compared with 16.2 percentFIGURE B-7: PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS OPERATING BUDGET CHANGE, FY2009 - FY2012, BYMETROPOLITAN STATUS |  digital supplement  Urban Suburban Rural All 2009 2010 2011 2012 2009 2010 2011 2012 2009 2010 2011 2012 2009 2010 2011 2012Increased upto 6% 47.3% 28.2% 25.2% 26.1% 51.1% 35.1% 35.3% 32.0% 50.6% 38.8% 35.8% 39.0% 50.5% 37.0% 35.0% 38.4%Increased 6% | or more 10.6% 5.2% 4.2% 1.9% 9.0% 5.2% 5.2% 4.9% 9.4% 7.2% 5.4% 4.8% 9.4% 6.7% 5.3% 4.8% Decreasedless than 6% 14.7% 24.2% 31.9% 30.9% 13.0% 24.2% 22.0% 21.9% 8.9% 15.5% 17.3% 15.9% 10.6% 17.1% 19.7% 18.7%Decreasedmore than 6% 7.4% 30.4% 22.6% 14.7% 3.6% 17.4% 14.2% 10.2% 3.3% 11.0% 9.6% 6.7% 3.7% 14.3% 11.9% 8.3%Stayed same 19.9% 11.4% 16.2% 25.6% 23.3% 22.7% 23.2% 23.3% 27.8% 27.5% 32.0% 33.7% 25.9% 25.0% 28.2% 29.7% 13
  16. 16. FIGURE B-8: PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS CUMULATIVE BUDGET percent) counterparts. Slightly more CHANGE FY2010-FY2012, BY METROPOLITAN STATUS than a third of respondents (35.8 per- Metropolitan Status cent) report increased technology Operating Budget Urban Suburban Rural Overall operating budgets (all ranges). When considered by metropolitan categories, Increased more than 40% * 1.0% * * response totals were closely aligned. Increased 35.1-40% 1.4% * * * (details available on Study website, Increased 30.1-35% * * * * Figure 69). Nearly 12 percent of all respondents Increased 25.1-30% 1.0% * * * report decreases in their technology Increased 20.1-25% 1.0% * * * operating budgets. A greater propor- Increased 15.1-20% 3.4% 1.5% 1.6% 1.7% tion of urban libraries (23.7 percent) report decreases, which is nearly 10 Increased 10.1-15% 4.3% 3.4% 3.5% 3.5% percent more than suburban libraries Increased 6.1-10% 5.8% 5.4% 5.3% 5.3% (13.9 percent) and about 15 percent more than rural libraries (8.7 percent). Increased 4.1-6% 4.3% 7.7% 7.1% 7.1% Similar to operating expenditures Increased 2.1-4% 6.7% 15.2% 14.7% 14.4% overall, urban libraries were more Increased up to 2% 10.6% 17.9% 24.0% 21.2% likely to report smaller increases and larger decreases in their technology Stayed the same 7.2% 8.6% 15.2% 12.5% operating budgets than their suburban Decreased up to 2% 13.9% 8.4% 9.5% 9.4% and rural counterparts (Figure B-7). Decreased 2.1-4% 9.6% 7.3% 5.2% 6.2% The three-year budget (Figure B-10) comparison presents some Decreased 4.1-6% 6.7% 5.6% 2.8% 4.0% sobering results that demonstrate Decreased 6.1-10% 6.7% 5.1% 2.9% 3.8% the impact of cumulative budget Decreased 10.1-15% 5.3% 4.7% 2.4% 3.3% reductions on a critical subsection of expenditures for technology infra- Decreased 15.1-20% 3.4% 1.9% * 1.3% structure and public access comput- Decreased 20.1-25% 3.4% 1.8% * 1.3% ing. Decreased 25.1-30% 1.4% 1.3% * 1.0% Urban and rural libraries saw sig- summer 2012 nificantly more volatility in technol- Decreased 30.1-35% 1.0% * * * ogy operating expenditures, while Decreased 35.1-40% 1.0% * * * suburban libraries rebounded after Decreased more than 40% 1.0% * * * only one year of declines (FY2010 to|  FY2011). Specifically, Key: *: Insufficient data to reportdigital supplement  n  Urban libraries report de- creases in all technology expendi- FIGURE B-9: PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY tures since FY2010, with the most BUDGET CHANGE FY 2012, BY METROPOLITAN STATUS significant reductions in expendi- tures between FY2010 and FY2011 Metropolitan Status for telecommunications (-88 per-|  Operating Budget Urban Suburban Rural Overall cent), outside vendors (-73  Increased more than 6% 10.7% 9.7% 7.2% 8.2% cent), and computer hardware/ software (-63.3 percent). Increased up to 6% 22.6% 28.4% 27.6% 27.6% n  Suburban libraries report de- Stayed the same 43.0% 48.0% 55.6% 52.4% clines only between FY2010 and FY2011, and report strong recovery Decreased less than 6% 14.0% 8.8% 5.5% 7.1% in all technology-related operating Decreased more than 6% 9.7% 5.1% 3.2% 4.7% expenditure categories between14
  17. 17. FIGURE B-10: AVERAGE PERCENTAGE CHANGE, FY2010-FY2012 TOTAL TECHNOLOGY-RELATED OPERATING EXPENDITURES, BY TYPE AND METROPOLITAN STATUS Urban Suburban Rural Overall 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012Salaries (including 99.5% -42.0% -18.3% 48.2% -37.2% 32.1% 170.5% -69.0% -12.0% 101.9% -50.7% 15.1%benefits)Outside Vendors 255.7% -73.0% -21.1% 70.8% -65.3% 5.2% 175.5% -80.3% -13.9% 130.4% -74.3% -6.4%Computer Hardware/ 69.6% -63.3% -20.3% 18.4% -57.6% 41.8% 31.0% -74.2% -18.6% 49.0% -67.9% -7.4%SoftwareTelecommunications 269.1% -88.0% -8.2% 41.7% -50.4% 19.4% 120.9% -81.7% -35.1% 151.2% -81.3% -8.2%FY2011 and FY2012. Further, in FIGURE B-11: AVERAGE PERCENTAGE OF PUBLIC LIBRARYFY2012 suburban libraries have now SYSTEMS THAT APPLIED FOR AN E-RATE DISCOUNT,recovered nearly to FY 2010 levels in FY2012in two specific expenditure catego- Metropolitan Statusries: salaries and computer hard- Urban Suburban Rural Overallware/software. n  Rural libraries, like their ur- Yes, applied 58.9% 32.4 44.6% 41.3%ban counterparts, report reductions Yes, another organizationin technology-related operating ex- applied on the library’s 11.2% 22.8% 14.5% 17.1%penditures between FY2010 and behalfFY2011, and again between FY2011 No, did not apply 27.2% 40.6% 36.5% 37.4%and FY2012. Unsure 2.7% 4.2% 4.4% 4.2% As libraries seek to offer high-demand services that rely on a strongtechnology infrastructure–supportingjob seeking, homework resources, percent) libraries to report that they (85.7 percent) . This is consistent withtechnology training, and access to could not maintain workstation re- the 2010-2011 report findings. Dis-e-government services—their inabil- placement schedules. counts for Internet connectivity re-ity to secure stable funding for tech- flected the largest change for suburbannology negatively affects their ability E-Rate Applications libraries, increasing to 61.3 percent summer 2012to adhere to public access workstation Increase this year, from 57.3 percent last yearreplacement schedules (details avail- In FY2012, 58.4 percent of libraries and 49.8 the year before. (Detailsable on Study website, Figures 35-37). (Figure B-11) report applying for an available on Study website, Figures n  A majority of public libraries E-rate discount, whether directly 51-52). | (63.2 percent) report that they do (41.3 percent) or as part of another digital supplement not have replacement schedules and organization’s application (17.1 per- Federal Stimulus Grantsonly replace workstations as need- cent), an increase from the prior Fund Public Computered. fiscal year (54.4 percent). As with last Centers and Broadband n  For libraries with replacement year, the highest percentage of libra­ Connectivityschedules, it is unclear if they are ries applying for E-rate discounts are This year’s survey asked publicreplacing all workstations that in urban areas (70.1 percent), followed libraries about applications and re- | would normally be scheduled: 49.9 by rural (59.1 percent) and suburban ceipt of grant awards from the Na- percent report that they did not (55.2 percent) libraries. tional Telecommunications andknow how many workstations/lap- The highest percentage of discounts Information Administration (NTIA)tops would be replaced at the outlet is applied to the telecommunications Broadband Technology Opportunity(branch) level. category, both overall (84.7 percent) Program (BTOP) and the Broadband n  Urban libraries (16.1 percent) and for all types of metropolitan sta- Initiatives Program (BIP). Both pro-are slightly more likely than subur- tus: urban (85.4 percent), suburban grams, which were announced in Julyban (11.4 percent) and rural (13.4 (82.2 percent), and rural libraries 2009, were funded through the 15