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We conduct research about libraries, provide statistics and analyses to library stakeholders, and work with our colleagues in the Colorado library community and beyond to use data more effectively and persuasively.
Fourth-graders in the U.S. rank 16th in literacy in an international reading literacy study
By on December 13, 2017 in The LRS Number
The National Center for Education Statistics recently released a first look at the results of the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the new ePIRLS. This assessment is administered every five years to fourth-graders in participating countries around the world. PIRLS assesses student performance in reading literacy, while ePIRLS, administered for the first time in 2016, measures students’ approaches to informational reading in an online environment. The overall PIRLS average reading score for fourth-graders in the United States was  549 out 1000 possible points, ranking 15th out of the 58 countries participating. The U.S. average score declined from...

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Study finds that the learning environment at home prior to kindergarten impacts children’s academic performance in 5th grade
By on November 30, 2017 in The LRS Number
A study recently published in Applied Developmental Science measured the connection between children’s home environments before kindergarten and children’s academic skills during their 5th grade year. The study found that “early home learning environments related to children’s academic skills up to 10 years later across all subgroups studied–White, Black, Hispanic, English-speaking, Hispanic Spanish-speaking” (13). Children’s early learning environments predicted their academic skills the summer before they began kindergarten, and their academic skills at that time predicted their academic skills in 5th grade (12). The researchers concluded that “experiences parents provide their infants as early as the first year of life may...

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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation study shows that academic library employees remain mostly female and white despite a push for diversity
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently released the results of a study examining diversity in academic libraries. Ithaka S+R was commissioned to survey member institutions of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to find out how the academic library community perceives its progress towards more inclusive and diverse libraries. Across the ARL libraries surveyed, about 3 in 5 (61%) library staff are women and 2 in 5 are men (38%). These gender ratios remain consistent across levels of management and seniority, but begin to vary among different positions within the library. More than 4 in 5 (84%) library communications positions are...

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Read to the Children surveys show that 99% of offender participants would recommend the program to others
By on October 25, 2017 in Fast Facts / The LRS Number
Since 1999, the Read to the Children (RTC) program, a collaboration between the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Department of Corrections, has allowed offenders in Colorado’s state prisons to send young family members a book accompanied by a recording of the offender reading it. In the past year, around 1,900 offenders and 3,200 children participated in RTC. The most recent Fast Facts report presents survey results from 253 caregivers and 366 offenders who participated in RTC between 2013 and 2016. The survey results from offender participants reveal the position that the RTC program holds in the lives of incarcerated parents...

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Colorado Academic Librarians Explore Services for Transfer Students
By on October 12, 2017 in Academic
Note: This study will be presented on October 12, 2017, 3:15-4:15, at the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Annual Conference (“Transfer Connection: Academic Library Services for Transfer Students“). Transfer students are a unique population in academic libraries because their experiences vary widely: some are familiar with their community college library and then transfer to a four-year setting while others transfer between two and four-year institutions of different sizes. A team of librarian-researchers from University of Colorado-Boulder and Colorado Community Colleges Online (CCCOnline) are working together to learn more about serving this type of student. “I would discover that there were transfer...

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Materials challenges in Colorado public libraries continue to drop
By on September 27, 2017 in Fast Facts / Public / The LRS Number
Just in time for Banned Books Week, LRS’s latest Fast Facts report summarizes the results of our annual investigation into the materials that are challenged in public libraries across Colorado. This Fast Facts details the number, type, and reasons for the challenges reported in the 2016 Public Library Annual Report. The information that public libraries provided to us about these challenges help determine the attitude toward intellectual freedom in Colorado now and over time. After hovering at just under 30 challenges from 2013-2015, the number of challenges dropped to 22. This continues a consistent downward trend in the number of reported...

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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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