Welcome to Library Research Service

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.
More than two-thirds of Americans have high or medium engagement with public libraries
By on April 16, 2014 in Public / The Weekly Number
Library data geeks rejoice! Pew Research recently issued its third stage of research about public libraries, this time presenting a typology that clusters Americans into certain groups based on their connection to libraries. The result is a rich and complex portrait of how public libraries fit into people’s lives—we highly recommend reading the full report! To briefly highlight some of the findings, we’ll focus on the highest engaged library users and non-library users. Three in 10 adults—Library Lovers and Information Omnivores—are highly engaged with public libraries. They’re active community participants, heavy readers, and highly value library services. And they offer one...

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During the next two weeks, 75,000 copies of the book “Grumpy Bird” will be given out to all 4-year-olds in Colorado
By on April 9, 2014 in Public / The Weekly Number
One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) is a collaborative effort between Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia’s office, Reach Out and Read Colorado, the Colorado State Library, the Denver Preschool Program, public libraries, the private sector, and the nonprofit and foundation communities. It is based on the idea that providing young children with access to books promotes early literacy and helps families serve as their children’s first and most important teachers. OB4CO is an annual event that started in 2012. Each year, a book is selected to be given away to all 4-year-olds in Colorado over a two-week period in the spring. This...

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In 2012, 1 in 4 academic libraries offered text reference
By on April 2, 2014 in Academic / The Weekly Number
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released its first look at the 2012 Academic Libraries Survey, which collects data on academic library collections, staff, expenditures, and information literacy services. Here are some of our favorite highlights:
  • 252.6M e-books were held at U.S. academic libraries; 52.7 million of them were added in fiscal year 2012.
  • Academic libraries conducted 28.9 million individual reference services.
  • Academic libraries spent about $1.4 billion on electronic current serial subscriptions, or about half of the $2.8 billion total spent on information resources.
  • More than 3 of 4 (77%) libraries offered reference services by email or online.
  • More than half (55%)...

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Three-fourths of internet users say the internet has been good for society
By on March 26, 2014 in Public / Technology / The Weekly Number
The internet has had a transformative impact on Americans’ lives, and libraries have taken that impact in stride, offering equipment, infrastructure, and navigation assistance sought by patrons across the country. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research recently released new survey results that demonstrate the internet’s powerful role in our everyday lives. We know internet use is wide-spread, with more than 4 in 5 adults using it. But some of the most interesting findings in this research are related to how we view the internet. Despite the vitriol and trolls lurking in comment areas, about 3 in 4...

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  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
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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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