The staff at the Texas State Library & Archives Commission (TSLAC) know the power of the numbers, and they are making sure the library community has access to that power. The knowledge is being spread via the TSLAC blog with a four part series: Statistics and Reports to Support Your Advocacy Efforts. The series opens with this quote from our 2010-2011 Study:
“With convenient access to these statistics you have the powerful arguments to speak to stakeholders, stay in the eye of the media, and advocate for enhanced levels of library funding needed to meet public demand.” – Lamar Veatch, President, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
The first blog of the series features the U.S. Impact Study , which examines the impact of free access to computers and the Internet. The first report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, identifies who uses library computers, how they use them, and how that use impacts their lives. The second report, Opportunity for All: How Library Policies and Practices Impact Public Internet Access, presents case studies of four libraries highlighting the impact of individual library policies on computer users.
Part two of the series features our Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2010-2011, noting that “This study presents compelling evidence of libraries serving as a “toll-free bridge over the digital divide,” and it examines how library funding changes in this tough economic climate affect connectivity, technology deployment, and sustainability.”
Part three features Who’s in the Queue? A Demographic Analysis of Public Access Computer Users and Uses in U.S. Public Libraries, a new research brief issued from the IMLS, takes a closer look at the demographic characteristics of computer users in the library utilizing data from the Opportunity for All study and U.S. census data from the same year (2009). The data counters common assumptions about who is using public access computers in libraries and also what sort of information they are accessing online.
The final part of the blog series highlights the latest policy brief from the (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy’s (OITP), Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library. As explained in the report summary: “This policy brief is intended to assist in the development of effective strategies for American public libraries by delineating the elements of alternative visions for libraries in the coming decades. It does not recommend particular visions; rather, it suggests a process libraries can follow to make their own strategic choices based on their specific situations.”
Be sure to check out this valuable one-stop statistics shop, care of our friends at the TSLAC.