PART II: SURVEY REPORT

APPENDIX B: Analysis By URBAN, SUBURBAN, RURAL PRIMARY AREA OF SERVICE

This analysis includes data from 411 libraries (97 percent). Libraries whose primary area of service is a mix of urban, suburban and rural were excluded from the analysis. Nine percent of the libraries (N=38) serve primarily urban areas, 18 percent (76) serve primarily suburban areas, and 72 percent (297) serve primarily rural areas. The distribution of libraries by Library System and primary area of service is presented in the table below.

Table B.1

Library Systems

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Big Country Library System (BCLS)

4

10.5%

--

--

31

10.4%

Texas Panhandle Library System (TPLS)

--

--

1

1.3%

23

7.7%

Central Texas Library System (CTLS)

3

7.9%

15

19.7%

37

12.5%

South Texas Library System (STLS)

5

13.2%

2

2.6%

22

7.4%

Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS)

8

21.1%

19

25.0%

50

16.8%

Texas Trans-Pecos Library System (TTPLS)

2

5.3%

--

--

12

4.0%

North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS)

5

13.2%

24

31.6%

31

10.4%

Houston Area Library System (HALS)

7

18.4%

11

14.5%

34

11.4%

West Texas Library System (WTLS)

2

5.3%

1

1.3%

23

7.7%

Alamo Area Library System (AALS)

2

5.3%

3

3.9%

34

11.4%

In five of the ten Library Systems, 86 percent or more of the libraries that responded to the survey primarily serve rural areas. These included TTPLS, AALS, WTLS, BCLS, and TPLS. 96 percent of the libraries associated with TPLS primarily serve rural areas. NTRLS has the lowest percent of libraries primarily serving rural areas (52 percent) and the highest percent of libraries primarily serving suburban areas: 40 percent. Twenty to 27 percent of the libraries associated with HALS, NETLS, and CTLS primarily serve suburban areas.

Table B.2

Library Systems

Number of Libraries

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

BCLS

35

4

11.4%

--

--

31

88.6%

TPLS

24

--

--

1

4.2%

23

95.8%

CTLS

55

3

5.4%

15

27.3%

37

67.3%

STLS

29

5

17.2

2

6.9%

22

75.9%

NETLS

77

8

10.4%

19

24.7%

50

64.9%

TTPLS

14

2

14.3%

--

--

12

85.7%

NTRLS

60

5

8.3%

24

40.0%

31

51.7%

HALS

52

7

13.5%

11

21.1%

34

65.4%

WTLS

26

2

7.7%

1

3.8%

23

88.5%

AALS

39

2

5.1%

3

7.7%

34

87.2%

1. Library Operations

Internet connectivity was similar across all types of libraries, regardless of their primary area of service. Providing patron access to online databases was lower in libraries serving rural areas (76 percent) compared with libraries serving urban (89 percent) and suburban areas (82 percent). Primary area of service held a significant degree of association with the level of library automation. For example, 70 percent of libraries primarily serving rural areas compared with 84 to 88 percent of libraries primarily serving urban and suburban areas had automated catalog and circulation systems. The three categories of libraries also differed significantly in the availability of their automated circulation system through the Internet: fewer libraries serving primarily rural areas (11 percent) had such capabilities compared with libraries serving primarily urban (39 percent) and suburban (37 percent) areas. The three types of libraries also differed significantly in having long-range plans. Fewer libraries serving rural areas (34 percent) than libraries serving urban (50 percent) or suburban (45 percent) areas had long-range plans.

Table B.3

Library Has

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Automated catalog and circulation system*

32

84.2%

66

86.8%

207

69.7%

Automated catalog available through the Internet*

26

68.4%

47

61.8%

87

29.3%

Automated circulation system that is available through the Internet*

15

39.5%

28

36.8%

32

10.8%

Internet connection

37

97.4%

75

98.7%

287

96.6%

Library provides access to online databases to end users

34

89.5%

62

81.6%

226

76.1%

Long-range plan*

19

50.0%

34

44.7%

100

33.7%

Long-range plan addresses future trends

17

89.5%

27

79.4%

81

81.0%

* Differences are statistically significant. The three types of libraries also differed significantly in their participation in consortia. A larger percent of libraries serving urban areas (45 percent) compared with those serving suburban (32 percent) or rural areas (19 percent) participated in consortia.

Table B.4

Library Participation in Consortia

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Library is member of consortium*

17

44.7%

25

32.5%

58

19.5%

Type of consortia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public libraries only

6

37.5%

13

52.0%

21

38.9%

Multi-type libraries

9

56.3%

12

48.0%

32

59.3%

Other

1

6.3%

--

--

1

1.9%

* Chi-square=15.34, 2 d.f., p<.00047.

A larger percent of public libraries serving primarily urban areas tended to collaborate regularly with a larger range of different types of libraries, especially with academic and special libraries, than public libraries serving primarily suburban or rural areas.

Table B.5

Library Collaborated Regularly with:

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Public libraries

27

77.1%

63

91.3%

228

86.4%

School libraries

24

68.6%

34

49.3%

165

62.5%

Academic libraries

20

57.1%

14

20.3%

50

18.9%

Special libraries (law, medicine, engineering)

8

22.9%

1

1.4%

13

4.9%

Other types of libraries

3

7.9%

1

1.4%

16

5.4%

Regardless of their primary area of service, libraries engaged in a range of collaborative activities. However, a larger percent of libraries serving primarily urban areas used the Union Catalog and coordinated or offered joint programs, classes or activities than libraries serving primarily suburban or rural areas, as shown in the table below.

Table B.6

Methods of Collaboration

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(36)

%

#


(67)

%

#


(257)

%

Reciprocal borrowing

21

58.3%

42

62.7%

102

39.7%

Borrow materials from libraries

27

75.0%

39

58.2%

192

74.7%

Lend materials to libraries

24

66.7%

29

43.3%

126

49.0%

Share electronic resources or other materials

9

25.0%

9

13.4%

51

19.8%

Union Catalog

6

16.7%

4

6.0%

18

7.0%

Courier services

14

18.9%

20

29.9%

15

5.8%

Coordinate or offer joint programs, classes or other activities

20

55.6%

29

43.3%

82

31.9%

Coordinate services for students

2

5.6%

3

4.5%

10

3.9%

Share information, advice, meet regularly

--

--

1

1.5%

16

6.2%

Other

1

2.8%

3

4.5%

10

3.9%

Regardless of their primary area of service, all three categories of libraries served multiple populations, as shown in the table below.

Table B.7

Populations Served by Libraries

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Low-income

22

57.9%

51

67.1%

186

62.6%

Bilingual/ESL/LEP

23

60.5%

52

68.4%

187

63.0%

Older adults

25

65.8%

52

68.4%

192

64.6%

Early childhood, new mothers

22

57.9%

50

65.8%

178

59.9%

Youth

21

55.3%

52

68.4%

183

61.6%

People with disabilities

23

60.5%

49

64.5%

185

62.3%

Rural residents

22

57.9%

46

60.5%

194

65.3%

Urban, inner city residents

20

52.6%

46

60.5%

175

58.9%

Low literate adults

22

57.9%

53

69.7%

177

59.6%

Intergenerational groups

20

52.6%

47

61.8%

174

58.6%

Overall, a high percent of libraries, regardless of area of service, reported that the populations they served were satisfied with the services the libraries provided to them. However, libraries serving primarily rural areas reported higher satisfaction rates than the other two categories of libraries vis-�-vis all but two of the special populations listed in the table below.

Table B.8

Satisfaction of Populations Served by Libraries*

Urban


Mean


Scores

Suburban


Mean


Scores

Rural


Mean


Scores

Low-income

8.62

8.57

8.85

Bilingual/ESL/LEP**

7.33

8.62

8.19

Older adults**

7.94

8.54

8.79

Early childhood, new mothers**

8.33

8.50

8.91

Youth

8.11

8.81

8.85

People with disabilities**

7.89

8.67

8.71

Rural residents**

7.87

8.00

8.94

Urban, inner city residents**

7.90

--

8.22

Low literate adults**

7.54

8.67

8.28

Intergenerational groups**

7.80

--

8.83

** Differences were statistically significant.

2. Library System Services to Libraries

Regardless of the type of area of service, libraries received a large range of services from their respective Library Systems. Overall, the percent of libraries receiving services did not differ significantly across the three categories of libraries. However, a larger percent of libraries serving primarily rural areas compared with the other types of libraries received training and assistance in grant writing, assistance with reference questions, and consulting services.

A larger percent of libraries primarily serving urban areas than the other two categories of libraries received funding for projects serving older adults, funding for bilingual/ESL and literacy projects, funds for library video collection operation, and funds for the purchasing of office and other equipment for their library.

Table B.9

Services Library Received from Library System

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Funds for collection development: books and other materials

38

100.0%

76

100.0%

289

97.6%

Funds for library video collection operation

21

55.3%

34

44.7%

120

40.5%

Funds for computers

14

36.8%

27

35.5%

95

32.1%

Funds for installing an Internet connection

5

13.2%

6

7.9%

39

13.2%

Funds for upgrading the library's Internet connection

2

5.3%

2

2.6%

21

7.1%

Training library staff in the management and use of electronic resources

33

86.8%

67

88.2%

253

85.5%

Training and helping library staff to write grants, assistance with grant writing

22

57.9%

39

51.3%

205

69.3%

Training library staff in the development of long-range plans

12

31.6%

24

31.6%

115

38.9%

Purchasing for the library (or assisting with the purchasing of) video and teleconferencing/distance learning equipment

4

10.5%

2

2.6%

27

9.1%

Purchasing and upgrading library's hardware and software

11

28.9%

17

22.4%

78

26.4%

Purchasing equipment for accessing electronic resources

4

10.5%

5

6.6%

40

13.5%

Purchasing office and other equipment for library

18

47.4%

26

34.2%

87

29.4%

Funding bilingual/ESL and literacy projects

14

36.8%

8

10.5%

65

22.0%

Funding projects serving youth

9

23.7%

19

25.0%

44

14.9%

Funding projects serving older adults

13

34.2%

13

17.1%

83

28.0%

Funding projects to serve people with disabilities

7

18.4%

3

3.9%

47

15.9%

Proving funds for planning projects

5

13.2%

6

7.9%

21

7.1%

Providing funds for library automation projects

3

7.9%

5

6.6%

37

12.5%

Assistance with reference questions

17

44.7%

34

44.7%

231

78.0%

Continuing education services for staff

36

94.7%

75

98.7%

282

99.1%

Continuing education services for library advisory board

11

28.9%

27

35.5%

111

37.5%

Consulting services

24

63.2%

47

61.8%

234

79.1%

The level of satisfaction that the different types of libraries expressed with the range of services provided to them by Library Systems was high overall. On a 10-point satisfaction scale where "1" referred to "very dissatisfied" and "10 referred to "very satisfied," libraries expressed, on average, a high level of satisfaction. Level of satisfaction, however, varied by type of library.

Libraries serving primarily rural areas were more satisfied than the other two types of libraries with: funds for collection development, funds for library video collection operation, training library staff in the management and use of electronic resources, training and helping library staff to write grants, assistance with grant writing, training library staff in the development of long-range plans, purchasing equipment for accessing electronic resources, funds for library automation projects, continuing education services for staff, and consulting services.

Libraries primarily serving urban areas were more satisfied, on average, than the other types of libraries with services such as funds for computers, purchasing office and other equipment for the library, funds for bilingual/ESL and literacy projects, funds for projects serving youth, funds for projects serving older adults, funds for planning projects, assistance with reference questions, and continuing education services for the library advisory board.

Libraries primarily serving suburban areas were more satisfied, on average, than the other two types of libraries with services such as funds for installing or upgrading an Internet connection, purchasing for the library (or assisting with the purchasing of) video and teleconferencing/distance learning equipment, purchasing and upgrading the library's hardware and software, and funds for projects to serve people with disabilities.

Table B.10

Satisfaction with Services Library Received from Library System

Urban


Mean


Scores

Suburban


Mean


Scores

Rural


Mean


Scores

Funds for collection development: books and other materials

8.53

8.34

8.79

Funds for library video collection operation

8.30

8.20

8.61

Funds for computers

8.42

8.26

8.38

Funds for installing an Internet connection

7.33

8.67

8.30

Funds for upgrading the library's Internet connection

7.25

8.60

7.94

Training library staff in the management and use of electronic resources

8.22

8.15

8.69

Training and helping library staff to write grants, assistance with grant writing

8.04

8.24

8.35

Training library staff in the development of long-range plans*

7.64

7.67

8.30

Purchasing for the library (or assisting with the purchasing of) video and teleconferencing/ distance learning equipment

6.50

8.00

7.72

Purchasing and upgrading library's hardware and software

6.80

8.37

8.28

Purchasing equipment for accessing electronic resources

7.00

8.30

8.39

Purchasing office and other equipment for library

8.65

8.16

8.32

Funding bilingual/ESL and literacy projects*

8.54

8.11

8.31

Funding projects serving youth

8.55

8.35

8.03

Funding projects serving older adults

9.08

8.64

8.41

Funding projects to serve people with disabilities

8.14

8.37

8.20

Proving funds for planning projects

8.67

8.18

8.32

Providing funds for library automation projects

8.33

8.28

8.64

Assistance with reference questions*

9.33

8.58

9.17

Continuing education services for staff*

8.56

8.46

9.16

Continuing education services for library advisory board

9.00

8.43

8.77

Consulting services

8.87

8.40

9.11

* Differences were statistically significant.

3. Impact of Library System Services

Libraries that primarily served rural areas regarded their Library Systems as more helpful in meeting their needs than libraries serving primarily urban or suburban areas. Ninety-three percent of the libraries serving primarily rural areas regarded the services provided by their Library System as helpful compared with 84 percent of libraries serving primarily urban areas, and 76 percent of libraries serving suburban areas.

Table B.11

Helpfulness of Library System in Meeting Libraries' Needs*

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(75)

%

#


(294)

%

Very helpful

24

63.2%

43

57.3%

213

72.4%

Helpful

8

21.1%

14

18.7%

60

20.4%

Moderately helpful

2

5.3%

13

17.3%

13

4.4%

Of little help

3

7.9%

5

6.7%

5

1.7%

Not at all helpful

--

--

--

--

2

0.7%

Unsure

1

2.6%

--

--

1

0.3%

Mean**

1.57

 

1.73

 

1.37

 

Chi-square=29.25, 10 d.f., p.<00113.


** Means were calculated on a 5-point scale where "1" refers to "very helpful" and "5" refers to "not at all helpful."

Figure B.1

Graph of helpfulness of library system in meeting libraries' needs

A larger percent of libraries primarily serving rural areas than the other two types of libraries reported that the Library System services had an impact on their collection, technology, operations, management, planning, range of services, quality of services, and ability to serve individuals not served previously. Libraries serving primarily suburban areas reported the least impact. The most common area of impact, across all three types of libraries, was associated with improvements in the library's collection. A significantly larger percent of libraries serving rural areas reported improvements in this area (68 percent) compared with libraries serving urban (47 percent) and suburban areas (41 percent).

Table B.12

Services Provided by Library System Helped Improve to a Great Extent Library's

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(76)

%

#


(297)

%

Collection

18

47.4%

31

40.8%

203

68.3%

Technology

9

23.7%

19

25.0%

146

49.1%

Operations

8

21.0%

15

19.7%

139

46.8%

Management

8

21.0%

18

23.7%

147

49.5%

Planning

11

28.9%

16

21.0%

131

44.1%

Range of service

9

23.7%

15

19.7%

127

42.8%

Quality of services

16

42.1%

16

21.0%

145

48.8%

Ability to serve individuals not served before

8

21.0%

16

21.0%

111

37.4%

As shown in the table below, the mean scores calculated for libraries primarily serving rural areas were lower (thus, showing greater impact) than the means calculated for libraries serving urban and suburban areas.

Table B.13

Services Provided by Library System Helped Improve Library's*

Urban


Mean


Scores**

Suburban


Mean


Scores **

Rural


Mean


Scores **

Collection

1.70

1.81

1.36

Technology

2.40

2.18

1.67

Operations

2.34

2.26

1.67

Management

2.36

2.26

1.68

Planning

2.34

2.47

1.79

Range of service

2.40

2.30

1.81

Quality of services

1.97

2.22

1.64

Ability to serve individuals not served before

2.47

2.46

1.97

* Differences were statistically significant.


** Means were calculated on a 5-point scale where "1" refers to "very helpful" and "5" refers to "not at all helpful."

Libraries, regardless of primary area of service, identified a wide range of benefits they derived from their membership in the Library System. However, a larger percent of libraries serving primarily rural areas compared with libraries serving urban or suburban areas mentioned all but one of these benefits, as shown in the table below.

Table B.14

Major Benefits Library Derived from Membership in Library System

Urban

Suburban

Rural

#


(38)

%

#


(72)

%

#


(291)

%

Offered programs to meet the needs of special populations

18

47.4%

16

22.2%

114

39.2%

Increased staff's knowledge and competence of library management and operations

30

78.9%

57

79.2%

262

90.0%

Have a current materials collection that is broad in scope and can better meet community needs

29

76.3%

49

68.1%

240

82.5%

Library is better able to utilize new technology and resources to service the community

23

60.5%

46

63.9%

233

80.1%

Library offers enhanced access to a variety of information

22

57.9%

41

56.9%

237

81.4%

Library is able to obtain additional funding and other resources to improve services

28

73.7%

41

56.9%

216

74.2%

Library is able to plan services to meet the future needs of the community

22

57.9%

32

44.4%

170

58.4%

Consulting, advice, information sharing

1

2.6%

4

5.6%

8

2.7%

Part Two, Appendix A | Part Two, Appendix C

Page last modified: March 2, 2011