Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo is reference librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, e-mail:

Summer reading

A selection of choices from college summer reading programs: The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: How Does it Feel to be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America, by Moustafa Bayoumi; Lehigh University: Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, by Bruce Watson, and The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, by Anand Giridharadas; The University of Vermont: A Deadly Wandering, by Matt Richtel; Duke University: Prince of Los Cocuyos, by Richard Blanco; Arcadia University: Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt; California State University-Northridge: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Miami University: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J. D. Vance.

Sources: Individual university websites (retrieved May 10, 2017).

Research library expenditures

While total expenditures in ARL libraries for the period 1986 to 2015 increased by 197 percent, spending on serials (ongoing resource expenditures) rose by 521 percent. During the same period, total spending on salaries rose by 152 percent, while monographic spending (one-time resource expenditures) rose by 79 percent. The Consumer Price Index for the time period was up 118 percent. Total staff per student spending was down 43 percent.

Association of Research Libraries, “ARL Statistical Trends,” (retrieved May 10, 2017).

Recorded music industry

“U.S. recorded music sales were up 11.4 percent in 2016. The industry brought in $7.65 billion in revenue, according to the RIAA, up from $6.87 million in 2015.” The growth was led by streaming revenue. “This is the first time since 1998 that the U.S. industry has experienced a double digit increase in overall revenue. Back then, the industry enjoyed revenue of $13.7 billion.” Streaming “now accounts for more revenue than downloads, CDs and vinyl combined. Even with this robust growth, recorded music brings in just over half the $14.6 billion it generated at its 1999 peak.”

Ed Chrtistman, “U.S. Music Industry Sees First Double Digit Growth in Almost 20 Years as Streaming Takes Over,” Billboard, March 30, 2017, (retrieved May 10, 2017).

Digitization in U.S. public libraries

“Ninety-two percent of public libraries have locally significant, unique physical collections. More than 37.6 percent of public libraries have engaged in digitization activities in the last three years. In addition to the common barriers of time and ongoing funding, 61.4 percent of libraries identified insufficient staff training/expertise as a major barrier to their digitization efforts.”

Kendra Morgan and Merrilee Proffitt, “Advancing the National Digital Platform: The State of Digitization in US Public and State Libraries,” January 2017 (Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research),
(retrieved May 3, 2017).

Copyright American Library Association

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