Fast Facts

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

The Internet Archive and government data

As the federal government experiences administrative changes, the Internet Archive has responded. “Between Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, the Internet Archive archived over 200 terabytes of government websites and data. This includes over 100TB of public websites and over 100TB of public data from federal FTP file servers totaling, together, over 350 million URLs/files. This includes over 70 million html pages and over 40 million PDFs.”

Jefferson Bailey, “Over 200 terabytes of the government web archived!” Internet Archive Blogs, May 9, 2017, (retrieved May 10, 2017).

Civic design

“Civic design is a growing field. As governments, NGOs, newspapers, and activist groups are feeling increased pressure to effectively employ media and technology to engage or mobilize constituents, what used to be standard communications or information technology positions are demanding different skill sets. These positions, sometimes reframed as ‘innovation,’ require a level of creative problem solving and critical thinking, as well as comfort with participatory methodologies, that didn’t exist before. Necessary skills for civic designers include co-design, sideways thinking, prototyping, and measuring value.”

Eric Gordon, Catherine D’Ignazio, Gabriel Mugar, and Paul Mihailidis, “Civic Media Art and Practice: Toward a Pedagogy for Civic Design,” Interactions 24, no. 2 (2017): 66-69, (retrieved June 7, 2017).


The Audio Publishers Association “estimates that audiobook sales in 2016 totaled more than $2.1 billion, up 18.2 percent over 2015, and with a corresponding 33.9 percent increase in units. This is the third consecutive year that audiobook sales have expanded by nearly 20 percent. Nearly half (48 percent) of frequent audiobook listeners are under 35. Audiobook listeners are often also podcast listeners. (Listeners) who consumed both podcasts and audiobooks listened to twice as many audiobooks in the past 12 months as nonpodcast consumers. Avid readers are also listening. Audiobook listeners read or listened to an average of 15 books in the last year.”

Audio Publishers Association, “Audiobooks Continues Double-Digit Growth,” June 7, 2017, (retrieved June 7, 2017).

Virtual schools

“While the average student-teacher ratio in the nation’s public schools was 16 students per teacher, virtual schools reported more than twice as many students per teacher: 34. The average in blended schools (hybrid virtual and traditional) was only very slightly lower: 33. The highest student-teacher ratio was in virtual schools operated by for-profit EMOs (education management organizations) (44), while the lowest was in those operated by virtual nonprofit EMOs (19.5). Virtual schools continued to underperform academically, including in comparison to blended schools. Overall, 37.4 percent of full-time virtual schools received acceptable performance ratings, compared with 72.7 percent acceptable ratings for blended schools. A much higher percentage of blended schools received acceptable ratings in the 2015–16 school year as compared to the prior year, thus reversing their underwhelming academic results: last year’s inventory found that blended schools were not doing much better than virtual schools.”

Alex Molnar, Gary Miron, Charisse Gulosino, Christopher Shank, and Caryn K. Davidson, “Virtual Schools Report 2017. Section I Full-Time Virtual and Blended Schools: Enrollment, Student Characteristics, and Performance,” Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, (retrieved June 8, 2017).

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