Fast Facts

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

Library contributions to student learning and success

A project of ACRL confirms multiple ways that academic libraries are contributing to student learning and success: students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework, library use increases student success, collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning, information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes, and library research consultations boost student learning.

Karen Brown with contributions by Kara J. Malenfant, “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects,”ACRL, April 2017, (retrieved August 8, 2017).

Pell Grant recipients

“Thirty-five percent of dependent students received a Pell Grant in 2011–12, proportionally more than the 19, 22, and 22 percent observed in 1999–2000, 2003–04, and 2007–08, respectively. The percentage of independent students who received a Pell Grant followed a similar pattern: proportionally more students received a Pell Grant in 2011–12 than in the three prior academic years (48 vs. 25 to 33 percent). While the percentage of students receiving a Pell Grant in 2011–12 is greater than in prior (years), students’ median income has declined over the same period.”

Nicole Ifill and Erin Dunlop Velez, “Changes in Pell Grant Participation and Median Income of Recipients,” NCES 2016407, September 20, 2016, National Center for Education Statistics. (retrieved June 7, 2017).


“The OCLC Online Union Catalog began operation in 1971. Catalogers at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, were first to catalog a book using the online cataloging system. That database, now known as WorldCat, is the world’s most comprehensive database of information about library collections. Today, WorldCat comprises more than 396 million records representing more than 2.5 billion (holdings) in libraries worldwide. What began 50 years ago as a regional computer system for 54 Ohio colleges has become OCLC, a global library cooperative that provides shared technology services, original research, and community programs to over 16,000 libraries in 120 countries.”

“OCLC celebrates 50 years of innovation and collaboration with libraries worldwide,” OCLC, June 23, 2017, (retrieved June 29, 2017).

Dedicated digital streaming services

More than 49 million homes—53 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi-connected homes—connected to a dedicated digital streaming service in December 2016. Netflix was the leading choice, present in 75 percent of those homes. YouTube follows Netflix at 53 percent, Amazon at 33 percent, and Hulu at 17 percent. Fifty percent of households still have not engaged a dedicated digital streaming service as of December 2016.

Mike Rich, “OTT breaks out of its Netflix shell,” comScore, April 10, 2017, (retrieved August 8, 2017).

Postsecondary snapshot

Of the 7,177 Title IV institutions in the United States as of July 2016, 3,089 are 4-year institutions, 2,085 are 2-year institutions, and the remaining 2,003 are less-than-2-year institutions. Nearly 59 percent of the roughly 3.2 million students receiving degrees at 4-year Title IV institutions received a bachelor’s degree. This percentage varies by type of institution, with bachelor’s degree received by 65 percent of the 1.8 million students at public institutions, 53 percent of the roughly 1.0 million students at private nonprofit institutions, and 40 percent of the roughly 326,000 students at for-profit institutions. Total enrollment is about 27.4 million individual students. Of these, roughly 23.6 million are undergraduates and approximately 3.8 million are graduate students.

Scott A. Ginder and Janice E. Kelly-Reid, “Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in 2015-16; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2014-15; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2014-15: First Look (Provisional Data),” NCES 2016112REV, The National Center for Education Statistics, November 15, 2016. (retrieved August 8, 2017).

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