Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo is reference librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, e-mail: pattillo@email.unc.edu

Summer reading

Some summer reading program selections from around the country: Duke University—There There, by Tommy Orange; Appalachian State University—Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson; Illinois Wesleyan University—Educated, by Tara Westover; Skidmore College—Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World and Why Things are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling; Texas State University—What the Eyes Don’t See, by Mona Hanna-Attisha; Lehigh University—Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family, by Lisa Fenn; Seattle University—So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo.

Individual university websites. (retrieved June 3, 2019).


“Today, 55 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 percent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization … combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90 percent of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa. By 2030, the world is projected to have 43 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants, most of them in developing regions.”

“68% of the World Population Projected to Live in Urban Areas by 2050, Says UN,” UN DESA | United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, May 16, 2018, https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html (retrieved June 4, 2019).

Little Free Libraries

There are now more than 80,000 Little Free Libraries—the tiny neighborhood book exchanges—in more than 90 countries.

Kris Coronado, “In 10 Years, Little Free Libraries Have Made a Big Impact,” Washington Post, May 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/in-10-years-little-free-libraries-have-made-a-big-impact/2019/05/13/08af90d2-45c3-11e9-aaf8-4512a6fe3439_story.html (retrieved June 4, 2019).

Technology and the political environment

In a recent survey of the societies of 11 countries, many people think digital technologies have made people better informed but also easier to manipulate. Majorities in every country (an 11-country median of 78 percent) say access to these technologies has made people more informed about current events. At the same time, a median of 72 percent say digital technologies have made it easier to manipulate people with false information and rumors.

Aaron Smith, Laura Silver, Courtney Johnson, Kyle Taylor, and Jingjing Jiang, “People Think Technology Impacts Politics Positively and Negatively,” May 13, 2019, https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/05/13/publics-think-technology-impacts-the-political-environment-in-both-positive-and-negative-ways (retrieved June 4, 2019).

The Internet Archive

“The Internet Archive is preserving snapshots of the web on an ongoing basis, but mostly this is for top-level public HTML webpages such as The New York Times website and Facebook, not for underlying content files. As of last fall, its Wayback Machine held over 450 billion (web) pages in 25 petabytes of data. This would represent .0003 percent of the total internet (data).”

Paul Royster, “Your Internet Data Is Rotting,” The Conversation, May 15, 2019, http://theconversation.com/your-internet-data-is-rotting-115891 (retrieved June 4, 2019).

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