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Fast Facts

Ann Viles

→ Information literacy is key to Internet learning

According to a report issued in late December by the U.S. Congress’ Web-Based Education Commission, “Those who work with the technology that supports [Internet] access must have the skill and understanding to apply it well. If the user—whether teacher or learner, parent or administrator—does not know how to work with technology or where to go on the Internet to find material of value, that learner does not have real access to what the Internet offers.” Kathleen Fulton, project director for the commission, writes, “Information literacy is the key for all of these users and is a unifying principle for the effective integration of technology in education.”

Kathleen Fulton, ”From Promise to Practice: Enhancing Student Internet Learning,” Multimedia Schools, March/ April 2001. http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/mar01/fulton.htm. Mar. 1, 2001

→ Five million American history items online

The Library of Congress has reached its goal of placing 5 million items online in the American Memory project. The Web sites of the 91 American history collections are visited more than 18 million times per month.

“National Digital Library Program Reaches Goal of 5 Million Items Online,” News: The Library of Congress, Jan. 10, 2001. http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2001/01-004.html. Mar. 1, 2001

→ Thirty-seven percent increase in the number of challenged books

The number of formal challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom increased from 472 in 1999 to 646 in 2000. The most challenged books during both years were the Harry Potter series of children’s books by J. K. Rowling. Other titles included in the “Ten Most Challenged Books of 2000” include: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds, Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, Scary stories series by Alvin Schwartz, The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney, and the Giver by Lois Lowry.

”Harry Potter Series Again Tops List of Most Challenged Books,” ALA News Release, American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/pio/presskits/midwinterawards2001/challenged.html. Feb. 27, 2001

→ Internet access increases for American adults

Pew Internet & American Life reports that 56% of American adults (more than 104 million) now have Internet access, an increase of 16 million during the last six months of 2000.

”More Online, Doing More,” Pew Internet & American Life, http://www.pewinternet.org/releases/ release.asp?id=15. Feb. 28, 2001

→ Research on the Internet

A Harris Poll during December found that 6l% of adults using the Internet are doing “research for work or school” and 9% are taking courses.

”Online Activities,” PollingReport.com. http://www.pollingreport.com/computer.htm. Feb. 28, 2001

→ Libraries in the United Kingdom

There are six national libraries in the United Kingdom, 4,630 public libraries, 623 university libraries, and 100 college libraries.

Library and Information Statistics Unit, Loughborough University, ”2000 Library & Information Statistics Tables for the United Kingdom,” http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/lisu/lisuhp.htmi. Mar. 1, 2001

Ann Viles is coordinator of reference and instruction at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, e-mail:vilesea@conrad.appstate.edu

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