Fast Facts

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

PBS turns 50

PBS began broadcasting in 1970 after being signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1969. They created closed captioning to make TV accessible to the deaf. “Today, PBS has nearly 330 member stations around the country, many of which were created with the explicit purpose of providing educational programming to local communities.”

Sara Fischer, Aïda Amer, and Andrew Witherspoon, “PBS, Celebrating Its 50th Anniversary, Faces Its Most Transformative Period Yet,” Axios, October 4, 2020, https://www.axios.com/pbs-50th-anniversary-d59d1dd9-cd56-4c80-b18d-c17a478bf277.html (retrieved October 6, 2020).

Disappearing online journals

“Eighty-four online-only, open-access journals in the sciences, and nearly 100 more in the social sciences and humanities, have disappeared from the [I]nternet over the past two decades as publishers stopped maintaining them, potentially depriving scholars of useful research findings, a study has found. An additional 900 journals published only online also may be at risk of vanishing because they are inactive, says a preprint posted on 3 September on the arXiv server.”

Jeffrey Brainard, “Dozens of Scientific Journals Have Vanished from the Internet, and No One Preserved Them,” Science | AAAS, September 8, 2020, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/dozens-scientific-journals-have-vanished-internet-and-no-one-preserved-them (retrieved October 2, 2020).

Gen Z less likely to spread misinformation

“Sixty-nine percent of Gen Z students said it is somewhat or very easy for them to

distinguish real news from misinformation. Studies have found the youngest American adults are far less likely to share misinformation online than are older Americans.”

Stef W. Kight, “Gen Z Is Eroding the Power of Misinformation,” Axios, September 15, 2020, https://www.axios.com/gen-z-is-eroding-the-power-of-misinformation-5940e3cd-e3d0-44a1-b66c-93be45f e1d2c.html (retrieved October 2, 2020).

Digital borrowing skyrockets

“Checkouts of digital books from (Overdrive) are up 52 percent since March. Overdrive partners with 50,000 libraries worldwide. Hoopla, another service that connects libraries to publishers, says 439 library systems in the US and Canada have joined since March, boosting its membership by 20 percent.”

Aarian Marshall, “Publishers Worry as Ebooks Fly off Libraries’ Virtual Shelves,” Wired , October 1, 2020, https://www.wired.com/story/publishers-worry-ebooks-libraries-virtual-shelves (retrieved October 6, 2020).

Citing Wikipedia

While many students consider Wikipedia to be helpful, most still won’t cite it in their research. “Only 27 percent of students who found Wikipedia to be helpful also considered it citable.”

Chris Cyr, “The Wikipedia Research Conundrum: Is It Citable?” OCLC Next, October 1, 2020, https://blog.oclc.org/next/the-wikipedia-research-conundrum-is-it-citable (retrieved October 6, 2020).

Wikimedia page views

All Wikimedia projects, which includes Wikipedia, receive a total of about 21 billion page views per month. Most page views originate in the United States (3 billion) followed by Japan (1 billion).

“Wikimedia Statistics—All Wikis,” https://stats.wikimedia.org/#/all-projects (retrieved October 6, 2020).

Copyright American Library Association

Article Views (Last 12 Months)

No data available

Contact ACRL for article usage statistics from 2010-April 2017.

Article Views (By Year/Month)

January: 9
February: 5
March: 8
April: 9
May: 1
June: 1
January: 0
February: 0
March: 0
April: 0
May: 0
June: 0
July: 0
August: 0
September: 0
October: 0
November: 127
December: 9