Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Online collaboration

A new online service called Duolingo teaches you a language for free, while simultaneously translating the Web. Using crowdsourcing, the service is designed so that as users progress through the lessons they simultaneously help to translate Web sites and other documents. The project was started by Professor Luis von Ahn (the developer of CAPTCHA technology) and his graduate student Severin Hacker.

TED Conferences, Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration, December 2011, (retrieved February 1, 2012).

Internet domain names

Nearly 5 million domain names were added to the Internet in the third quarter of 2011, bringing the total number of registered domain names to nearly 220 million worldwide across all domains. The most popular country code top level domains, as of October 2011, were .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .tk (Tokelau), and .nl (Netherlands).

Domain Name Industry Brief, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2011, (retrieved February 1, 2012).

Academic Libraries

Academic libraries loaned approximately 11.2 million documents to other libraries in fiscal year 2010. They also borrowed approximately 10.2 million documents from other libraries and commercial services. At the end of fiscal year 2010, there were 227 academic libraries that held 1 million or more books, serial backfiles, and other paper materials, including government documents. Expenditures for electronic current serial subscriptions totaled about $1.2 billion.

T. Phan, L. Hardesty, J. Hug, and C. Sheckells (2011), Academic Libraries: 2010 (NCES 2012-365), U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, (retrieved February 9, 2012).

UK’s most popular titles

Thrillers and crime novels by American writers dominate the Top 10 list of the Most Borrowed Titles from UK libraries, according to annual data released by Public Lending Right. The UK’s Most Borrowed Title of 2010/2011 was “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown. The Top 10 also includes five books written or co-written by James Patterson, and two thrillers by British-born writer, Lee Child, who lives in the United States. Crime writer Ian Rankin is the only UK-resident author in the Top 10.

Public Lending Right. It’s Criminal, February 3, 2012. (Retrieved February 9, 2012).

Open source data analysis

Weave (BETA 1.0) is a new Web-based visualization platform designed to enable visualization of any available data by anyone for any purpose. Weave is an application development platform supporting multiple levels of user proficiency—novice to advanced—as well as the ability to integrate, disseminate, and visualize data at “nested” levels of geography. Created in part by the Open Indicator Consortium, Weave’s goal is to transform publicly available data into visually compelling indicators to inform public policy makers, journalists, academics, and other data users. The Weave core code is being released under the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3) and the Weave API under the Mozilla Public License (MPL v 1.1).

Weave-University of Massachusetts Lowell-Open Indicators Consortium, Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment, (retrieved February 9, 2012).

Copyright 2012© American Library Association

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