Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

China print media

At the end of 2011, a total of 46.7 billion copies of newspapers and 3.3 billion copies of magazines were issued, and 7.7 billion copies of books were published in China. By the end of the year, there were 4,107 archives in China.

National Bureau of Statistics of China, “Statistical Communiqué on the 2011 National Economic and Social Development,” February 22, 2012, (retrieved September 10, 2012).

Global impact of the Web

According to a study by the World Wide Web Foundation, “Sweden is best in the world at putting the Web to work, beating the US and UK for the top spot.” The Web, however, remains a largely untapped resource in much of the world, the study shows, with only 1 in 3 people using it globally and fewer than 1 in 6 people using it in Africa. The Web Index reveals that high broadband prices and trends toward censorship are major barriers to making the Web useful to all.

World Wide Web Foundation, “Web Index 2012,” September 5, 2012, (retrieved September 12, 2012).

Higher education gaps

In 2010, as in every year since 1980, a lower percentage of male than female 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled either in college or graduate school (39 vs. 47 percent). This pattern was also observed for Caucasians (43 vs. 51 percent), African Americans (31 vs. 43 percent), Hispanic/Latinos (26 vs. 36 percent), Native Americans (24 vs. 33 percent), and persons of two or more races (40 vs. 49 percent). In addition to college enrollment differences, there are gaps in postsecondary attainment for males and females. For instance, among first-time students seeking bachelor’s degrees who started full time at a four-year college in 2004, a higher percentage of females than males completed bachelor’s degrees within six years (61 vs. 56 percent)—a pattern that held across all racial/ethnic groups.

T. Ross, G. Kena, A Rathbun, et al, “Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study (NCES 2012-046),” U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, August 28, 2012, (retrieved September 8, 2012).

More e-resources, more reference

Spending more on electronic resources in academic libraries leads to an increase, rather than a decrease, in numbers of reference transactions.

Ana Dubnjakovic, “Electronic Resource Expenditure and the Decline in Reference Transaction Statistics in Academic Libraries,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 38, Issue 2, March 2012, pages 94–100, doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2012.01.001, (retrieved September 8, 2012).

School librarians

Despite research demonstrating the positive impact of school librarians on student performance, the number of school librarians has declined steadily nationwide since the 2007–08 school year, when the total number nationwide was 54,385. The number of public school librarians in the 2010–11 school year was 50,300, representing 0.8 percent of all FTE staff for public schools.

Library Research Service, “School Librarian Numbers Decline from 2004–2005 to 2010–2011,” July 30, 2012. (retrieved September 12, 2012).

Copyright 2012© American Library Association

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