Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Younger Americans reading

More than eight in ten Americans ages 16 to 29 read a book in the past year. Six in ten used their local public library. Many say they are reading more in the era of digital content, especially on their mobile phones and on computers. Seventy-five percent read a print book, 19 percent read an e-book, and 11 percent listened to an audiobook.

Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, Kristin Purcell, Mary Madden, and Joanna Brenner, “Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits,” Pew Internet Libraries, October 23, 2012, (retrieved November 5, 2012).

Translation database

Three Percent, the Web site named after the oft-cited statistic that only 3 percent of books published in the United States are translations, has created a new translation database. By collecting catalogs and asking publishers directly, Three Percent provides a record of the books published in translation since January 1, 2008. Titles are limited to original translations of fiction and poetry published or distributed in the United States. The public is invited to contribute to the database.

“Three Percent: Database,” Three Percent, November 1, 2012, (retrieved November 2, 2012).

Titan supercomputer

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory created Titan, the fastest supercomputer to date. It is capable of performing more than 20,000 trillion calculations per second (20 petaflops), about twice as fast as its nearest competitor. Titan is intended for research in energy, climate change, efficient engines, and materials science. The supercomputer’s development cost more than $97 million and is expected to cost about $9 million per year in electricity, but it will also generate significant revenue.

“ORNL Debuts Titan Supercomputer,” October 29, 2012, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (retrieved November 5, 2012).

Academic library patron profiles

Library Journal produced a report describing actual usage and perceived value of academic libraries based on 3,251 respondents from the higher education community. The report found that “students require richer engagement with librarians beyond the first year, to be developed through increased collaboration, outreach, and social media interactivity, and quality service present at the library.” When asked why they visit their academic library, college students ranked free Wi-Fi, print collections, and convenience as their top three reasons. Only 5 percent of students claimed they “never” visit the library.

Matt Enis, “New LJ Report Closely Examines What Makes Academic Library Patrons Tick,” November 5, 2012, Library Journal Web site, (retrieved November 6, 2012).

Most difficult admissions

U.S. News and World Report ranked the 100 most difficult colleges to get into in the United States, based on the fall 2011 entering class. The three most difficult colleges to be accepted into are Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (3.2 percent acceptance), Julliard School in New York City, and Harvard University. Coming in at number 100 is College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a 33.1 percent acceptance rate.

“Top 100 - Lowest Acceptance Rates | Rankings,” n.d., U.S. News and World Report, (retrieved November 7, 2012).

Copyright 2012© American Library Association

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