Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Online education

The majority of employers (56 percent) prefer a job applicant with a traditional degree from an average school to an applicant with an online degree from a top university. Sixty-one percent of community college students say online classes require more discipline from students than traditional classes, but 42 percent believe students learn less online.

Public Agenda, “Not Yet Sold: What Employers and Community College Students Think About Online Education | A Taking Stock Report from Public Agenda,” September 2013, (retrieved September 27, 2013).

Reading vs. digital entertainment

One study of reading habits in the United Kingdom by Nielsen Book suggests that 32 percent of children read books every day, and 60 percent do so every week. However, these percentages are falling as digital entertainment rises. Playing electronic games, visiting YouTube, and text messaging activities increased among children during 2012 to 2013.

Stuart Dredge, “Children’s Reading Shrinking Due to Apps, Games and YouTube,” September 26, 2013, (retrieved September 27, 2013).

Adult technology skills worldwide

In many countries, there are large proportions of the population that have no experience with, or lack the basic skills needed to use, information and communication technologies for many everyday tasks. This ranges from less than 7 percent of 16 to 65 year-olds in the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden to about 23 percent or higher in Italy, Korea, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Spain. Only between 2.9 percent and 8.8 percent of adults demonstrate the highest level of proficiency on the OECD “problem solving in technology-rich environments” scale. Proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments is closely related to age, reaching a peak at around 30 years of age and declining steadily.

OECD (2013), “OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills,” OECD Publishing, (retrieved October 8, 2013).

Who’s not online

As of May 2013, 15 percent of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the Internet or e-mail. Another 9 percent of adults use the Internet but not at home. Among non-Internet users, 34 percent think the Internet is just not relevant to them. Nineteen percent of non-Internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an Internet connection.

Kathryn Zickuhr, “Who’s not online and why,” Pew Internet and American Life Project, September 25, 2013, (retrieved October 8, 2013).

WorldCat languages

Number of languages represented in WorldCat: 486.

OCLC, Abstracts, September 30, 2013, vol. 16, no. 39, html (retrieved October 1, 2013).

Copyright 2013© American Library Association

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