Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Resilience of print

In the traditional publishing arena, “e-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.” Dedicated e-reader device sales are also declining. Traditional print publishing remained relatively stable during the same period. “The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in 2,227 locations in 2015, up from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years ago.”

Alexandra Alter, “The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead,” The New York Times, September 22, 2015, (retrieved October 5, 2015).

Last library catalog card

OCLC printed its last library catalog card on October 1, 2015. The company had printed as many as 131 million cards per year, peaking in 1985. That number fell to less than 1 million cards per year last year. OCLC printed a total of 1.9 billion cards.

Dan Gearino, “Dublin’s OCLC prints last library catalog card,” The Columbus Dispatch, October 2, 2015, (retrieved October 5, 2015).

Internet in India

“In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what’s really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online.” Google announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India in the next couple of years.

Sundar Pichai, “Bringing the Internet to more Indians—starting with 10 million rail passengers a day,” September 27, 2015, Official Google Blog, (retrieved October 1, 2015).

Web reference rot

One in five online scholarly articles are affected by “reference rot,” which refers to web links in online scientific and other academic articles that fail to lead to the resources that were originally referenced. This may occur when a link no longer works or when the content referenced has dramatically changed from what it was originally.

Peter Burnhill, Muriel Mewissen, and Richard Wincewicz, “Reference rot in scholarly statement: threat and remedy,” Insights 28(2), pp. 55–61, (retrieved September 29, 2015).

Postsecondary tuition and fees

In 2015, of the 7,310 Title IV institutions in the United States, 3,099 were classified as four-year institutions; 2,156 were two-year institutions; and the remaining 2,055 were less-than-two-year institutions. The average tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates at public and nonprofit four-year institutions increased during the period from 2012 to 2015, while tuition and required fees decreased at for-profit four-year institutions over the same period. After adjusting for inflation, public institutions reported a 3 percent increase for in-state students (to $7,900) and a 3 percent increase for out-of-state students (to $17,900). For-profit institutions reported average tuition and required fees of $15,700, which represents a decrease of 2 percent. (All figures approximate.)

Scott A. Ginder, Janice E. Kelly-Reid, and Farrah B. Mann, “Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2014–15; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2013–14; and 12-Month Enrollment, 2013-14: First Look (Preliminary Data) (NCES 2015-097),” July 2015, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, (retrieved September 29, 2015).

Copyright 2015© American Library Association

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