Tuesday, 26 June 2007

as dead as Elvis

Sounds like the ALA is getting the same talks CALI got last week. Inside Higher Ed reports that yesterday there was a speaker who discussed the concepts of "digital natives" (i.e. people who grew up with the internet) and "digital immigrants" (i.e. those for whom digital is a second language). Also, “The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis”, and academic librarians who serve digital natives need to think like video game creators (though presumably not like the ones who stage violent shootouts in great English cathedrals).
Joking aside, many suggestions mentioned in the article merit thoughtful consideration, such as:
  • students shouldn’t be expected to read long explanations of tools they may use before they start experimenting with them. They should be rewarded for exploring.
  • Offer online services not just through e-mail, but through instant messaging and text messaging, which many students prefer.
  • Hold LAN parties in libraries. (These are parties where many people bring their computers to play computer games, especially those involving teams, together.)
  • Schedule support services on a 24/7/365 basis, not the hours currently in use at many academic libraries, which were “set in 1963.”
  • Remember that students are much less sensitive about privacy issues than earlier generations were and are much more likely to share passwords or access to databases.
  • Look for ways to involve digital natives in designing library services and even providing them.

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