Sunday, June 03, 2007

Daughter2.0 (What good are libraries?)

Was reading a post today by George Siemans at elearnspace regarding the future of libraries.

....this presentation doesn't say anything new for those familiar with the changes in technology and the context of knowledge. It does, however, present those changes from the perspective of libraries. In the process it provides some interesting statistics and observations (89% of college students begin their research with a search engine vs 2% in libraries,......


Thanks George...Interesting but not surprising.

Being a rather cool and damp Sunday afternoon here, I have my 10 yr old daughter beside me, spread out on the carpet, tapping away on our our old Toshiba laptop and buying some clothes for her penguin at clubpenguin.

"Hey Daughter!" I ask. "If you needed to know something that you didn't already know, where would you go to find out?"

Without pause or hesitation she turned her head and looked at me (one hand still on the keyboard) and replied "Google! Why?"

"Oh just interested" I answer."What is the library useful for?"

"What? The club penguin library?"

"No the town library."


"What do you use the library for in club penguin? "

"Well you can read other members' writing, and you can play mancala against other players."

So through the eyes of a ten yr old Aussie girl, our town library is irrelevant, yet an online multi player library contains stories, games and fellowship.

I'd imagine that the cleverer libraries in our culture would have to look at fostering a sense of online community as an addition to their local community if they were to survive.

On a side note: I read out to my wife the figures on how only 2% of college students use libraries to begin research. She had just interrupted her guitar rendition of Cavatina in order to make us all a pot of tea. (Don't you just love cool damp Sundays?)

Her response? "Do people still use libraries?"