Monday, October 31, 2005

A Bunker State of Mind

Over at, Rafat Ali has a post about his attendance at the ONA (the Online News Association) conference. I've lifted this post's title from his and it refers to what he thought he observed among the conference attendees.

Have to say, I very quickly began thinking about library conference attendees while I read it. Rafat says, "...what I see is self-doubt, existential crisis, a siege mentality." Why, yes, Rafat, I do think librarians share some of these with journalists. "Audience" interest in what traditional libraries and traditional newspapers offer is waning and neither media outlets have figured out how to successfully offer the new along with the old. Both, in many cases, have employees who hope that interest in new content channels is a fad, a passing fancy.

Not likely. This is from a comment attached to the post that I suspect does reflect the opinions of this young person's peers:
I am 21, and just finished my business degree. I am one of the older members of the Net Generation - a generation that gets most of its information and entertainment through the Internet. The world I grew up in, is vastly different from the one my parents grew up in. We think differently. I even see huge differences in mentality, regarding media consumption, with my friends aged 25-30. I cannot speak for my peers, but I can tell you that there is at least one person excited about this future. I love media, and I am entrepreneurial by nature. The army of people like me, who have grown up in a different world from the people running the traditional media outlets, are only just starting to get into action.
So, it seems relevant to point you to an essay our colleague Eric Childress sent along to Alice, George and me called The Future of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation, written by a futurist, not a librarian.


Anonymous said...

My man Rafat should have been at Internet Librarian last week. 'Nuff said.
-Michael Porter

Alice said...

Just read the futurist essay. (I've been catching up on reading today...)

This guy is right on, with what I've been yakking to all my friends about libraries as an experience and the center of culture-without-the-necessity-of-commerce.