Monday, November 28, 2005

From Information Society to Interaction Society?

"We are moving from the information society to the interaction society, and Lunarstorm is leading the trend," said Ola Ahlvarsson, chairman of Result, a Stockholm-based technology consulting company. "Young people here no longer accept a flow of information from above. They trust what they hear from friends on their network."

This quote is from The International Herald Tribune, from a story about Lunarstorm (Swedish link, and UK link) a Swedish internet service that 90% of high school students in Sweden belong to. This is, according to the story, "a youth audience three times larger than MTV in Sweden, two times larger than the entire readership of all of the Swedish evening newspapers combined and more members logging on daily than the total number of young Swedes watching almost every television show..."

Story link from

I found this interesting...well, because it's interesting anyway, but particularly so because of two recent blog posts, one from Jenny Levine's Shifted Librarian and the other from my colleague Lorcan Dempsey's eponymous blog.

Jenny's November 27 post said, in part: I had heard that one of the reasons our grant application to create a mobile gaming package for MLS libraries was turned down was because some reviewers didn’t understand how you then transition these kids to “traditional library services.”

And Lorcan wrote about libraries and their communities, using the Ann Arbor District Library as an admirable example (which Jenny has too) of a library making an effort to be part of the interaction society by blogging (not many posts but lots of comments) and making a space for people to submit digital/digitized photos and documents of and about Ann Arbor.

Note to the reviewers of Jenny's grant application: provision of information is so last century. But support of community interaction? Good. And seeing we have no working crystal balls here at IAG, what sort of interaction is best for making libraries part of the community--gaming, blogging, picture-sharing, social networks--is a guess so do all of it. Do anything that raises the profile of the library in an interaction society and do it very soon.

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