Interaction is crucial

Libraries must become more participatory with their communities. Stored information is not enough. Interaction is crucial. That will be a recurring theme for me here, I’m sure. The societal trends are overwhelming.

In Chronicles of Bean today, Cindi referred to a short video by Michael Wesch* of Kansas State University that gives some interesting numbers from a college student’s world today. The data is radically different from what young people faced just 5 or 10 years ago.

The video segment that screamed loudest to me was the young woman who held a sign saying that she will read 8 books this year … but 2,300 web pages and 1,281 Facebook profiles.

My question: Do we want our library to provide her just the 8 books, or do we want to transform the meaning of a library into something she can interact with?

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* Cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch, by the way, created another thought-provoking and visually interesting video last spring: Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us. His recent Information R/evolution is an excellent video, too.

One Response to Interaction is crucial

  1. Georgia says:

    I vote for interaction — and to remember what I’ve heard many librarians say…. “I don’t care if they’re reading the cereal box, as long as they’re reading.” Let’s not worry about format so much. We have comics, we have Harlequins, we have car manuals — because they interest people, they entice people to read and they meet their information needs. Let’s bring electronic formats into the mix for the same reasons.

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