Never Trust Anyone Under 30
Here's more stuff I think about. Someone named Sarah Long wrote this:
As a librarian, I worry about the future of libraries. I know that people
born after 1980 are very different from those of us who were born earlier. These
less-than-30-year-olds were born digital. All their lives they've had computers
and digital toys of various descriptions. There is some evidence that they
actually think and process information differently as a result.
Libraries are busy now, but will they be busy in 10 or 20 years when the "digital kids" will be running things? I worry that libraries will not change enough or change fast enough to keep the next generation engaged as users, and let's face it, willing
to pay the taxes to keep libraries vibrant and vital.
She's going to interview some people and post podcasts from the sessions.
But here's what I'm thinking: Never Trust Anyone Under 30 (except you, monster).
I see librarians in the future divided into several factions. There will be the "digital kids" who wear their "question authority" tee-shirts, but buy every new thing they're told to get; there will be the librarians who sold out and work in the Coca-Cola Branch of their library; and there will be "us." We will be the ones who remember the texts before digitalization and who guard the past for the future. When the Great Digital Conversion (GDC) happens in 2021 and all paper documents are converted to digital, nobody will ever know what the originals looked like.
Reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will look like this:
Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of Behr whitewash and a long-handled
brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy
settled down upon his spirit which reminded him to take his Cymbalta.
At first, the whitewash from sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, but Behr won the last bid, so they got the insert. Possession of the previous version with the Sherwin-Williams text is a class two misdemeanor.
So future librarians will be modern hippies, pirates, revolutionaries-- whatever you want to call us. And this will be our lives:
we live by night, scanning for clean terminals. we jack into slow servers, the forgotten servers, too slow for video. and that's where we meet. there's me: bartleby, and the brontes: katherine and phil. and there's ralph e. on the west side and ishmael (she's a she) up north. we run the lines for survivors: unaltered texts from personal hard drives, archived from before the project gutenberg deletion, when all the original files were trashed. and we protect it all. we have novels, text books, a dos version of frogger; the original nu aux oranges by matisse; adless search results in html from hotbot; whatever we can find that's original and sponsor free.
Join us. We have a hell of a bowling team.
[sorry, I didn't know who Sarah Long is when I wrote this...]