Week 12- Trends Reflection – Children and Teens

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    • #1878
      Steven Walker

      12- Trends Reflection/ General Discussion – Children and Teens

      In this weeks discussion I want to use the topic of Children and Teens to see what lies ahead for them and how I saw Libraries back when the internet was being “born” around 1995. I can remember my parents saying all they had was a blackboard and no calculator, fast forward a generation to me and we have computers and calculators, and all along libraries have existed. But what lies ahead for the future of the library? And for our children and teens growing up going through School now, they have laptops, heck even the Government was giving them out. This is good for a library as I will discuss below.

      Before describing our vision for our future library, it is worth asking “who are our future clients?” (UTS)  I can point here to research into emerging technologies or evidence of changing social, information seeking and learning habits; however, I take these, the basis of the Web 3.0 world, as a given. . . . If we are to build a new library to accommodate the needs of our future clients (children and teens) , I have to understand the effect of these trends in technologies, information, and education on our specific community and tailor what we deliver to meet the needs of the next Generation. Libraries do not have to invent their own future or do they?  “We do have to create an environment in which the rest of the world can make everything out of libraries that can be imagined.” (Weinberger, 2014) What type of library you do or will work in is determined by its organisational environment and its current and future children and teens. There are some exceptions, libraries are part of a larger parent organisation (Skidas, 2011); therefore, the library reflects the mission and goals of its “parent” in what it does and how it structures its activities. What I mean here is by what a particular School Curriculum or a Federal Government staple subject which may be mandated in a school and the library is forced to adapt its existence through these, but is this likely? I can see and its hoped that the students will turn to their Library for this information and not just Google.

      Both the parent organisation (Government or School Curriculum) and its library must change as their external environment changes; if they do not, they lose their relevance and place in society. I seldom think of my work in a library as being part of an information ecology/environment; however, what I do is in fact tightly linked with what takes place in our society at large and our local community in particular.

      Without question, the greatest change in today’s libraries environment is information technology and the rapid changes occurring in the e-world. To quote from Francisco-Javier Garcia-Marco, “In the midst of the digital revolution, we need a dock to anchor our reflections. This anchor could be the function that libraries—digital or not—perform: helping in the transfer of culture among and inside generations” (Marco 2011, et al). There are some people who doubt that libraries will survive much longer in the electronic world of today. Such individuals believe all relevant information will be available wherever and whenever a person needs access through handheld or even worn devices (e.g., Google Glass were test marketed to a select group of “explorers” in mid-2013, and became available to the general public in mid-2014). However, the library as I know it or as it has been perceived during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries may disappear, but we only have to look to past predictions, for example, the “paperless library,” to know this is not the case.

      Some University libraries were “designed” to be paperless, but paper eventually worked its way into these facilities. It is quite possible there is some correlation between administrators thinking you can “Google” everything you want now and what these planners think the future of information and libraries will look like. To ensure that the future holds brighter days for libraries, librarians must proactively re-purpose library physical spaces and enrich library digital spaces so that long-held customer service standards continue to keep the library a vibrant institution in our society.

      Why am I optimistic about the library’s future? The major reason is, it appears to me, that those who predict the demise of libraries have a lack of understanding of libraries’ adaptability and ability to respond to change over generations including the future of kids and teens, and this resounds in some of the previous blogs I have written about  over the semester and one that element that I can see keeping Libraries relevant today is Makerspaces (which are more commonly found in bigger city and better funded Libraries) but its also important to remember that the role libraries play in society not just for Children but for the entire Community, and that is they are a source of knowledge and a place of inspiration for our kids.

      For example, public libraries are active agencies providing user-driven information resources and public space. Academic libraries are intellectual crossroads that bring people together with ideas and information to create new knowledge and preserve it. Thomas Jefferson, a librarian at heart, knew this and placed the first library for the University of Virginia in the Rotunda located at the heart of the university (University of VA magazine). School librarians have to defend their library programs and their professional skills. They need to proclaim “we are indispensable” and that their libraries are an integral part of the changing educational picture. The identity of what a library is shifts over time.

      Libraries have changed over time in order to respond to changing environments and needs. (Grossman 2011), when writing about how people think about the future of libraries I think of a vibrant and Interactive space where people will collaborate, kids and teenagers will continue to study at them and they will still play a major role in Tertiary Education, laying the foundation for the future generation(s). Simply put I imagine the new QUT B Block mixed with a traditional library. That is how I see kids and children of today being at a Library, it will have a purpose and not have to drag clients or customers in, they will want to come as the future of Libraries evolve.

      In conclusion Libraries also have to be available either bricks and mortar or mobile, a good example personally to provide this continued inspiration is in my local community home town of Bega, where they have a Mobile Library, which is aimed at children and teen but also services the community. I think its important for the younger generation to get an education and maintain that education so that they can become productive and tax paying members of our society, which is the glue that holds our society and maintains our standard of living.



      • This topic was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Steven Walker.
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    • #2868
      Peldon P

      Hi Steve, great post. Just wanted to remind you about the tagging, it should be like the following
      <h3>Tag your posts</h3>
      Please add tags to your post to help Clare keep track of your activities.

      We’d appreciate it if you could use the exact tags we’ve listed below.

      Add one tag for the topic:

      • Making and makerspaces
      • Research support
      • Children and teens
      • Culture and pop culture

      Add one tag for the week:

      • Week 9
      • Week 11
      • Week 12
      • Week 13

      Add one tag for the activity type:

      • Trends
      • Issues
      • Twitter chat
      • Service reviews
      • Program reviews
      • Argue a point

      In your case, it will be Week 12, Trends, Children and teens. You’re still on time so you can go back and change for all your posts

    • #2963
      Steven Walker

      Thanks Peldon 🙂 I have added the tages but not in the order you ahve stated, thanks for the heads up however. I will fix it immediately.

      • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Steven Walker.
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