Thomas Frey in “The Future of Libraries” outlined 10 key trends affecting the future of libraries. Regarding, Trend#2 “All technologies commonly used today will be replaced by something new” there is an interesting infographic outlining the history of communication through the ages which demonstrates this very nicely. You can view it at this website http://www.atlassian.com/communication-through-the-ages-infographic
From the few years I have been teaching I have been quite surprised to find that the IT skills of my students are actually quite limited. They often don’t know how to do the most basic things, not just online but also what I would consider staple skills like word processing. They’re typing is also incredibly slow. I have stopped assuming IT skills with them.
I think the term “digital natives” refers more to texting and social media than anything else. From what I have seen they are quite avid (although sometimes quite naive) users of these two technologies. According to Purcell (2012) 80% of teens (12-17 year olds) in the USA use social media.
I find the implications of the changing information and library landscape for the broader information profession to be both thrilling and frightening. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up. There is also such a huge volume of different technologies that it can be overwhelming. The trick is for information professionals to harness the right technologies in the right way and to “sell” them correctly to the clientele.
Unfortunately, there also seems to be a perception amongst the broader public that information professionals are out dated and no longer required because of the wide range of technologies available. The belief seems to be that information professionals are now the “middle man” that can be cut out of the equation. There certainly seems to be a shift amongst my students almost completely away from books to online information. The question is, are information seekers getting the right information? If my students are any indication, then the answer is “not really”. Information professionals are still needed in order for information seekers to get what they really need.
Frey, T. (n.d). The Future of Libraries:
Beginning the Great Transformation. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from http://www.davinciinstitute.com/papers/the-future-of-libraries/
Purcell, K. (ed) (2012). Libraries 2020: Imagining the library of the (not too distant) future. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project