What I find very intriguing about the Millennials (in "rich" nations) are three things:
- How do they use technology? Actually, we might argue that they don't use technology. It is not a conscious-thing. The technology is normal, everyday, and integrated into their lives.
- Will they adapt to how we -- the non-Millennials -- use technology? No. Just like our parents and grandparents had to adapt to the technologies we use (thinking specifically of we "Boomers"), we must adapt to the technologies that the Millennials are using. It is how the generations work.
- Will the way Millennials use technology dominate? Of course! We might think that things will return to the way "things used to be", but the Millennials will survive us and how they use technology will dominate for years to come. (Or at least until the generation after them is having its impact.)
What does this have to do with digitization? Are we presenting the digital assets in a way that fit into the way the Millennials use technology? Are we letting them use the tools they like (and use) to access these digital collections? Or are we expecting them to adapt to our tools? Adapting digital collections to their tools will take time and it is something we need to be working on now.
And what about libraries? Many libraries are finding ways of attracting Millennials, but many are not. Outreach, then, may mean not only reaching out to attract others to the library, but also reaching out of our comfort zones in order find ways of connecting with the Millennials.
I think Friday's workshop is going to be very interesting...
Technorati tags: Libraries, Outreach, CIL2006