There seems to be some serious social networking fatigue out there. Walt Crawford has recently linked to a San Francisco Chronicle piece on the topic, a complement to the WaPo piece Steven referred us to in the previous post.
Marilyn R. Pukkila, Head of Instructional Services at Colby College Libraries, has another thoughtful guest post for ACRLog readers. She’s wondering just how important these technologies really are to our students. Not to millennials in general. Not to “young people.” To the students using our libraries. I’d love to hear how academic librarians answer the question she poses.
Our college now podcasts shows intended to convey to students information about the campus, its people, and its major events. I was wondering how we could work in a story about the libraries, and mentioned this to a group of students at dinner one night. They replied, â€œWhatâ€™s a podcast?â€
Out of two first years, three sophomores, and a junior, only one of them had heard of podcasting, and only because their parents used it.
We had a library pizza lunch for members of our student government, the campus movers and shakers. I mentioned podcasting to three of them, and was met with blank stares. I then launched into an explanation of Second Life, and the ways some librarians were exploring it for instruction possibilities. Their response? â€œWhy would anyone want to spend time with that?â€
So just who is it thatâ€™s driving all this social computing, anyway? I may be asking a small pool of users, but itâ€™s MY pool. If they donâ€™t know anything about these technologies, and if they feel that librarians in MySpace or Facebook are peering through the open curtains of their (perceived) student-only spaces, then why would I want to spend all the time it would take for me to become fluent in them? Is it to get ready for their younger siblings (according to the Pew study)? Or would I be better off spending the time asking students how THEY want to receive information from me?
Marilyn R. Pukkila