this big library called barnes & noble

In preperation for a workshop I’m facilitating at the PNLA conference I watched a DVD titled “Idaho Digital Natives Focus Groups 2007.” It is a selection of footage from work done by the Idaho Commission for Libraries through an IMLS grant.

The full report is available here: “Perceptions of Idaho’s Digital Natives on Public Libraries”[pdf]. I haven’t read it yet, but considering how blown away I was by the video, I’m looking forward to it.

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It might be easy to look at this comment from one of the digital natives and think “Young kids LOL they don’t get it” but that wouldn’t be fair and it isn’t my intention. Knowledge about libraries isn’t something that people can just intuit. The existence of libraries is not an a priori truth, right? When people mistake Barnes & Noble for a library it says more about LibraryLand’s marketing efforts and people’s expectations than it does of their intelligence.

Expect some more great quotes as I delve a bit deeper into the video!

3 thoughts on “this big library called barnes & noble”

  1. My 3 year old niece thinks B&N is the library as well. She got this idea from visiting the real library a few days prior. Her mom couldn’t really argue, because yes, it is a place where you get books, and movies, and music, and has a cafe area…

  2. Yes and what’s really irritating is that young adults seem to think it’s a library as well. I was on the phone with a relative asking advice about getting a gift and I got shooshed by another customer because she was trying to read. I responded by walking away and ignoring her. What irritates me is this woman doesn’t seem to understand that Barnes and Noble is a BOOKSTORE and not a library where you BUY books rather than mooch off of them for free.

    Of course now my frustration is when I want quiet and I go to a library to study, idiot parents bring their brats in here and don’t even bother to shoosh them.

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