next gen

portrait of a next gen

Rachel was nice enough to email me and let me know her piece about next gen males (including an embarrassing quote from me) was up on LJ’s site. I got the email promptly at 8:00 when my Treo does its first of many email checks of the day. I found this quite appropriate.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about the (dare I say) fascination with young librarians. The attention stems from CurrentGen (?) librarians looking toward the future. Two things which will shape the future of libraries are the people working in them and information technology.

YLs (my new term*) are bringing a relevant and much needed perspective into the profession. Because they’ve spent their life immersed in modern information technologies (or at least, videogames), I have faith that YLs will do a fine job implementing technologies into libraries. Many YLs I’ve met were attracted to the profession for the same or similar reasons as me: it is a helping profession, it promotes learning, I don’t have to sell anything, I get to play with computers, and so forth. This leads me to believe that YLs might also do a great job creating usable public spaces.

So all you OLs, relax! We’re going to do well. Impart your wisdom earned by years of service, we’re listening.**

*Does the term NextGen imply that we’re not doing anything now? No, prolly not, but to be cutesy I’m going to start using the term YL. The corresponding term will be OL (Older Librarian).

**While YLs are brining fresh ideas into the library world, OLs have tons of experience from which they are operating. I’m lucky to be working with one such Reference guru and I’m a better librarian for it.

n.b. A quote from the article:

“There is a definite connection with NextGen librarians. You see them at conferences and automatically know that this is someone you can talk to—that this is someone who really cares about furthering the field of librarianship.”

He forgot to say, “You see them at conferences and automatically know that this is someone you can talk to – someone with which you can be sarcastic about lousy speakers!

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