Monday, June 25, 2007

When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library

College and university librarians got some unconventional advice Saturday: Play more video games.

At a packed session for academic librarians attending the annual meeting of the American Library Association, in Washington, the topic was how to help students who have learned many of their information gathering and analysis skills from video games apply that knowledge in the library. Speakers said that gaming skills are in many ways representative of a broader cultural divide between today’s college students and the librarians who hope to teach them.

George M. Needham, vice president for member services of the Online Computer Library Center, stressed that he was not suggesting that college libraries “tear up the stacks to put in arcades,” but that they rethink many assumptions.

“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said.

Fortunately, Needham offered thoughtful suggestions on how librarians can meet digital natives on their turf. You can read these, and the entire article (from which all of the information in this post was taken) by (Inside Higher Ed, 25 June 2007, written by Scott Jaschik

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