After the LiSUG conference, there was some discussion about how much we do for our students in libraries. Would it be better to do document delivery service for all ILL requests for articles owned by the library? How much should we expect students to do themselves as far as finding information goes? Is the ability to find articles in print journals from citations even going to be relevant in 10 years? In 5 years? Then, at a Blackboard training session for faculty members, there was some discussion about how students abilities and expectations have changed and, “THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE.”
There is, of course, all kinds of literature about the “millenials.” Anyone who has any current interaction with college students can see that “they” are different than “we” were in college some very clear ways, but I wonder if they are really any more different, than I was different from a generation 15 years before me?
As you must surely be aware, I am a such a tremendous geek of a librarian that I am even married to a librarian; we talk shop at the dinner table. Poor Chloe has had to listen to more debate about Google’s ubiquity than a decent mother would even allow in her home. Last night, over cheese, we were talking about the frequent observations and tongue clucking we hear about undergraduates’ sense of entitlement, their expectation that information and services be handed to them, and their unwillingness to work. Garth, who has had the benefit of a classical education, and knows things I don’t even pretend to care about, observed (in slight paraphrase), “One of the few benefits of a classical education is that you have to read people like [Garth? If you are reading, would you fill in the name in the comments? That is how much I don't pretend to care], who were writing in Latin about those lazy ungrateful kids that many years ago.”
Lamenting the state of today’s youth is clearly not a phenomenon born alongside MySpace. I think I was a member of the MTV generation. Hmm…
So…how can we make user-centric, service oriented libraries, without stunting the information literacy of students? Anyone?
The ACRL blog has this article on the topic: http://acrlog.org/2008/10/14/another-story-about-ignorant-students/