Every now and then I have these thoughts and they’re usually the kind of thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools. But after helping three people with these really banal computer problems, I started to wonder; with a large majority of the population now growing up with computers and using them every day, what will future librarians be helping folks with when it comes to technology?
See, I just helped someone figure out how to save to a flash drive. Someone else didn’t know how to insert a page break into a Word document. The third needed me to disable the pop up blocker on the browser.
I know how to do all of that in my sleep and I’m a 33 year old nerd. My five year old knows fully how to use the television, satellite, and DVR remote. The only thing keeping him from selecting which shows he wants to record is his inability to read fluently. My two year old knows exactly what channels her shows are on. She gleefully hops up in my lap to watch YouTube videos and both enjoy watching Daddy play video games. I fully expect that their technical abilities will match or surpass mine by the time they are teenagers unless:
a) I keep learning new stuff, which is a given.
b) They match or surpass my skills before they become teenagers.
Gen X kinda grew up with home computers, but not to the extent our children are. We understand them far better than our parents and some of us can even programme the damn things. My generation either created, or helped create, things like Yahoo and Google. We know our tech and we know it fairly well.
So fast forward 20 years into the future and now Gen X is in their 50s and wandering around the public library looking for computer help. What do we need help with?