Monday, October 02, 2006

E-mail is for Old People

Today's Wired Campus Blog offers the following: Email is for Old People. It's an interesting article that discusses how some incoming freshmen consider email passé. In our current culture of instant information, is email really lagging behind? For instance:
"College officials around the country find that a growing number of students are missing important messages about deadlines, class cancellations, and events sent to them by e-mail because, well, the messages are sent to them by e-mail."
- Carneval, 10/6/06

Are libraries are using chat and IM in addition to traditional reference? We participate in OhioLINK chat reference, but do not as of yet offer IM. In an interesting coincidence, I am scheduled to introduce two librarians, Chad Boeninger and Wanda Weinberg, from Ohio University who are presenting a session at the ALAO conference. Their session title, "Instant Messaging Reference for Academic Libraries" is obviously a timely one.

Not everyone sees the potential in recent technology trends such as blogging, IM, and even social networking spaces such as MySpace. The concept of using the technology must be embraced by all or it is simply one more failed gimmick, as opposed to feasible and useful outreach to patrons.

Curiosity reigned and I took an informal walk through the library after finishing the article. A quick glance around the main and second floor shows roughly 1/2 of the students occupied with email, though not necessarily campus email. Because many are multitasking, IM windows are open, mp3 players are sounding, and there are multiple MS office functions happening as well (I know this for fact as four of them stopped me with questions regarding Word and Excel). When I mentioned the article name to my student workers, they were slightly scathing in their response. Guess I'll go email someone about this article after all.

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