Monday, September 26, 2011

Digital Natives & Immigrants

The article Kids 2.0, questions what prevents our library program from quickly changing to meet the needs of the ever-changing student population?  Traditional reference materials are collecting dust, while the computers are never allowed to rest.  “Web 2.0” according to refers to our internet usage, used for the interactivity it brings us in the forms of blogs, wikis, and forums, and not simply for accessing information.  These various web applications allow us to create communities of users that interact with each other.  I am sure the majority of us have Facebook accounts, have created a wiki for a class, or shared a video on YouTube.  As a matter of fact I just submitted my first YouTube for my other class last week!  Technology moves so fast, and for us “digital immigrant” adults, it is truly difficult and frustrating at times trying to keep up.

Our children nowadays have been exposed to electronic media since birth.  My youngest daughter has been creating PowerPoint presentations since second grade.  She would be a “digital native”, as technology comes naturally to her.  This generation is comfortable with editing web information, whereas the “digital immigrants” are more old school and fear of technology misuse.  One person’s ideas are as good as the next one.  We have a lack of control. The “digital natives” stay connected continuously with their phones, PDA’s, e-books, cameras, iPod’s, and game consoles.  We see services being personalized.  When I make a purchase on, it suggests other items that may be of interest to me.

The Terrible Twos: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and More article, explains this second wave of web technologies and how they are trying to create easier and more interactive web sites.   A new Web 2.0 example for many of us in this class is Delicious, in addition to others that we are familiar with (Google maps, Flickr, Yahoo! Answers).  Library 2.0 (L2) incorporates blogs, wikis, social networking, and instant messaging in a library services setting.  Comments, subject tags, and ratings on library items are included. 

All A-Twitter About Web 2.0: What Does It Offer Libraries? opens up our eyes – librarians need to learn Web 2.0, fast, or risk losing relevance and customers from our libraries.  Podcasts and blogs (by adding tags they become searchable), are great for libraries to get their information out.  Flickr is also great for libraries to store photos in neat collections and sets.  It is easy to upload and creating online slideshows is a breeze.  Library media specialists should have a clear understanding of Web 2.0, terminology, and sample sites, to assist both the digital natives and immigrants better.   We need to concentrate on sites that make our life easier.  Hurry, because Web 3.0 is just around the corner!

Sources retrieved from Library literature & information science full text.        
Gilmore-See, J. (2007). Kids 2.0 [Electronic version]. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 24(3), 55-8.
McDermott, I. (2007). All A-Twitter About Web 2.0: What Does It Offer Libraries? [Electronic version]. Searcher, 15(9), 34, 36-7, 39.
Notess, G. (2006). The Terrible Twos: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and More. Online (Weston, Conn.), 30(3), 40-2.


  1. I enjoyed reading this post. Very thoughtful and well put. I can't believe your daughter has worked with PowerPoint since the second grade. I have a little boy and one of my motivations in becoming a librarian is learning about popular technology so that he and I can speak the same language. I don't want to be viewed as a parent from the Dark Ages. I know technology will inevitably be a big part of his life and I want to know enough to be able to guide him along the way.

  2. As I read your article, I tried to categorize myself as a digital native or digital immigrant. I may have a foot in both worlds. I tend to be more comfortable using technology in the classroom than some of my colleagues, but I also have a distrust of the privacy and security of these tools. Like you mentioned above, many tools work in collaboration together, connecting your information on one and drawing information from Facebook for example. I tend to shy away from these options, as I don't like to combine my personal social media with professional/educational tools.