The Kids Are Alright

Last week was atwitter about this Boston Globe article that had a few choice quotes from NEA Chairman Dana Gioia about how kids aren't reading. . . . books.

Today's O'Reilly Radar has a guest blog from two of their summer high school interns about the state of reading.

This is a great entry and something I think most librarians and publisher need to read and think about it. It offers some real thoughts from two people who are a) interested in books and b) interested in publishing. What can we learn from this entry?

  • Advertising books in the insular community of bookstores and book reviews can not compete with billboards and commercials and online ads for everything from video games to movies to web sites to TV shows.
  • Books are not considered more important than other media. That cultural hierarchy is gone.
  • Cultural literacy is not as important as information literacy.
  • Web 2.0 isn't connecting everyone together, it's allowing those with like interests to connect. These new tools aren't to get the Lowest Common Denominator. The LCD can't be targeted the same way as small groups can be on the web.
And Elizabeth and Cristina are only high school seniors. Can you imagine when they get to college and there are new resources from Proquest and ScienceDirect to virtual campuses in Second Life and distance learning?

What will your books service look like in 5-6 years? What will Elizabeth, Cristina expect from you once they leave the University?

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