Idaho recently released the findings from a focus group they conducted with digital natives–that is, those who grew up with computers and the Internet, young adults ages 12 through 25. The goal was to find out why this group was using the state’s libraries less than other groups and to see what could be done to serve them better. Okay, so this is the kind of report that only a librarian would read but I want to share a few glimpses with you if you’ll bear with me.
Among the groups’ ideas on what an ideal public library would offer:
* Librarians who can suggest books they might like.
* Wireless access.
* A teen area.
* An adult reading program.
* Headphones to use at the computers.
* A teen council that can help plan programs and give input to staff.
* A coffee shop.
Etcetera. It may be that Idaho is still in the Dark Ages library-wise, but I doubt it. If they’re like our branch, they already offer most of these things. And a teen advisory group is forming here next month after a long hiatus. (I don’t see a coffee shop in our near future, but it’s only a block to Jodie’s Diner.)
It’s hard to know what’s behind the disconnect, but if you ever wish the library would offer a program or service, please talk to us instead of waiting for a pollster to call. It just may be that we already have what you’re asking for!