Thursday, May 13, 2010

Irony in the digital world

Having mentioned I was going to Cilip to hear David Nicholas discuss The Google Generation: implications for libraries and librarians , I went last night. I was fully armed with my blackberry and new twitter application. I briefly listened to the tales of woo in being under employed or looming job losses.
The evening started with a meet an greet and food an drink. Tom Roper created a hashtag here for the event and it was nice to see other tweeters there (1, 2, 3 & 4).
After the AGM meeting which was very strange lets say (although Stephen Cook and the chair were good), we had another break (and a glass of wine).
Here is where it got interesting. I had wanted to hear David Nicholas talk and it was fascinating and a great slideshare on the subject can be found here. As the talk proceeded it seemed us twitters were getting told off for tweeting. I was personally told by a gentleman, who's consumption of food was only surpassed by his consumption of wine, that the screen was annoying him. Others also commented as follows:-

WoodsieGirl: Just got told off for tweeting at #ggcilip! Apparently light was reflecting off my "blackberry" so ppl behind me couldn't see the speaker :s .

There really felt a me and them attitude from some there. Us tweeters perhaps see ourselves as Information professionals
rather than librarians. This was an event on the social web to a degree but we are told to be quite an behave by our elders. As Nicholas pointed out, that world no longer exist (though I doubt they heard that or could hear it unless their hearing aids were higher I suppose?)
It seems that many of the people there hadn't considered Cilip 2.0 or its consequences. It felt that the meeting should have a digital apartheid, where the digital natives sit at the back and the 'professionals' can sit in the front and pontificate. I'm sorry to say that's not the modern world.
Its a real travesty as the committee of the meeting wanted new blood and help there, but if the young are treated like that why bother?
By the way, I wasn't the only one to feel uncomfortable there.

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