We’re told: “The Millennial generation, with their ipods and facebook profiles, are resetting the agendas for libraries, and aging Boomers are struggling to adjust by creating environments that are attractive to the new kind of student.”
Right? I’m not so sure.
To me it would seem more accurate to say that Boomers are projecting their love of youth culture onto a generation that doesn’t care about it as much, and getting a vicarious sense of youth from it. This is evident in the picture of the Millennials painted by Boomers and the young students’ actual responses to it. Efforts to make libraries more like “places that young people like” may turn out to be more effective in making older librarians who use the spaces feel young than they are in making young students feel at home. I find Boomers’ preoccupation with youth conspicuous in Information Commons-related discussions about what the new generation of young people is like.
When in the past has the generation in leadership been so eager to fashion their institutions so that young people will like them and feel at home? What happened to the idea of educating young people into adulthood, rather than modifying adulthood to suit the young?