New Strategies for Digital Natives

I’m live blogging from Computers in Libraries on the Cultivating Innovation & Change Track. This morning’s session is presented by my friend Helene Blowers from Columbus Public Library.

Helene kicked things off with this great YouTube video that makes me miss my little ones.


Digital natives are those born after 1980. This is their reality:

Age 1- First commercial PC

Age 3 –  First cell phone

Age 9 – Internet

Age 14 – Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. Built on engage and connect versus find.

Digital natives have always had access and engagement. It’s part of their reality.

The last election really showed how powerful engagement and Web 2.0 is. Photo Clinton vs. Hillary during primary. Election was won during primary.
CIL 005

Digital natives uses real identity as online identity. They have never known any difference and see them as ubiquitous. Digital identify is important because that is how they connect and exert influence online.

Top 5 Social Networks January 2009

  1. Facebook
  2. MySpace
  3. Twitter
  4. Flixster
  5. LinkedIn

Things important to digital natives and things to think about when designing services and spaces for them:

  • Social identity
  • Creativity and leaving their imprint
  • Self-expression
  • Digital information quality
  • Sharing information rather than quality of information
  • There are no barriers
  • Access is universal. Always connected 24/7
  • It’s all about me
  • Peer to peer file sharing is not piracy it’s sharing
  • Digital advocacy

Only .08% of students have actually met someone in person that they met online.

The safety precautions we’ve put out are working and this is a smart group!

1 in 5 teens are self-identified as nonconfromists.

The digital native digital sandbox is unlimited and they have lots of opportunity.

Digital natives want to remix, reuse content to express themselves.

You are what you share not what you own.

Librarians to Lifebrarians.

Strategies for Dealing With Digital Natives

  • Engagement
  • Enrichment – provide customers with a rich online experience that enhances their local branch experience and daily lives. Customers need to feel value from library
  • Empower – Enable customers to personalize and add value to the library experience and allow the community to celebrate themselves.