In this post, Rachel Singer Gordon makes some great points about generational conflicts. She suggests that there are two simple concepts that should govern everyone’s point of view: “1) Our generation in one way or another affects our outlook and expectations 2) Our generation in one way or another affects the way others view us.” Very simple points – but also very true. Unfortunately, we are often too busy bemoaning and belittling the differences in other generations to take stock of the idiosyncrasies of our own generation. I agree with Rachel that we have to understand and be aware of the stereotypes about ourselves. I think this helps us to be less judgemental about others – and more understanding of differences. I often wonder why we seem to be so much more accepting of cultural differences than we do of generational ones. Rachel sums up her post: “If anything comes out of this outpouring of generational programs and presentations, I hope it’s an awareness of our underlying assumptions and of the necessity to combine our diverse skills, strengths, and generations to work together productively in a 21st century library.”
Ultimately, I think we all have to remember that generational issues are not new to us. One thing that we can be sure of is that a new generation will eventually emerge – with all sorts of new ways of approaching library work (or with all sorts of new ways of using libraries).