Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Younglings with the "Masters"

Forgive me...I'm in a Star Wars mood.

In the 'brary field, I'm a Youngling, and will be for at least another 4 years. I'm willing to accept it. After all, I'm the one that had to go to the desk to find of if the Mrs. is a Dr., and the Mr. has no such degree, who gets listed first in a mailing. Stuff like that doesn't come naturally, you've got to have a bazillion people ask you questions before you know that kind of stuff, and NO english/communications class ever teaches that kind of stuff.

So, as a Youngling, I hide in my corner, doing my own thing, until the Masters call when they need assistance. However, most of the assistance I can prove is innate to Younglings, so while they might consider me as savior, all it really took was writing papers, handling spreadsheets, and becoming someone interested in how the internet works. After all, printing in landscape, common keyboard shortcuts, and using the status bar to identify email addresses for patrons looking for jobs when they use free email services is second nature.

The psychologist in my finds it hilarious that the Younglings always seem to congregate when in meetings or training sessions. I don't think we do it as a status thing, but those of us with like minds tend to sit down, so when someone goes on and on with conversations like "The sun was out...and it was a Tuesday...and I was wearing sneakers with mismatched socks...and the computer did X...then the next day, I tried to do the same thing, but it was Y. Was it my shoes?" we can politely sigh, look like we're listening, and exchange knowing looks with fellow Younglings.

Most likely and ID 10 T error.

Yet, for as often as we congregate, I have a feeling the Masters feel somewhat threatened by the Younglings. They may know more, but we know how to find it faster, quicker, and email/copy/paste/storage, and get the patron on their way. We get the same information to them faster, easier, in a variety of formats, and we're more efficient. Our Master's fear change, we've seemed to adapt ourselves to it. We've grown up with it, the Master's are mostly in the era where the card catalog ruled all. Some people thing CDs are mirrors, other's think flash drives are something that's rated "X."

Mind you, there are some Master's who are quite adept at their newly found skills, but like Younglings, they're quiet in sharing them until asked. They've learned the game, just as we have.

But I can't help to think, I look around rooms and see the average age of staff, and wonder if it'll always be so high (there are people who have been working there longer that I've graced this fine earth). I wonder if Youngling's are slowly biding our time, waiting for the aging ones to gracefully bow out. Or do we manage to simply blend in over time? Or will it always be this way.

After all, my son is 2. Soon, he'll know everything about computers that took me 5 years to learn, and he'll probably know it before he hops into Middle school, beating my learning curve by 8 years. Will I be as eager to learn 20 years from now, or will I simply just stare at the Younglings of tomorrow, wondering how they know what they know?

Dad's right, I think too much.


Degolar said...

So just what age is the cutoff between youngling and master, and is there a journeyman category in between?

The Blue Pamphlet said...

Good question...probably the time when you find patrons are more than a nusance than the reason why the library exists.

scott said...

id 10 t error. classic. i'm going to have to start using that on patrons while i'm fixing what they've fouled up. genius!