I went to buy a pair of shoes this weekend because I’m trying to dress like an adult person. Apparently, my shoe size is one of the few things about me that is drop-dead normal, so the store was out of everything in my size except for green and purple. However, they said they could check with the other store to look for the colors I wanted, and it would just take a sec. I went over to the desk and saw that the salesguy was IMing with the other store, just normal old AIM. The conversation was a real quick “you there?”” followed by a few directed questions about my desired shoes. In about 45 seconds — including the time it took to take this picture — they had ascertained that the other store had the shoes I wanted and would mail them to my house.
Moral of the story? This guy was about my age. Most people our age and younger see IM and cell phones as just a normal part of being connected. Library Garden is in the process of getting more data on these screenagers and what they’re finding, while not totally surprising, is hard data that you can use to help plan your library service offerings. The teens that Marie and her colleagues talked to were library users but didn’t seem to know much about their libraries’ services besides in-the-building reference. I see opportunity, don’t you?