Friday, April 10, 2009

Generation F?

So, Generation Y is going by another name in some circles, Generation F (the Facebook generation.) Anyone born between 1980 and 1994 is considered part of Generation Y (I'm part of the X group myself) and it's some of the people we don't see near enough in the library. Not the parents of small children, or small children themselves. Not older adults, not teens. It's those 20-somethings. Of course, many of them are busy in college and grad school libraries, but many of them still love to read, engage in cool programs with other people (their age or not!) and partake in some of the cool, free technology the library has to offer.

Are we marketing to them however? Flyers posted on the library bulletin board aren't doing it. Neither is a scrolling list of programs offered on your library website. These people need to see us (librarians) hanging around their version of the water cooler. IE: facebook, twitter, blogs, RSS feeds. I know, I know, I'm saying the same thing as I always do. But think about it - these are your patrons too - they're the adults who are getting ready to start families (or not) and if they've already written off the library as irrelevant (which many of them have, including some of my own [gasp!] family members) than they might not see the library as a place to take their families (ie: children!) down the line either.

It might be time to shoot an email to the adult services librarian at your library to see if you could partner on some marketing tools to get your library out there. Check out what Gary Hamel has to say about this generation and what their expecting from their world. It's a bit more business-model centered, but as you know, libraries could do with a little more business-speak these days!