I enjoyed last week’s meeting of East Anglia Online User Group (EAOUG) at the Royal Society of Chemistry. There were several interesting speakers from the library world talking about ways in which technology was changing their working practices and introducing the need to learn new skills. Some of the presentations are now available online at the group’s website.

There were some interesting discussions and I learned a lot about some of the everyday realities of working with new technologies in libraries. There was a definite feeling that an issue for library staff is a developing ‘digital divide’ between the younger users, who are steeped in technology and have expectations as to its use, and the staff, who tend to be older and have less time to learn about new things. One delegate recounted how she had resorted to using Facebook in order to contact a young borrower who had failed to return a textbook as all other forms of communication, even email, had failed. Several people concurred in the view that students, in particular, viewed email as rather old fashioned!

As ever, a quick note on the lunch. My offline feedback is that I don’t devote enough time to lunch and that I need to try harder, so here goes. You may remember that I was a little bit worried about how far the Royal Society of Chemistry might go in the preparation of lunch. As the clocks on the wall had chemical symbols instead of numbers I was concerned that this might demonstrate a rather unhealthy interest in all things chemical. However, I’m pleased to report that this was not reflected in the either the choice of ingredients or the means of preparation. Lunch, in fact, consisted of a tasty spread of sandwiches with an interesting twist – the brown and white bread mixed together on the same sandwich. It’s these little touches that I find interesting. Desert was a platter of exotic fruit slices, so, an overdose of fructose rather than anything less healthy.


3 Responses to “Cambridge”

  1. Raza Rizvi Says:

    Is the usefulness of email coming to an end perhaps?

    I get more than 6000 identified as SPAM email messages a month (though I have been an active Internet participant for greater than a dozen years). Of those mails that contain information, I have to be selective and choose those that I think have the information I want to see at a given point in time (based on sender and subject), and hope that I can catch up with the rest at some future date – of course I never do…

    Your librarian would no doubt relish getting the book in person using GPS tracking with the social network – see

    (working at home today so I will be making my own sandwiches)

  2. Alan Carter-Davies Says:

    I am not surprised that in some quarters email is seen as retro. Living in 2.0 land for any period of time breeds contempt for anything so specific, bulletins, tagging style comments, instant messaging etc are mostly little more than a generalised bullet point and can mostly be skimmed and ignored at a glance.

    Am welcoming the return of lunch. Brown and white bread mixed sarnies eh? Those crazy mixed up folks!
    Alan (cigarettes and coffee for lunch again!)

  3. Callie LaDay Says:

    Thanks for this article, very educational. I did a lot of research before I bought a system for my geocaching. It is such a enjoyable hobby. What receiver do you use? Click here if you’d like to check out my site. Thanks again for a very educational site!

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