April 16, 2013
The front counter was busy, so I asked Mr. Library Patron if I could show him how to check out his selections at the self-checkout. "I don’t want to fool around with that computer stuff!," he grumbled. Although he did not look much older than me, I thought about how much he was missing out by not wanting to learn more about computers.
A century and a half ago, I would imagine Mr. Library Patron might have been like Mr. Lifelong Farmer who balked at the prospect of the new-fangled machinery changing the way farming had always been done. Factories were enticing his children to leave the farm for higher-paying jobs in the cities, and the inventions that were going to make farming easier might eventually replace him. He may have also been upset by the world changing in ways he found hard to learn or understand. Machinery could do the work faster than a group of people could do it independently.
During the Industrial Revolution, the advent of the assembly line sped up production and manufactured items became cheaper and more abundant. The people who lived during that time probably didn’t say, "Hey, this is the industrial revolution!" Only after that era did we gain the perspective to categorize the mammoth amount of change that happened in such a short time frame. The rapid technological changes happening to us right now may make our heads spin, but we don’t think about how we are in the middle of a historic shift.
We are in the midst of a technology revolution. We can witness the news as it happens, access all sorts of information online with our fingertips, and every day we have a new procedure to learn to access or manage our devices. Mr. Library Patron may feel overwhelmed with the daunting task if he has not been keeping up.
If you are one who feels a little out of the loop, come in to the Library and catch up. We have books and manuals on the latest computer software. If you have a new eReader, we can show you how easy it is to download our free eBooks. If you just need to get your first email account on the computer, book some time with a librarian. The Library is here to help you access all the wonders of this technological age!
North Independence Branch