Geek Overload

I like to bring some sort of reading material to Pub Quiz — usually something amusing I can flip through while I wait for the rest of my team to arrive, or that we can mock as a group while we're waiting for the halftime and final scores.

This month, we came in fifth — as per usual! — and I brought Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd for our mutual enjoyment. In particular, the comic strips were a big hit.

To maintain my nerd cred, last night I went to this event at the Twinsburg Public Library:

The Future of Books, Libraries and Reading

We’ve made it through 100 years, but what comes next?

Join our panelists, including Liz Murphy from the Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson, Donald Hassler, professor at Kent State University, and Ed Rossman, author of Castles of Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments and librarian at Shaker Heights Public Library, for a lively discussion of current and future trends in literature and reading. Book and technology-lovers alike will be curious to see what is coming around the bend.

It was somewhat interesting, although at times it devolved from a moderated panel discussion into rambling monologues about kids these days and their online virtual words,  brief rants about kids these days and their L337 speak, and shameful confessions about being a kid these days who plays World of Warcraft and once cited Wikipedia as a source for a college term paper. It felt like I was back at the office listening to the nuns be amazed by the wonders of teh interwebs and the magic sparky boxes called "computers" and/or back in college at a party where everybody else is already super-high and thus convinced that what they're saying . . . very . . . slowly . . . is  . . .  a great . . .  revelation  . . . and an amazing . . . insight . . . that nobody  . . . has ever articulated before. Ugh.

The more relevant parts for me, professionally and personally, were some of the comments from the librarians about the (seemingly insatiable) consumer demand for electronic versions of the same content that is available in the traditional printed form. At work, we're in the process of revamping all of our print content for digital formats, so it was helpful to have confirmation of some things I already knew about consumers' needs/decisions in that area. On the flip side, whenever I visit my parents, my mom usually kvetches to me about how the library never has the books she wants to read 1  but they're wasting her taxpayer dollars on DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, ebooks, blah blah blah  . . .  somewhat like the crabby librarian in today's Unshelved:

I also took part in several interesting post-event conversations that involved some schmoozing on the part of my recently-graduated-from-librarian-school pal who is avidly seeking a job in an actual library . . . and then we hit the Dairy Queen before heading home, so the night wasn't a total loss.

1  In the library's defense, the books she's looking for are usually obscure titles that went out of print fifty years ago and were summarily weeded from the shelves because they never circulated.

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