Abram on Millennial Users


Note from MS: I have distributed copies of “Born With the Chip” to the managers and admin on retreat at SJCPL, discussed it with my classes at IUSB as well as with the cohorty at UNT. This talk expanded the concepts, made a room full of people think about their services and provided some great conversation over dinner last night!

Download the Article Here! Or display the article at Library Journal here.

Millennial Users: Different? You Bet!

Stephen Abram, March 8, 2005, Palmer House Hotel – PLA Symposium

“We are looking for leadership outside of librarianship when we should be looking for it inside the profession.”

The trouble with most organization’s responses to turbulent times is that they tend to overmanage and underlead.

We are about to get hit with a huge wave of innovation: we are way behind the rest of the world. Just look to the Pacific Rim.

Building Blocks:

What are libraries worried about:

Millennial User behaviours
Diversity – e.g. Parkdale PL in Toronto reflects the community it serves
E-learning and Distance Education
Justifying growth and projects – Measures not Stats
Understanding mutating (not changing) usage patterns – info not data
Building community alliance but bringing gravitas to the table
Building for the future and not repairing the present
Productivity and shifting staff resources

Looking at our Users:

Information Engagement Levels: Dr. Thomas Davenport

Learning Styles


-Piaget, Bloom, Gardner, etc.

How are we designing our web presence for each of these types of learners?

How is the reference interview conducted virtually?

“If you are looking to align your services with a technology that is actually being used, look at iPods.”

Welsh word: place where all my knowledge comes — Cynefin

“Inflection Point” – when things shift


Born 1978-1994
Ages 9 to 25
If you haven’t yet, download the article here!

The Millennials are/have:

Confident: they know what the want and how it should be delivered
High Expectations: will have a as good a life as when they grew up, they want it to be easy and they want it now
More Choices – Millennials are brand loyal
More Diverse
Healthy Lifestyle
More Friends – 120 IM messages! 3000 names on a buddy list
Internet Natives
Gamers: Mark Prensky “Use Their Tools Speak Their Language”
Collaborative – Your IM buddy list is people you TRUST, are there teachers in it? Librarians?
Format Agnostic