2018年4月4日

網絡世代





同一屋簷下,住了兩個女生。表姐在溫哥華長大,在大學主修心理學。表妹在香港長大,兩年前來到溫哥華,是國際學生,剛剛收到大學的取錄通知書。

兩個小女孩,本是天各一方,來自不同家庭,生活習慣也不一樣,但有一個共同點:不看電視,也不看報紙。

她們的知識並不貧乏。天文地理,國際大事,娛樂新聞,無所不知。手提電腦,智能電話,是她們連接世界的工具。

有報道說,實體報紙在十年內消失。剎那間,我有點不安。十多年來,興之所至,也會在《無心的約會》這個框框,跟讀者分享一下生活悲喜,賺一點稿費。要是沒有報紙,就連這點兒零錢也沒有了。

網絡世代改變了這個世界。不單影響了報紙和電視,改變了職場文化,改變了購物和娛樂的習慣,也改變了大學的學習環境。對於我這輩「六十後」的,確實有點不知所措。

為了迎合網絡世代的需要,我工作的《亞洲圖書館》,也在進行裝修工程。按照計劃, 三十多萬册的藏書,有一半以上,會送到儲存庫。騰出來的地方,會改建為《學習空間 — Learning Commons》,供學生使用。

急不及待跟玲玲分享這喜訊,她卻戲弄我:好了,你可提早退休了!

藏書少了一半,借書、還書、處理書籍的工作,是減少了。但新的學習空間,是一個高科技的環境,需要高技術的圖書館員。

時代的巨輪不停運轉,圖書館不再是儲藏書籍的地方。圖書館員,也要與時並進,不斷增值,去迎接未來的挑戰。




Net Generation


Once upon a time there were two little girls living in the same house. The elder one grew up in Canada, currently a university student major in psychology. The little one came two years ago, an international student from Hong Kong. She just received an admission offer from university for the Fall 2018. 

Two girls from different side of the world, from two different families, and having different culture and habits.  However, they do have one thing in common: never watch TV, and never read newspapers.

Surprisingly they know everything happening in our world.  A portable computer and a smart phone are their tools to connect with the world.

News reports saying that printed newspaper will disappear in ten years. In a flash, I was a little upset.  For more than a decade, I enjoy sharing the joys and sorrows of my life with readers of Ming Pao, also make a few bucks from my stories.

Internet has changed our world, from workplace to marketplace, from classroom to the living room, from shopping to entertainment, and most important for me, it changed the Library. For those who are over fifty like me, this is a bit overwhelmed.

In order to meet the needs of the net generation, the university library I work with also undergoing a renovation. According to the plan, half of the 300,000 books will be sent to the storage. The spaces that are vacated will be converted into a Learning Commons, study spaces and programming spaces.

Can’t wait to share this exciting news with Ling Ling (my wife), but she is teasing me: ok, you are obsoleted!  Prepare to retire early!

When half of the collection gone, my jobs like charging and discharging books, processing and maintenance, etc. will be reduced or eliminated, but it need people with appropriate skills to run the learning common and programming spaces.  Before my job gone, new jobs will be created.

The great wheel of time keeps running.   Library is no longer a place to store books. We have to keep up with the time, continue adding value to meet challenges of the future.

-- Original script in Chinese Language, published on April 4, 2018