What is this alphabetical order thing?

“This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket,” a set of bound encyclopedias, or Romper Room. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends. They prefer to watch television everywhere except on a television, have seen a woman lead the U.S. State Department for most of their lives, and can carry school books–those that are not on their e-Readers–in backpacks that roll.”

–Beloit College.  “2016 Mindset List.” Accessed June 27, 2013.  http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2016/.

Recently came across this interesting post by Minnesota librarian, Barbara Fister, and her blog Library Babel Fish on Inside Higher Ed. Evidently, what seems to be common knowledge to me and My Generation is not among current undergrads. Horrors!

A few of the most interesting ones is based on the fact that today’s 18 year olds have always lived digitally. So books are a bit of a foreign object. Think of it. A table of contents, an index? Crazy things when all you know is keyword searching. Also, alphabetical order can be a bit confusing as an organizational method. No need to do that in the digital world. I suppose this all makes sense, but to me seems a little bone-chilling.


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