For all you academic librarians -- and everyone else who wonders "What's going on with teens these days?!?" -- you'll want to see the latest Beloit College Mindset List. This one is for the class that starts college this fall and graduates in 2012.
Even if you don't recognize the list by name, you've probably seen it before. These are the annual lists that help explain how students think by encompassing popular culture and technology as seen thro their eyes. I always find it fascinating.
Here are a few of my favorites from this year:
- Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
- WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
- The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
- Personal privacy has always been threatened.
Read this whole list and think about just how much their life-view may differ from your own. Then translate that to you work: Are you really providing services in ways that this age group will understand and accept? If you're still pushing info the way YOU are accustomed to doing it, you're likely making a grave mistake when it comes to serving the college-age crowd.
I recommend using this annual list not only for fun water-cooler chatter, but also as some serious market research. The research is already done, it's well-respected, and it's free. What's stopping you??