New Literacy at the Public Library

A few weeks ago, Wired magazine published a great article by Clive Thompson on “the New Literacy, debunking that tired old argument that TV, computers & texting are destroying literacy and civilization.

Au contraire, what Andrea Lunsford found in a recent study at Stanford is that more young students are generating so much more creative content in their free time than any previous generation, and that this content is often highly nuanced — they know how to assess their audience and adapt their tone to get their point across.  And my favorite quote from the article: “The brevity of texting and status updating teaches young people to deploy haiku-like concision.”

At my public library I encourage teenagers to blog, create podcasts and produce YouTube videos.  I want them to see themselves as creators of content rather than mere content consumers.  I think this is utterly empowering for them, and it’s fantastic to see some exciting & innovative research coming out of Lunsford’s study to validate these objectives!


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