Mind the (generation) gap

original article | original article

Buzzwords Like Millennials Describing 20 Year Age Cohorts Are Bullshit | Five Rules For Managing Intergenerational Teams
Adam Singer | Jessica Kriegel
The Future Buzz | Fast Company
4 March 2016 | 14 March 2016

Much has been made of various generations  — Baby Boomers, GenX, and Millennials — their characteristics, and the differences between them. This pair of articles urge us to look beyond generational differences, questioning them as marketing buzzwords, or worse, “false constructs of social fictions.”  In the end, we’re better off focusing on individuals than on misleading composites.

I’ve worked for decades now in a blended environment. For the first few years of my career it seemed like it was me and the Boomers. More GenXers joined the ranks. And now the Millennials have come to the party. As much as I enjoy the sometimes hyperbolic and sometimes trash talking portraits of generations and their characteristics, you should heed the advice about assumptions dispensed by Coach Morris Buttermaker (as played by Walter Matthau) in the movie The Bad News Bears. Libraries are increasingly blended environments, not only in terms of generations represented but also in terms of the professional backgrounds. With an increasing number of feral librarians in our midst, we should be celebrating diversity and differences as qualities that make us stronger. I think my colleague Lynn Connaway gets it right — her work on Visitors and Residents helps to rise above ingrained assumptions.

[I note with typical GenX weariness that my cohort is not even mentioned in the Future Buzz piece. Le sigh.]



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