Press Release: < >.

Young people today born into a digital world are experiencing a far
different environment of information-gathering and access to knowledge
than a generation ago.  Who are these “digital natives” and what are
they thinking?  How are they using the technology, and are IT experts
adequately responding to them?

These questions will be addressed in a new Library of Congress series
titled “Digital Natives.”  The first lecture will explore how young
people think, learn and play.

Distinguished scholar and child-development expert Edith Ackerman will
present “The Anthropology of Digital Natives” at 4 p.m. on Monday,
April 7, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison
Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Sponsored by the
Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the
public.  No tickets or reservations are needed.  In addition, the
lecture will be webcast live at

Ackerman is an honorary professor of developmental psychology at the
University of Aix-Marseille in France.  She is currently a visiting
scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the School of
Architecture and a visiting professor at the University of Siena in the
Department of Communications.

The four-lecture series will examine the generation that has been
raised with the computer as a natural part of their lives, with emphasis
on the young people currently in schools and colleges today.  The series
will seek to understand the practices and culture of these digital
natives, the cultural implications of the phenomenon and the
implications for education - schools, universities and libraries.

Ackerman is particularly interested in helping shape the future of play
and learning in a digital world.  “I study how people use place,
relate to others and treat things to find their ways - and voices - in
an ever-changing world,” she said.

Future lectures in the series will be at 4 p.m. in the Montpelier Room
of the James Madison Building.  They include:

            Monday, May 12: “Internet, the Private Mind?” by Steven
Berlin Johnson, author of “Everything Bad is Good for You.”

            Monday, June 23: “The Anthropology of YouTube” by
Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas
State University.

            Monday, June 30: “Screenology” by Douglas Rushkoff,
author of “Playing the Future: What We Can Learn from Digital

            The moderators and coordinators for these events are Deanna
Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of
Congress, and Derrick de Kerckhove, holder of the Harissios Papamarkou
Chair in Education at the Kluge Center.    

The Papamarkou Chair in Education was established at the Library of
Congress by a gift from Alexander Papamarkou (1930-1998), an investment
banker who was generous in his support of the arts, education and
medicine, in honor of his grandfather, a Greek educator.  Holders of the
Papamarkou Chair focus their research on the Library’s role in
education and examine the impact of education on individuals and

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of
Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the
world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill
wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with
policymakers in Washington.  For further information on the Kluge
Center, visit

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Laura Gottesman
Digital Reference Team
The Library of Congress
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