While channel surfing the other day I came across two different representations of libraries that I thought were interesting. The first was search engine Yahoo!'s 15 year anniversary where they conducted a U.S. survey from users asking them how the internet has changed their lives since 1995.
The results showed that several activities are down, including library visits being down by 59%, though the Yahoo! rep and interviewer seemed to feel a nostalgic loss more than anything else.
The other item was a new show on NBC, brought over from England called Who Do You Think You Are?, a reality tv show that researches the genealogy of a celebrity. I was bored and switching back and forth from other channels while waiting around for my night to begin, but the premier episode focused on Sarah Jessica Parker, following her cross country as she learned more about her family tree. As easily accessible as the internet makes everything, it was interesting to see the visits to different library's archival records for primary sources and information not yet digitized. We have a genealogy database at our library, but it doesn't get used very much from what I've seen and I've only played with it here and there without any major results, but I wonder if interest in this type of information can be renewed by the public thanks to shows like this? Maybe, though I noticed they did not make Sarah Jessica Parker wear gloves to handle her 10th great-grandmother's arrest record in Salem.