My parents just got back from two weeks in Belgium and environs. When we talked on the phone tonight, the very first thing they both described was not the beauty of the land, how expensive things were (Euro against the dollar), or even the chocolate. No, the one thing they wanted to talk about first – and which obviously had a quite an impact on them – was the ubiquity of cell phones in that area.
They noted how everyone seems to have one, not just the “kids,” and how they use them for everything. My Dad noted a father and daughter walking together, both looking down at their cell phones, while my Mom expressed amazement at how many people ride their bicycles with the phone in one hand and the handlebars in the other. In fact, when I quoted from my presentations that the U.S. is 18-24 months behind Europe and Asia in the use and functionality of cell phones, my Mom said she thought we were actually further behind than that.
So I guess that gives libraries in the U.S. up to two years to prepare for that type of environment. [The Shifted Librarian]