The author presents widely known assumption that all modern libraries ought to be described and analyzed as technical systems and the directions of their development are set by computer solutions possible to implement in the library domain. He suggests that the age of library users is a significant obstacle in their access to library resources offered by means of most recent technologies as the generation those users belong to determines their ability to cope with the technological challenge. The author follows with the discussion of an impact of new technologies on the library users. He claims that library users' satisfaction does not depend on the level of users' education but on their age. A significant number of elderly library users is (and will be) forced to stop using some library services as they become unable to cope with new, constantly changing technologies used for the delivery of those services. On the other hand, younger generations of library users will be forcing libraries to change their services even faster, which would put the elderly users in even worse situation. In his opinion users' age is such an important barrier that it should be more often included in the library anxiety analyses as a variable confronted with traditional criteria of evaluation. The designers of library automation process should bear in mind technology skills and abilities of elderly library users.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.