Generational Conflict is not a new phenomenon. Wherever and whenever different generations interacted, generational conflict existed. The Puritans of New England found each new generation to be less pious and devoted to the concept of the “City on a Hill” than its predecessors. The Flappers of the Jazz Age were considered morally lax and without direction. And the gap that existed between the Flower Children of the 1960’s and their parents was as large as the Grand Canyon. Even the great Socrates met his untimely end inciting the Grecian youth to rebel against their elders. However, today’s generations face some unique problems. Longer life spans, changing societal views of retirement, and a shortage of workers due to declining birthrates means that older workers are either rejoining the workforce or delaying retirement altogether. This creates a situation where four generations are now working side by side. This historic event brings awareness to the need for generational diversity in the library. In order for a generational diverse library to succeed, library managers will have to learn about the different generations in their library and manage each one properly. This paper explains the importance of generational diversity in the workplace, provides and overview of the generations, and offers suggestions for making one’s library a generational harmonious organism.

Publication Date

Fall 2006