Daily Archives: December 9, 2005

Teaching the Nature of “Truth”

There’s an interesting viewpoint piece by Amy Bruckman in the December issue of Communications of the ACM, “Student Research and the Internet” that looks at teaching students not just how to find sources and recognize differences in format, but to have a better sense of how to evaluate them: “students won’t really learn to navigate the worldwide Internet-based information space until we teach them a bit about the nature and organization of knowledge.”

Even something published online in an extermely informal venue may have a degree of credibility, depending on the source of the idea and the people who have responded to it. The latest meme on Slashdot.org may be highly credible, but something that looks like a formal article but appears on a Web site of a fringe organization may have no credibility at all. These are subtle and complicated judgments.

She asks students to articulate their reasons for their beliefs so that even those with opposing perspectives can understand where they’re coming from. She also requires her students to use at least one book.

It’s an interesting article, but demonstrates something we all know: a lot of faculty don’t think of librarians as partners in this sort of learning. At least in this case, there’s no mention of the author’s library resources, human or in terms of collections – other than books.

By the way, I couldn’t link to this article since it’s not open access. But you can probably find it in your library.

Want To Move Further Into Lib 2.0

We provided a post earlier this week on the growing conversation about Web/Lib 2.0. That circle continues to widen. It appears academic librarians are wondering just exactly how Lib 2.0 will manifest itself in their library environments. Certainly, new technologies for communicating with users, such as RSS, along with social networking and collaborative utilities, are at the core of Lib 2.0. For those who want to immediately begin shaping their libraries for Lib 2.0, there is an exciting new RSS device that will allow your community to acquire your RSS feeds and absorb them when they are most likely to have some free time on their hands. It seems like a must have for academic libraries on the cusp of entering the world of Lib 2.0.

More On OCLC’s “Perceptions of Libraries” Report

I just finished listening to a podcast that features George Needham of OCLC discussing the recently released “Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources“. If you don’t have time to read the report, Needham does summarize some of the most salient findings. Among the ones he mentions is that only one percent of the people surveyed indicated they begin their Internet research at a library web site. I would be interested to know if that sort of data is broken down by type of respondent. Is that number consistent for college students or are academic libraries more effective in connecting with their user communities? Needham mentions the importance of the library community communicating to the user community what it offers, and I think it’s well recognized in our profession that we need to market, promote, and educate users about our resources. With the advertisements it places in publications like the Chronicle, OCLC certainly tries to help in this effort. It would be interesting to know if the new report tells us how we are doing. The podcast runs about 40 minutes.