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Question from Durst
I'm just looking for ideas on how to broaden the scope of library instruction in order to integrate it into the university classroom. Garnering feedback from faculty in a roundtable format has been suggested. It's also been suggested that how we teach evaluation of information - what to use as an authoritative source in an age where authority seems to stem from who speaks first or the loudest - is going to be at least as important as knowing how to construct a meaningful search.
- That's good question to pose at ILI-L... with a link back here, of course. <g> The Library Instruction Wiki may also be worth poking around in.
- Many large unis have academic divisions which operate, as someone told me once, as autonomous feudal baronies. So it can be hard to enact widespread change, especially on those campuses without a centralized information literacy class requirement. You can try to get 100-level classes invited in for BI sessions, but the library classroom setting just doesn't always get the students' attention like the needs-based, just-in-time service you can tailor at the reference desk.
- Another big target to look at is how the research assignments are being worded. A 10-year old list of student instructions to "Go search PsychLIT" could use a gentle nudge from a librarian to the faculty member, offering to help update it. Those well-intentioned but usually wrongly worded "don't use the web" assignments are especially annoying. Forcing a student to locate print copies of materials available online is going to do nothing but add resentment to the student's feelings towards the library, and frustrate staff to boot. And those scavenger hunt assignments may be useful for library school students, but they just bug those more interested in actually finding usable stuff (cf. Tennant's Law). A lot of libraries have an assignment tips page (Google it) to point to for these reasons.
- Even Colin Powell says, "All you need is a search engine." Given that people are (hopefully) going to use a variety of sources anyway (not to mention the holes that could be poked in sacred formats themselves), a big push towards imparting evaluation skills -- beyond oohing over the token hoax site or spouting 90s-era wisdom like "look for .gov to find government websites!" -- sounds like a good idea to develop. --John Hubbard 20:01, 18 Oct 2005 (PDT)