Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Library should be student researchers’ first stop

A report by Angela Hill for the San Jose Mercury News (republished Nov. 19 by the Ashland Daily Tidings) omits an important question.

Why, when history and English teacher Annie Hatch “often” sees students use inaccurate sources or “run wild” with a theory that they found presented as “fact,” doesn’t Hatch educate her students about resources available through their school and public libraries? Why isn’t her class making use of curated databases or eBooks available through libraries’ increasingly digital collections?

(And yes, why don’t these students continue to rely on physical books from the library?)

Because there is so much information on the Internet, students (and adults) need to ask tough questions about its credibility and bias. And who better than trained library professionals to empower them as savvy consumers?

A sidebar article on the website of the San Jose Mercury News emphasizes that reference librarians’ work is redefined but continues to be relevant: digitizing analog documents and curating “born digital” collections in their “role to preserve the history of humanity, no matter what the medium.”

Published Nov. 23 as a letter to the editor by the Ashland Daily Tidings

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