[library-media] (no subject)

Brian Ferguson bferguson at dsdmail.net
Fri Oct 8 10:44:59 MDT 2010

Sharyl --
I am the teacher librarian at South Davis Junior High. Thank you for asking for our input on this possible news story. As usual, the media doesn't know enough about their subject to ask a useful, interesting, meaningful question. The short answer to the question, as posed, is "Google. " Period. But where is the story in that?
A more interesting question is "What sources of information are students taught to use as a part of an assignment created and taught jointly by a teacher with their school librarian?
At my school we use Pioneer Online, WebPath Express (the websearch part of our Follett Destiny library system), and NetTrekker (a subscription internet index our District has purchased). Some in our school are also starting to use  www.sweetsearch.com, www.findingdulcinea.com, and www.refseek.com. For some uses, perhaps especially in Math, Science, and Social studies, you cannot beat www.wolframalpha.com.
And I take special effort to remind students that books are still an important source of information. Our English research paper assignments require at least one book source and (believe it or not) one encyclopedia resource. Yes, call me old fashioned, but I still sometimes point students to the print encyclopedia for information.
I often hear that today's students are more "digital" than even their older siblings. In my experience, just because they may spend more time in front of a monitor (or cell phone) they are not any more information literate than students 20 years ago. They still need good teachers and librarians to teach them how to identify their information need, and how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the information. 
-- Brian Ferguson
-- Brian Ferguson --
A Librarian's Journal

>>> sharyl smith <sharylsmith at att.net> 10/8/2010 9:59 AM >>>

In a recent meeting with a television news anchor (yes, we may have a story!), I was asked, "Which kinds resources do students use most when they are working on class assignments, writing research papers, etc.?"

I'm calling on you to help me give an answer through this informal survey. 

Would you please, first, indicate if you are working with elementary, middle or junior high school, or high school students, then list the top three sources of information, e.g., Google, (purchased) databases, books, etc.?

I'll let you know if and when a news story will appear.

Please encourage your colleagues to take part. Supervisors, perhaps you could send this request on to the library personnel in your district. 

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes,

Sharyl Smith

Dr. Sharyl G. Smith
University of Washington Information School Faculty, retired
Former State Specialist for Library Media
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