Branching Out

As a student who has spent many hours and sometimes days researching something just to find out I cannot come up with enough references to support my thesis in a paper I believe it is better when professors help students “learning about” a topic instead of “finding sources,” (Deitering & Rempel). I understand research is important, however if librarians have to study several years at school to be able to weed out fake news then it is unfair to believe students can do the same without any guidance. I think this is a great opportunity for professors and librarians to team up. Professors can have a list of topics and some of their resources or resources a librarian has found and have the students look into the topics and choose from there. Or perhaps have a small class/program that teaches students how to research with a librarian and then they can volunteer for the program and teach others to do the same and market the class/program heavily to new students. Or perhaps librarians can team up with professors to tailor curriculums together that teach the students what the teacher wants them to learn but also helps them navigate through the new and vast world of researching.

I know in high school and the beginning of my freshman year teachers would always tell their student not to use Wikipedia because it was not reliable since people could change it, however they neglected to state that it was not easy to change information and that the more popular subjects were constantly monitored and debated. Wikipedia also names their resources which can be a great jumping point for students who are delving into a new topic and don’t know where to begin. Also, as an MLIS student I have heard much about the CRAAP (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose) test which was never mentioned to me before. But it is a great way to find reliable resources and quickly spot the bad ones. If tools like that are introduced to students earlier then they can become better researchers earlier on.

Thoughts sparked by http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2017/sparking-curiosity/

1 comment
  1. You share some strong ideas about librarian and faculty collaboration. I agree with you that wikipedia can be very useful if used mindfully!

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