Thursday, January 8, 2009

False Dichotomy

I've noticed a tendency among librarians to want to label things like Wikipedia and Google as simply bad and library catalogs and databases as simply good, which is particularly exacerbated when trying to teach inexperienced undergraduates what they need for their papers in 50 minutes or less. I loved this recent post by one of the authors of In the Library with a Lead Pipe, which talks about the importance of not oversimplifying this complicated situation.

There is some great stuff in this post about why it is important not to dismiss Internet sources out of hand, while at the same time teaching students what is and is not appropriate for citing in an academic paper, including some great examples from the author's own experience doing library research as a graduate student. I'm looking forward to reading more.

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