Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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How can I help?

Posted by lpearle on 26 November 2009

Peter Godwin posted about the Researchers of Tomorrow (who use Google) and commented

Far fewer respondents, however, have received any training in using more advanced technology‐based research resources and tools such as research methods,finding and using online datasets or working in virtualresearch environments… In a snapshot of information‐seeking and research activity, the majority of doctoral students were looking for text‐based and secondary, published research resources, rather than primary research resources (e.g. data to analyse or original manuscript sources)… I was disappointed to see the low use of Web 2.0. Here is an opening for librarians to assist – showing that Web 2.0 can assist with result retrieval and saving time.

It’s that last bit, the “Web 2.0” part that confuses me.

If it’s Evernote or Diigo or some other note/resource organizing tool then yes, by all means let’s teach them how to use them. And it goes without saying that we should be training all students, K-20, in research methods (including searching the “deep web”). Original manuscripts? Give Google time to scan ’em, but for now most will be found in – gulp – print.

Primary vs. secondary sources, on the other hand… Some secondary sources will be needed as you do a literature survey, right? And isn’t it up to both teachers and librarians to educate students as to the difference between the two (the former by requiring their use and teaching the interpretive skills necessary, the latter by showing them how to find them)?

Beyond teaching the above, I’m not sure what 2.0 tools really work. I can’t see a dissertation presented on Slideshare, or in a Glogster format. Can you? I’m not trying to be an obstructionist, or negative. I’m honestly wondering, what can I do to help?

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