Do you wonder if people are reading less? If the quality of reading has changed? As book lovers, we librarians are undoubtedly biased. In this podcast, a neurologist discusses some of the research that has been done on the effects of reading on different platforms. If you are interested and have 15 minutes, have a listen to this CBC Radio Spark podcast, entitled “Are books really a problem we have to solve?”.
I love this infographic that was posted on the Ethical Island blog. The simplicity of it will definitely help our students evaluate the websites that they visit for research.
Students often ask how to determine which websites and articles are good sources to cite. My answer is always, “Well, what do you think?” Students need to be able to think on their own. So, if your student offers some questionable sources, ask, “Why did you choose that one?” Try to get the student to think about the who, what, why, and when of the article and website. Let the student use critical thinking to come to a valid conclusion. They might just have a good reason for using the source.
Two days ago, I had the perfect day for a librarian. A teacher had booked the library for her Sec IV Enriched English students (2 classes). She brought them in, sat them at the computers, and presented the assignment. The assignment is to write a research proposal to examine the causes, events, and propaganda leading up to and during the Russian Revolution. It’s her way of introducing George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
It’s hard to find this information quickly on the Internet, if you are not allowed to cite Wikipedia. And that’s when the fun began. Some students happened upon the Encyclopaedia Britannica website, some found other websites with information… too much information, and some students realized that there had to be an easier way to do the research. So, they turned to the librarian.
I reminded them ‘if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for life’. I showed them how to use the catalogue which displayed 7 books on this topic. We also have 2 sets of World Book Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana, and the Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia and Macropedia. They re-learned that these are all in alphabetical order, and that there are entries for Russia and the Russian Revolution! I showed them how to use the photocopier, reminding them to make sure they knew the author and title of the article, and to copy the title page so that they can do their citations later.
It was a huge success; the students went away content; their teacher was happy. She later reported back that one student’s comment was ‘Today, I went fishing!’
Submitted by A. Hyde, BHS