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help on the net

Marianne-Louise Pierce mlp.lsa at ix.netcom.com
Thu Oct 19 22:05:00 EST 1995

In <mikalineDGIM4K.B8r at netcom.com> mikaline at netcom.com (m.lee) writes: 
>matkisso at opal.tufts.edu wrote:
>: In article <451j18$i6d$1 at mhafm.production.compuserve.com>, Deborah
A. Steinberg <73414.707 at CompuServe.COM> writes:
>: > Regarding asking for help on the net:
>: One thing in the letter struck me.  It was to the effect of, "What,
do you tell
>: each other to go to the library?!"  My first thought was, "Um,
nobody has to
>: tell us.  We go look things up on our own."  However, as has been
pointed out,
>: we often ask someone what the best starting place might be.  
>I have to agree that it is too easy to heap coals - but as a librarian

>who arabesqued into industry for the money, plain and simple, I must 
>express my concern that many students find library hunts unaided
>into the unknown - reference is increasingly centralized and
>unspecialized.  Many of these students are TOLD to go to the Net, in a

>copout.  Whenever I essay research any more all I seem to generate is 
>long lists of ILLs, even though the topic is taught as a major where
>fossicking.  I miss working with students very much, but the attitudes
>some of my colleagues - pfui.
>If libraries were "marketed" like the net, it would be a better world,

>but the attitudes are still self-satisfied in too many cases.  That's
>library schools are going out of business across the nation.
>Michaele Lee Huygen
>out of academe

I have observed students ocasionally substituting the net for library
research when they seek data that is well documented and archived.  I 
tend to ignore qustions I judge are posed our of laziness or ignorance
of what I consider the "proper" source - - the library.  But perhaps
the students gain value in getting the perspective of someone who's
thoughts have not been captured by a library.  And I can't think of a
better or alternate place than the net for students to garner real-time
information.  Not everything is in library catalogs, stacks and
microfiche.  Many net users are thought leaders, very well educated and
highly insightful.  As a former bookworm and net-afficiando, I have
found the net equally valuable -- albeit different than the library. 
Today, I rely on both sources.

Socrates used to teach by asking questions. Perhaps today's young
students are more efficient than we were.  Perhaps we should encourage
and respond positively to students who try to learn by the same method
that Socrates used....


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