November 29, 2007

or whatever

Obviously the analogy I suggested yesterday for encouraging undergrads to use library resources instead of Google has problems. (It was, “Why eat at McDonalds when you can eat at a five star restaurant for free?”) Objections had to do with the fact that many students like McDonalds and want their info fast and in a form that goes right through them, and wouldn’t have time to eat at a five star restaurant anyway. This is all true, but I think students would get the point of the analogy nevertheless. And regarding the impatience of students, the hurry that they are in… I’m not sure that we need to accept this, entirely, as a given, as a fact about the world, but can also treat it as a an aspect of our students’ need to be educated into what it means to be lifelong learners. Sometimes there is no substitute for patience, and there are things that can’t be had without it.

But… Here’s a question for discussion…. What do you say to students who want to search like this?


  1. Ewww, that search string is totally grody. Like, gag me with a spoon, fer sure. At least, that’s what I’d say.

    Comment by Whatevs — November 30, 2007 @ 9:49 am

  2. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry if I see a student do that. At the end of the day, as you point out so well, it is a matter of educating our students for lifelong learning. It certainly is not an easy task (I know. I have been teaching for a while); it requires a lot of patience, and some sense of hope that it will eventually sink in. If you go back to the high restaurant thing, it may be a matter of teaching a sense of appreciation. You know, like helping someone acquire a taste for fancier food or drink? Anyhow, just a thought.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

    Comment by Angel — November 30, 2007 @ 10:11 am

  3. Search strings like that makes little baby Jesus weep.

    Comment by David Oldenkamp — November 30, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  4. Well, the first result for that on Google is a blog post from a regional Students Against Sweatshops group, which does my activist heart good. A Boolean “or whatever” operator really should exist.

    Comment by Laura Crossett — November 30, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  5. I do wonder sometimes about they rush to give Millennials what they want. Academic libraries exist to educate students. Living up (down?) to the expectations of our student users means that we don’t care if they learn how to do it the right way.

    Comment by Mags — December 3, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  6. […] Litwin of LibraryJuice wrote two short posts for undergrads who prefer to use Google over the library. He asked, “Why eat at McDonalds […]

    Pingback by Fast/Slow Food/Information, Part I « Slow Reading — December 6, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

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