Don’t Ban Wikipedia! (Or Should You?) Google Isn’t a Source! (Or Is It?)

In my work as an academic librarian, one thing I frequently teach is how to identify a trustworthy source. For research purposes Google and Wikipedia have their limitations although they are almost always the first step for students. Because of this, one strategy is to take aggressive steps to prevent students’ use of these sources. […]

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Where Can You Find the Most Insightful Conversations Online?

One major goal for teachers and librarians today is to foster “information literacy,” a set of skills that allows us to efficiently communicate what information we need, understand where and how to search, think critically about information and use it strategically to achieve our goals. Information literacy instruction typically involves activities like a discussion of what makes […]

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How Google Scholar Works and Tips for Using It More Effectively

Google is great for its convenience and quick answers but much more hit or miss when you need authoritative sources. It’s important to critically evaluate your search results to figure out who each author is and why he or she might be a good person to write about the subject at hand. But another thing […]

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Can I Trust Wikipedia? A Social Web Case Study

”Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.” These oft-quoted words from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales demonstrate an interesting paradox: how can an information source be lauded as a modern-day Library of Alexandria while at the same […]

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How Should We Teach Information Literacy in Schools?

Q: When the majority of information moves from print to digital form, we need a new set of critical skills in order to find what we need and use if properly. Many students get to college without having learned much in the way of information literacy, although professors often expect it was already taught. How […]

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