Monday, October 23, 2006

Web 2.0 and Librarians

I just finished an excellent article from the Educause Learning Initiative--How Choice, Co-Creation, and Culture Are Changing What It Means to Be Net Savvy, by George Lorenzo, Diana Oblinger, and Charles Dziuban: It does a terrific job of explaining Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, as well as giving excellent statistics on undergraduate use of the Internet from OCLC (the Online Computer Library Center). The statistics are a little scary; 72% of college students rank search engines as their first choice for finding information, with only 2% using library web sites as their starting point.

One of the major points I got from this is that our job is ever-changing and collaboration is the key. Where we once had to worry about collaborating just with teachers, now the opportunity is there to collaborate with students. And as Judy commented earlier, our best teaching is done one-on one. Using Web 2.0 tools such as blogging and Blackboard make that collaboration a bit easier.

A second major point is the question, "Do students possess the information literacy to recognize valid information from the rest?" This is something we try to teach repeatedly; sometimes we can see the results and sometimes we can't.

Much of this information echoes what I got last year from Stephen Abram. The Millenials can find information. Learning how to evaluate it, synthesize different points of view, and create new information are the skills librarians need to be teaching. Web 2.0 tools can help us do this.


Judy Gressel said...

I found it interesting that the younger respondents (age 14-17) rely more on friends, relatives and librarians to cross-reference their information than college students. Because information is flowing from many directions we need to engage students in conversations about reliability.

Judy Mitchell said...

It seems like blogging or Blackboard would be a good way to dialog with students about the validity of the information they're using. But how do we schedule the time to make sure we respond to them in a timely manner? And what's the expectation for how quickly we respond? In the library, if I'm not available to answer a question, someone else is, and the student gets an immediate response--as long as the question is asked when the library is open.

Maggie Schmude said...

Judy M. has a very valid point. Here, there's usually someone available to help, but time to respond is often in short supply. How can we manage all of this in a timely manner? Again, it's a case of getting to students where they are and when they need us.