Week 3 – Reference – Trends Reflection

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    • #1066
      Shannon Franzway

      I enjoyed the almost evangelical passion behind Anthony Verdesca’s observations of reference, that it is highly specialised and should be highly revered, but in answer to his own rhetorical question, how does it help the generation that holds infinity in its pocket? Well, I’m not convinced traditional reference is the answer.

      Vala describes a popular misconception that all information can be found on the web with ease, reliability, and that it is free. Well sure, anyone can Google – it fits the free and easy description.  Throw “Kim Kardashian” into the search bar and you’ve got yourself 189,000,000 results through which to sift.  (Just as an aside, interesting isn’t it, that Google was once simply the proprietary name of a search engine and now it’s also a verb that is listed in the Oxford Dictionary?)

      Or, if we get a bit more sophisticated there’s Wikipedia, defining itself as a free-access, free content Internet encyclopedia.  Yes, it’s free and it’s easy to use, but critics question the accuracy of the information and the bias of contributors.  There is discussion though, of a heavy, or even over-reliance on Wikipedia as an information source, and that the 2012 one-day blackout created some mild angst amongst those with one dimensional research skills.

      So, what to do? Well as one contributor put it, a good librarian is needed!

      So what skills separate a librarian and a standard library user?  Aside from the usual library school qualification, according to a study by Laura Saunders they have the traditional skills of reference – adept search ability, knowledge of sources, communication and interpersonal skills – plus new competencies and skills that evolve continually with the introduction of new technology and online resources.

    • #1225
      Paola Beretta

      Hi Shannon,

      I really enjoyed reading your article – it is lively and well referenced. Just one suggestion: when I clicked on the ‘good librarian’ link it took me to a relevant article to the topic but made me wonder why you called the link ‘good librarian’. And then…what is a good librarian? Do we know? Just food for thought. Cheers!

      • This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Paola Beretta.
    • #1315
      Shannon Franzway

      Thanks for the “good librarian” tip – looks like I inserted the incorrect link – oops.  Good pick up!

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