Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Critical Inquiry Skills

Librarians are having heated discussions about what skills users need these days.  We are well past the basic - find a book, know how to cite your sources...  Users are enthralled with sources found using Google but successful seeking demands evaluating.  These blog postings have pointed out some of the search strategies you need to find targeted results on your topic.  The skills in effective searching will save you time and effort.  But not unless what you find is valuable.  The more abundant the information sources, the greater the possibility that you will find too much or what you find will not be valuable (i.e. reliable or timely).

So here comes 'critical inquiry skills,' as noted by Meredith Farkas in her article, "Information Literacy 2.0: Critical inquiry in the age of social media." (American Libraries, Nov./Dec, 2011, p.32).  She suggests that the whole premise for how we 'teach library' change to: "what we know is less important than what we can find."  Given the social web, we define 'what we can find' also as networking with friends or site buddies, etc.  We need to evaluate what we find and also be referred to quality materials through these networks.  Interesting?

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