Friday, December 10, 2004

"Where Would I Get a Book?"

Although this might have been said in jest, according to an AP report on CNN, this was the answer when a university professor told a class they would need to use at least one book for a project. As librarians, we see this trend every day. The younger you are, the more likely you are to research topics using only electronic resources that you can get immediately. I can't say this is all bad, as the Internet and commercial databases are my first stops when I begin research. If I see a print or older resource cited, then I will try to get it from a library. I normally don't start my research in the library building anymore. Of course, I am usually researching technical topics, so that may influence the research process. What is interesting . . . and maybe a little scary . . . is that most people will find a couple of websites on a topic and assume they've got everything they need. Having a diversity of opinion on a topic is a great thing . . . believing the first few you come across can cause problems. Right now, most of these problems are seen in college and high school papers. However, what happens when these same people are deciding on where you should place your money for retirement? Or which medication you should take? Or which new products a company should develop? Should be interesting to watch . . .

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