Skip to main content

She would have hated me as her student!

Tara Brabazon's hitting the headlines again, with an interview in The Guardian.
She thinks that librarians will like her take on things, as we all want more books, and must feel as she does, that using Google, Wikipedia, and even blogs is 'bad' research.
Well, I disagree.

I like using Google - it gives me a good starting point. Wikipedia quickly gives me information on topics that I don't know about. Blogs give a personal view of issues, and often uncover a bias or truth not widely publicised.
Yes, books are wonderful, but to get to the information in them, I need physical access to them...which isn't always possible. Online tools allow me to start my research from resources I can access, then if needed, I can move on to physical resources. I can't easily tell if a book even discusses a certain topic without having it and its index in my hand, but I can do a keyword search on a pdf, or webpage, and rapidly check its usefulness.
I'm also a big enough girl to be able to assess the potential accuracy and reliability of the resources I look at.
To be banned from doing this, and allowed to refer only to a list selected by someone else seems stupid. Yes, they may be the leading texts, but what if there's been comment on them that disagrees with them, but isn't also included on that list?
Isn't that just as biased as an error-ridden Wikipedia entry?

Others have already stated that her approach to training students to research by banning use of Google, and giving only a set text list isn't a particularly great plan...all I can say is she would have HATED me as her student! :-)

Comments

Scott said…
Brilliant. She is very funny. Please just read what I tell you to and nothing else as I don't want you thinking for yourself or looking at any other ideas I haven't pre vetted. Genius.

Popular posts from this blog

A ladyfellowing

Well, in January this year, I submitted my Fellowship portfolio, and heard in April that it had been successful, making me now officially a Ladyfellow and able to add FCLIP after my name, yay!

Me registration fees were paid in September 2015, so technically it took less than 18 months from registration to submission. However, that doesn’t include the good few months before that, preparing my thoughts, talking to my mentor, and plotting out just how I would Get This Damn Thing Done, so realistically, it was more like a 2 year process.

So, how big a task was it? In a “dear god, what have I done” moment, I totalled up the word count of all items in the portfolio, and it came to approximately 30,000 words. That’s easily the largest piece of work I’ve ever produced (I’m a rubbish student, so I’ve never had to produce an academic dissertation). So yes, it turns out that reviewing your career and achievements to date, and reflecting on what you’ve learned from all of your experiences is quite …

Relaunching a library service

What do you do when you decide to do what is verging on library-based insanity, and basically scrap your current library service, and relaunch everything - physical layout, LMS, and classification system? In my case, spend a year, planning, developing, preparing….and then a frantic few weeks hauling stock!
The background to this apparent madness is this: when I took on this role I inherited a library using a layout that didn’t seem to make sense, a classification system I wasn’t familiar with, and an LMS that had been in place for 20 years but didn’t seem suited to our needs. As I was new to the library, a major part of the time I had available while settling in during my initial few months was dedicated to exploring how well these things were working, both for users, and library staff. I had the benefit of my colleague also being new to the library, only a few months after me, so together we looked at these issues with fresh eyes.We came to the following conclusions: The physical layou…