- Go! Northfield-Dundas
- Submit Content
Pegasus Librarian - Iris Jastram
Learning in Libraries and Loving It
Updated: 54 min 39 sec ago
Most of my seniors are in the midst of writing their senior theses at the moment. For some, this is their first time doing any major library research (no kidding). For most, if not all of them, this is the biggest, longest, scariest paper they’ve ever had to write, and they can’t graduate until they’ve successfully completed it.
For students going on to graduate school, this is fantastic practice for their futures as scholars. For everyone else, it’s a really really big paper. And yet everyone is expected to produce work that demonstrates the student’s ability to behave like a young scholar — an almost-expert insider in the community of inquiry that is their major field.
This business of becoming an expert inside in a field is hard enough if you’re aware that that’s your task — it’s harder still if nobody has explained that this is what they want of you. And in my world of information literacy, it’s probably the single most important concept to get across. No evidence that they examine is intrinsically “good” or “bad” evidence. The question is, good or bad for what and for whom and in what context?
“To become an insider requires access to information that is valued and sanctioned with that [conversation] space…. This requires knowing about the sources of information that will inform practice, why they are valued and sanctioned by the community, how they are nuanced and the ways in which they can be accessed” (Lloyd 2010, 10).
I can teach advanced searching of the MLA International Bibliography until I’m blue in the face, but if my students don’t realize they they must first become aware of the norms and conventions of the conversation they’re entering, they have no functional way of selecting appropriate evidence, asking questions of it that are valued within the community, and asserting credible claims for their community.
In essence, I’m teaching these students, many of whom will not become PhDs in their chosen fields, to be method actors. See the scholar; be the scholar. Take on the tweed coat, revel in it, and take on the values, characteristics, and moods of that scholar as if they were your own. Only then will they be able to find, select, interrogate, and make appropriate use of the information that surrounds them.
Lloyd, Annemaree. 2010. Information Literacy Landscapes: Information Literacy in Education, Workplace, and Everyday Contexts. Oxford: Chandos Publishing.
And now, back to your irregularly scheduled librarian mundanity…
The last finals have be given, so Fall term is officially over. Fall terms are always intense, and this one was no exception. The difference this time is that I now have a couple of years of data all in LibAnalytics to look at. Turns out, I do over a third of all my teaching for the whole year in a two-week period in October. Yeow.
This year was also the year of “I wrote the paper, so now I just need some sources,” which is wrenching for both me and the student (particularly because the answer is often “there is no source that says that, so you’ll have to re-write your paper).
I’m also branching out in my projects, helping to run the new Emergency Planning task force. That probably deserves its own post at some point — it’s been a wild ride so far and I now know more than I thought I ever would about our electrical system and the Clery Act.
I ran through my limited energy a couple of weeks ago, so I’m really looking forward to the long weekend this week and the Christmas holidays coming up. I need some quality couch time!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. See you in December, most likely.
As with most stories involving hacktivism, major corporations, insanity, and backwater social media platforms, we will probably never know exactly what happened this past weekend when FriendFeed went down for a day and a half.Theory One
One perfectly plausible theory is that someone accidentally tripped over the FF server’s power cord down in Facebook Headquarters and nobody noticed until Sunday. Meanwhile an Anon thought this would be a good time to protest censorship, little realizing that this would make Anonymous a bit of a laughing stock.
Evidence for this theory includes: A) the fact that someone at FB HQ could “push the button” that made FF go again, and B) the complete laughability of any Anon thinking FF was one of the biggest social networks in the world.
The other theory is that this misguided Anon really did throw an epic tantrum thinking that account deletion (and therefore content deletion) combined with buggy search equals censorship. Evidence for this theory include A) the continuing tantrum that this Anon is throwing over in FF over having had his account deleted as spam and having seen other content disappear and, somehow, images of the Boston Marathon Bombing and an over-representation of librarians on FF… (I believe the technical term is “batshit”)…
…and B) the complete laughability of thinking “here’s a cause that nobody at FB HQ will care about — let’s claim responsibility because then they will PHEER US” when really, nobody at FB noticed until we told them.
Either way, Anonymous (or at least this Anon) didn’t do itself any favors. … And now I’ll probably be DoSed. Sigh.Anyway…
Whatever the truth, we’ve learned a few things:
- Back when FF was still its own thing and they were still developing and improving its code, the data that the search function used was all housed on one machine. Since then, we’ve generated a LOT of data, so essentially old stuff isn’t indexed any more. Probably some new stuff isn’t either. There just isn’t space. So that’s good to know for all of us.
- Facebook let us live! And even revived us!
- Anonymous, or at least this Anon, doesn’t seem to understand some fundamental things about life, the universe, and everything.
- There is apparently an over-representation of librarians on FriendFeed.
- It’s a good thing Iain Baker (of Jesus Jones) has an extensive social network. We owe him and his network a whole lot of thanks.
UPDATE for the lulz: The worst insult known to humankind.
Johnny is not a librarian. It’s just that Exhibit A for Theory Two started with this post:
Apparently, Anonymous has mistaken FriendFeed for “One of the biggest social networks” and is therefore venting spleen in the form of a DDoS attack. Why? Because hashtag searching for something Anonymous was interested in didn’t work and therefore must have been censored. Must have! It couldn’t possibly be that FriendFeed is actually the forgotten stepchild of Facebook and the search function hasn’t worked consistently in years for any of us…
Now, for those of us active on FriendFeed, it’s a huge part of our lives and relationships. But none of us kid ourselves that we’re operating on “one of the biggest social networks.” In fact, most of us are simultaneously pleased and baffled that Facebook has let us limp along for 4 years on our preferred platform even after the whole FriendFeed team went to work for Facebook instead. TechCrunch can’t figure out why FriendFeed even still exists to be attacked. I’m mostly worried that this whole attack will remind Facebook that they forgot to pull the plug on us years ago.
So while we wait for Anonymous to realize what a backwater they’ve chosen on which to take their anti-nonexistent-censorship stand, we can speculate about a) how little they actually know about the internet, b) how bored/drunk/high they were when they launched this attack, and c) what they’ll take down next.
Rodfather has a guess about question C.
UPDATE: After almost 2 full days of downtime, Facebook got FriendFeed back up and running at 2:30 this afternoon. Rejoice!!!