How good are your students at finding information – in books and on the web? In most schools, two answers are common. 1) Students are very good at finding information in books and on the web and 2) Well, I assume that they are, although I’ve no real evidence. Of course, 1) is often accompanied by ‘I mean – they’re very good at finding information but of course, it’s not always the right information. Information retrieval – by which I mean not just information seeking, but the retrieval of relevant information – is a skill which our students, magically it seems, because of their age and their constant exposure to technology, are supposed to excel. Reality of course is different and TLs face a continuing battle in finding time to teach effective information retrieval to students as part of their information literacy practice. No websites links here – just an observation.
Still reading Derek Walcott’s excellent book of poems White Egrets. This is one of these books that you can pick up and open at random and you’ll find a gem. Take today, for instance. ‘ The day, grey. The mood: slate. Too overcast to swim,/unless a strong sun emerges; which it may./Our hands, like ants, keep building libraries, storing leaves and riddling parchment; our books are tombstones, every poem a hymn’. What does all that mean? It probably means something different to you than to me, so take from it what you can, if only the rhythm of the words.