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On Wednesday, July 2, 2003, at 09:54 AM, kaTe wrote:

> what would be the difference in asking a librarian for help in a
> library or
> asking a librarian for help online?
> kate :)
There should be no difference in whether the librarian asked for
assistance is real or virtual.  My only problem with answering the
question for the original poster is similar to what Linda Fox expressed
in her response.  If she is asking us for help now, and we give it to
her, bypassing her need to learn how to find that information, what
will she do when she is at the library desk and someone comes to her,
expecting help.  If she is to become the expert, she needs to learn to
do these relatively straightforward searches for herself.

This is an issue I have with the local public librarians whose
philosophy includes "helping" my students find the information they
need as a component of their "reference services."  What they don't
realize is that my goal was more process oriented than project
oriented, and what I really want my students to learn is how to find
the information for themselves.  Now, I don't object if the student has
tried, and is stumped, but when the librarians pre-empt student efforts
to locate information, they are undermining my assignment in the name
of their providing service.

In the same way, if we offer suggestions before this library science
student does some of the searching, we are undermining the learning
process.  To me, it is especially important when the searching skills
are so vital to her actual job performance when she gets into the
library on her own.

Gail Smith, Librarian and Tech Facilitator
Edison Regional Gifted Center, Chicago
- - - - - - - - - -
Educators have just declared War on Ignorance.
Where is our $75 billion?

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