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This is another of those issues that we all face no matter where we are
geographically, and I know that there are a group of us on the Australian
network who are trying to educate the assignment-setters to educate the
students about how they pose their requests; what information to include and
what they have already done to help themselves.

However, I believe, that as experienced professionals we have a duty to help
the up-and-coming particularly if we want to leave the profession in the
hands of top-shelf practitioners.  Therefore, instead of giving a direct
answer, maybe   conduct an online reference interview that can be used as a
model by the student in the future; we could make suggestions for sources of
information that might have what they are looking for; offer ideas about how
to search these sources efficiently and effectively; how to follow leads to
further information and so on.

The most successful learning is by doing, but even the simplest tool comes
with instructions these days.

But in relation to this issue, what I get frustrated with is the number of
requests I personally get, as one of the more visible international
contributors to the list, for "interviews" about my philosophy, programs and
practices, and after spending hours constructing something there is not even
any acknowledgement that the asker received my email!
This has happened so often now that I find myself wanting to say 'no' but
then feeling guilty so saying 'yes' and committing myself to a heap of work
that I don't know is even used.  We are teachers because we want to
contribute but it would be nice to have some feedback that every now and
then our contributions make a difference.


Barbara Braxton
Palmerston District Primary School

T. 61 2 6205 6162
F. 61 2 6205 7242

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