Drinking the Kool-Aid

Photo from srqpix

You can find out just about anything on the internet. Google is your friend, and will direct you to the best information available. Right?

Sometimes. But often there is a lot of junk out there that just isn’t true. This is why you might want help from a librarian – they can teach you how to access sources that are good, reputable, and citation-worthy. By learning to recognize sources that have merit you can drastically improve the quality of your research. Developing these skills sets you on the path towards information literacy.

Being “information literate” means that you can “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” (ALA). It’s being able to critically assess the information you’ve found, and evaluate it for credability and accuracy. It’s finding the information you need, and making sure it’s good. Librarians are trained not only to separate the wheat from the chaff, but also to help you learn these skills as well.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Instead of mindlessly taking in information without questioning its quality, ask yourself, “Would a librarian agree with this?” And if you’re not sure, ask one. It’s what we’re here for.

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