Monday, October 05, 2009

Fahrenheit Wikipedia

Ira Socol on all things banned:
Last week a Twitter Pal told me, "You should have seen our district's librarians cheering because they got Wikipedia blocked." To which I responded, "You should have walked into each library, grabbed all those World Books and Britannicas, and set fire to them in the parking lot. Same thing."

Read up, kids.


  1. I think one of the most dangerous things school librarians can do to endanger their job is run away from social media. I understand the desire to block Wikipedia. Many of my students use it as the only reference source when doing research. The generic assignments, the easy and quick questions, products without citation needed are some reasons why. It is also accurate, easy to find and use. I DO not think it should be the only reference source (or even the first one) my students use. However, my teachers should be challenging students to create, think, question and evaluate. There are too few that do this. The reasons I get from teachers is "there is no time", "the state tests are coming", "I just want to do this project quickly". We need to fight this thinking in the trenches! Be behind your students...they deserve better. As librarians, we need to show students how to use the power of wikis to check, comment on, discuss and change the nature of the information there. It is our job not just to "house books", but to be one (or two.. if you are lucky) person in the building to guide, cajole, teach, explore and help students through the information that is out there. Turning off Wikipedia teaches them nothing (except that they will not use the library for research)about information filtering, examining, and evaluating. I urge all of my fellow librarians in high schools to read Joyce Valenza's Manifesto for the 21st Century Librarian. Please. Today. Before it is too late.

  2. "one of the most dangerous things school librarians can do to endanger their job is run away from social media." Mrs. Balk



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