Last week a teacher asked if I would come to her room and give the overview of our digital library resources that are good for research. I thought this would be a great lesson for our intern, Elizabeth Graham to lead. I shared with her what I had done with this class, a STEM Humanities class around this time last year.
Just after beginning the discussion about research in general terms, Elizabeth had four volunteers in the class take signs (Library, Ask a Friend, Google, DISCUS) to each corner of the room, and then directed the class to choose their starting point for their upcoming research project.
Quite revealing isn’t it? Anyone surprised? We all know kids who immediately turn to Google. We even do it ourselves, even though we know better. Elizabeth then took these students on a path around all our digital resources, showing them why these were better resources than what is found during a free, world wide web session. She used this video to show how online searching is changing, and how search engines use a lot of influences to determine what is returned in a single search.
After showcasing all the various digital resources we offer students, and pointing out that even if they never set foot in the library all year, if they use any of these resources (DISCUS, EBSCOHost, Gale Virtual Library, and Discovery Streaming), they are indeed using their library, albeit indirectly.
At the close of our session, Elizabeth asked the students to once again walk to the corner of the room that showed where they would begin their research. Amazingly, it was quite different, especially for most of those who said they’d Google first.