School Libraries

Less abstinence and more PLUS for real information literacy

I have always been a big fan of Wikipedia but felt I had to keep that to myself when I first began library school. Everyone was so against it. It did, after all, threaten our very existence as librarians! (No, not really). It was really that kind of attitude that made me want to be a librarian in the first place. Why were librarians not supporting the Wikipedia effort? Or really any effort that creates the easiest access to information possible? This also goes along with my thoughts on piracy… but more on that in another post… for another much less crazy couple of weeks.

I know, I know. It is all about the quality of the information. But the myth that it is filled with inaccurate information has pretty much been dispelled. So the stigma has diminished, thankfully. I was happy to see this from Harvard just a couple of weeks ago:

While professors, scholars, and other academics in the early 2000s cautioned students not to consult Wikipedia at all when researching, attitudes concerning the popular online encyclopedia are shifting, according to some Harvard professors.

Some professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences said they see Wikipedia as more acceptable, even as a website that students can peruse for somewhat reliable information. Although they still warned students to be wary when using Wikipedia, some professors no longer look at the site with the same criticism.

Via Professors See Shift in Academic Attitudes on Wikipedia

TurnItIn, a company that processes student papers checking for originality among other things, is giving a free webcast for Plagiarism Education Week all about using Wikipedia as a teaching tool for information literacy that might be of interest to teacher librarians. You can learn more or register for it here.

3rd Annual Plagiarism Education Week

Students use Wikipedia—but have you ever thought of asking them to contribute content to Wikipedia? In this presentation, LiAnna Davis from the Wiki Education Foundation will explain best practices for using Wikipedia as a teaching tool.

In contributing content to Wikipedia, students gain skills in media literacy, fact-based writing, research, collaboration, and critical thinking — a true authentic learning service project for the digital age.

Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Time: 1pm San Francisco / 2pm Denver / 3pm Chicago / 4pm New York (find your time zone)

Cost: Complimentary

“Certificates of Participation” are provided to attendees of the live event.

This webcast will be recorded and a link sent via email to registrants.


LiAnna Davis, Director of Programs at Wiki Education Foundation, is responsible for all programmatic activities. She oversees program administration, including program planning, staffing, development, budgeting, communications, and evaluation.

Jason Chu is Education Director for Turnitin. His focus is on working to build resources for educators, and his personal passion is to find better ways to enhance student achievement.

via Wikipedia in the Classroom: Authority, Trust, and Information Literacy.

I have also been making an effort to learn more about Snapchat as a tool for libraries and I liked this (albeit, old) School Library Journal article about using it to teach students that the Internet does not forget.

Basically, kids are going to have sex(t)! So we might as well be providing them with a comprehensive sex education, right?