Librarians – The Original Search Engines

I love this assignment by Professor Downey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his media fluency class he asks students to find a research article that is NOT available online and then make it available. The student comments are terrific.

“Once I got to the library, I realized I had absolutely no idea how to use our library system — which was very embarrassing. I found a reference desk in the library and explained the assignment to a librarian, hoping she could help me. She assisted me in finding a book that was not available online, and then taught me how to use the stacks to locate the book. This aspect of the assignment was quite rewarding because it helped me acquire skills I will use for the remainder of my college experience.”

“The next thing I knew, I was wandering deep into the stacks of Memorial Library alone in the dark. At first it was scary, but then I realized how many fascinating books our school has that I never knew about. Before I even began looking for the book I was searching for, I started picking up random books. Some dated as far back as 1865. I was amazed with what our libraries offer.”

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