Can the internet substitute for library searches?

Galloway Cynthia M kfcmg00 at TAMUK.EDU
Sat Oct 5 16:19:21 EST 1996


I too have noticed the trend toward students asking very basic questions 
on the net that would or should be answered by a quick trip to the 
library.  Recent questions I have seen were both done when I did Jr. High 
Science Fair 25 years ago and we didn't have the net to use to get info - 
just the public library.  

I encourage students to use the library first and then the net.  Our 
library is very bad but, it is still possible to find info if you only 
learn where to look.  My seniors last year had never heard of 
Bioabstracts or Science Citation Index.  They thought you looked up 
journal articles in the card catalog so, two class days were spent in the 
library learning how to use the library.  As it was, only half the class 
attempted the assignment.  They'd rather take a zero than work.  

Last May there was a rash of high school students wanting info for 
projects due the next day along with parents wanting info for their 
kids.  In both of these instances I find the use of the net 
unacceptable.  However, I would look more favorably on high school kids 
using the net to get info since many only have access to public libraries 
that sometimes lack good science info.  I put myself through college 
working at a Los Angeles Co. library which, while being better than most, 
still left lots to be desired in the way of scientific info.  If you use 
the net, at least search before asking.  

There's nothing like reading the article (primary source) yourself to get 
the whole picture.


Dr. Cynthia M. Galloway
Associate Professor 
Dept. of Biology
Campus Box 158
Texas A&M University
Kingsville, TX 78363

FAX: 512/595-3409

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