Evaluating Web Sources with the Library Fairy
Students at St. Kate's learn about evaluating web sources with the beloved Library Fairy.
Tags: information literacy academic libraries
Added: 5 years ago
[scene opens with two female students sitting down in the St. Catherine University Library]
STUDENT 1: So, how's your research going?
STUDENT 2: It's really great! I found some great books using CLICnet, and I found articles using the databases ... I even found some webpages using Google.
[a male librarian (wearing cardboard fairy wings and carrying a wand) enters the scene]
LIBRARY FAIRY: Did I hear someone say Google?
STUDENT 2: Library Fairy, what're you doing this time? I think we know how to do research now.
STUDENT 1: Uh huh!
LIBRARY FAIRY: The internet can be a great place to find information for your topic, but you need to be sure to evaluate everything you find there.
["Evaluate everything you find on the Internet" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: Show me which website you found.
STUDENT 2: Well, I have one website here that talks about capital punishment.
[she hands him a printout, and he quickly looks it over]
LIBRARY FAIRY: This website has a date of 2001 ... That's really old!
["Currency. Is there a date? Copyright? Last updated date?" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: You should always check for currency.
STUDENT 1: Well, what about this website? It's from 2007!
LIBRARY FAIRY: Ah!
[she hands him her own printout, and he quickly looks it over]
LIBRARY FAIRY: But ...
[he taps the paper with his wand]
LIBRARY FAIRY: This website says capital punishment is legal at the College of Saint Catherine ... That's a lie!
["Accuracy. Can you verify the info? Is the info cited? Is it well-written?" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: You always need to check for accuracy on any website.
STUDENT 2: Well, here's a really good website on capital punishment. It's from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
[she hands him another printout, as "Bureau of Justice Statistics, www dot ojp dot usdoj dot gov slash bjs" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: Yes, the Bureau of Justic Statistics is a trusted government source for information.
STUDENT 2: Yeah!
["Authority. Who is the author? Who created the site? Is there contact info?" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: Check your sources to see if there's an authority behind them, or to see who it is that created the site.
STUDENT: Okay, well, what about this one? I found this one from a website about the death penalty.
[she hands him another printout, and he quickly looks over it]
LIBRARY FAIRY: This info is from a website called "Kill 'Em All" dot com!
["www dot killthemall dot com" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: This is a very biased website!
["Bias. Does the website have a stated purpose? Is it hosted by a biased organization? Is there advertising?" appears on screen]
LIBRARY FAIRY: You should always check websites for bias.
[one of the students shakes her head]
STUDENT 2: I guess we still have a lot to learn ...
Learning how to evaluate good sources of information will help you long after you graduate from college. Learn more by checking out these other websites or by talking to a librarian (call 651-690-6652 for help).