Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Ask!

I receive daily alerts on "information literacy" OR "information fluency" from Google to stay current on what's being published about this topic and by whom.

Today's alert contained a reference to

Information Literacy - State of the Art - Update Report UK

I thought I'd check to see what constitutes the State of the Art in the UK, but encountered two problems. First is that there is no link on the page to the article or its download. Secondly, the name of the author has been misspelled.

Someone who is able to correct both problems is bound to catch this problem soon, so if you go there, a link to the report may have appeared.

How do I know there's no link to the article? Well, first I scanned the page, rolling my mouse over text to see if a link would reveal itself. I also highlighted areas of the page by dragging my mouse to see if there might a link hiding somewhere. Eventually, I browsed to other pages in the site with other downloads to see where they normally place the link. Sure enough, the link is not where it is usually found.  (I could  also use Firefox Tools such as Web Developer > Information > Display Link Details to highlight all the links and their urls on the page.)

I also tried searching for the name of the document and the author. Here's where I discovered the author's name is not really  Ruth Stbbings. Google offered me alternate spellings and an investigation of results for Ruth Stubbings revealed the person I believe is really responsible for the report (Academic Services Manager, Pilkington Library Loughborough University). Now I have an email address and a phone number. If I really want the report, I'm just one step away from asking her for it.

Unfortunately, most youth I've encountered would not take the search this far. There's almost always a way to find what you're looking for. The fun is discovering clues that do the job.  Getting youth to experience that "fun" is one of our biggest challenges.

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