Research Skills Instruction & Libraries Are Needed Now More Than Ever

FALLACIES I have heard…

  • “Research skills are outdated.”
  • “Reference collections are outdated.”
  • “Libraries are outdated.”

To the contrary, the proliferation of misinformation is evidence that research skills are needed today more than ever.

research skills — the ability to ask and answer questions independently.

It is important for librarians, teachers and administrators to understand that the research skills students need today are much different than the research skills students needed twenty years ago. Today — with the internet at their fingertips — students do not need to know how to find some information about a topic. Students have an abundance of information (and misinformation) available to them. Instead, students need to know how to quickly sift through the plethora of information available to find accurate and relevant information.

Many school and public libraries have gotten rid of outdated research tools and research skills lessons but failed to replace them with up-to-date research tools and research skills lessons.

Are you a school or public librarian who could use help staying up-to-date with research skills instruction? Are you a teacher whose students are citing Google or Wikipedia, and you are unsure what sources of information your students should be using instead? Are you an administrator who sees research skills instruction mandated by the Common Core State Standards but doesn’t know what that research skills instruction should look like?

Follow The Curious Kid’s Librarian for quick tips for teaching students how to find information that is accurate and relevant. I will be sharing up-to-date research tools and lessons, tips for ensuring the sources your students are citing are accurate, and thoughts on the central role librarians should be playing in implementing the Common Core State Standards.

One more FALLACY…

  • “Research skills are boring.”

To the contrary, when students have questions they truly want answered, research skills instruction becomes super useful and engaging. Here at The Curious Kid’s Librarian, we will focus on student-generated research questions and integrating research skills instruction into the curriculum. When we start with good research questions, learning research skills becomes exciting.

Finally, I will leave you with a few TRUTHS…

  • Research skills are needed now more than ever.
  • Facts still exist.
  • Librarians can help.

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