Why Johnny Can’t Search

The November issue of Wired magazine featured an article entitled “Clive Thompson on Why Kids Can’t Search.”

The article talks about the problems students have searching for information online.  The author notes that, “High school and college students may be `digital natives,’ but they’re wretched at searching. In a recent experiment at Northwestern, when 102 undergraduates were asked to do some research online, none went to the trouble of checking the authors’ credentials.**  In 1955, we wondered why Johnny can’t read. Today the question is, why can’t Johnny search?”

The article also discusses a study which proves that students are not searching critically or assessing the information they find.

To librarians, this is not much of a revelation.

What does this mean for you?

Thompson noted that “Librarians are our national leaders in this fight; they’re the main ones trying to teach search skills to kids today.” DO make use of the talents of your BSC librarians. We can help you with your research and teach you better ways to find information.  We can meet with class groups or departmental groups or with individuals.  To set up an instructional session or an appointment with a librarian, contact us at Ask a Librarian, call us (224-5450), or stop by the reference desk.

**Note: Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired.

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