During the weeks leading up to fall term, my institution puts on something we call “Fall Academy.” Organized by Academic Technologies, faculty and staff gather for various training, refresher, or orientation sessions on technology, pedagogy, and university policies or practices. It is awesome. And exhausting.
This year, in addition to participating in our Day of DH, I led a session called “Search Everything.” Nominally this was about our using our discovery layer (Search Everything being the label we use on the library website), but I decided to take a broader approach.
Resetting expectations was my main motivation for this talk. I’m afraid I may have come off too harsh or defensive, but I was not going to stand for any card catalog nostalgia. It’s a complex world out there for information seekers. “Too big to know” as David Weinberger says.
My secondary motivation was to remind attendees that their students have almost always lived in a world where Google exists. I might be the youngest “professor” on campus, so sometimes I find myself in this role of Millennial ambassador or translator. I used this presentation to tell the “adults” about student research habits and challenges, primarily through data from Project Information Literacy. I also walked them through what I tell students about the very recent history of the internet.
I hope it was a useful talk. It was hard to prepare knowing that the audience would bring a wide range of experience. If nothing else, attendees learned to put search terms in quotes except in Google where you have to use Verbatim search, because Google.