Aug 4, 2009

Why I hate Wikipedia naysayers and why tutoring sucks


LIS 501 Reference and Information Services

I got an "A" in my LIS class.

I am happy because this is a sign that I am on the right career track. Now, I just have to get my FAFSA shit together and I am set for success. That, and I need to apply to some PhD programs. I have until December. If you have any PhD programs that feature both philosophy, literature and theory, let me know. But, that is a conundrum for another blog post.

I am glad the group projects in the online lit class did not bring me down. I was disappointed that one of our group wiki projects bombed. We had to create a survey of ready reference web sites. We chose LGBT as our topic but quickly realized it was TOO hard to find Ready Reference for that topic.

But, you know, let me digress a bit.


Ready Reference Clarifications
I disagree with traditional definitions of ready reference. It is erroneous and limiting to assert that a source is ready reference and ready reference only. I disagree with ready reference shelves. If you are going to have a Ready Reference shelf: make it an almanac. Ready Reference depends on the needs of the user. For example, Wikipedia is ready reference at times, especially for cursory questions like, "which movie won the academy award for best picture in 1939?". But at other times Wikipedia attempts to answer encyclopedic questions and users are prompted to follow the links at the bottom of the page.

Why I love Wikipedia

I love Wikipedia no matter what the nay-sayers say. Even Lexis-Nexis with all of its pizazz has corrupted data. And EBSCO does not always transcribe information correctly. I have not done the pre-requisite research, but data loss in huge conglomerate databases is probably under-reported. I mean, you hear about glitches in Google book scan where technician's hands cover up text, but other than that, most people blindly assume that for the most part subscription databases are accurate. I mean, I want to see people hooraying for open source databases and open source directories like www.dmoz.org and www.lii.org. Instead of demeaning Wikipedia, let us try to create more critical thinkers, which won't be easy because I mean, like, look at all the people who blindly believe mass forwarded emails warning against virus. The one deterrent to accuracy is people are more willing to believe something they read based on fear rather than reason. I mean ever since that movie Taken came out, young women are not traveling Paris anytime soon. But, anyway, the other wikis went over well and I was so happy with the class as whole. Hooray for the University of Southern Mississippi School of Library and Information Science!

I am taking cataloging this Fall. I think I am in for a rude awakening because
everything I know about cataloging is so organic. Greig is set to FAIL!

Speaking of FailI got a tutoring job last week. Made 25 dollars helping this crazy guy prepare for his GRE test. Here is my advertisement on Craigslist. Send to your needy friends.
Man, you gotta be careful who you instruct through craigslist job spots. This dude is veritably crazy. Thank you very much. He acted like he was doing me a favor allowing me to tutor him in writing. He did play the piano for me in his apartment and sang mellifluously but hey, I am here to tutor, not hang around for a social call. He wrote me today informing me he was going to prepare for the GRE himself. He was odd. I hope my next set of students fair better than this one. I think I am going to gamble that 25 dollars on the video slots to at least try to milk it for what's it worth. Or lose it.

Future Blog Posts: Siggraph 2009 and Dirty Linen Night
So looking forward to Siggraph 2009 in New Orleans. I promise a blog from there as well as a blog on Dirty Linen Night this Saturday on Royal street.

Note: picture co-opted from http://www.legendarytimes.com/images/news/book2.jpg. Used without permission

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