Teachers: Slowly but surely, they will learn.

I remember at the turn of the century how academics rejected online resources, including all those expensive online databases that colleges subscribe to. Time and time again I would lead a student to our databases and I would hear the same thing: "My professor doesn't want us using the Internet." At first, I was frustrated by this statement and then I sort of turned it on its head. I would tell people this: "This database holds all the same information that the print resource would, it's just easier to search for and access." Then I started to bend the rules a little bit by adding, "If you don't tell your professor you retrieved it online, they will never know." This was not necessarily a lie, but it didn't drip of honesty, either.

After about a year or two of that kind of dialogue with countless students, I started noticing that the "no Internet" talk from students was gradually fading out of my day-to-day work. I give the most credit to the librarians I was working with at the time for really communicating with and informing the faculty about the nature of these resources. Also, faculty have realized how much easier their research is with such online products. Further, and this is my favorite, I think faculty are tickled with the new tools out there to detect plagiarism, including free stuff like Plagium or proprietary stuff like Turnitin. And, of course, as is the answer to everything, Google is also very effective at finding out whether students are being honest or if they're ripping off someone else's writing.

Although academics have made me very, very pleased with their acceptance of emerging technologies, I am still a bit disappointed at the turtle-paced acceptance of junior high and high school teachers. As I am currently at a public library, I see many more non-college students. Although some of their assignments sound college-esque (i.e. "I have to find a critical analysis on this poem"), their teachers are still living in the dark ages of "Internet sources are bunk." And it's the same story: "My teacher won't let me use Internet sources." Hence, I have reverted back to my ol' "They'll-never-know" technique.

The questions that form in my head revolve around whether librarians, public and media specialist, are teaching high school teachers about these types of online materials. I truly feel that the faculty at my old college library were shown the electronic resource light by a group of top-notch librarians spreading the knowledge. Are public librarians and school media specialists taking on this role? So far, I haven't seen the proof because I keep having to explain to high school students (and sometimes their parents) that the material in our databases are just as legitimate as those in our print collection.

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