All about Library Science

Library Science is such an odd term.  Does the Library really have an actual SCIENCE?  Perhaps not but it does have well considered conventions, rules, and amazingly detailed organization.  It is really that sort of thing that I consider Library Science – the act of categorizing something (an object, book, photo or even a patron request) in order to find out where it should be.

You might think that with computers, the easiest thing would be to make a long list of locations to use as finding tools.  But this is where Library Science gets more interesting.  If you group similar or related items together, you make it so you can find relevant things THAT YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU NEEDED!  When I teach information literacy, I describe what Library Scientists call “Berry-picking.”  It is a concept that second grade students can understand and use.

Berry-picking is when you collect an item needed for your project and then notice that right near it (or IN it) is another relevant item – berrys if you are in the forest, citations if you are in an article.

For me, this is where most online educational resources (OER) belong.  And one of the BEST places to berry-pick for information is Wikipedia.  Right – no citing Wikipedia.  That is STILL the rule.  But berry-picking from Wikipedia is really useful.  Try going to a topic you have interest in and then scrolling ALLLLLLL the way down to the bottom.  Those citations?  Those are the berries.  Use those links to read and evaluate the information.  Voila!