Librarian Response, Hampshire College


1) The content of the class and the research goal of the individual
student determine the way we teach the use of resources. Most assignments
demonstrate how to use information to support or influence a thesis rather
than just to find a citation or a particular fact. For example, a class
on psychology would not simply look at PsycINFO but would want to pursue
a particular idea and discover where it might lead. As a result, this approach
to the gathering of critical information skills instruction is based on
need and interest on the part of the student and is not an abstract library

2) Librarians are currently responsible for teaching classes in the
use of electronic information as part of the first year experience. In
addition, they are responsible for consultation and referral to students,
staff, and faculty.

3) Librarians goals are to create a more seamless realationship between
faculty, students, and information technologists in the field of electronic
information. It is our hope and plan that over the next few years as electronic
resources continue to proliferate, we will develop a way of working so
that easy access to information will not lead to abandoning evaluation
skills. For years the librarian was the portal to information; now the
computer is the portal. Librarians need to find ways to help people discriminate
between the sources of information and find the best ways to search. Although
computers create easy access they also make evaluation more important,
but more difficult.

Dan Schnurr
Social Sciences Librarian
Hampshire College