I don’t think there is a way to get students “excited” about searching, but you can definitely them excited about *finding*, which makes the search worth it.
For the teens at my public library searching means going over to the shelves and browsing around for something, then whining to me when they don’t find it. I then proceed to harp on them about using the catalog to search for things, they tell me how lazy they are, and then we do it together, or I simply persuade them to go to the reference desk and ask for help. Lo and behold, they get the help or tools they need to find what they’re looking for or get it requested.
The result it the big thing. The path there won’t ever be fun, especially for teens. I think we just have to get them excited about finding what they want, and go through the search because they have to.
I was talking with a professor the other day and she asked me:
How do you get students excited about searching?
It reminded me of the old quote:
Librarians like to search. Everyone else likes to find.
I really had to think about this one. Maybe it’s that word: excite? I’m a librarian and I don’t think that searching is exciting. Sure it can occasionally be a fun detective hunt. Yes, it’s sometimes serendipitous…but often it’s just tedious–nothing I would generally categorize as exciting.
As an instruction librarian, am I failure in the classroom if I don’t think it’s my job to get students excited about searching? I don’t think so. You need to be cognizant that sometimes it just boils down to the professor’s assignment. Is the assignment exciting? Or is it just busy work? I’m more than happy to collaborate with faculty on assignment ideas, but at the end of…
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