If love is in the air… will students put more effort into information seeking? Liezl Ball and Prof Ina Fourie Department of Information Science University of Pretoria
Might we be the rejected lovers? • The other party (aka students) are mostly described as: • unmotivated and uninterested • Concerns and complaints about students’: • poor skills in information seeking • inability to select appropriate literature • This is evident in: • information literacy courses • training of library and information science students
Trying to make a match • Information specialists of the future • Information science students are the information specialists, librarians and intermediaries of the future. • In future they might be involved with: • training students and other users • searching on behalf of others • designing and developing information retrieval systems • and other interventions
Some sparks of romance • In 2004 and 2008, entries from the Department of Information Science (University of Pretoria) won Dialog’s Roger Summit Scholarship (an amount of 5 000 Euro for each winner). We competed in the category: Europe, Middle East and Africa. • Good search skills can be an outcome of our training programme.
Another pick-up line? Another move? • “In Hard Times, [Charles Dickens] left us, of course, one of the most unforgettable pictures of what education looks like if it forgets [that] exuberance and excess, and treats human beings as small containers for information and skill.” – Rowan Williams
Training approaches • Information literacy standards • Characteristics of information specialists • Information behaviour research
Start from motivation • What if we turn it upside down? • Motivation – what better than ROMANCE (SAOUG’s annual Valentine’s day breakfast) • This was tested in an informal experiment
“Valentine's day competition” • "Information Seeking and Retrieval Valentine's day competition" • The most interesting journal article related to Valentine's day • Romance, love, or other Valentine's day related themes • Submit the article title, authors, abstract and journal title in which it was published, in class • Prize: a gift with a Valentine theme
They fell head over heels… • About 20 submissions out of approximately 100 students • Quality and quantity were surprising considering it was not for marks • Some from subscription databases, e.g. EbscoHost • Responses to some of the articles • Laughter and cheering • Gratitude for the prizes
Scope of literature submitted • Journal articles • Blogs • Newspaper articles • Magazine articles
Examples • Gonzalez, A.Q. & Koestner, R. 2006. What Valentine Announcements Reveal about the Romantic Emotions of Men and Women. Sex Roles, 55(11-12): 767-773. • Bhana, D. 2011. Girls want money, boys want virgins: the materiality of love amongst South African township youth in the context of HIV and AIDS. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13(8):961-972. • Pettman, D. 2009. Love in the time of Tamagotchi. Theory Culture & Society, 26(2-3):189-208. • Otnes, C., Ruth, J.A. & Milbourne, C.C. 1994. The pleasure and pain of being close: Men’s mixed feelings about participation in Valentine’s Day gift exchange. Advances in Consumer Research, 21: 159-164.
What kindled the flame of romance? • Did the prizes or the topic motivate the students? • Students indicated: prizes • Yes, but we wonder…
Aligning the course content to topic • Information infrastructure • Search strategies • Searching different types of media • Evaluating information resources
Suggestions • Suggestions on training more romantic information specialists • Prepare for a move to EMOTION in information behaviour • Interest • Enthusiasm • Passion • Align with the learners’ world (NET generation), but something we can relate to
Conclusion • Maybe it is not only about romance… but celebrating the extravagant and excessive nature of human beings with exuberance also in information seeking and retrieval. • Any suggestions on this would be welcome.
Contact information Liezl Ball Department of Information Science University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria Email: email@example.com Office: (012) 420-2962 Fax: (012) 362-5181 Cell: 083-303-1514 Prof Ina Fourie Department of Information Science University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: (012) 420-5216 Fax: (012) 362-5181 Cell: 082-707-8062