School started last week, and there are a few things I’ve observed that I find interesting:
- Students print everything. We don’t charge for printing at the moment, and it’s appalling how much the students are printing and the sheer waste that is being generated. We keep being told how people are doing more and more online, but the reality is that people really like reading from paper. It’s portable, you can mark stuff you need to reference later, and it can be taken anywhere. Frankly, I’m not sure this bodes well for things like the e-book and the Kindle.
- Online resources are job security. No one knows how to find stuff in these databases, which makes me look like Wonder Woman when I do. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
- Reference requests come from whatever tool is handy. Sometimes students pop their head in my office and ask a question. Sometimes they email. Sometimes (rarely) they call. The few who have discovered my instant message ID will use that. The most recent was a wall-to-wall conversation on Facebook. I must admit, that one surprised me. When I asked him why Facebook and not IM, he replied, “Because I have a record of it here.” Hmmm. Interesting point.