Library vs. Internet
Students are often unable to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate resources. If the information is not available on the internet, it does not exist for them. Librarians and faculty express concern that students do not know how to adequately evaluate the quality of information resources found on the internet. Both web-based and traditional library resources are useful when conducting research. Each have their own particular strengths and weaknesses.
Conducting research is something that every student will eventually have to do. Research projects are done in English class, in foreign language class, in social studies class and in science class. The sooner students are able to master the skills required for conducting research the better off they are going to be. The two most common places to find resources for research projects are in the library and online.
Many thousands of web pages exist, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet instead of a traditional library. Many of these are personal opinions, with the authors ranging from commercial sites to professional organizations.
By limiting their research to the internet, students are ignoring the books, journals, databases, full-text digital resources and other scholarly materials provided by the library. In many academic libraries, use of print resources is decreasing. Use of video and other media appears to be increasing. Ignoring library resources in lieu of web resources may imperil the quality of student learning. You may find instructors who do not allow their students to use web resources in class projects for this very reason. Faculty can have an enormous influence over student choices for research resources.
However, the Internet and the Web should not be disregarded as valuable research tools. With proper training and cross-referencing, both can be highly effective and efficient means by...