Friday, February 19, 2010

"Search is the Web's Fun and Wicked Problem"

Thanks to a Google Alert for "information literacy"... An interview with Peter Morville in the February 19, 2010 issue of O'Reilly Radar, "Search is the Web's Fun and Wicked Problem," offers a fascinating look at a topic of great interest to librarians. Morville, author of the new book, Search Patterns, with accompanying web site, cites many concepts and technologies, including Jakob Nielsen's "paradox of the active user," "averted vision," augmented reality, and Bruce Sterling's 2004 "Spime" speech at SIGGRAPH, an amazing read in itself.

Embedded in this interview is Morville's focus on information literacy as an essential skill: "The real responsibility rests with parents and teachers. I'm convinced that information literacy is among the most important subjects we can teach our kids. They must learn where to search and how to evaluate what they find. Wikipedia, for instance, can catalyze great conversations with our children about authority and trust. In a world where we can increasingly select our sources and choose our news, these analytical skills are mission critical. And, better searchers will make search better. Their behavior will offer valuable feedback that will in turn improve the interfaces and algorithms of tomorrow's tools for search and discovery." This section links to the University of Idaho's information literacy tutorial.

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