Of Kayaks and Librarians

I’m in the middle of a conference and extended Web 2.0 summit in Southeast Texas. I was so tired after yesterday’s workshop that all I could do was veg out over a half dozen programs on the History Channel.

This morning, I would like to add one more comment about the value versus source argument. A few days ago I posted an article (Value Vs Source) where I talked about my experiences in industrial arts class, when I was a high school freshman. I described how, in building a kayak, I was taught to select my building materials and tools based on the task at hand, based on the goal of my work. Even though the source of the materials was essential to the success of the boat, my initial (not supreme) consideration was, will this help me build a good boat.

What I didn’t say in that article, but now believe to be a critical part of my position, is that if anyone wanted to ride in that kayak, I would need to be prepared to provide proof that the boat would not sink. I would need to be willing to get in the boat and paddle across the lake, to show evidence that the materials and workmanship were sufficient to accomplish the goal.

The same works for an information product. Even though the goal was the initial basis for selecting the information raw materials, the information artisan must be prepared to offer evidence that the product’s component parts are accurate, reliable, valid, and not detrimentally biased. This proof should be an integral part of the product.


Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.