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Foreign Literature RESEARCH

Can you imagine what would happen if every generation had to "reinvent the wheel"? Would we have progressed beyond our caveman past? We have, however, moved light years beyond that primitive existence precisely because we have stored our thoughts, discoveries, knowledge, and creations in print, film, records, inventions, and works of art. Not only have we stored the original works and ideas of our past, but we have also layered on them millions of creative and critical responses. Research is our key to the copious treasure chest of our past, the key to our historical, cultural, political, theological and scientific heritage. When you begin research, consider your good fortune in having an opportunity to unlock the distant past as well as to assimilate the findings of recent weeks and days. Finally, consider the challenge to put your world in such an order that others will wish to explore your insights and will retrieve your contributions from the shelves of the future. By Ms. Mary Todd

RESEARCH FINDINGS: The Relationship between School Libraries and Academic Achievement

"Now we've got the Internet, why do we still need libraries?" A.B. Credaro 2001-2002

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 organisations. However, educationally-valid research on this topic has been ongoing for over a decade, with results compared over 3 continents so far. The findings prove conclusively that academic achievement - how well students perform at school has a direct correlation to the quality of a school's library services. The popular press in Australia a few years ago came to the conclusion that the "best predictor of academic performance was the students' postcode". However, this correlation was drawn from HSC results for particular schools. When the quality of the school's library services is examined, a further correlation becomes apparent - the schools in the more affluent areas had a higher quality school library services. Research has shown that developing good library services - even in economically disadvantaged areas - improved students' achievements in standardised tests. So how does one define an exemplary school library service? It does not depend only how many books (or even computers) are in the school library, but refers also to the structure of the library programs, the number of qualified staff, the degree of meaningful access, and many other more technical aspects of library operation. One example of this exemplary school library practice is that of keeping information technology in context with information literacy. In the recent past, school library book budgets have dwindled, as "technology" budgets have consumed a greater slice of the budget pie. Direct observation, supported by anecdotal evidence, has witnessed a plethora of students undertaking research via the Internet, without any reference to print-based resources. However, classroom teachers have noted that the "quality" of the information has decreased with an increase in access to the Internet. Many students mistakenly believe that "everything" is available on the Internet. Whilst there is much valuable information out there, consider that:

There are over 4 billion unique, publicly accessible websites Only 6% of these have educational content The average life of a webpage is 75 days Google, the largest search engine, has indexed less than 18% of the available pages A great deal of the Internet is not able to be indexed by traditional search engines, and remains hidden from them. This is known as the Invisible, or Deep, Web. Anyone can publish a web page - no-one checks that the information is correct, current or able to be authenticated And yes, there are unpleasant sites on the Internet, although these make up less than 1% of all web pages.

Consider comparing the above list with the resources in the school library:

The resources have all been individually selected by a trained professional, to cater specifically to the school's educational programs A catalogue of the library resources exists, so that anyone can find everything in the library As the Teacher Librarian is a qualified teacher, as well as a trained librarian, there is always someone on hand to help find the information, interpret difficult concepts, and locate information from beyond the physical library.

The Internet is an incredibly powerful research aid, but can be time-consuming, frustrating, or misleading. However, there are many advantages to using the Internet for research, such as:

The ability to access the very latest information. Library books take time to order, accession and be available on the shelves. Being able to communicate directly with subject experts by email. Whilst students can phone local experts, or write to distant ones, electronic communication allows fast, and cheap, answers to questions. Some Internet sites provide lists of subject experts who have indicated that they will answer these types of questions from students.

In exemplary school libraries, the teaching program includes instruction in the use the Internet. However, this is not restricted to merely "finding" web sites, but also how to evaluate the quality of the information found. Students also learn how to quickly access the best possible information, from facilities such as directories and databases. Yes, the Internet can be a valuable extension to the school's library collection. But remember, it is mammoth in scale, unordered, and mainly unchecked. If you can imaging the world's biggest (print) encyclopaedia, with every page ripped out, and each page ripped up, then the whole lot scattered like confetti... then try to find the meaning of a single term from a heap of unordered scraps of paper, you get some idea of the problems involved in using the Internet as an information source. So, how does this relate to academic achievement? Without an exemplary library media program, administered by professional staff, students would not have access to lessons on using the Internet. The bulk of the school's library collection would not be able to serve its original purpose - information you can quickly access and completely trust. (And this doesn't even consider the need for provision of access to quality literature, personal information needs, nor recreational reading material.)
School librarians have been teaching skills in information location and evaluation for millenia. If you need any assistance in deciding when, how, or even if, to obtain information from the Internet, feel free to just ask your friendly Teacher Librarian. That is, if you'd prefer to keep your grades up and your stress levels down.

The Internet vs. The Library

The ability to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information is known as information literacy. To be information literate, one must first acquire the foundational skills and competencies associated with general education critical thinking and reasoning abilities, written and oral communication skills, etc. In our information based society, students must develop these skills early on so they are prepared to take advantage of opportunities, whether they are work or school related. The ability to find and retrieve information can be a challenge if you are not sure where to start. With vast resources available on the internet, students must make choices about how to access information and then which information resources to use. Students tend to use internet search engines, such as Google, to locate information resources rather than library online catalogs or databases of scholarly journal articles. These search engines index only the surface Web. Less than 7% of the information found here is appropriate for educational or scholarly purposes. No single search engine indexes more than 16% of the surface Web. There is little evidence that students use more than one search engine when they look for information. What is known as the deep web is 500 times larger and growing much faster than the surface Web. The deep Web provides information in all disciplines, for all populations, and is better in quality than the surface web. Approximately 95% of deep web content is publicly accessible without fees or subscriptions. Deep web content is not indexed and therefore not accessible using popular search engines. 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. 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. Undergraduate students who use library resources report the following:

76% of undergraduates utilized electronic databases/article indexes within the last year. 75% of undergraduates reported using library print materials within the last year. 77% of undergraduates reported using computer access at the library 44% of undergraduates indicated having used electronic journals available through the library 23% of undergraduate students utilized Interlibrary Loan services at their library 41% of undergraduates have used print reserves at their library

Academic libraries are making changes to try to engage more students. Some libraries are following the Leavey library model and are transforming part of their physical space into information commons, multimedia production areas, classrooms, or all three. 83% of undergraduates report not using the library due to inconvenient operating hours. Because of this, some libraries are experimenting with 24-hour

access of library facilities. Most already provide 24-hour access to digital library collections and services. Research has shown that a barrier to academic library usage is often that students dont know what services their library offers. Most libraries offer tours and library instruction. Try to take advantage of any training the library offers. Familiarize yourself with your Librarys web site and the resources available there. Resources found at the library can elevate your academic performance. Its a good idea to begin your research on the internet to acquire background and introductory information. Use the information you find to seek out additional, more detailed information at the library. If you still insist on using the internet for your research, make sure your information is as legitimate as possible. Some things to look for when evaluating web sites are:

Accuracy Who wrote the page? Is this person qualified to write this document? What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced? Know the difference between author and webmaster. Authority Who published the document and are they separate from the webmaster? Check the domain what institution published this document? Does the publisher list their qualifications? Objectivity What goals/objectives does this page meet? How detailed is the information? What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author? Determine if the page is a mask for advertising if so, check for bias. Currency How old is the information? When was the page last updated? Coverage Are the links evaluated and do they complement the theme? Is there a balance of text and images? Is the information cited correctly? If the page requires special software, how much do you miss if you dont have the software? Is the information free or is there a fee? Is there an option for text only, frames or a suggested browser for better viewing?

by Gayla Martindale

Foreign Study

The Internet is a mere upstart in our history of providing information to the public. And it's far from universal in its service. Estimates are that about 20% of the U.S. population has some on-line access. About 40% of homes today have a computer, though only 1/3 of those have modems. Libraries serve a much larger proportion of our population than today's Internet. In spite of talk of the Network Computer with its promised price in the $500 range, the cost for entry onto the information highway is still quite high. Even the $20 a month price tag on the Internet account is more than many can afford. Remember that in spite of special lifeline rates for low income households; only 93% of our population has telephone service. About 60% of households get cable. Internet access will remain beyond the reach of some part of our population. Also note that the current Internet population is far from being representative of our population as a whole. The Internet "norm" is a white male around 35 years of age with a college degree and an income of over $50,000 a year. There is no entry fee for use of the public library. No special equipment is needed. In many communities, if you can't get to the library, it can come to you in the form of a book-mobile or even at-home service. Libraries can accommodate people with special needs by providing large print books or Kurzweil readers, things that those members of the public could not themselves afford. There are knowledge prerequisites to using the Internet. For all that the Internet itself is becoming more user-friendly; you have to have some facility with the technology. In addition, the lingua franca of the Internet is English. About 2/3 of the computers on the Internet are in the U.S. If you look at the top 6 countries (in terms of numbers of computers on the Internet) you see:
U.S., Germany, Japan, Canada, UK, Australia

This top list is clearly dominated by the Egnlish-speaking world even though these aren't necessarily the most populous or most technically advanced countries in the world. At an especially great disadvantage are those people whose language does not use the latin alphabet but instead is written in ideograms or in a cursive script. Libraries carry materials in the languages of the community they serve. My local branch library has materials in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. And there are literacy classes available in the library itself for anyone who wants to gain reading skills. We all know that one of the biggest problems on the Internet is finding what you want. I think of the Internet searching as dumpster-diving for information. There just might be something good in there, but you have to dig through a lot of garbage to find out. It's also hard to know just what you might find and what you are missing. I have a talk that I have given to computer science classes in which I point out some of the problems with the kind of keyword searching that we do on the Internet. I start out by asking the students if they find many foreign language materials when they search. Invariably they say they don't, and some are even convinced that nearly everything on the Internet is in English. So I show them a search using the term "fiber optics." Naturally, the bulk of the results are in English. Then I do the same search using the German term, "fiberoptik", and then the French term "fibre optique." Lo and behold, when we search on the German term we get items in German, and when we search on the French term we get items in French. So logically, when we are

searching on the English term, we are mainly getting items in English. And by the looks on the faces of the students I know that this obvious connection between the language of the search term and the language of the results has escaped them. What else have they missed? So now I pull out by coup de grace and do a search on "fibre optics," retrieving thousands of hits for Web pages written by people who use British spelling rules. At this point it becomes clear to my audience that they are not even retrieving all of the relevant works in English. There are many other deceptions lying in Internet retrievals. One of which we librarians are familiar is the spelling problem. We all know that many users can't spell, and even those who can make keyboarding mistakes. When you are doing keyword retrieval, this can make a huge difference. And although library catalogs aren't perfect, an additional problem on the Internet is that the providers of information can't spell either. Go onto one of the Internet search engines and do you search on your favorite misspelling. I tried "recieve" and got 39,394 hits. The concept of an information collection does not exist outside of librarianship. Collection development is a subtle activity and users of our libraries are probably not aware that any particular thought has gone into the relationships between seemingly unrelated works on our shelves. I'm sure that you've heard someone say that they don't see the difference between a library and a bookstore except that in one you pay and in one you don't. We know that there is a much greater difference. To create a collection you have to take an active role in seeking out information to round out your collection. You try to have balanced coverage of topics and to include in your library those key works that fill in the information a reader will need in order to understand other works in your collection. No one has done collection development on the Internet and there are gaping holes in its knowledge base. There's also the question of quality vs. quantity. We know that the Internet has a certain amount of quantity, but there is no differentiation between materials of different qualities. A Nobel prize winning research paper can be retrieved alongside a personal home page with pictures of the author's cats. There are a lot of out-of-date materials on the Internet - Web pages that were created years ago and then abandoned. No one is weeding the Internet. I think of the library as having an organic view of information. A library is an expression of culture, not just a number of information units. It is the presentation of knowledge within a context. And it is a conscious collection and organization of that knowledge for the library's patrons and in support of their needs. Services like America Online and WebTV are making it easier for people with less technical knowledge to actually get on-line. But once you are on- line you are still entirely on your own when it comes to finding information. And what's the use of being there if you can't find what you need? The real training problem for the future will not be teaching people how to use computers; it will be teaching them information literacy. I teach classes a few times a month at my local public library branch on how to use the Internet. I've been doing this for over two years now. When I first started, most of the people coming in for the classes had never used the Internet before and they were curious to see what it was like. Today many of my pupils have Internet access at home through a service like AOL, but for all of their effort they can never find anything. They are coming in to the library to learn how to find information in this new on-line resource. They can't get that kind of help on the Internet itself.

Libraries are on the firing line right now over the issue of kids and the Internet. The Internet was develped in the 1980's by academics and researchers for academics and researchers. At that time there was no idea that this sytem would ever be used by the general public. Not knowing what to do with kids is only one of the consequences of the assumptions that were built in to the early Internet design. Unfortunately, the kids question has come to revolve around the issue of pornography, as if the only thing that we have to do to make cyberspace kid- friendly is to make sure that anyone under the age of 18 never sees any sexual content. The real problem is that of "appropriateness." Even if we do manage to segregate the sexual materials, there's still no way for kids to find materials appropriate to their age, their reading skills or their level of education. In libraries we know that kids aren't just sexually immature adults. We also know that kids are a continuum. It's not enough to divide the world into those under and those over the age of 18. Kids use a different vocabulary and ask different questions. They need to retrieve materials at their level of comprehension and education. And they can't just be left on their own to ferret out knowledge - we still need teachers, librarians and parents to help them learn from the information around them. Many libraries are grappling with whether or not to use filtering programs to block Internet access to some kinds of materials. These filters only address one issue of appropriateness and they don't make the system "kid friendly." We still have no way to find science materials for 8th graders or 3rd grade readers. Service to children is not = keeping them away from pornography. It is much, much more. And the library does that "more" with its extensive services for children. Essentially, the problem of appropriateness pervades the Internet and it doesn't just have to do with kids. I would say that any system that responds to a search on the term "Bambi" that returns both a Playboy centerfold and a link to a Disney animated cartoon is simply doing bad information retrieval. This does not tell me that children need to be protected on the Internet; it tells me that we all deserve something much better from our information services. Most of our intellectual products today (TV shows, radio, magazines) exist primarily as vehicles for targetted advertising. They serve their advertisers first, the information function is second. Once you accept advertising you cannot have a truly neutral position on content. Advertisers are very clear that they don't want their products associated with anything unpleasant or that can be perceived as improper. Just a few weeks ago the movie Schindler's List was broadcast on television unbroken by advertising, and the sponsor was considered very sensitive for making this sacrifice. In the early 1980's a program about the holocaust was broadcast on television and it did include advertising breaks. But viewers were very upset by the leap from the very emotional content of the program to cheery ads in lovely settings, and there was quite an outcry. The fact is that any advertising looks bad next to certain content. In most cases, it means that that content can't be shown. The library is the only source of information that is neutral about the content. We have no stake in getting our patrons to choose one book over another. Author: Karen Coyle

Local literature
RP?s first electronic library opens
For people who like to do their research the old fashioned way, and for those who don?t get the drift about the Internet and the entire ICT hullabaloo, here?s something that might be worth checking out. Philippine eLib ( is the country?s first public electronic library that holds a collection of more than 800,000 bibliographic records, 25 million pages of Philippine materials and 29,000 full-text journals from the libraries of Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Science and Technology, the National Library of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines.

Conceptualized in 2003, Philippine eLib is a project of the five agencies and institutions mentioned above, and are spearheaded by DoST Undersecretary Fortunato T. dela PeThrough Philippine eLib, the government is now able to fully share its wealth of data and other resources to Filipinos and virtually anybody who has access to the Internet. So, if you need to do some researching, fear not the Internet. You can still go through the catalogues but Philippine eLib can help you do it faster and in the comfort of your own homes.

Philippine e-Library
Posted by: Alecks P. Pabico | April 24, 2005 at 6:31 pm Filed under: Online Research I SAW an ad in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Tuesday (April 19) announcing the launch of a new Philippine-based online reference site that fellow journalists and researchers might find useful. Its called the Philippine e-Library, a project of the National Library of the Philipines, University of the Philippines, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, and the Commission on Higher Education. One of 11 projects funded under the E-Government Fund set up through the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council (ITECC), now the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT), Philippine e-Lib boasts of more than 25 million pages of Philippine materials (including theses and dissertations), 800,000 bibliographic records, and 29,000 full-text journals from the combined library resources of the five project partners. Its online catalog allows you to browse for subjects and authors alphabetically. But given the voluminous records, its easier to use the basic and advanced search functions, especially if you know specifically what or who to look for. There are also links to foreign electronic databases like Britannica Online, ACM Digital Library (for materials on computing technology), and Project Euclid (for materials on applied and theoretical mathematics, statistics and computer science). The caveat though is that access to full-text materials and the foreign databases does not come for free, except if you are a member of any of the five project partners. Membership to Philippine e-Lib requires either a corporate or individual subscription. For individuals who want unlimited access to all full-text materials and catalog information, that means shelling out a hefty P1,200 a month or P12,000 a year. The site FAQ does mention that some full-text materials are free to download subject to a "fair use" policy. So far though, I havent stumbled upon any.

eLibrary offers 800,000 literary works

By Rizalene P. Acac Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 04:38am (Mla time) 03/10/2008

DAVAO CITY, PhilippinesA government-operated eLibrary has been online for about three years now, but its 800,000 items on Philippine literature have not been explored fully by students and researchers, according to a top National Library official. Flora Valmonte, assistant director of the National Library, said the online library ( had a huge collection that public libraries in Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City had learned to tap to boost their offerings. We even started digitizing the collection of government agencies, she said. Valmonte said the eLibrary also featured photo collections. She said a plan to make the original manuscripts of Dr. Jose Rizals Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, and Mi Ultimo Adios available through the eLibrary, or simply called The Kiosk, had already been finalized. Rizals works had already been microfilmed and are about to be transformed electronically. Prudencia Cruz, National Library director, said that to exploit the potentials of the eLibrary, students and researchers could simply go into any public library, which is connected to the Internet. Although students and researchers can also access the site outside of these libraries, there is a limit in the volume of content they can view. To help maintain the site, Valmonte said users would be charged some fees whenever they download information from the eLibrary through the public libraries. She said prepaid cards priced at P100, P300 and P500 are available at the public libraries. Increased budget Valmonte said the National Library hoped to expand the system with the help of local government units. The National Library will also distribute more books and reading materials to operational city, provincial and municipal libraries this year. Cruz said the distribution of additional reading materials became possible because of the increase in the National Librarys budget. From less than P10 million in 2007, the National Library now has a budget of P25 million for literature purchases, she said. This will enable us to buy more books and materials, especially those with Filipino authors, Cruz said. There are at least 600 public libraries all over the country out of the 1,151 listed by the National Library. Cruz said most libraries remained a concept because of the lack of funds. She said Congress decision to increase the budget for purchase of literature could be one indication the government is once again giving attention to public libraries.

BIBIOGRAPHY Todd, M. (n.d.) Research. Retrieved May 30, 2008 Coyle, K. (n.d.) Internet Library. Retrieved May 30, 2008 RPs first electronic library opens. Retrieved May 30, 2008 Credaro, A.B. Now we've got the Internet, why do we still need libraries?

Martindale, G. The Internet vs. The Library Retrieved May 29, 2008 Acac, R. eLibrary offers 800,000 literary works Retrieved May 30, 2008 article_id=123775 Pabico, A. Philippine e-Library Retrieved May 30, 2008