Libraries and Baseball

Never before in our literate history have we had such up to the minute information at our fingertips.  Because the Internet has up to the minute information on EVERYTHING, its vitally important to know how to evaluate the information one finds online.   Unfortunately, there are no real guidelines for posting information on the ‘net.  People can post anything and everything they want and if they have a large enough audience, they can easily become “the expert.”  The problem here is, as adults, Information Literacy skills are used for everything we do – academic reasons, on the job, and for making consumer decisions; and unfortunately, sometimes it very difficult to figure out if a source is credible.  We need to learn how to find reliable information, and we need to be teaching our children how to research the Internet efficiently and successfully.

Some of us remember having to do research reports in high school and college which entailed going to the library, finding a ton of books and skimming through all of them looking for the topic we needed for our bibliography and quotes throughout the paper.  Some of us, learned that we no longer have to even pick up a book to write a good research paper on any topic with great resources cited.  The most difficult part of writing a research paper these days is figuring out what sources found on the Internet are reputable and considered “good sources”.   Let me ask this question, if your child or grandchild asked for help finding some sources for a paper on the Internet, would you be able to help him/her?

According to the University of Idaho,  Information Literacy is the ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and share that information. Information Literacy is the knowledge of commonly used research techniques.  Also, the above link is the beginning of a really good set of resource modules to help you figure out what is a reliable source and what isn’t.

But, my friends, this isn’t just about how hard it is to find good reliable information on the internet.  This is about libraries and baseball.  The true gist of this article is to announce a really cool program that libraries all over the country have begun in association with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  I just couldn’t resist – because I love books, and I love baseball.

The American Library Association and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY have teamed up to help people of all ages build their information literacy skills.  If you get the playbook done by September 1st, 2009, you will have an opportunity to win a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  There are two ways to complete the playbook – submit your answers online or submit them via mail (address on the above link).  Even if you have no desire to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, this is a great resource for increasing your information literacy skills.  There is a section of Baseball resources to help you find the answers, there are tips for what parents should know to help their children increase their skills, and its broken down into age groups to make it enjoyable for everyone!  There are only four questions to answer and the prizes are:

(1) Grand Prize – A trip for two to Cooperstown,
N.Y., to attend the World Series Gala in October 2009, which will include admission to the evening event, admission to the Hall of Fame and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, round-trip coach airfare within the United States, and two nights hotel accommodations in Cooperstown, N.Y. (double occupancy). Retail value is $1,000.00. Prize consists of only those items specifically listed as part of the prize.

(20) First Prizes (5 per age group): A commemorative hardbound copy of the Hall of Fame Yearbook, a Hall of Fame baseball, a commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame baseball cards, a copy of a book from the “Sluggers Series,” by Loren Long and Phil Bildner, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, a pair of youth batting gloves from Akadema Pro, and a Jackie Robinson History Lives poster from ALA Graphics will be awarded at random. Approximate retail value is $60.00.

So, go! Learn better techniques for researching and teach your kids how to find the information they may need in the future.

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