Re: What could it mean?

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 04/08/2011 00:01, john g marr wrote:

I have a tendency to espouse librarian-teaching of “critical thinking” (like you were not aware of that!), so I thought an example would be useful.

There is an interesting and brief news article at which could be used as an exercise.

The article is entitled: “Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?”. The idea would be to facilitate discussion, not of the topic itself, but of how many different intentions of the author and interpretations of the content *might* be *possible.*

In addition, there would be discussion of how to respond constructively to such an article, factually and in brief (people only listen to sound-bites these days), without being defensive or ignoring the aforementioned “possibilities.” For example, might a reader misconstrue the intent of the author for any reason, and might that be a more important point of response than the topic itself?

I had already read this article when it first came out. It was obviously written to excite debate, and I re-read it just now but in addition, I read the comments which may be even more enlightening when considering “critical thinking”. One of the first comments was by a librarian who misspelled “definitely” as “definately”, so some said this person was stupid, and much of the “discussion” degenerated into some people calling others stupid and so on and so on.

It reminds me of one of those Hagar the Horrible comic strips where he shows up at the foot of a castle and he yells out, “Surrender, or I will knock down your castle with my mighty catapult!” The people yell back, “You couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with that thing!” In the next panel, Hagar has turned the catapult around, aimed it at a barn and is yelling, “Hit it again!” and the people say to each other: “Hagar’s pretty tough, but he’s easy to sidetrack.” That is what the above article with its comments illustrates.

I have seen this happen on many of the library email lists. Yet, perhaps I too, am guilty of precisely the same thing here, since I just sidetracked John’s original question into another one?