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The Tortoise Or The Hare: Undergraduates, Information Literacy, and the Slow Movement

Frank, Marietta and Baldwin, Catherine and Bailey, Kimberly (2017) The Tortoise Or The Hare: Undergraduates, Information Literacy, and the Slow Movement. In: 2017 European Conference on Information Literacy, 17-22 Sep 2017, Saint-Malo, France.

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According to Aesop, “slow and steady wins the race.” However, with the advent of the internet, federated searching, electronic books and articles, and library marketing, the moral of Aesop’s famous fable no longer seems relevant to undergraduate student researchers. Several studies (Connaway, Dickey, & Radford, 2011; Poirier & Robinson, 2014; Savolainen, 2006) indicate that time is a major factor for many information seekers. Satisfaction seems to be embedded in “quick and easy” rather than “slow and sure”. Unfortunately, this is at odds with several dispositions and knowledge practices listed in the Association of College and Research Library’s information literacy framework. These guidelines support the emergence of increasingly sophisticated search practices and the development of perspective, both of which require a slower, more reflective approach. Conversely, undergraduate students’ temptation toward “quick and easy” research fosters a hollow experience, lacking both time and depth required for the potential enjoyment of an invested research process. Getting caught up in the search, losing all sense of time, and reaching the satisfaction that comes with discovery are among the affective benefits of methodical research, as is “being in the zone” and an academic equivalent to a “runner’s high”. Learning about subtopics along the way, locating quality resources, and developing deeper perspective on a topic are academic benefits also to be shared with undergraduate students who have yet to realize the great returns of time well invested in a slower and more mindful research process. The challenge lies in convincing inexperienced student researchers of this. This presentation will provide an overview of current research about information seeking behaviors and undergraduate students; it will discuss introducing Slow Movement techniques during information literacy sessions as a “best practice”; and it will discuss pedagogical reasons to orient students to “slow and steady wins the race”.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Frank, Mariettamarietta@pitt.edumarietta
Baldwin, Catherinecab137@pitt.educab137
Bailey, Kimberlyhanold@pitt.eduhanold0000-0003-0923-0200
Date: 18 September 2017
Date Type: Completion
Event Title: 2017 European Conference on Information Literacy
Event Dates: 17-22 Sep 2017
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.11645/11.2.2315
Schools and Programs: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2018 20:25
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2018 20:25


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