EdWeb and Pondering

Today at a meeting, we were talking about EdWeb, a list of websites for Adult Basic Education (ABE) classroom use vetted and categorized by ABE teachers.

Someone asked if this was antiquated – what’s the point when you can just do a Google search and get a whole slew of different websites?

Someone else replied that the vetting was important because it assured quality.  The massive Google list includes a lot of junk.

I’ve had a lot of informal library training in my life, so I’ve been in the “vet it!” camp for as long as I can remember.  I have a theory, though, that the general public (meaning the “not-necessarily-indoctrinated-at-a-young-age-by-a-reference-librarian” public) might be joining this camp.

I think this for the exact reason the first person stated.  Pretty much anybody really can get a huge list of relevant websites with the ease of a Google search.  What’s harder to get is a categorized list of high quality website, and what’s even harder is knowing where to start.  So the perceived value of the all-inclusive list is decreasing while the perceived value of the Top 10 list is increasing.


One thought on “EdWeb and Pondering

  1. A good part of my job involves vetting for others. My boss wants to know about child welfare news, but putting a direct RSS feed on his computer showing every news story that mentions “child abuse,” “child welfare,” and “foster care” would generate a lot of stuff he doesn’t want. My boss also likes nonprofit management news, but setting up a Twitter account for him and having him follow all the nonprofit gurus I follow would equally catch him a lot of links, about 20% of which would be of actual interest to him. Finally, my boss wants to know about new research that directly or indirectly affects our field and so he gets montly emails like the Children’s Bureau Express listing all sorts of journal articles… about 10-20% of which have any bearing on the work of the agencies that are our members.

    I vet, then the filtered results go to Boss, who then decides what of the filtered results we send out to our membership – child welfare agency executive directors and staff who have less time to go down dead ends than I do. Those who think vetting is silly and you can “just Google” are probably people who are a) good at using Boolean logic to set up precise searches and/or b) have a lot of time and patience to weed through junk.

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