« That Toddling Town | Main | Egg Council Creeps Control Japan »

Those Sounds You Hear Are My Eyes Rolling Back In My Head

I seem to be getting at the reference desk these days two kinds of patrons, subtle variations on a theme:

  • Students who say they need journal articles on Topic X, but they can't use our journal databases because they think the material provided is the same as searching on the Internet (which is verboten)
  • Students who say they need journal articles on Topic X, but their professors say they're not allowed to use our journal databases because the professors think searching these databases is the same as searching on the Internet (strictly taboo)

The first kind are easy to straighten out, but the second are, quite frankly, doomed. Fundamental misunderstandings on the part of the professor kill me. What are they thinking? Are they grumpy old luddites?

"Why, in my day, we didn't have any of these easy to use, fulltext databases! No, we had to find articles the old fashioned way! We'd flip through great big indexes printed in itty bitty type just to find a citation, only we kept bleeding all over the pages from all the paper cuts we got! We had to pull out our hair so we could try and wipe up the blood! And the citations got so hard to read from all the blood and hair all over the itty bitty type that we all ended up with severe eye strain and had to wear big, thick glasses! And we liked it!"
Something like that, I think. Grumble.