Wikipedia and libraries. NO. No. Wikipedia and librarians. This, to me, has to be the more important issue. Wikipedia is here, it’s staying, it’s fabulous. I use it as often as I need to—just as I use books, or any other gimme-that-information-now tool.
Just as we cringe as students copy and paste any old “fact” from Wikipedia into their “research” paper, so do we hate to watch them wander aimlessly through the library finding (or not finding) inaccurate or useless information.
So what do we do? In libraries, we have parked ourselves in behind desks to hopefully intercept students before they fumble through the research process like teenagers after junior prom.
What’s more important than making libraries better than Wikipedia is making sure we, as librarians, understand how to help other make the best use of Wikipedia—which will likely (or hopefully) mean our directing them to sounder, more specific resources, if their research requires it.