on asking the right questions (part deux), and being bossy …

'Question mark made of puzzle pieces' photo (c) 2008, Horia Varlan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Our frosh are working on term papers. Frosh have a thesis statement from either the classical period or the middle ages and they need to prove the thesis with primary sources.

Here’s the thing, when you ask a Middle schooler (even one wandering the stacks aimlessly with a dazed gaze), “Are you doing okay on the project?”

The response is, without fail, “Uh … Yeah, I’m fine.”

Believe me, Frosh, the vast majority of whom have no previous experience what-so-ever with primary sources REALLY are NOT FINE finding primary sources on their own.

When you ask, however, “So … How can I help you on your primary sources project?” 90 percent of the time, they will start an exchange with you that allows you to do some good reference work with them.

That’s probably why middle school librarians are bossy.  We foist our services on you whether you want them or not (And you are going to like it …)!!!

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