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Mar 19, 2010

Crap Detection 101

Was President Barack Obama born in the United States?  Does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a vegan diet for infants?  As the inventor of the WWW, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, recently commented, “the Internet does not have an IQ.”  Consider for a moment that close to 90% of university students begin their research using a search engine, and that less than 1% of all searchers travel past the first page of results.  The implications are enormous…

No less problematic is that more and more of today’s information is delivered un-authorized.  In the past, scholars, editors, publishers and librarians all provided a level scrutiny so that when you acquired data, you could feel somewhat confident that it had been reviewed and that its value had been ascertained.  Today librarians – including those at NYIT – teach information literacy as a lifelong learning and critical thinking skill.  Could I self-publish a book?  One moment let me clean out my desk!  Could I create a .org website and try to influence public opinion?  Give me 15 minutes and I will have the website up and running!

When wandering through Google’s sometimes empty corridors it is very important to understand the wisdom of crap detection.  To quote American novelist Ernest Hemingway: “every good writer needs a crap detector.”  And to go one step further: every good information consumer needs a crap detector.  Thankfully, writers like Howard Rheingold are providing us with a roadmap.

When consuming any information online you must always ask yourself the following:

C – Is the information current?
R – How reliable is the information?
A – Is the author clearly identified and, if so, what are his or her credentials?  And
P – What is the point of view? Why was the information generated in the first place?

Now that your antenna (aka critical acumen) is up and scanning the horizon for garbage, travel online bravely, but always remember that misinformation and disinformation lay waiting for you every click of your mouse.  Pretend for a moment that you are a journalist and doubt, detect, discern and demand!  You may just discover that you are quite an extraordinary detective.

Do you need assistance locating information, searching journal databases, or documenting your sources? E-mail: askalibrarian@nyit.edu.

Author: sebastien_marion

Mar 15, 2010

And the answer is….Meryl Streep

In our last blog entry we posed the question “Which Academy Award winning actor filmed scenes in the NYIT Manhattan Library?"

In the year 2003, HBO Films created a miniseries version of Tony Kushner's play "Angels in America."  Staring many Hollywood luminaries, including Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Jeffrey Wright, the miniseries would go on to win both multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Awards, in the process earning Meryl Streep a Golden Globe, Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild Award for her multiple portrayals.

To answer our question, were you to look closely when the character Joe Pitt enters the "Mormon Visitors Center" to greet his mother Hannah Pitt, you will recognize very clearly the exterior of NYIT's main building at 1855 Broadway, and a very astute observer will notice that the scene continues on the inside of what is now, you guessed it, the first floor of the NYIT Manhattan Library.

It is fairly common for the library to appear on both film and television.  More recently, associate professor of social sciences Nicholas Dagen Bloom was interviewed in the library by WPIX News (N.Y.) for a documentary about the New York City Housing Authority.  You can view the video here (70.7 MB), as well as take a look at professor Bloom's seminal work regarding New York City public housing at the following library locations:

Title:  Public housing that worked : New York in the twentieth century
Author: Bloom, Nicholas Dagen, 1969-
Holdings: Manhattan Library & Wisser Memorial Library    
Call Number: HD7288.78 .U52 N726 2008

Author: sebastien_marion

Mar 11, 2010

Which Academy Award winning actor filmed scenes in the NYIT Manhattan Library?

Welcome to NYIT Library's new blog space.  In the coming weeks, this blog will be re-branded as "The Library Channel."  When you tune in, subscribe to our feed, or follow us online, you will receive news about our latest subscription databases, as well as learn research tips and shortcuts that will help you work smarter and save time.

To get things rolling here is a little known fact.  One of the following Academy Award winning actors filmed scenes in what is now the first floor of the Manhattan Library. Can you guess who it is?

a. Al Pacino
b. Meyrl Streep
c. Marlon Brando
d. Robert DeNiro

Author: sebastien_marion

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Campus: Old Westbury
Major: B.S. Life Sciences/M.S. Occupational Therapy
Class Of: 2017
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Major: Computer Science, B.S.
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