Today’s Globe and Mail had an article that spelled out the dilemma of an information-rich but attention-poor world. I’ve been drawn to this topic of the tradeoff between information breadth and information depth (which I’ve called "deep reading" in previous blog entries). Peter Nicholson, President of the Council of Canadian Academies, wrote this essay "Information-rich and attention-poor", which was published Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009:
I especially liked the following quote, as it hinted at the importance of libraries in educating users in information literacy:
"With almost all of the world’s codified knowledge at your fingertips, why should you spend increasingly scarce attention loading up your own mind just in case you may some day need this particular fact or concept? Far better, one might argue, to access efficiently what you need, when you need it. This depends, of course, on building up a sufficient internalized structure of concepts to be able to link with the online store of knowledge. How to teach this is perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity facing educators in the 21st century."