Celebrating knowledge from people

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As the fall semester begins, I enjoy seeing people return.  I get to hear how regular patrons spent the summer.  Thinking about people reminds me of how people can be important information sources.

Lloyd (2005) mentions the “social (emphasis mine), physical, and textual sites of knowledge . . . (¶ 7).”  In her study of firefighters she discusses how novices learn not only from technical manuals but also from more experienced firefighters.  She also highlights the role of community in this learning process.

Another example comes from choreographer Twyla Tharp (2003).   Her show Moving Out includes a scene from  the Vietnam War.  For authenticity she consulted a military advisor.  She even learned the hand signals used during night patrol (p. 87).

These are only two examples, and each of us can probably think of others.  In our talk of information resources, though, we do well to remember people as resources.


Lloyd, A. (2005).  No man (or woman) is an island: Information literacy, affordances, and communities of practice.  Australian Library Journal, 54(3).  Retrieved from http://alia.org.au/publishing/alj/54.3/full.text/lloyd.html

Tharp, T. (2003). The creative habit: Learn it and use it for life: A practical guide.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.