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Re: dinosaurs and libraries



> There was recently a comment to the effect that during the last few
weeks
> there have been requests for information on this mailing list that
could be
> "more
> easily, and fairly, gained from going to the library."  I do not
dispute
> the need for each person to do his or her own homework.  But I
consider
> consulting the people on this mailing list to be part of my
homework.  And
> those who think that the up-to-date, critical, knowledgeable,
thoughtful
> responses that I have come to expect from the people on this mailing
list
> can be more easily obtained at the library obviously do not live in
> Brownsville, Texas.  The local university will not sell library
cards to
> non-students (truly bizarre), and the public library interlibrary loan
> system is a joke (actually, that is being kind).
> 
> The internet is my primary library, certainly not by choice, and as
much as
> I admire the many web sites on dinosaurs, they simply do not have
enough
> detailed scientific information, or even references to same.  Those
of us
> who live in educationally challenged regions and make close to
minimum wage
> very much appreciate the access to information and expertise that this
> mailing list provides.
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Dave 
> 
> 

Not only that, but without proper training in the retrieval of
sources, it can be a very daunting process to find articles, papers,
etc. on the subject in question.  Having worked for some time at an
academic library, I don't have to worry about this, but I am
constantly subjected to researchers (both grad students and faculty)
who haven't the foggiest idea on where to find sources, except as
blanket reviews of the entire bibliographies of the few papers they
are lucky enough to come across.  Many times, I have looked at the
articles in bibliographies to find that they contained nothing that I
was looking for (sometimes because the author in question had been
lazy in his references.)  I don't think that it is appropriate for
someone to come to the list asking for a definitive paper to be
emailed to him describing his question, but certainly a few pointers
on where to get started is reasonable, friendly, and shouldn't be an
excessive burden to anyone on the list.  If you don't have the
information, or are morally opposed to sending it to anyone on the
list, couldn't the post simply be ignored?  I have been very grateful
in the past at the pointers I have gotten on where to start looking
for primary sources and would hope that I could continue to ask, just
as I would not have anything averse to sending such a reference if I
happened to know where it was located.

Joshua Dyal

P.S.  On a related note (to not having done homework), I recently
purchased the revised edition of _Dinosaurs: a Global View_, mostly
for the beautiful artwork, but I had hoped that some of the very
outdated ideas had been updated as well.  I realize that there are
many different ideas and views, but this book seems to be miles away
from most everything else I've seen in a long time.
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