From Encyclopedias to Wikipedia

My colleagues recently showed me a set of encyclopedias they found last week while cleaning an office cupboard. I couldn’t help but smile as I realized how something that had once been integral to my education now looked antiquated in the wake of the Internet. The bulky set of books instantly brought me back to my high school library, where I spent time combing for reference book articles to use as sources for research papers. Internet sources were considered unreliable then, but these days, students learn to discern the good information from the bad.

Wikipedia came on the scene while I was a student at the University of Iowa, and the debate about whether a collaborative online encyclopedia can be trusted rages on. On Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m., Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales will present a lecture in the IMU Main Lounge on “Democracy and the Internet.” I look forward to hearing what one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” thinks will be the next development in this information age.

Shelbi Thomas
Associate Editor

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