Thursday, August 06, 2009

Wickedpedia Won't Do

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We relish this near-daily opportunity to visit with you. All pantheons are welcome!

The closer I get to becoming a classroom teacher -- starting a whole new career at the tender age of 50 -- the more nervous I get. I think this is normal, don't you?

The school district for which I work cannot afford to put sets of encyclopedias into every classroom. Why bother anyway? If a kid is asked to look something up in an encyclopedia, he or she is going to sprint to Wikipedia for the answer.


Love it or hate it (I hate it), Wikipedia does not pass the standard for due diligent reporting. Anyone can get onto it and "tweak" articles. So while I trust it to provide me with the birth date of George Washington, I would not trust it to provide me with a completely accurate overview of his life, accomplishments, key dates, or medicinal habits.

All this is by way of saying that I, Anne Johnson, would like to have a set of encyclopedias for my classroom. My only requirement would be that they be no older than 25 years. Yes, that makes them quite out of date. But. They would still be more accurate and dependable than the Internet for anything that happened before 1985. And that covers a whole lot of ground.

If you have a not-terribly-moldy set of encyclopedias in your house, please contact me. I will pay you to ship them to me book rate. I would also love to have a set of the books Time/Life did called "This Fabulous Century."

If you don't have a spare set of World Books on your coffee table, perhaps you have some suggestions how I can pick up a set, free or cheap as flypaper. Please share.


Em said...

Hi, Anne. Have you thought of checking Craigslist? There is a strong possibility someone in the area is looking to unload a set of encyclopedias. There are also some websites where teachers can publish a wish list and donors can help fulfill them. Oh, and maybe a local library could help. A large one in the area might have an older set they're looking to let go of (check the camden county library, they're pretty friendly there, except for the guy who searches your purse.)

~Illisse said...


Next time you're near Baltimore you should go to
They always have stuff like what you're looking for. And it's free!

I'll email before I go down next time and see if you need anything.


Carol Logan Newbill said...

Anne, both of those are great ideas. If neither of them pans out, I have a not-terribly moldy set (I'm thinking around 15 years but can check) of Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedias, plus a bunch of the annual updating yearbooks. If you are interested, let me know and I'll send you the details.

Lisa Mc Sherry said...

I can get you the Time-Life books (from ebay) for $20 -- will you let me make that contribution?

democommie said...


What about getting the Encarta or Groliers encyclopedias. They're digitized print versions as far as I know. Please don't whack my knuckles with a ruler if I'm wrong--just hit the person next to me, that will "scare me straight".

Go to my house and look at the puppy picture. He's not as pretty as one of your thunderbirds but he'll do for now.


You're a lovely young woman, look at the camera next time.

Sarita said...

I don't think I can help finding encyclopedias, but...

My professors who have addressed wikipedia agree that, while it might be a good starting point, it is not an acceptable source to cite in a paper/presentation/whatever.

Anne Johnson said...

Jamie B. is going to send me the "Fabulous Century" series. Carol, I'd like to discuss your set with you. And bless you all ... Democommie might not have encyclopedias sitting around, but he can cook up a storm.

Anne Johnson said...

Carol, I couldn't access your Blogger site. You can email me through my profile page. If it doesn't work, leave another comment, and we'll try to touch base.


the library might have a set..i'll check and see...i have something that might work..It's one book..called the american spectrum encyclopedia.1991
If it will help ..I'll send it to you..along with the box of 'stuff' for the girls and you..let me know..i'll put in the mail tomorrow..

Marshall said...

You might check Wolfram Alpha as an online resource. It's not an encyclopedia, but it can do some interesting things.

Carol Logan Newbill said...

Anne, I have a blogger profile but not a blogger blog (if that makes sense). I'll check on the books and send you an email.