Search for MLK on the Web

One great thing about the Internet is how one can find resources on virtually any topic in multiple formats. There are many formidable sites dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Web. Check out this one that’s hosted by The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. (This link will take you directly to a page with links to full-text versions of a sampling of King’s speeches and writings including his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”)

CAUTION: When I teach web evaluation in my information literacy classes, I emphasize the importance of having solid evaluation skills by doing a Google search on Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the sites that invariably shows up on the first page of results is a counterfeit website with malicious content. My students are often surprised that such sites exist and are listed alongside authentic sites. (To learn more about this site and other counterfeit sites, read the article Better Read That Again: Web Hoaxes and Misinformation by Paul S. Piper.)

IMPORTANT: When searching for Web content on Dr. King or any other subject, it is extremely important to evaluate your sources to make sure what you’re reading, viewing or hearing is good quality information. In order to weed out the malicious content from the good information on the Web, you may want to ask yourself the following questions about each website:

  • Who is the author of the content? Is he or she qualified to write on the subject?
  • Is the website hosted by an organization?  What is the organization all about? What is the domain of the document? (.edu? .gov? etc.)
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author? What objective does this page have?
  • Who wrote the page and can you contact him/her? Does it have references? Are there errors or incomplete information? 
  • Is it easy to use? Is there a site map or a navigation bar? Is there a search function?

About libstaff

Bryan Hinds Evening Circulation Supervisor St. Ambrose University 518 W. Locust St. Davenport IA 52803
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