Had an interesting reminder this morning about how folks understand databases and how they're compiled and used.
A returning student came in to do research for a writ 121 assignment... writing about the negative aspects of joint custody and in particular, fathers' rights. Clearly, this was an emotionally charged topic for our student... I got the whole story about the ex-wife, the son, the doctors and teachers "only listen to her."
We searched through Opposing Viewpoints and General OneFile to try to find articles.... only he didn't want articles. He wanted legal materials. I explained to the student that these databases will have articles ABOUT those issues but aren't the legal papers themselves.
That's when he got really mad.
He went on, rather loudly (not dangerously loud or anything, just angry) about how the courts are hearing reports from fathers all the time but "they don't care and that's why there's nothing in these databases!" Again, I explained that database usage takes time and patience and not everything is in every database.. that's why we looked in two different ones.
He left. His buddy was trying to direct him to the legal aide office as they walked out...