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Information Literacy & Library Instruction

A list of the kinds of library instruction topics and sessions the librarians offer. Faculty are welcome to choose from this menu or collaborate with a librarian to create a customized session.

Goals for introductory level courses:

Building upon the library research skills they have developed through the First Year Seminars, students in introductory level courses will learn:

  • How the purpose and characteristics of scholarly literature differ from general interest literature.
  • That most databases follow a common structure that facilitates information retrieval through features like controlled vocabulary, keyword searching, Boolean operators, and special search operators.
  • How to develop an effective search strategy.
  • How to use reference sources such as subject encyclopedias to define research questions and to expand research.
  • That the library research process is recursive.

Goals for upper level courses

Students working in their major or minor will be introduced to specialized resources in a field of study and gain advanced understanding of the scholarly communication process. They will learn:

  • How new information is produced, reviewed, and disseminated in a field/discipline of study.
  • How to identify and use major indexing tools in a field.
  • How to use advanced search techniques like cited reference searching and field limits.
  • How to find and use primary sources as defined by a field, e.g. data sets, government documents, and rare or archival materials.
  • How certain factors affect the value of information in a field, e.g., author’s credentials, publisher’s or sponsor’s reputation, and number of times cited in literature.