Basic Information Literacy Skills
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Basic Information Literacy Skills

These skills are expected of students by the end of their second year.

1.  Obtaining materials in traditional format            

  • Know the layout of Maki Library
  • Understand how various library classification systems work with an emphasis on the Dewey Decimal classificationand how to find materials in Maki Library filed in Dewey call number order located in various sections of the Library.
  • Know what interlibrary loan is and can do, and how and when it is appropriate to place a request for books and articles located in other libraries.
  • Know the various library procedures such as how to check out books and other materials.

 2.   Basics of searching

  • Understand the conventions of searching including use of Boolean terms, implied Boolean, truncation, proximity/adjacency searching, phrase searching, and the use of controlled vocabulary for subject searching.
  • Be able to apply these conventions in an appropriate manner as they search the library's online catalog, library databases, and Internet sites using search engines and subject directories.  

 3.  The Library's online catalog

  • Know what it contains and what it does not contain.
  • Have facility in performing basic searches of author, title, subject, and keyword and have an understanding of how to use search commands such as Boolean, truncation, and adjacency in Voyager.
  • Be able to locate books and other materials in Maki Library utilizing the online catalog, including an understanding of the information contained in the online records including identification of the parts of a bibliographic record.
  • Know that the online catalog is not the place to go to locate periodical articles.

 4.  Periodicals, and their indexes/databases

  • Know what a periodicals index is and does
  • Be able to name and use at least one general index in electronic format.
  • Be able to name and use at least one full-text index (database).
  • Be able to name and use at least one subject-specific index/database in print orelectronic format.
  • Be able to determine if a certain article is located in Maki Library and where to find it.
  • Understand the positives and negatives of periodical/journal articles as well as the various types of periodical publications.

 5. Obtaining information in electronic format

  • Develop facility in using library specific databases as well as Internet subject directories and search engines.
  • Be able to apply the standard conventions of electronic searching to these databases and Internet search services as outlined in the basics of searching.
  • Be comfortable using browsers including such functions as print preview, print, and find in page.

 6.  Information sources

  • Have knowledge and understanding of a variety of sources in order to select appropriate sources for a variety of research or information gathering projects.
  • Know the difference between: 

An indexing and abstracting database and a full text database.
A general publication and a scholarly publication.
A primary source and a secondary source.

  • Be familiar and understand the use of the various types of information such as reference sources, government information, statistical sources, biographical information, book reviews, literary criticism, and literature in collections. Know when it's appropriate to:

Use a printed source and to use an Internet source.
Use various formats of information such as a periodical article, a book, an encyclopedia.
Use other types of information such as interviews and other unpublished sources.
Use government information.

7.  The research process

  • Be able to formulate a research strategy, and understand how research topics, problems or questions, change, are refined and redefined, during the course of research.
  • Be able to critically evaluate all information for usefulness, bias, currency, and authority. Each student needs a repertoire of at least 5 evaluation questions to be asked of all sources.
  • Have an understanding of plagiarism, quoting, paraphrasing, attributing ideas, as well as, general knowledge of copyright issues including fair use.
  • Know how to use a style manual correctly to document information sources in many different formats.

 8.   Information and Information literacy

  • Have developed a concept of what constitutes information literacy.
  • Have gained knowledge of how information historically has been communicated and the importance of information.

 9.   Terms

The ability to define and understand the following terms or names:

Abstract    Interlibrary loan
Bibliography/Works cited   Online catalog
Boolean operator   Primary source
Call number   Search engine
Citation   Secondary source
First search   Subject directory
Full text   URL
Infotrac   Voyager

Endorsed by Library Committee 4/10/00
Updated 6/2001
Revised 1/2002
Updated 1/2004