Core Information Literacy Skills & Goals
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- Locating & Shaping Topics
- Finding a topic and shaping that topic through the use of overviews, abstracts, review articles, for examples.
- Using creativity, flexibility, and independent thinking for the shaping of a research topic. A topic will require shaping and fine-tuning in relation to the availability of information.
- Searching for evidence on an issue or question through the use of various sources in different formats.
- Distinguishing between searching by keywords and subject headings (controlled vocabulary).
- Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) with keywords and synonyms in their searches.
- Selecting the appropriate databases for their topic or discipline.
- Differentiating between scholarly journals and popular magazines.
- Differentiating between proprietary databases and electronic journals that the Library subscribes to and pays for, and free electronic information resources.
- Evaluating print and electronic resources, including Web sites.
- Questioning authority through the use of book reviews and other review materials.
- Distinguishing between primary and secondary sources.
Mechanics | use of handouts or help screens
- Understanding the Library of Congress Classification System, locating materials by their call numbers using this system, and using the online catalog to find out where these materials are located in the library.
- Distinguishing between a journal, newspaper, and book citation, identifying each component of a citation in these different formats, and writing a citation in accordance to a particular writing style.
- Acknowledging that the library cannot possibly contain all referenced materials for their topic; Interlibrary Loan serves as an option for them to acquire materials that the library does not have in its holdings.
- Becoming familiar and adept with various traditional and electronic resources, including the online catalog, electronic databases, various Internet search engines, e-mail, and the WWW.
- Using different collections in the library.
- Abiding by established copyright laws.
- Understanding the meaning of intellectual integrity and how to practice it in an academic environment.
Alternatives to the Research Paper | examples
- Developing research papers without including the writing of the papers, such as choosing and shaping a topic, writing annotated bibliographies, developing a concise statement describing the nature of the topic, and writing the opening and conclusion of the paper.
- Performing critical thinking tasks through the use of comparing the treatment of a topic used in different sources and eras, writing critical commentaries, identifying problems with the topic, and finding materials supporting that problem area within the topic.
- Evaluating, comparing, and contrasting sources from a critical perspective.
Sources drawn from...
- BI-L listserv, September 6-8, 2000, on What Freshman Need to Know
- Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, January 18, 2000
- Alternatives to the Term Paper: A Variety of Library-Based Assignments Used at Earlham College, May 1989, compiled by Evan Farber