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LIBRARY GUIDE TO LIB 250 - Introduction to library research and technology in the information age

LIB 250
Introduction to library research and technology in the information age
Online course
4 credits

Catalog description:
With the ever-increasing availability of online and digital resources, it is vital that students be able to find and use information effectively. In this course students will learn about the organization of information, search skills, the research process, discipline-specific sources, evaluation of information, information ethics and other sources of debate. Prerequisite: WRT 160.

This class satisfies the General Education Requirements in the Knowledge Applications area and the General Education Writing Intensive area.
Course outline

Overview of the information age

      social and economic impact of information technologies, importance of information
      competencies and the role of libraries.
The world wide web and search engines
     how the web was created, how it works, the difference between the open and deep web.
     how search engines
work and how to use them successfully
Types of academic sources
     scholarly publications and peer review
     different types of academic resources and their uses
The research process
     the research cycle
     how to identify a topic and formulate research questions
Search strategies
     keyword searching and known item searching
     bibliographic records and how to mine them
The organization of information
     principles of organization of information, information retrieval and metadata
     call numbers, subject headings, tags
Discipline specific resources and methods
    disciplinary needs
     primary and secondary sources
Evaluation of information
     evaluation of websites and crowdsourcing
     understanding bias
The packaging of information
     gathering and organizing citations
     citation management systems
     creating bibliographies
The ethics of information use
     copyright and open access
Student presentations
     (usability study of databases)
The future of libraries and digital technologies
     recent trends and issues in libraries and information technology
     disintermediation in information discovery and the future role of libraries

Assignments include weekly tasks, participation in discussion forums, quizzes, a database comparison exercise, and a final research paper. To complete the final paper students will be asked to submit various components over the course of the semester.
  • Weekly tasks: 13.8%
  • Discussions:  17.2%
  • Quizzes: 17.2%
  • Research paper (exercises + final paper): 38%
  • Database evaluation:13.8%
Library Contact
Picture: Dominique Daniel

Dominique Daniel
Humanities Librarian for History and Modern Languages

Office hours: W 3-5pm, KL 244. To make an appointment:  Book an appointment
Course objectives
Course objectives:
  • To understand how information sources originate and operate in their broader socio- economic and political contexts (such as the World Wide Web, library databases and scholarly publications).
  • To gain interdisciplinary proficiency in seeking information via the World Wide Web and via electronic subscription databases and library search tools.
  • To understand how libraries use technology for information organization, storage, and retrieval
  • To critically evaluate information.
  • To incorporate selected information into the research process.
  • To become knowledgeable about information-related issues affecting libraries and higher education as well as society as a whole, especially ethical issues.
This course does not require the purchase of any books. All reading materials will be given to students directly.
There are 2 recommended books:

William Badke, Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog  (4th edition, iUniverse.com, 2011).


Mary W. George, The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know (Princeton University Press, 2008)


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