For Success in School and Life
By Elaine Settergren, Online Librarian
An Introduction to Information
• What is Information Literacy?
• Seeking information
– Information Cycles
– Types of information
– Globe Education Network [GEN] Library
• Using Information
– Evaluating information
– Citation and Academic Honesty
What is Information Literacy?
• Information literacy is a set of abilities
enabling individuals to recognize when
information is needed and to locate, evaluate,
and use the needed information effectively.
• Basically, Information Literacy is to know how
to think critically about information: why,
when, and how to use information
• But it doesn’t happen overnight, your
research projects and other critical thinking
assignments will help you develop and polish
Why Should I Care?
Information Literacy in the “real world” is
• self-directed lifelong learning
• excellent critical thinking and reasoning skills
• the ability to research faster and more
Here’s an example:
Say you’ve been diagnosed with a rare disease.
Your information literacy skills can help you
learn more about it: causes, cures, side-effects
of medicines, etc.
• Where are you most likely to find the info you need?
• Types of sources include (but are not limited to):
They all have their unique strengths and uses
Seeking Information: Info Cycles
For more info and explanations see
Based on http://www.lib.washington.edu/uwill/research101/intro02.htm
Types of Information
• Different types of sources are good for different uses
• hard facts, scientific
evidence, and research
communication” – for
scholars by scholars about
• rigid with citation – all
sources must be properly
• Industry news and
• written for
• purpose: to keep
• mention research, but
often don’t cite
• personal or human
side of an issue
• popular culture and
• written for general
public by editors/
• purpose: entertain or
• rarely cite anything.
The GEN Library
• Use the library website to access all the library
research and help tools
– there is also a link from your Blackboard course.
• Login to the library databases/ebooks with the
same username and password that you use for
• Username: firstname.lastname
• Password: last 4 digits of your Social Security #
The GEN Library
Library Tools and Resources:
• Databases –> for finding articles and more
• Books and Ebooks
• Recommended Websites
• Help includes:
• Research guides/tutorials
• Librarian contact info -> ask us questions!
GEN Library: Databases
• Databases contain articles from e-journals and
many other types of info (i.e. e-books and parts
of e-books, images, podcasts, reports, etc.).
• When you need an article, search in a database.
• Many databases will help you cite your source.
• The library pays for the information in the
databases so you don’t have to
What’s the Difference?
Information is from
professionals or experts in the
Contain published works
where facts are checked
Easy to cite in a bibliography
and may create the citation for
Can help you narrow your
topic or suggest related subjects.
Are updated frequently and
include the date of publication.
Can be written by anyone
regardless of expertise
Content is often not
checked by an expert
Often don’t provide the
information necessary to
create a complete citation
Often aren’t organized to
support student research
May not indicate when a
page is updated.
This chart is from: http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Difference.cfm
GEN Library: Databases – continued
• Good Databases to Start with:
• EBSCO MegaFile,
• Gale (search all cross-searchable),
• Also available:
• 360 Search
• E-Journal portal
• Both of these are good for finding stuff when you
have a citation or aren’t sure what database to
GEN Library: Books and Ebooks
• Search the GU/MSB Catalog for books at the
GU/MSB campuses and for ebooks (for all GEN)
• Ebooks: NetLibrary is one of our e-book providers
and is searchable through the catalog
• For Business and Information Technology
ebooks search Books 24x7
• More ebooks and portions of ebooks are found
in the databases
are for all GEN
GEN Library: Books
• If you’re not an online-only student, you can
check out books at the campus libraries with
your student ID. You can also borrow books
from other school’s libraries (it’s called ILL).
Find out more:
• If you are an online-only student, you can ILL
from campus libraries and your local public
library. If you have questions, let me (Elaine
Settergren – email@example.com) know.
• Once you’ve found information, the next step
is to use it ethically.
• Not all information is created equally
• All information you use in school, you need to
• Evaluate your sources so you’re sure your
source is credible.
• Good sources = better papers and research
projects = you!
Evaluate your sources by asking yourself some key
questions about the information:
• Who? – author, publisher, sponsoring
organization, company, etc.
• Why? – selling something, inform, entertain, joke?
• Can you trust it? – is it objective, biased, opinion?
– do they cite sources? Is research explained and
cited? Is it old and outdated?
• How does it compare? – how does the information
from this source compare to other sources on the
Citation and Academic Honesty
• You cannot pass off someone else’s ideas as
your own because it’s unethical.
• You must give credit and citing is a way to do
• Classes will require APA citation style.
Help!?! No Problem!
Ask Your Librarian! Ask by IM, email, phone, or in
person. We’re here to help.
Find us on the library website:
More About Information and Research
• Composition class
– You’ll learn more about searching and the GEN
Library during composition class
• Library Website –> tutorials
– Check the library website for additional
information about researching and using library
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