LIBRARY CLASS #1 OBJECTIVES
1. Students will learn the basic ideals of information literacy which will frame activities for the rest of the semester.
2. Students will learn one information assessment criteria (PADRE) and show evidence of how to apply them.
3. Students will learn the basics of information/knowledge synthesis and show evidence of application in practice.
Introduction to Library Services
How searching the web is different from library research (especially since 2006: trivia question: what happened in 2006 that makes any difference with libraries, anyway?)
What is information literacy and how will this class teach me?
Need | find | evaluate | use
It isn't hard to find information these days -but knowing whether it is worthwhile or even trustworthy is a problem, but what about information that's hard to find, or you don't know if it exsits or not? I'll help with strategies related to that, for sure.
But then how do you actually use it in combination with other sources and your own opinions? I'll help you understand how to process information in a way that is efficient and confidence inspiring for your future work here at the university.
How can you determine the value of any information? Whether it is verbal, non-verbal, written, yelled, televised, etc., the following information literacy screen can be used to determine value. Hint: an article is considered scholarly (or "high impact") if it shows strong evidence of passing all five of the following...
P is for Purpose
Why was the information given/published/produced/etc.? To inform? To persuade? To sell? To entertain? To get you off their back? –there’s no absolute correct answer, but it is very helpful to consider.
A is for Author(ity)
Who is the author(s) and how are they an authority? Example: Stephen Hawking has a PhD in Physics and holds the Chair of the Physics Department at Cambridge University –if he states something related to Physics, he is highly authoritative. If he argues with you that the most important element of cheesecake is the crust –he is on equal authoritative footing with the rest of us cheesecake fans. Note: years of specific experience also counts, but is less easy to quantify than a degree or title. Being old or being a celebrity do not count in and of themselves. An item with ‘anonymous’, a ‘wise man once said’, no listed author, or a record of a changed authorship, are all poor.
D is for Date
How fresh is your information, and does that matter? If you’re looking at anthropology, a field report from a dig along the river Euphrates in 1915 may be just as valuable as today. If you are looking for smart phone reviews, you’ll want something more recent. If there is no date of publication –then beware.
R is for Relevance
What level of information do you need? You won’t need a scholarly article to pick a restaurant to go to, but a foreign policy specialist would be ill-advised to base policy decisions on the ideas of the guy at the grocery store putting in his 2 cents (but he probably is a great reference for the nearest & best coffee shop!)
E is for Editor
All information has added value when a larger group agrees with you and says so by publishing you (essentially you have successfully passed the editors’ desks). Example; if someone says that all chicken should be eaten raw (which we all know is a bad idea, you would get horribly sick, and it would be disgusting, right?):
in a self-published blog = it is either a prank/satire, or they are crazy
in a local news source that will publish anything = it may still be a prank, or something that slipped by the overworked editor by mistake
in the New York Times = it might be part of a hard to understand movement; you won’t catch me eating it, but at least I can read about why someone is.
in the Journal of the American Medical Association = either all doctors are crazy
or there’s some bizarre, but effective treatment of a disease.
Authoritative Sources for Trends and Ideas
great for getting the creative juices going, but aren't necessarily considered scholarly
www.lib.utah.edu > research databases (tab) > C > CQ Researcher
www.lib.utah.edu > Usearch > (type this for your search...) encyclopedia AND (your topic)
Pew Research Center (non-partisan public data)
Here's a sample from Pew Research Center (URL)
In 1969, the great Soichiro Honda hand crafted this six-cylinder 250cc screamer, the RC 166. Top speed 150ish mph, puts out over 60 bhp -that's double of what a new fuel-injected 250 Ninja/Kawasaki puts out today -although they undoubtedly last longer and are much cheaper to buy.