LIB 127: Information Research Skills


Library 127 teaches college-level research and information skills, including finding and accessing resources in physical and digital formats; developing topics and research strategies; learning and applying advanced search techniques; exercising critical thinking to evaluate information and using the internet as a research tool.


Lib 127 Outcomes

Students who successfully complete LIB 127 will be able to...

1) Distinguish among the different library services and collections, choosing the service/resource most appropriate for their information need.

  • Identify and use the Library Circulation, Reserves and Interlibrary loan services.
  • Identify and use the library Information Desk services in person, via 24/7 chat, and e-reference.
  • Identify the different categories of electronic and print collections available via the library.
  • Describe and explain the way library resources are organized and displayed both in the library’s physical and virtual environment.

2)  Define and articulate their topic or information need, modifying as necessary depending on assignment requirements and available resources.

  • Develop a topic idea by differentiating between subject area and research topic, by articulating appropriate research topic questions, and by recognizing the need and means to broaden or narrow down the scope of a research topic.
  • Identify and explore general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic or information need.
  • Define or modify the information need or topic to achieve a manageable focus.
  • Identify key concepts, words, and terms that describe the information need or topic.

3)  Distinguish and determine the differences in nature and purpose among various research tools and select the most appropriate resource to address a particular information need or topic.

  • Select appropriate tools (e.g., online catalogs, online and print reference resources, online databases, the free web) for research, depending on the nature of the information need or topic.
  • Identify the differences between freely available Internet search tools and subscription or fee-based databases and other resources.
  • Determine the period of time and types of sources (ie. newspapers, scholarly journals, popular magazines) covered by a particular resource and choosing resources appropriate to a topic or information need accordingly.

4) Develop proficiency in accessing needed information using appropriate research techniques.

  • Identify keywords, synonyms and related terms for their topic or information need.
  • Select controlled vocabulary specific to the topic or information need.
  • Construct a search strategy using appropriate keywords and commands for the resource selected (e.g. Boolean operators, truncation, proximity commands). 
  • Revise and repeat searches as necessary to increase relevant results or to fill gaps in information retrieved.

5) Articulate and apply criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.

  • Examine and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness and point of view or bias.
  • Recognize the purpose of the different information sources and identify prejudice, deception or manipulation.