Lake Land College Library Tim Schreiber Information Services Librarian
Reference Desk Phone: 234-5440 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources of Information • Reference Materials • Books • Periodicals • World Wide Web
Examples of Reference Materials • Encyclopedias • Dictionaries • Atlases & Maps • Directories • Handbooks & Manuals
Strengths Quick facts from authoritative source Statistics Good for getting overviews or background info Weaknesses Good starting point, but you will need other types of sources for in-depth information Reference Materials
Strengths Space available for lengthy arguments and detail Editors and fact-checkers Example: The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle Weaknesses Not always the most up-to-date resource. More difficult to search for specific information. Books (non-fiction)
Strengths Information is more current. Editors and fact-checkers Easier to find things; full-text searches Weaknesses Not enough space for extensive treatment of single subject. Academic articles may be too technical or specific. PeriodicalsNewspapers, Magazines, Journals
Types of PeriodicalsJournals vs. Newspapers & Magazines • What’s the difference? • Who writes them? • Who reads them? • What is their purpose? • How often are they published?
Journals • Considered a “scholarly” or “academic” source. • Purpose is to make original research available. • Authors are scholars and researchers. • Aimed at a small audience of other scholars and researchers. • Refereed process; peer-review • Usually published monthly or quarterly • Examples: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Special Education
Magazines & Newspapers • Purpose is to provide general information or entertain. • Authors are writers or journalists. • Aimed at the general public. • Many pictures, graphics & ads. • Published daily, weekly, or monthly • No peer-review process (but use editors) • Examples: Rolling Stone,Newsweek, New York Times
Strengths Many different points of view. Many different formats (text, images, audio, video.) Can be very up-to-date. Weaknesses Not organized, can be hard to find stuff. Anyone can say anything, even wrong or misleading information. World Wide Web (“The Web”)
Evaluating Information • Accuracy • Editors or fact-checkers? Consistent with other sources? Lots of typos or grammatical errors? • Authority • Who wrote it? What are their credentials? • Purpose • To inform? Persuade? Sell? Entertain? Who is the audience? • Objectivity • Facts or opinions? Sponsored by a special-interest group? Easy answers (propaganda) or hard questions? • Currency • How old is the information? Include new developments?
Library Catalogs • Catalogs tell you what materials (Books, AV items, etc.) are in the library and where to find them. • Our catalog is called LINC. It is an online catalog, so you can use it from any computer with an internet connection. • LINC is a system-wide catalog, which allows you to order items from 80+ other libraries in the Lincoln Trail Libraries System. • From our website, you can also search other catalogs such as Illinet and WorldCat.
Library Databases • An online resource that contains articles and information taken from print sources such as magazines, newspapers, journals, and reference books. • These are not “internet sources” or free web pages that you will find using Google or Yahoo. Articles come from published sources. • Available on the web, but part of our library’s collection. Must go through our library’s website (and login if from home.)
Types of Library Databases • Article Databases enable you to search through thousands of different magazines, journals and newspapers to find articles on a particular topic. • Reference Databases provide access to online versions of reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.) Usually more subject-specific.
Need Help? Ask at the Reference Desk! Phone: 234-5440 Email: email@example.com