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Information Literacy CSS101 - Part 2. Martin J. Crabtree MCCC Library October 2004. Agenda. Review: so just what IS information literacy? Using the the Mercer Library’s catalog Review: searching electronic resources Review: databases and Web information

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Information literacy css101 part 2

Information LiteracyCSS101 - Part 2

Martin J. Crabtree

MCCC Library

October 2004


  • Review: so just what IS information literacy?

  • Using the the Mercer Library’s catalog

  • Review: searching electronic resources

  • Review: databases and Web information

  • Your turn to use the databases & the web

What is information literacy
What is information literacy?

Information literacy is the ability to:

  • Realize that you need information to find something out/answer a question

  • Know where to go to get the information you need

  • Ask the right questions to get the information you need

  • Put all the information you found together to answer your question

Using the mccc card catalog to find books and more
Using The MCCC Card Catalog to find books and more

  • The catalog is available online. Used to find books, videos and other material both in the MCCC collection and the Mercer County Public (MCL) libraries.

  • You can have materials from MCL brought to the college. Deliveries arrive Tuesday and Friday afternoons. (DVD’s not available from MCL)

  • You will need to have your student ID card to borrow books or use the library’s computer lab

The link to the catalog is on the library s web pages
The link to the catalog is on the library’s web pages.

Starting an electronic search keywords
Starting An Electronic SearchKeywords

  • Keywords are used when searching electronic databases and web search engines

  • First step - Generate a list of words (keywords) often nouns that describes or is commonly used when discussing your topic. For example:

    • Ozone

    • Layer

    • Depletion

    • Atmosphere

    • Hole

Starting an electronic search boolean searching logic
Starting An Electronic SearchBoolean Searching/Logic

  • Boolean searching - Connecting keywords with the terms

    • and

    • not

    • or

  • For example

    • eagles NOT football

    • (car or automobile) and exhaust

  • More Terms = Fewer “Hits”

Searching more than just keywords phrases truncations
Searching More Than Just KeywordsPhrases & Truncations

  • To search for a phrase, use quotation marks

    • “weapons of mass destruction”

  • Truncations allow for searching related words all at once

    • The * is usually used. For example:

      • “child*” would include: child, children, childhood, childproof, etc.

Electronic databases at mccc in general
Electronic Databases at MCCCIn General

  • Over 40 databases available

  • Many contain periodical articles

  • Some are useful for searching specific subjects like business, art, or criminal justice.

  • Others are also useful tools like the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Oxford Dictionary

Electronic databases in general
Electronic DatabasesIn General

  • Accessible at any computer on the MCCC/JKC campus network

  • Most are available off campus, need to request a password.

  • Can print/e-mail/download what you find

Using the internet world wide web
Using the internet/world wide web

  • Before using the web for most college research, try using databases first:

    • You will have fewer hits to go through

    • You’ll likely find some good information quickly

    • The information is always high quality

  • The internet & web are not the same thing

Some things to consider when searching the web
Some things to consider when searching the web

  • Everything is NOT on the web and may never be

  • No search engine covers the entire web

  • The “invisible web” is huge!

  • Though there has yet to be consensus, estimates put the size of the invisible web between 2 and 500 times bigger than the “visible” (or surface) web.

Searching the world wide web search strategy
Searching the World Wide Web Search Strategy

  • Searching the Web is much like database searching:

    • Put together a list of keywords describing the information you desire

    • Use Boolean logic (and, not, or) to better define your search, use double quotes for phrases, etc.

  • When searching the web, also:

    • Consider which search engines/sites may best suit your search needs. Different search engines yield different results.

    • Use the search engine’s “advanced search” to select limiting parameters (language, date, domain, etc.)

Some helpful invisible websites
Some helpful invisible websites

  • - searchable annotated directory of Internet resources

  • - Direct Search, large listing of free databases

  • [NO www] - good for searching academic information

  • [No www] blend of database, directory, & search engine information.

  • - search federal government sites

Evaluating web sites

Evaluating Web Sites

Is this stuff any good?

Evaluating web sites1
Evaluating Web Sites

  • Quality varies greatly from site to site

  • YOU are the sole evaluator of the quality of information a site provides

Five web info evaluation criteria
Five Web Info Evaluation Criteria

  • Accuracy - is it reliable?

  • Authority - is author qualified on subject?

  • Objectivity - is the information biased?

  • Currency - is the information “new” enough?

  • Coverage - does the info completely cover the topic?

The bottom line
The Bottom Line…

Buyer Beware

  • The web contains a vast amount of information…but not everything

  • Anyone can put information on the web, hence the quality of web information varies greatly

  • YOU will often be the only person to decide if the quality of the info you find on the web is good

    Now let’s visit a site…