Research and College Libraries
The information Age, the information Explosion, and the Information Society
During the early stages of American development Agriculture dominated our time. Most people farmed. Today, only a tiny fraction of Americans
work the land, yet, our markets, silos and granaries are full.
During the Industrial age we made things. We still
do, of course, but we have an automated industry so that fewer people can produce more goods.
Today we live sin the Information Age. A name we
have coined because it signifies the importance of information in our everyday lives.
overtaken things as the new commodity.
America’s gross national product (GNP) is substantially information based.
There is more
information than ever before. It doubles at an ever shortening interval. The abundance has not made information easier to get although the abundance creates
workers are employed at originating, managing or transferring information.
value, you can determine its benefits in dollars, and you can compute the cost of not having it.
is the survival skill for our generation.
professionals at your library are the world’s leading authorities on how to find information.
Most Colleges and Universities describe their three major missions as
While each of these missions is vital, we know that without the ability to find and evaluate
information quickly the world would come to a standstill. Information feeds research, and research produces discoveries
that improve our quality of life.
Those who decide not to play, or who play poorly, will lack the ability to keep up, to
participate, and to succeed in college.
“Playing” means more than learning how to operate a computer or visiting the library. It means learning
the basic research and critical thinking skills needed to make sense of the vast amount of information at your
It should be remembered, however, that
IN THIS AGE OF INFORMATION, NOT EVERYTHING WE LOOK
UP AND FIND IS RESEARCH
LEARNING TO BE INFORMATION LITERATE
(What does this mean?)
Here are four things to remember about information:
Know that information (it helps empower people to make good choices)
Know how and where to fine it (when sick you must know whose help to seek)
Know how to find and retrieve information
(Cultivate relationships with Librarians)
Learn how to interpret the information
you find (while it is important to retrieve information,
it is even more important to know what to do with once acquired)
Once you locate data, you need determine how the information fits your need?
Is it introductory
Is it definitional
- Is it analytical (does it supply data about origins, behavior, differences, etc
- Is it current or dated (is it someone’s opinion, or is it research documented)
- Whom are you going to tell about your discovery, and how (will you be presenting it orally, written or both?)
RESEARCH AND PRESENTING AN ASSIGNED TOPIC
As you prepare to research and present your Paper and Oral presentation there some techniques that
you should attempt to master in order to present your findings to the class and for the instructor.
Critical is selecting the correct database for your particular subject or topic. Will you best find the information you need in Print or Electronic
You have a topic, an inquiry task, and a product to produce.
Topic Organization Inquiry Task Product
Paper and /oral presentation
Problems, if any
Conclusions or closing statement
Board of Veterans
As you research your database, decide whether you need to use Scholarly Publications, Popular Magazines
or both. Do know the difference between the two? Let’s look at both.
In-dept information on topic
Broad overview of topic
Written by experts in the subject field
Written by journalist or staff
Graphs, tables, or photographs
Lots of color photos of
To support text
people and events
Articles “referred” or reviewed
Articles evaluate by editor
By peers in field
Documented by Works Cited
No bibliography provided,
Or Reference page
but sources credited
ASK A LIBRARIAN – LIBRARIANS TRIVE ON HELPING YOU
In your quest for information, you need to begin by assessing what you already know and explore for
a while on your own. However, you may decide to get some help. Ask a librarian. Librarians are information experts
who are trained to assist and guide you to the resources you need.
In recent history, s serious candidate for the American presidency was forced to withdraw from the
race when opponents discovered he had failed to give proper credit to a source he used in one of his speeches.
Everyone is on guard against idea thievery. When ideas
are put on paper, film, screens, or tape, they become intellectual property. Using
those ideas without permission and/or without saying where you got them, and sometimes without paying for them, can
cost you a grade, a course, a degree, maybe even a career. Plagiarism
can mess you up big time. And it is so easy to avoid.
If you use somebody else’s exact
published words, you have to give that person credit.
If you use somebody
else’s published ideas, even if you use your words to express his or her ideas, you must give that person credit.
Using the rational, “I didn’t know” as a defense for plagiarism is not an
acceptable excuse. As a college student, it is paramount that you know what is
acceptable and ethical in oral and written research presentations.
For the purpose of your written presentation in this class you will be using APA style format,
which gives specific instructions for footnotes, references and bibliographies. (I believe there is a handbook on the APA writing style in the library)
Remember, the information Literacy skills you learn and employ as a student are the same ones that will serve you well
as a successful professional.