Get to know Primo!

When looking for books, articles or other material, a good way to start is with the library’s search engine Primo. It is the big search box on the first page of the library web site. In Primo you will find most of the books, articles, essays, reports, dissertations, etc. which are available in the library collections – both printed and electronic.

Everyone who has a library account, also has an account in Primo. When you are logged in you can, for example, do this:

  • See your loans and reservations
  • See information and settings for your loan account
  • See any delay fees
  • Save your searches
  • Monitor searches

It is good to always log in before you start searching in Primo, this makes it easy for you to keep track of “your things”. For example, if you want reserve a book, you must be logged in for this to work.

We have made three short instructional films on how to use Primo in the best way.  They are in Swedish but you can still get an idea on how to search yourself.

See your borrowed books in Primo
Searching for books in Primo
Searching for articles in Primo

If you need help searching, can’t find what you’re looking for or have other questions, remember that we are happy to help you at the information points on level 2.

More information about Primo can be found on the library web page.

Text: Christel Olsson
Movies: Sara Hellberg

Is it time to think about you final student thesis?

Is it time to think about which topic you want to write about in you final thesis? Then it’s also good to start thinking about how to find information to your thesis, and of course, about your research questions. Keep reading this blog post and you will get information about how you can approach these things.

The point of the research question is to develop meaningful and relevant results. The idea is to formulate questions which will give you meaningful and relevant results and also to describe your work in a consist manner. Research questions can be descriptive (what is happening, what exists), relational (relationship between two or more variables) or causal (whether one or more variables causes one or more outcome variables).

How do you search for information effectively?
You can always start with Summon, which is the library search service. Here you can find anything from books and articles to e-books etc.

You can also search directly in a subject database. Here you can make specific searches that are focused to your particular subject and you also have more detailed search options.

You can access all of the library´s electronic resources from home – just log in with your username and password (the same as you use in PING PONG).

Libris (the Swedish Library catalogue) can be relevant for your search. Maybe other libraries have good books about your topic, in that case you can make an interlibrary loan which means that we will request the book/article for you. Interlibrary loans of books are free of charge but articles costs 40 SEK (80 SEK if we have to order outside Scandinavia).

Do you want to know more about student thesis writing and information seeking?

  • Call the Library at 033-435 40 50
  • E-mail the Library at biblioteket@hb.se
  • Come and get help at the information desk
  • Visit the Search Lab in J441 every Thursday at 12:00-15:00 and get help from a librarian.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Colourbox

Teaching Information Literacy at the Library

1At the library we are five librarians involved in teaching students information literacy skills. It is Christel (as you see in the picture), she is responsible mainly for the students who are studying Education,  Birgitta for the Librarianship, Information  and Engineering, Sara for Web Editors, the Caring Science and Social Wellfare, Karin for Textiles and Fashion and Lena is responsible for the students who are studying Business, Informatics and Work Life.

Since 2009, the teaching is planned according to a model in which we librarians are planning together with the programme managers and course coordinators at the faculties. It aims to support students in developing information literacy skills. To achieve the best results the education has to be integrated into regular courses. It is important that there is a study assignment in the course that can be linked to information seeking.  The teaching will never be the same, but vary by student subjects and skills. It it free of charges for the faculties.

Optimally, we teach information seeking tree times during the student’s study time here.  It is  very clear that those who take the opportunity to come, often discover that it is not the same to seek scientific information and what they need for their studies as searching or googling the information they need in their everyday lives. The cooperation Library-Faculty is also important for us to get information about the size of the groups and previous knowledge, etc.

We have progression in our teaching so the first time the student comes to us, she or he learn to  search, evaluate  information generally in some common resources such as the library catalog Summon.  The second level provides a deeper knowledge  in the scientific information retrieval process. We introduce different search strategies. In the third  level, we demonstrate systematic information retrieval in relevant databases, eg thesaurus construction and to use search history and citation indexes. Although reference management software as EndNote usually included here. The last step will be helpful before and during the whole thesis.

The students study assignment for these educations are  often to search, evaluate and use scientific information on a given topic. Therefore, we almost always teach in form of a workshop. The students need to sit down and try to do different searches on their own. They have the librarian to consult.  At the library, we have  our own classroom ( J438) with computers. We think it is good that the students come to us at the library so they get used to come here.

Contacts for teaching

Text and photo: Lena Wadell

Why do we educate in information seeking?

One of the library’s many missions is to educate students in information seeking. But why? Why are students at the university educated in information seeking?

Maybe you’ve already had a lecture in information seeking, if not you will have one at some time during your studies. You might question why you should waste your time with this lecture. Well, it’s not wasting time – because by learning how to search for information in a powerful and efficient way, you will get better results in your studies. Your new information searching skills will give you sources with higher quality, and you will find your sources faster, meaning you can spend more time to actually complete your study assignments.

Sara Hellberg

Sara Hellberg

If you ask Sara Hellberg, manager for the teaching librarians at the library, she says that the aim of education in information seeking is to make students information literate. That means students that know how to identify their information needs, define research questions based on this, search for information, critically examine process and then use the information in a good way. The importance of information literacy is emphasized in the Swedish law regulating the universities, and it is also quite common with course objectives related to information retrieval, reference management, source criticism, etc.

Education in information seeking several times?

During your studies, you will have education in information seeking on the schedule several times; most common is the three occasions over a three-year course. But it’s important to know there is a different focus at the various sessions and that each new lecture builds on what you’ve already learned. That means: Increased difficulty and new content each time!

The dates for the different occasions for education are chosen with care. The idea is that information seeking should take place in conjunction with a study assignment that requires you to seek information. This makes the search for information useful because you will actually use the information you find. To search for information just to find it, when you do not need it, is both difficult and a bit pointless.

If you do get stuck, we can help you

Okay, so you’ve been to all education ever offered, and although it feels like a struggle to find information? Then, of course, there are other ways to get support and help in the search for information:

Library Search Lab – Thursdays at 3 pm the Search lab is open in a computer room at the 4th floor in the library. Get help to find search terms, search techniques and database choice by a librarian.

Search Support – Come to the Information Point at any weekday between 9 am and 4 pm and ask for Search Support. You will then get to log in to a computer near the Information Point, and will have be able to ask a librarian for help whenever you get stuck in your search.

But none of the above operations can replace what you learn at a lecture in information seeking. The education in information seeking is so much deeper and wider, and also tailored to give you the tools you need to solve the study task you have at the moment.

What do you think about our education in information seeking?

Have you already had information seeking education here in Borås? How was it? Did the education help you in your studies? Do you have any suggestions on how to make the lectures better? Please let us know! Fill in the form and give us your opinion!

Text: Katharina Nordling & Sara Hellberg
Picture: Henrik Bengtsson