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

Source criticism and plagiarism

You might be in the midst of searching for scientific articles for your thesis or assignment. Do not forget to think critically when you do this work!

COLOURBOX1947363Source criticism is a method to examine the information and facts contained in the sources you choose to use. You value the sources and choose carefully what you want to include. Do not forget to use source criticism on other than text. For example pictures and video that nowdays are equally important to source view given how much you can edit and process them. Remember to differentiate between a primary source and secondary source. The Academy is considered primary sources (first-hand) to be more reliable. You can use following questions, irrespective of the material:

  • Who is the author of your source?
  • For what purpose is it published?
  • Is the research still relevant?
  • Where have the research been published? Has it been reviewed? ( peer-review)
  • Can other check the results?
  • What information do you get from other sources at the same event?
  • If others have done similar studies, which results have they reached?
  • Does the timing in movies and audio clips add up?
  • Who funded the research?
  • Does the results seem trustworthy? Are there other sources that are trustworthy to say the same thing?
  • Are the conclusions reasonable based on the theory and methodology used?

Take a look at the web page Källlkritik on the Internet which is a guide that .SE stands behind and which shows how you can review content on web pages.

It can be helpful to know what obligations you as the author of your essay or thesis have regarding plagiarism. On the University web you can find a great anti-plagiarism guide where most aspects of this matter are included. It is available through Ping Pong, but also open on the web from this page (click on the link in the text far down on the page).
And please see the movie where our former librarian Eli Bytoft-Nyaas is talking about the subject and deal critically  with sources and references. The anti-plagiarism tutorial included Urkund, a plagiarism handbook that inlcudes a list to look at if you want to know what actually is plagiarism when writing.

Text: Lena Holmberg
Bild. Colourbox