Information search – More important than you think!


You may have seen on your schedule that you will come to the library for information search. You may think it sounds boring, redundant, or that it is something you already know. – is it really so? Sara Hellberg is one of five librarians here who teaches information search and here she gives her view on why you shouldn´t skip it.


“For example, if I need to buy milk, I know that I need to go to grocery store and not to the bakery. It’s a bit the same with the sources. We show how they find information that they can not find on Google”

How often have students information search on the schedule with you Sara?

– Normally I meet them three times during the program, but it depends a bit on how it fits into the courses. The first occation is usually the first semester. The third and final occation, usually before the thesis when they need to seek scientific articles.

Why do you think it is important that the students come?

– We have planned the content together with the teachers on the basis of the program and the course’s uniqueness. The lessons are based on what students need. Much can be found on Google but we show sources that may be difficult or impossible for them to find that way. Depending on what you’re looking for, you go to different places. For example, if I need to buy milk, I go to grocery store and not to the bakery. Maybe I can get some milk in the bakery if it´s critical, but if I need some mincemeat -Thats where it stops! It’s a bit the same with the sources. We show them how to find sources they can not find on Google.

We provide tips on how to use the library smart and how it works in practical terms. Library puts millions on licenses and subscriptions to electronic resources, in addition, we present a smorgasbord, where we have sorted out what they need to complete their tasks. If you have missed an opportunity, it is highly recommanded to come before the essay writing!

What are your experiences of how students perceive education before they come to you? 

– Some think they already know, but when they come, it turns out that there is a lot of useful information that they learn. Many come just for rehearsal. Some students have no expectations at all, especially when they come for the first time.

And what have you got for comments afterwards?

– Most of them are happy afterwards and says that they learned something they can enjoy. One comment I hear repeatedly is: “I had no idea that librarians did know so much!” or another comment: “There was a lot that was new, I did not know!”

Some comments cut from the survey data from the library’s training sessions:

  • Really good and instructive! The penny dropped.
  • Good explained when one asks questions, relevant information at just the right time.
  • I discovered a new database cool!
  •  Really good info, door openers!
  • Finally I can use this library properly, before I was just confused!

Text and Picture: Lena Wadell