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Library Science LIBS 101 Information Literacy and Research Skills: Home

Description of LIBS 101

LIBS 101 description

Engraving by unknown artist in the 1888 edition of L'Atmosphere by Camille Flammarion


***Check the SDCCD class schedule for current availability of the LIBS 101 course at City College.*** 

Course description from the City College Catalog

LIBS 101 Information Literacy and Research Skills.  1-unit

This course is an overview of information resources and the skills required to use them effectively.  Students learn how to use library resources such as electronic indexes and databases, online services, and the internet, as well as to develop strategies for conducting research.  This course is intended for students who wish to acquire research skills for academic, career or personal use. (FT) AA/AS; CSU; UC

The following is from the beginning of the OER text used for this class which can be found here. 

Introduction for students:

Do you ever use Google?  How about library databases?  If so, you know that you can sit down, type something in and get results.  That shows you are computer literate.  Because information literacy is often confused with computer literacy, most people think they should already know or do already know how to do research effectively and efficiently.  Just knowing how to perform a search on a computer does not make person information literate.  Although it isn’t brain surgery, as one of my first mentors assured me, it is a set of skills that need to be learned.  It is not built into our DNA. 

Some students use the first few articles or books they find on a topic and write a paper from that.  That is not really doing research nor does it shout, “I am information literate.”  A true research project is having a question or a theory and looking for an answer, proof and/or supporting evidence.  Information literacy is not only doing research, but also understanding information, how it is created and organized, how to use it and the realization that research takes time.  More often than not, multiple searches will be required to find what you need.  

This small book is intended to get you started on the way to becoming information literate and knowing how to do library research.  These skills will: transfer from institution to institution no matter if it be a college, university, or public library; allow you to learn what you want when you want by putting you in control of database searching; show you how to find answers to questions you may not know you have; support not only your academic endeavors, but help you keep abreast of the information in whatever field you choose; and may aid you in all life’s questions.  Use the index at the end to clarify new terminology.   

Education takes us out of our comfort zone.  Information literacy empowers us to continue our education far beyond our schooling.  Inherent in learning is the need to challenge our assumptions.  Sometimes we do not even know we have assumptions until we learn something new that shakes our mind into a new understanding.  This is why learning is so amazing and so fun.

Introduction for instructors:

We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.  This Open Educational Resource (OER) is nothing if it is not an example of that.  I have pulled from years of experience, my many colleagues who may not have realized they were my valued teachers and the work of fellow professionals I have known only through their writings and presentations.  The intent of this OER is twofold: to offer a free or low cost quality text to our students in a one-unit information literacy course and to offer a starting place to anyone who wishes to develop their own class or OER.  It is intentional that this text is not San Diego City College specific because the skills we teach in our LIBS 101, and are reflected in this OER, are transferable skills.  This allows students to take what they learn here and apply it to any information need in any environment: academia, careers, life-long learning, bar bets, or what have you.  It is not an attempt to be a comprehensive book on information literacy, but rather a brief overview in support of this one-unit class.  Assignments and class activities are used to delve deeper into the basic skills presented here. 

We would be interested to know if others find this OER, in-part or in-whole, useful. If you do choose to use this or any part of this, please let us know.  You just know we will be collecting the stats on it.

Best of luck to us all.

Professor / Librarian

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Carol Withers
619 388 3871