For questions or comments on this page (Counseling 110), please contact April Cunningham
4 Steps to Improving your Information Literacy Competency
1. Identify what resources you need
The Information Timeline
Before you begin your search for information, it helps to understand when and how information is published so you can look for the correct resources, such as books, articles or websites. Information about an event like the September 11 terrorist attacks would first appear in newspapers, websites, and radio and television broadcasts. This information would consist primarily of reactions to the event and some details. A week or so later, information on the event will appear in popular magazines and other sources of news analysis with more details and reflections. A month later, information will begin to appear in professional magazines and more in-depth news reports and will include analyses of the event. Six months later, articles in professional journals and conference proceedings began to appear containing research and statistics about the event. After a year or so, books, government reports and articles in scholarly journals are published with complete information on the event. Finally, several years later, the event is the topic of a number of scholarly books and journal articles, and even reference works like encyclopedias include entries on the subject.
The information timeline below shows the process of information publication. Visit the University of North Carolina Libraries’ Introduction to Library Research tutorial’s Searching for Information section to see the interactive version of their Information Timeline:.
Popular Vs. Scholarly Articles
What if your instructor told you that you needed to find a scholarly or academic article for your paper, would you know where to find one? And if so, how would you determine what is scholarly and what is not?
Use this Scholarly and Popular Materials guide from NC State University Library to help you figure out what type of article you need for your project, paper or speech. Or, watch this video on how to distinguish between popular and scholarly sources.
2. Use the Library to find resources
There are two ways that you can use the Palomar College Library: online at Palomar College Library and in-person.
ONLINE gives you access to the Library’s e-book collection found in the catalog, articles from our databases, interlibrary loan, book renewals and holds. All you need is your e-services username and password to get to all this valuable information from any internet connected computer.
When you visit the library IN-PERSON you have all of the resources of the library available to you, as well as help from librarians and library staff to get the information that you need.
Look at the 2nd floor map of the Palomar Library to find the Librarian Reference Desk, the Circulation/Checkout Desk, computers with internet connection and printers, video and DVD collections, reference materials and periodicals.
This 3rd floor map of the Palomar Library shows you where the circulating books are located, the study rooms and the catalog use only computers.
The Library Information page gives you details on book check-out policies and library hours as well as much more.
3. Evaluate & understand what you find
Being able to evaluate the information that you find on the internet is a crucial skill for anyone who uses the web and an important part of becoming information literate, This guide to Evaluating Web Content, from the University Libraries at the University of Albany, is a good start to understanding how you can determine if the information that you found using Google.com is good, scholarly or just bad information. You can click here (PDF) to download an Adobe PDF copy of “The Guide to Evaluating Web Content.”
4. Create citations & avoid plagiarism
Palomar Library’s Citation style guide page has a variety of informative citation websites as well as PDF versions of the citation guides, including MLA, APA and other styles. These will assist you in creating “works cited” or Bibliography pages. They will also help you prevent plagiarism in your papers or projects.
Plagiarism is a serious problem for college students and it is crucial that you know what it is and how to avoid it. According to Palomar’s Academic Integrity Code of Conduct, Board Policy 305, plagiarism is defined as “false representation of another’s work as one’s own.” Take a look at UCLA’s “Oops, I Plagiarized” to get a good understanding of what is considered plagiarism and how to avoid it by using citations and quotations correctly in your paper, projects and speeches.
Palomar College Library Tutorials
There are two Counseling 110 library assignments available from the library.
1) Library Exploration Assignment: This assignment gives students an opportunity to explore the library by finding resources from different areas within the library.
2) Library Research Assignment: This assignment helps to student to discover library resources that they can use to complete research projects, speeches and papers.
Request Instruction (Faculty Only)
Instructors, would you like your class to have more information on library resources, be able to access information and become information competent? Request Library instruction for your class!
Click on the following link to request Palomar College Library instruction for your Counseling Class.