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Introduction

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The key to finding good information on your topic is to first identify what kind of information you need and then how to locate it. It may be that you only need one kind of information, such as factual data, a general overview, or in-depth research. Most of the time, however, you will need more than one kind of information. There are 5 basic steps you need to follow to find the sources that will contain the information you need:

  1. Analyze your research question(s)
  2. Identify the kinds of information needed
  3. Identify the type of source(s) likely to contain the information
  4. Identify the appropriate type of access tool
  5. Identify the procedure(s) needed to use the access tool

By completing the worksheets accompanying this module you will identify the best sources of information to use for your topic. You will also identify which access tools you need to use to find these sources.

For this module

Before you begin

The Information Skills modules can be used independently of one another. However, before you begin this module you will need the know the following:

  • The bibliographic information for the material you are trying to locate.

If you do not yet have the bibliographic information, the information in Developing Search Strategies will be helpful to you.

Goal

By the end of this module you will have physically obtained the items listed on your working "bibliography".

Learning objectives

After completing this unit, the student will be able to:

  • identify what the library owns
  • identify where an item is located from looking at the bibliographic record
  • describe the role of call numbers in organizing information
  • know how to download/print/email electronic information
  • describe the purpose of interlibrary loan
  • know how to place a hold on a checked-out item
  • know how to access online request forms

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