Library 150: Information Literacy and Research Skills

Library 150
Information Literacy and Research Skills

Fall 2006

Section 1 & 3
Instructor: Chisa Uyeki
Unit: 1
Class Meeting Dates/Time: Fridays, 9-11 a.m. Week 1 to 5 (9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20)
Location: Library Electronic Classroom 2 (LEC2), Room B526, Library North
Course Web Page:
Recommended Text: Mann, T. (2005). The Oxford Guide to Library Research. New York: Oxford University Press. Call number: Z 710 M23 2005. This text is on reserve and is available at the Circulation Desk, Library N 1st floor.

Office Hours: Friday, 1:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment
Office:  1018A, Library North
Phone: 323-343-4824

This course introduces students to information seeking and research skills. The course is designed to help students develop effective and efficient skills for identifying, accessing and retrieving, critically evaluating, and using electronic, print, and Web resources; to assist students in using the Library, preparing research papers, and understanding knowledge production, citation formatting, and plagiarism.

The goal of this course is to help students become more efficient and effective in locating information and in researching and creating papers, presentations, projects and theses. This course is designed from a practical point of view and features research strategies you can use both in everyday life and for course work.

Upon successful completion of the class you will be able to:

  • Define a research topic and the need for information
  • Use the tools and understand the skills necessary to begin to access information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information critically
  • Access and use information ethically and legally


  • Class attendance and participation
    This class meets on five consecutive Fridays in Library North Electronic Classroom 2 (LEC2) beginning September 22. You are required to attend all five classes on time and to participatein in all in-class activities and discussion, including completing and handing in all in-class exercises.
    • Punctual attendance at all five sessions is mandatory. You will receive an NC for missing a single class.

  • NIS account
    You must have an active campus Network Information Services (NIS) account by the second class meeting. The NIS account is free to all CSULA students, and you can obtain the account at the ITS Help Desk located on the 1st floor of the Library Palmer Wing.

  • Assignments
    There will be assignments as stated in the course schedule below. They will be due on the dates announced in the schedule. Late assignments will be penalized. Plagiarism will lead appropriate academic and administrative sanctions as stated in Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty Handbook.

  • Style Manual
    The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th. ed. 2001) will be used in this course. This book is available for consultation at both the Reference Desk and on Reserve. The call number is BF 76.7 P82 2001. You can find the most used formats on the Web at /library/styleman.htm.

  • Statement of Reasonable Accommodation
    Any student with a disability who is registered with the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) who needs and requests accommodation will be provided with reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation may involve allowing a student to use an interpreter, note taker, or reader; accommodation may be needed during class sessions and for administration of examinations. The intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act in requiring consideration of reasonable accommodation is not to give a particular student an unfair advantage over other students, but simply to allow a student with disability to have an equal opportunity to be successful.

  • Questions
    If you are unsure about anything stated in the syllabus, during class, or in an assignment it is your responsibility to seek clarification and bring your question to the attention of your instructor. Questions during class and office hours are encouraged.


Grade Point Breakdown (100 points total) Grading Scale
  • 50 points - class attendance, exercises, and participation
  • 25 points - assignment one
  • 25 points - assignment two


  • A+: 96-100; A: 93-95; A-:90-92
  • B+: 86-89; B: 83-85; B-: 80-82
  • C+: 76-79; C: 73-75; C-: 70-72
  • D+: 66-69; D: 63-65; D-: 60-62
  • F: 0-59


Week 1 - September 22
Review of course requirements
Introduction to Library and Library Web
Information cycle
Information needs by discipline
The research process:

  • Topic selection
  • Research statement formulation
  • Key concepts and keywords selection
  • Discipline perspective

Week 2 - September 29
Search stragegies including Boolean logic search
Searching the library catalog (basic search, advanced search including reference books, ebooks)
Searching the All CSU union catalog (also called Pharos)
Searching WorldCat / Open WorldCat
Introduction to Interlibrary Loan including using CSU Union Catalog, WorldCat, and obtaining books from local libraries using Open WorldCat, checking ILL status

pencil graphic Week 2 PowerPoint Presentation
pencil graphicIn-Class Exercise II: Finding Books

Find the following and describe why you chose each item (what criteria did you use to decide that it was a good choice for your topic):

  • the best book on the topic
  • a good reference book for the topic
  • find a specific book in your local libraries using Open WorldCat
  • Request a book via Interlibrary Loan using WorldCat and ILLiad

Week 3 - October 6
Database search
Differences between scholarly journal articles and popular magazine and newspaper articles
Databases by discipline
Types of databases
How to read a citation
Requesting an article via ILLiad Interlibrary Loan

pencil graphicWeek 3 PowerPoint Presentation
pencil graphicIn-Class Exercise III
: Understanding Databases

computer graphicAssignment I: Comparing Scholarly and Popular Articles

Due date: Oct. 13

Week 4 - October 13

  • Evaluating Web sites
  • Using search engines
  • Finding primary sources on the Web
    • What are primary sources
    • Primary source search strategies
    • Primary source web sites

    pencil graphicIn-Class Exercise IV: Comparing Web Search Engines and Directories

    computer graphicAssignment II: Evaluating Web Sites

    Due date: Oct. 20

Week 5 - October 20
Reminder: preview UCLA Bruin Success (
Social computing phenomenon (wiki, blog, etc. )
Publishing industry
Control of information


pencil graphicIn-Class Exercise V: Identifying and Searching Citations