I had never used Google Scholar before I began working on the Civil Rights project that we’re doing for this class. But now that I’ve discovered it, I’m using it for other classes too. It’s fantastic. I’m still using Wikipedia, too (don’t judge me). Like I said about the James Purdy article, I don’t think Wikipedia is a bad thing, I just think that people are too reliant on it and don’t use it correctly. According the Googlepedia article by Randall McClure, information literacy is defined as “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” On Monday, our class met in the library instead of our usual classroom. We had a class on information literacy. We learned all about how to use online databases and our school’s resources to help us meet our research needs.
I worked in the library at my high school, so I am familiar with databases such as the one the librarian showed us. The Dewey Decimal System no longer intimidates me. I knew there was a way to search through the books that the school had to offer, and that I could find the call numbers, titles, and authors of books by searching key terms. What I didn’t know is how extensive these searches are. AUM had ebooks, reference books, articles, journals and everything else under the sun. It could be a tad bit overwhelming, but very useful at the same time. I’ve already found a book, two images and an ebook pertaining to my topic, just by playing around with the research guide.
I’m definitely doing research differently now than I have in the past. I’ve ditched Google for Google Scholar, and I’m actually looking at books for sources instead of just websites. The image search was new to me. For the most part, though, everything was pretty straightforward and easy to figure out. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.