Navigating a post-Google information world


Sometimes it’s easy to spot the more dubious…ahem, “facts” that have a tendency to pop up online, but what about when a source’s credibility is a little more murky? Read on to find out how you can level up your information literacy and become truly research savvy.

Information Literacy

What is information literacy you ask? Well, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) has a fancy definition if you want to get technical, but basically it means being able to successfully and efficiently (and legally!) navigate the vast world of information. It means being a critical thinker able to summon the information needed to answer questions, solve problems, and complete tasksfrom finding apartments and buying cars to applying for financial aid and writing term papers.

With the internet and Google, most of the world’s information is at our fingertips 24/7, but finding exactly what you need, when you need it, and then accomplishing what you set out to do, is a little bit trickier. In fact, wading through a potential googolplex of search results has, in some ways, made this task even harder. (See: information overload)

And I’m sure none of you would ever contemplate copying and pasting stuff from the internet directly into your own work, but copyright, fair use, creative commons, public domain? Sometimes it can feel like navigating a minefield trying to figure out what it’s permissible to use where, and for what, and how.

(Photo courtesy of SparkCBC via CC BY-SA 2.0)

Over the years, you’ve no doubt amassed some tricks and skills to help you in this process, but if you’re interested in leveling up your information expertise, consider enrolling in GLL 105 Introduction to Information Literacy. This 2.0 credit course covers things like advanced Google searching techniques and an overview of library resources, but more importantly, it will challenge you to think critically about the plethora of information that you consume every day, through the web, TV, social media, news, textbooks, or from friends and family.

For Fall 2014, GLL 105 is scheduled to be offered on Mondays from 12:30-2:00 OR Thursdays from 3:10-4:40. Look for it during online registration, speak to your academic adviser, or contact for more information.


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