Services & Policies - Spring 1997

Library Instruction Revamped

For the past two years the University of Scranton librarians have been teaching the library portion of the computer/information literacy program. The focus of this course was a "how-to" lecture on searching the Online Public Catalog. Handouts and examination questions were developed for these classes, and all students enrolled in CMPS 102 and CMPS 104 received instruction and were graded. Occasionally, if time permitted, classes on different databases were included, but this was not standard procedure.
 
During the summer of 1996 the bibliographic instruction team re-evaluated the content of the course and decided that the focus of the class should be more on strategies of database searching. Searching techniques applicable to all of the 47+ databases the library subscribes to should be emphasized rather than just searching the OPC.
 
The requirements of student. participation in these classes have also changed. Instead of taking a question/answer examination, the students are now given reference questions to search during their library lab time. Working in pairs they most analyze their question for appropriate keywords, use the. appropriate Boolean operators to make links, and then select the appropriate databases to search. The final portion of the exercise, which makes it a participatory assignment, is the explanation and demonstration by the students of their search procedure to the rest of the class.
 
Narda Tafuri, Acquisitions Librarian, with input from the B.I. team, developed the lecture handout. Joe Fennewald, Evening Public Services Librarian, prepared an annotated listing of all databases subscribed to by the Library. Bonnie Strohl, Assistant Director of Public Services. made a bookmark listing of all the databases for quick reference. The pool of more than 50 questions was developed by Kevin Norris and Betsey Moylan, Public Services Librarians.
 
Katie Duke
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