LIBR 150: Information Literacy & Research Skills
Spring 2003

Instructors: Chad Kahl & Romelia Salinas
Units: 2
Classroom: Library Electronic Classroom 1 (LEC1), room 1033A, Library North
Class Time: Wednesday 4:20 - 6:00 P.M.
Office Hours: Wednesday 3:00 - 4:20 P.M. and by appointment.
Office: Library Electronic Classroom 1 (LEC1), room 1033A, Library North
Phone: (323) 343-6093 (C. Kahl) and (323) 343-2019 (R. Salinas)
E-mail: &

Course Description

Develops effective and efficient skills for identifying, retrieving, critically evaluating, and using electronic, print and internet sources. Assists students in preparing information literate papers, presentations, theses and web sites.

Course Goals

  1. The student will be able to select a topic of scholarly, professional or personal interest to her or him and to identify and analyze an information need relative to that topic.
  2. The student will be able to develop a search strategy to satisfy the information need.
  3. The student will be able to retrieve information resources in both printed and online formats to carry out the search strategy.
  4. The student will be able to evaluate retrieved sources and select those appropriate to the information need.
  5. The student will be able to cite sources in a format recognized by professional colleagues in scholarly communication.

Course Requirements

  1. MUST obtain a free NIS account by the second class meeting. Go to King Hall D140 with student identification (EagleOne) card and proof of current enrollment.
  2. MUST open a free WebCT account by the second class meeting.
  3. Class announcements may be made electronically-you are required to check your NIS account and WebCT account on a regular basis.
  4. Regular attendance and participation in class discussion and activities.
  5. Completion of all assigned readings and homework.
  6. Completion of a final project and an oral presentation on the project.
  7. Completion of final exam.

Grading Criteria

  1. Class attendance and participation - 20%
  2. Homework assignments - 40%
  3. Final - 10%
  4. Oral Presentation - 5%
  5. Final Project - 25%
Plus/minus grading will be used. Late assignments will be penalized by lowering the grade one step per day. For instance, if you hand an "A," it would become an "A-" if one date late, "B+" if two days late, etc.

You may choose to be graded credit/no credit (CR/NC). You must follow University procedures to register for this option before the deadline.

Required Texts

There is no required text. However, there may be additional readings provided by the instructor.


Homework will consist of a variety of exercises to be completed online. All homework is due at 5:00 PM on the following Tuesday (the day before the next class).

Final Project

You will choose a topic, research it, and write a description of your search strategy. This will be accompanied by an annotated bibliography of the sources that you used for your research. Your research project will be due at the tenth class meeting, June 4, 2003. The detailed requirements of the project will be given to you in a handout.

Oral Presentation

A four to seven minute oral presentation will be required describing your topic and your search strategy will be given at the ninth class meeting, May 28, 2003. The detailed requirements of the oral presentation will be given to you in a handout.

Style Manual

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association will be used for this class, call number BF76.7.P83 2001. It is available at both the reference desk and reserve (loan) desk.

You may also refer to the Library's APA Format - 5th Edition citation style web page.

Final Exam

The final exam will be offered on Friday, June 13th from 4:30 to 7:00 PM.

Reasonable Accommodations

Upon request, the instructor shall provide reasonable accommodations for students with certified disabilities. Such requests are to be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible.

Week 1 - April 2

in-class exercise: Pretest [link to WebCT login page - login to LIBR 150 - pretest is available under "Quizzes"]

homework: Project Topic Selection exercise

Week 2 - April 9

  • Overview & Organization of information
  • Importance of citing sources (electronic and print)
  • Plagiarism
  • Style manuals
  • Citations and annotations class content: Overview of Information

    in-class exercise: Learning Parts of Citation
    in-class exercise: Encyclopedia Entry APA Citation

    homework: APA Citation exercise

    Week 3 - April 16

    class content: Research Process & Strategies

    in-class exercise: Topic Development [in-person exercise]
    in-class exercise: Boolean and Truncation Exercise

    homework: Topic Selection and Search Strategy exercise

    Week 4 - April 23

    class content: Subject vs. Keyword Searching & Library Catalog

    in-class exercise: Keyword and Controlled Vocabulary Exercise

    homework: Book and Media Search exercise

    Week 5 - April 30

    class content: Reference Sources

    in-class exercise: Specialized Encyclopedias [in-person exercise] | General Reference Sources

    homework: Encyclopedia exercise

    Week 6 - May 7

    class content: Finding Article, Magazine and Newspaper Articles

    in-class exercise: Differences between Journals and Magazines [in-person exercise]
    in-class exercise: EBSCOhost Multimedia Tutorials

    homework: Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles exercise

    Week 7 - May 14

    class content: Introduction to Government Documents | Web Sources | Intellectual Freedom, Censorship and Propaganda

    in-class exercise: Government Document Exercise
    in-class exercise: Introduction to Government Publications [in-person exercise]

    homework: Government Document Search exercise

    Week 8 - May 21

    class content: World Wide Web

    in-class exercise: Evaluation of Web Sites Exercise

    homework: Internet Search exercise

    Week 9 - May 28

    Week 10 - June 4

    Finals - June 13