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First Steps

Prerequisite: Tour of the Library
This is an introduction to the main concepts and practices new learners need.  In it we cover the Threshold Concepts below and describe how these are addressed in this session
1.    Searching as Strategic Exploration
Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

Learners will see how to:
Break down research/assignment titles into Keyword and phrase searches.
Identify interested parties, such as scholars, organizations, governments, and industries, who might produce information about a topic and then determine how to access that information.
Usie search tools, such as the:
Library catalogue:

  • Find books (location  / shelf no. / availability/ place hold /)
  • My account (reading history/ renew items)


  • Limiters and expanders(“refine results” / Subject Search / Publication Date)
  • Abstract view
  • Save this item: detailed record/print/export/email/cite

2.    Information has a Value
The value of information is manifested in various contexts, including publishing practices, access to information, the commodification of personal information, and intellectual property laws.
Learners will become aware of:

  • Referencing/citation
  • Information Rich versus Information Poor
  • Law & information such as copyright/fair use policy etc

3.    Scholarship as Conversation:
 Research in scholarly and professional fields is a discursive practice in which ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time.

Learners will become aware of this conversation as they are introduced to:

  • The Information Cycle
  • Role of citation and referencing
  • How to identify participants and experts in the field
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