Research Skills Central

Course materials for teachers of information literacy

How to find things on your reading list

This is a ‘Library and Information 101’ course: an introduction to the catalogue and the e-journals collection. The focus is very practical – it’s about finding material quickly and easily – but wrapped up in this objective is the need to understand exactly what is being recommended, and the best place in which to look for it.


Under the banner of ‘find your stuff fast’ this session aims to introduce participants to the main scholarly formats – article, monograph, edited book, textbook; to recognise them from a bibliographic entry or citation; and to establish which finding aid is going to work best for finding the material.

The session also introduces the concept of critically evaluating the reading list in order to select material that’s appropriate and useful for the task at hand, rather than attempting to read everything in sequence. Thus a second key element of this session is to introduce what may be a threshold concept for some students: that they must develop a critical selectivity in using reading lists, as with any large results set they encounter during their academic career.


Lesson plan (March 2012)

Slides (October 2013)

‘Major scholarly formats’ handout (October 2013)

‘Prioritising your reading’ worksheet (November 2013)

A bit more on Summon

I gave a paper at the 2nd ‘Summon and Information Literacy’ day on 25 July 2013 which uses two iterations of this session, a year apart, to illustrate the profound difference that discovery platforms can make to our teaching. In brief: with a more intuitive interface, trainers can now spend less time explaining arcane systems and have more time for teaching critical and analytical approaches to information. Here’s the presentation.

Creative Commons Licence
How to find things on your reading list by Emma Coonan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 23, 2012 by and tagged , .



%d bloggers like this: