LIB 101:  Fundamentals of Library Research

Spring 2006 ● Mon and Wed  5:25 p.m. - 6:50 p.m. ●

L300C (Library Gallery)

Instructor: Adele Enright Phone: (562) 908-3417
Email:   (562) 692-0921 x4101
Office Hours: Mon and Wed 4:25 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. By appointment  
  Other hours by appointment    

Course Description:

LIB 101 introduces students to information resources available in an academic library, including online catalogs, electronic indexes and databases, and the Internet.  Emphases are on defining the research problem, learning appropriate search tools and strategies, evaluating information critically, and using information ethically and legally.  The research process learned in this class will be valuable to students who need to find information for college-level research assignments, career demands, and lifelong learning.

Entering Skills

Upon entering this course, students should be able to read a college-level text, write a coherent basic paragraph, be familiar with the alphanumeric keyboard on a microcomputer, and use email (including sending attachments).  Advisories:  CIT 100A, READ 023, and eligibility for ENGL 101. 

Course Objectives:  The student will be able to:

  1. Understand the structure of the information environment and the processes by which both scholarly and popular information are produced, organized, and disseminated.
  2. Identify a research topic or other information need, formulate appropriate questions, and modify the topic to achieve a manageable focus.
  3. Select appropriate information retrieval systems for the research topic by investigating the scope, content, organization, and help features of such search tools as online catalogs, reference sources, periodical databases, and Web sites.
  4. Identify keywords, synonyms, and related terms for the information need and select controlled vocabulary specific to the search tool (e.g., library catalog).
  5. Construct and implement search strategies using appropriate search features and commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, field-searching, etc.; internal organizers such as indexes for books).
  6. Understand the necessity for citing sources and utilize the correct citation format for a variety of print and electronic sources.
  7. Understand the need to evaluate resources before using them as the basis for research and apply established guidelines to evaluate information found on the World Wide Web (WWW).
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material.
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism.

Course Goal:

Information literacy has become an essential competency in the current environment of ever-increasing technological change and the resulting information explosion. The American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy says "Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand."

Reference Books (2nd floor) Non-circulating:Florida Community College Learning Resources Standing Committee:

Course Text Books

Mann, Thomas.  The Oxford Guide to Library Research:  How to Find Reliable

     Information Online and Offline.  3rd ed.  Oxford University Press:  New York, 2005



Hartman, Karen and Ernest Ackermann.  Searching and Researching on The Internet

     & the World Wide Web. 4th ed.  Franklin, Beedle & Associates:  Wilsonville,

     Oregon, 2004.  ISBN: 1-59028-036-9 (paperback).

Available for purchase at:

The Rio Hondo College Book Store (new and used)
Franklin Beedle & Associates (Searching and Researching on the Internet...) (The Oxford Guide to Library Research)

The textbooks are also available on Reserve at the Rio Hondo College Library.  Reserve books are on loan for two hours and in-library use only. 

Course Tools

The following are the tools you will need to conduct research and complete assignments:

  • Storage device such as diskette or flash drive

  • Email account

  • Computer and printer access

  • Debit/copy card for photocopying in the library (also for computer printing)

  • One 3-ring binder for the portfolio assignment

  • Pencils, pens, paper

  • Library card for the Rio Hondo College Library and an additional public library card

Course Requirements

  • Attendance.  A large part of the learning in this course is through hands-on in-class activities and projects.  Therefore, a student will be dropped from the course for excessive absences and/or tardies.  Excessive is defined as over 10% absent or tardy.  That is, if  the total number of absences and tardies combined reaches 9 you will be dropped from the class.

  • Activities and assignments must be turned in on time to receive maximum points.  Late assignments or activities:

    1 day late 25% point deduction

    2-7 days late 50% point deduction

    7 or more days late 75% point deduction.

  • Assignments or activities that are Incomplete, show a lack of effort, or are illegible will also incur point deductions.  This includes emails that lack the assignment name and your name in the subject line of the email header.

  • Computers.  If you are using your own computer, you must be able to troubleshoot problems as needed to complete assignments and the course.  You may also use campus computers to complete work for this course.

  • Email.  You must have a working email account and have the ability to send email attachments.

  • Research Project.  Late Final Research Projects NOT accepted.

  • Participation:


    Student info survey

    Course critique

    Individual presentation

    Group presentations

    Consultations with instructor

  • Portfolio.  Late Portfolios NOT accepted

  • Punctuality.  In consideration of students who are on time, material you missed because you were absent or tardy will not be repeated.  A student who is  tardy or leaves class early will suffer a deduction of 3 points for the day.

  • Quizzes - 5 quizzes.  Your lowest score is dropped.  Please note that there are not any make-up or rescheduled quizzes due to absences.  If you are absent for a quiz you can use this quiz as the one to drop for your lowest score.

  • Readings.  As assigned by instructor from the textbook and other sources that will be placed on Reserve (3rd floor of the Library).


All assigned material and activities must be completed and submitted by the due dates.  Participation is 26% (more than one quarter) of the final grade, so participation is mandatory to earn even a passing grade.

In-class activities are often due at the end of the class session.

Late Research Projects are NOT accepted.

Total Possible Points





% of Grade

In Class Activities








Student info survey

Individual presentation

Group presentation

Total participation points = 810




















Research Project:




Completed Research Project










Quizzes (lowest score dropped)





Total possible points





Grading Scale

The final grades are based on a curve.  The final highest score will determine the slope for the rest of the curve:

A  =  90% - 100 %

B  =  80% - 89%

C  =  70% - 79%

D  =  60% - 69%

F  =  59% - 0%

Note that each semester, one or more students earn all or nearly all the possible points.  So if you are playing the odds, it is best to assume that an 'A' student will complete all assignments, have perfect or near perfect attendance, and score high on the quizzes, the Research Project, and Individual and Group Presentations.

Special Accommodations

If you require an accommodation to participate in this class, please consult your instructor as soon as possible.

Tips for Effective Learning

Arrive on time and ready to learn by being well-rested (get enough sleep the night before class).  Complete the class readings before the class begins.  Take notes and ask questions (during class, before or after class).  Own or have easy access to a dictionary while you are reading.  For starters try the following links:  Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science: or Library Lingo at: .  Let's get started and have a great semester!

Your Professor,

Adele Enright