Library Assignment

This assignment is due on Monday, February 12, 2007. It needs to be submitted in the format listed in the "Fine Print" for this course. It is worth 10% of your final grade.

During the week of February 5-9, we will be working on library research and information literacy. The first class will be a basic introduction to the library services, and will be held in the normal classroom. The next two classes will be held in the library, and will introduce students to the resources that are there.

Everyone has begun thinking of questions concerning the city. I would like students to choose
two of their most promising questions, and identify the following (please present your answers in full sentences and paragraphs, not in point form):

  1. What are the most important databases to use to develop, clarify, and answer your questions? Why are they important?
  2. What are the most important journals? Why?
  3. What are the central books that will be most useful? Again, why?
  4. What are the important reference works? Why?
  5. What are the important web resources? Why? What's the difference between a general site and a scholarly or otherwise significant site? Find sites that seem relevant to your research. Rate these sites on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the most appropriate to scholarly research, and 1 being the least appropriate.
  6. How will the library resources enable you to address the question? Be specific - don't just tell me that it will provide the information you need.
  7. What are the most important search strategies to use for your topics? For instance, what word combinations would enable you to find the proper material in the library catalogue or in a database?

Your target length for this assignment should be between 750-1000 words for both questions together. I will be looking to see whether the resources you list are the best ones for the questions. Notice that I want to know why the resources you choose will be useful. That will require that you think about the question you are asking. If you are unclear on the question, you will be unclear on the resources. I do not necessarily expect that you will have the question completely worked out at this point (that's what reading and writing is for), but you will need to have enough so that you know where to start looking.