St. Michael's 

Information Literacy: Researching Electronically - Spring 2001

© Copyright 2000  Steven Burks
Content at this web site may be used for educational purposes  only.  
Otherwise, All Rights Reserved






 - JAN 16
 - JAN 23
 - JAN 30
 - FEB 6
 - FEB 13

 - FEB 20
 - * FEB 27 * 
 - MAR 6
 - MAR 13
 - MAR 20
 - MAR 27
 - APR 3
 - * APR 10 *
 - APR 17
 - APR 24
 - MAY 1

St. Michael's Library: SMC Indexes, Full text databases, Online Catalog, ILL, Subject Guide

Last Update - 05/01/01 11:27:51 AM

[5/01/01 -Bulletins] 



GED 579 / GSA 579
Time: 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Classroom: St. Ed's 211
Tuesday Evenings
Instructor: Steven Burks
My Background
Reference/Instruction Librarian
   - LIS Web Site Developer
Office: Library 210 Campus Phone: 654-2354
Email:   Office Hours: By appointment or during my reference desk shifts. I work Monday evenings from 6-10 p.m. and some weekends.
Class Calendar: UPDATED WEEKLY
Other Links:  Past Class Projects, Class Favorites
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Course Goals and Objectives
Students will become proficient as online researchers and evaluators of electronic information. Strategies for the effective use of search engines, subject specific sites, interactive media, Usenet Newsgroups, and Listservs are featured for Internet information resources. Search methods and understanding database design and system delivery are covered for multimedia CD-ROMs, electronic indexes, and full-text databases. Methods of organization and dissemination of electronic information are covered in web site design, email and personal software agents/profilers.

The content and usefulness of electronic information will be critically evaluated throughout the course, including the citing of electronic sources. The issues of copyright, privacy, and censorship in an electronic environment will be examined as it relates to each student's area of study.

Course Delivery/Assignments
GED 579 / GSA 579 is structured to deliver online search skills to students through group and individual assignments, class lectures and demonstrations, assigned readings, computer labs, and cooperative learning.  Students will teach components of the course through computer demonstrations.


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1. Major Project - Online Annotated Bibliography (45% of grade)
Students will create a subject specific Web Site on an area of knowledge of your choosing. Each site included in the bibliography will include an annotation (with both descriptive and evaluative elements) of the source, and links to the site. (Print sources may also be included in these bibliographies).   Past Class Projects
   DUE : April 24

2. Database Demonstration (20% of grade)
Students will demonstrate a database, CD-ROM, or WWW information tool to the class. The demonstration will include written documentation on the use of the information tool and a homework assignment designed to guide your classmates in the use of the tool.
   DUE: Assigned throughout semester

3. Midterm Quiz (10% of grade)
   Take Home: Handed out March 14

4. Participation in Virtual Class Room(5% of grade)
   DUE: April 10

5. Class Citizenship (20% of grade)
Students will be given many opportunities to show their participation and networking of research skills in class --  Contributions to class discussions and panels, knowledge of readings, assignments, helping fellow classmates with computer applications and research, and contributions to the GED/GSA 579 Class Internet Recommendations

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Required Text:
Bradley, Phil.  (1999).  Internet Power Searching: The Advanced Manual.  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.   

Required Software:
FrontPage 2000.  May be purchased at the SMC Bookstore for a reduced rate.
Click on Link above for more information

Other readings will come from online sources:  Web sites, electronic journals, etc

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Check Weekly For Updates
[Last update: 05/01/01 11:27:51 AM]

unless otherwise noted. 

highlighted and underlined may be accessed online.

JAN 16 - Overview - Information Literacy

Question of the Day: How should one go about finding Newspaper articles in a library?  Find a newspaper article published within the past 6 months by one of the 5 major newspapers that dismisses the notion that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day.  Answer: 

Click Assignment: : :
Reading: "Fuzzy Logic" by Martin Gardner from the book, Weird water & fuzzy logic : more notes of a fringe watcher  (hand-out in class)
Read: "Dictionaries" from Introduction to Reference Work by William Katz (hand-out in class)

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JAN 23 - Search Techniques
Question of the Day: Without going to the SMC Library shelves, use the SMC  Online Catalog to determine what books are before and after the following title: Internet Power Searching: the Advanced Manual ?

Click Assignment:  -- Searching the Online Catalog
Reading: "The Organization of Information" and "Making the Systems Work" from An Introduction to Information Research by Carla List.  (hand-out in class)
Read: Keyword/Boolean Searching @

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JAN 30 -     Search Book Catalogs/Indexes
Question of the Day: You are trying to develop a calendar for your office.  You want to spice this calendar up with interesting events that fall on certain dates.  Find a source on the Internet that would be useful for finding this information.
A good print sources is "Chases's Calendar of Annual Events" located at SMC Library REF GT4803 .C48 or "The Book of Days"   Links to Internet Sources.

Guest Lecturer: Robert Bouchard-Hall, "Metadata" - Associate Director for Bibliographic Service - SMC Library

  • Sign-up for Personal Web Account
  • Controlled Vocabulary: LCSH - Library of Congress Subject Headings, ERIC Thesaurus, PsycINO
  • Web site using Library of Congress Subject Heading for Web Sites:
    The Scout Report Archives ( has web links sorted by LCSH
  • Web site organized by Dewey Decimal Classification 
    Bublink (
  • Computer Books : about RocketBook (hand held device) and Net.library (online books)
  • Union / National Catalogs: Library of Congress, British Library,
       - WorldCat M (through OCLC FirstSearch). The world's most comprehensive bibliography, with 42 million bibliographic records representing 400 languages and covering information from 4,000 years of knowledge, and holdings information from the world's libraries.
  • Commercial Book catalogs:  Books in Print, 
  • Keyword/boolean searching

Assignment: ProQuest Research Libraries
Also, look over the Database Demonstrations link.  Start thinking over which database you will consider for your demonstration.
: Chapter 2, "An Introduction to Search Engines," from TEXTBOOK (Internet Power Searching)
: Chapter 6 "Indexing and Abstracting Services: Subject and Newspaper" from Introduction to Reference Work (hand-out in class)

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FEB 6 - Search Engines and Internet Sources
Question of the Day: According to Search Engine Watch, what are the top 3 search engines by "size?."
Question of the Day: According to the article from the Boston Globe - To Deep for most of Us, how many total web pages are available on the Web (Nov 2000)?

Assignment: Search Engine Evaluation Part I,
ALSO, Choose database for your Database Demonstrations Give me a general idea what you will research for the Online Annotated Biblography that you will publish on your web site.
Read: Chapters 3 and 4 from TEXT BOOK
Read: From Search Engine Watch: Numbers, Numbers, -- But What Do They Mean?

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FEB 13 -  Search Engine Evaluation

* Recent News-Worthy Events (please let me know if you have discovered anything recently)

Question of the Day  - A component of a URL might be “cgi-bin” Look for a definition of this term @

Question of the Day: Name the seven new ( as of Nov 16, 2000) Top Level Domain names for Internet URLs  Answer   More Info

Question of the Day: How much does it cost an organization to request a "top Level" domain name with ICANN?

  • Sign-up for Database Demo
  • URLs:

- Internet Protocols (URLs) : Components of an URL

- ICANN: (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) : Internet domain names, IP address numbers, protocol parameter and port numbers

Also, Subscribe to the email discussion group - Dig_Ref (Digital Reference)  @

Read: Chapter 5, 6,  TEXTBOOK
Read: "Searching the Web: The Human Element Emerges" from Choice Supplement 37 (hand-out in class)

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FEB 20 - Web page design [Possible Guest Lecturer-cancelled]
Question of the Day: According to a recent PEW Internet Project Report (Feb 18, 2001) the number of Adult users of the Internet grew from 88 to 104 million in 2000.  Go to the Report @ and determine the following demographic breakdown of the is population: by Race, Sex, Age Income, and Education

Assignment: Annotations & Background Page

Reading: Chapter 7&8  from your TEXTBOOK
Read: "Web Design for Information Problem-Solving: Maximizing Value for Users" from Computers in Libraries, May 1997. (hand-out in class)

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Enjoy the holiday

*** FEB 27 - NO CLASS ::  Holiday !!!

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MAR 6 - Workshop using FrontPage 2000 [Cancelled because of Weather]
Question of the Day: Where can I find Public Domain or "free" use of images on the web?
Answer: Public Domain (Free) Images
Public Domain (Free) and Non-Public Domain Music

Question of the Day: Find a definition of Public Domain

  • Extra Help With FrontPage can be obtained by appointment on the following dates and times: or 654-2354
    Monday Evenings
    (6:30 to 10 pm) At the Library
    Monday Evenings (6-10pm)
    Saturday (12 noon to 4 pm)
       - April 7
    Sunday (2 to 8 pm)
       -  April 8
  • Creating Links in FrontPage: Time Stamp, Tables

Assignment: Send me the URL (via email or print) from your "personalweb" ( site that: Demonstrates that you can "link": 1. within the document, 2. to an email address, 3. to an Internet site, 4. to another FrontPage file.  Demonstrate a background style for your web site.  Demonstrate a "Time Stamp."  Demonstrate a graphic you have imported.  [We can complete this assignment in class next week if you have any problems]
   Look over web sites that you believe model good design for information delivery.  Note what you liked and disliked about a web site.  I have listed a number web style sites and links to graphics at our Class Recommendations site under the category of Web Tools.

ALSO, Citation Assignment

Reading: "How Users Read on the Web" @
Read: "As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush, in Atlantic Monthly 176 (July 1945): 101-108.  Read the electronic version @  or print version.  [The Atlantic Monthly is available in the Library.]

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MAR 13 -   Workshop I - Using Frontpage / Designing your web project
Question of the Day: According to the advertising network company, Second Wind @   what does the typical homepage cost for a business?   How does this compare to typical radio advertising costs?

TAKE HOME MIDTERM   *CHANGE (Due in  3 Weeks (April 3)

Assignment:  Take Home Midterm  *CHANGE (Due in  3 Weeks (April 3)

Reading: Atlantic Monthly article on copyright, "Who Will Own Your Next Good Idea?" @ (Parts 1, 2, 3)
Read: Look over    and    [sites sent from Lee Shafer]

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MAR 20 - FrontPage II / Citation Styles
Question of the Day - Marketing Information - Analyzing geographic markets. Use to gather market information about Burlington, VT.  Another excellent site for geographic market information is the Census @

Rescheduled Database Demo: Google (Julie, Helen, Chatana)
Rescheduled Database Demo: Marco Polo (Robert, Janet)

- NoodleBib: MLA Menu Driven Citation Guide

- List of other citation guides"

Assignment: Take Home Midterm (Due in two weeks, April 3).
Reading: Chapter 9 from our Text Book
Reading: "The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for rethinking patents and copyrights in the Digital Age" by John Perry Barlow

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MAR 27Email Discussion Lists and Newsgroups
Question of the Day - I'd like to use an "expert" to answer my question on Astronomy.  Where can I find a site to pose my question?
Answer: see
Database Demo:
Northern Lights (Paul, Kathleen, Renee)
Database Demo: AskJeeves For Kids (Heather, Becky)

Assignment: Take-Home Midterm due next week (April 3)
Assignment: Subscribe to a Email Discussion List, and "follow" a Newsgroup for a week.  Email me the name of the Email List and the Newgroup you are following.  
Read: 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained @

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APR 3 - Distance Education

Question of the Day: 
 When does Disney's right to the image of Mickey Mouse revert to public domain? hint Lexis-Nexis newspaper articles could answer this, but also other sources

Database Demo: Hoover's Online (Bill, Adrian)
Database Demo: Britannica Online (Elise, Nancy)
Database Demo: Alternative Press Index (Kevin)

Assignment & Readings: Go to the Virtual Class Room below.  Make sure you have read the posted Readings, Copyright Basics / Tutorial, and the Online Discussion topics

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Enter by clicking the link above. 
Starts April 3 to April 17

No attended class.  We will "virtually" have a class that will cover Copyright in an Asynchronous mode.

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APR 17  - Work on Your Web Projects

Question of the Day: What are the elements of a copyright notice?  How do you insert the © symbol?
Click for Answer

Database Demo: Google (Julie, Helen, Chantana)
Database Demo: Marco Polo (Robert, Janet)

  • Return Midterms

Assignment: Your Online Annotated Bibliographies are DUE next week April 24
You will each have a chance to show your Web site and discuss its attributes in a relaxed setting.
- Does your web site have a copyright notice? Answer
- Does your web site have a time stamp of last update?

Readings: "Information Literacy as a Liberal Art" from the March/April 1996 Educom Review

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APR 24 - Online Annotated Bibliography Due Today
Question of the Day: Where does one go to have their web site evaluated/checked for - live links, loading time etc?    Click Answer

Question of the Day:  How much does it cost to submit your web page to Yahoo if you are a commercial web site?  Click Answer

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MAY 1  - Last Class - Discuss/Display Web projects
Link to Class Projects - SPRING 2001

  • Discuss/Display Web projects
  • Class Evaluations


Top of Page   Have a great Spring/Summer!!!!!


Link to Class Projects - SPRING 2001


LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies  - Fall 2000

LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies - Spring 2000

LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies - Fall 1999

* Class Favorites (URLs) - Spring 2001

Class Favorites (URLs) - Fall 2000

Class Favorites (URLs) - Spring 2000







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