College students need to know how to create search statements for online sources.
They need to understand the difference between subject heading and keywords searching in a library catalog or database. They should be able to do advanced searching in a free search engines (Google). Students should know Boolean search terms (and, or, not) and how they work, as well as how to use limiters.
Students should be comfortable using online library catalogs to find information.
High school library catalogs are often very different from university catalogs. Most college libraries use the Library of Congress Classification system; most high schools use Dewey. Either way, students need to know what a call number is and how to use a map of the library to find different locations.
College libraries often have materials on reserve for specific classes, like textbooks and study guides. Many college libraries lend equipment, like graphing calculators. Nearly all college libraries offer online access to articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers; most also offer some books online.
Reference librarians are there to help students to find the best possible resources and save time. Nobody expects students to know where everything is in the library, so they should feel comfortable asking questions — by phone, email, or in person.
These tips are adapted from a list compiled by Academic (i.e. College) Librarians and were retrieved from the Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List (hosted on the American Library Association server, sponsored by the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries).
Prepared by Nancy Guidry and Dawn Dobie, Bakersfield College Library, November 2012