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Credible Information: UA Libraries' Trudi Jacobson Teaches Proper Research Methods
February 23, 2009
Trudi Jacobson and other User Education librarians help students distinguish between what is and is not a credible source of information. (Photo Mark Schmidt)
When Trudi E. Jacobson was a senior at UAlbany, she signed up for a course called Information Literacy, taught by Jacquelyn Gavryck.
"I felt like I'd come home – I found exactly what I wanted to do," said Jacobson, a University Librarian who heads the UA Libraries' User Education Program. "What I didn't know was that after I obtained my MLS and worked at Siena College for nine years, I would end up in Jackie's position, and then 10 years after that, I'd be overseeing the course that had made my career choice for me."
In that same course today, Jacobson teaches students how to effectively find and evaluate information sources. This is important in an era in which faculty have concerns about students relying too heavily on the Web and on Google searches for information. The ease of these searches may lull users into forgetting that you can't always believe what you find on the Internet. Jacobson and other User Education librarians focus heavily on distinguishing between what is and is not a credible source.
"I have a variety of exercises I can use that help students differentiate between results found when searching the Web vs. searching scholarly databases and Minerva, our online catalog. I have developed a guide to this effect," Jacobson said.
The course meets the University's general education requirement for Information Literacy. Jacobson is being honored in July with the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2009 Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. The award recognizes librarians who have made especially significant contributions to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment. The award is named for Miriam Dudley, whose pioneering efforts in bibliographic instruction led to the formation of the ACRL Instruction Section.
"In the era of the knowledge worker, the UA Libraries place a premium on developing quality library instruction programs that make certain our students develop skill sets that ensure they have a competitive edge when undertaking research on campus or in the work place," said Dean and Director of Libraries Frank D'Andraia. "Trudi Jacobson personifies the qualities the UA Libraries seek to secure when recruiting library faculty: creativity, commitment, innovation, leadership, and scholarship. Her selection by the American Library Association as the 2009 recipient of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award underscores why the operations and services of UA Libraries regularly receive high marks from students."
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