Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tutorials in the library world


A tutorial according to the Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science is:  

     A printed or online instructional tool designed to teach novices how to use a computer system or electronic resource, usually in a step-by-step manner, often with questions at the end for testing proficiency.  

         There are numerous tutorials available at most libraries that can teach the online user how to search a database, a catalog, and more.  There are also many tutorials available on the web for just about any topic a user may find of interest.  However, users need to be careful in determining the validity of a particular tutorial.  For example, if a tutorial is viewed from a major university on how to accurately search a database a user can assume the information is accurate.  However, if a user locates a tutorial on YouTube from an unknown source on how to search a database in general, how can the user determine if the information is accurate?  Individuals should remain cautious and not take all information that is published or available on the Web at face value.    
       Are tutorials helpful?  In the library setting, the tutorials are of value and helpful to those individuals who are unfamiliar with the process of database searching or catalog searching.  The explanations of how to utilize Boolean searching techniques or what databases are available can be invaluable tools for patrons.  For those individuals who prefer the personal interaction with the librarian they can also be shown how to locate the information.  The premise of the tutorial is that if the user performs the functions themselves they are then able to perform the task again on their own.  Tutorials that are interactive and informative will seemingly be of more interest to users and will probably have a higher usage rate.  

Basic Searching tutorial provided by the University of Southern Mississippi:

The ever important Plagiarism Tutorial: 

Below is the link for the Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science:

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