Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 1, No 2 (2007)

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Brustman and Bernnard, Information Literacy for Social Workers

Information literacy for social workers

University at Albany Libraries prepare MSW students for research and practice

Mary Jane Brustman, MLS
University at Albany

Deborah Bernnard, MLS
University at Albany

Abstract

In a series of workshops, University at Albany librarians collaborate with the School of Social Welfare to impart information literacy skills to Master in Social Work students. The rationale, curriculum, and embedded ACRL information literacy standards are discussed. Also presented are assessments and a discussion of the challenges of implementation.

Introduction

In the summer of 2002, library faculty at Dewey Library (a branch of the University Libraries, University at Albany) and at the university’s School of Social Welfare discussed ways to improve information and computer literacy among students in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, a 60-credit program that is normally completed in two years. The result of these discussions was an agreement that the library would teach information literacy skills to students in a series of workshops. The school’s requirements for graduation were changed to state that students must complete a basic workshop on social welfare information literacy by the end of their first 15 credits in the MSW program. By the end of 31 credits they must complete two additional workshops. In addition to the library workshops, students are required to sign up for the MSW Listserv.

This article examines (a) the origins of this program, (b) the rationale for the requirement, (c) guidelines for creating the requirement, (d) how the program meets Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) information literacy standards, (e) the structure and content of the workshops, (f) assessment of student outcomes, and (g) feedback from students and faculty.

As stated by the school on its information sheet, “Computer/Information Literacy Requirement” (August 2005):

Social Work is a knowledge-intensive profession where information is essential in decision-making and practice. Information must be evidence-based, relevant, current, clear, accurate, conveniently accessed, and easily communicated. Innovations in information technology (IT) have dramatically affected our profession. IT affects what we collect, how we collect it, how we express it, and how it is communicated. (University at Albany, School of Social Welfare, 2005, August, p. 1)
     
The Computer/Information Literacy Requirement emerged from the Task Force on Technical Competence, appointed by the School of Social Welfare Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee was concerned about the quality of student research, as well as students’ lack of familiarity with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. The requirement was designed to be implemented in a three-step process: signing up for and learning to use the school’s Listserv; attending the library’s information literacy classes; and computer-use competency in word processing, spread sheets, etc. The last phase has not been implemented.

Literature Review

A search of Library and Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA), Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), ERIC, Social Work Abstracts, and Social Services Abstracts found no reports of similar collaborations between libraries and graduate academic programs in the literature. However, collaborations between librarians and teaching faculty to promote information literacy in graduate students are described in several recent articles. Martha Cooney and Lorene Hiris (2003) describe a collaborative relationship between a librarian and a teaching faculty member in a Spring 2002 graduate-level business class. A unique grading system in which an information literacy competency grade was used to help evaluate each student’s research paper resulted in enhanced information literacy skills.

In a 2005 article, James D. Hooks reported that graduate students’ research abilities improved substantially with the involvement of librarians in an educational cohort—a group of students who move through an educational program together—made up of Master of Education students. In this example, the librarian collaborated with instructors in creating course content and assignments for an off-campus cohort. The librarian was also present in every class, contributing to class discussions and lecturing when appropriate. Additionally, the librarian was available for one-on-one consultations with the students.
           
Faculty in the department of Education and Psychology (EPC) at California State University, Northridge created a set of information competencies for student learning outcomes. Librarians collaborated with faculty by designing three information literacy sessions to teach these competencies to graduate students in EPC. These sessions were all taught by librarians as part of EPC 602, a graduate-level class in research principles.  Lynn Lampert (2005) asserts that this model of teaching information literacy skills works because students are “immersed, through assignments and interaction with librarians and discipline faculty, in the totality of all the information competencies that make their field unique and rewarding.”
           
Michelle Toth (2005) describes an ongoing faculty–librarian collaboration in designing and teaching a graduate-level research and writing course at SUNY Plattsburgh to help students prepare a required master’s thesis. Teaching faculty teach writing and topic formation, research proposal composition, and drafting of human subject compliance applications. The librarian is responsible for teaching research methods and library literacy. Course assessments indicate that students feel that the course has helped them to “make significant progress” on their theses.
           
Another research methods course in which faculty and librarians collaborated is described by Navaz Bhavnagri and Veronica Bielat (2005). This course was designed for elementary and early childhood education master’s degree students at Wayne State University. Blackboard courseware was employed to promote self-instruction. Librarians contributed their technological skills to provide content (identified by teaching faculty) on the Blackboard courseware.
             
One model of collaboration between a library and a department is discussed by F. Grace Xu (2006). In 2004, the departmental library in The School of Social Welfare at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles was transformed into a digital library in which information literacy was provided primarily through online tutorials.
 
Social welfare students in an undergraduate program at Catholic University of America are the subject of an article by Elizabeth Pilonis, Mary Agnes Thompson and Catherine Eisenhower (2005). These students were required to write a capstone paper before graduating but had difficulty doing a substantive literature search. A librarian collaborated with teaching faculty to impart searching and critical thinking skills.

The Classes

The basic class for the information literacy requirement is a 90-minute workshop, the Social Welfare Research Seminar. The class includes a basic orientation to the University at Albany Libraries (locations, services, using the University Libraries’ Web page), conducting research generally (using encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and the library catalog; finding print and electronic journals), and conducting research in the field of social welfare (discussion and demonstration of databases appropriate for social welfare and use of the Internet for research). The University at Albany Libraries Subject Page for Social Welfare (Brustman, 2007) is introduced. In addition, the instructor covers characteristics of research articles, resources for using APA style, and criteria for evaluating Internet sites. Each workshop includes a time for hands-on practice searching Social Work Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, or PsycINFO. Students are free to use a topic suggested by the instructor or a project in which they have a research interest.

The Social Welfare Research Seminar was offered 12 times during 2002–2003 (start-up took place after summer classes), 25 times during the June 2003–May 2004 calendar year, 17 times in 2004–2005, and 17 times in 2005–2006. After studying attendance patterns for 2002–2004 and finding that students preferred evening classes over Saturday morning classes, the librarians were able to accommodate more students with fewer classes. Classes are limited by the small size of the Dewey Library classroom; it comfortably seats only 16 students.  
           
In response to student complaints about time pressure and overlap between workshops, the Social Welfare faculty changed the requirement in Fall 2004 so that students now take the basic workshop and one additional one-hour workshop instead of two.  Most Social Welfare Research Seminar classes are taught by the social welfare bibliographer. Richard Irving, the public affairs and policy bibliographer, has also taught some sessions using the outline developed for the workshop. Mr. Irving has had extensive experience providing reference service to social welfare students and faculty and is also the primary instructor for public policy and legal workshops offered by the library.

The complete class schedule is available on the library Web site. (University at Albany, Dewey Library, 2007)  The one-hour workshops were created by the library to enhance skills learned in the basic seminar or to extend skills into other areas of expertise. Some of these classes are tailored specifically for students who will be in the two major concentrations for study in the Master in Social Work program, Direct Practice and MACRO. On the School of Social Welfare Web site, the Direct Practice Concentration is described as follows:

In the Direct Practice concentration, students acquire advanced and specialized knowledge of human behavior, social systems, and intervention processes that will aid them in assisting clients at the individual, group, family or community levels. Students may focus their study in such fields as child and family services, mental health, health care, or aging or may take courses in diverse fields. (University at Albany, School of Social Welfare, undated)

The MACRO concentration is designed to prepare managers, leaders, and expert practitioners who are able to meet and anticipate changing demands. Graduates will assume positions such as program planners, clinical manager/program director, researcher/program evaluator, staff development and training, resource developer (fundraising, grantwriting, and marketing), and community organizer/community developer. (University at Albany, School of Social Welfare, undated)

For direct practice students the librarians offer workshops such as Library Research for Evidence-Based Practice and Using the Internet for Research. MACRO students are offered Introduction to Federal Public Policy Research, Non-Profit Organizations--Information Sources, and classes on legal research. General classes for both concentrations include Using the Internet for Research, Using the Library & Internet Research from Home, MINERVA Online Catalog (the OPAC), and Introduction to Research Databases. The library provides an “advice sheet” to recommend classes that will be beneficial for students in one concentration or the other. If students follow the advice sheet recommendations, they have fewer repetitive classes. The Library Resources for Evidence-Based Practice class is taught by the social welfare bibliographer, and public policy and legal classes are taught by the public administration and policy bibliographer. All Dewey Library faculty participate in teaching the rest of the in-depth classes.

These in-depth classes, targeted to concentrations in the school, are offered three to four times per semester in the fall and spring. Since many students are time-stressed due to field placements, employment, family obligations, and other personal commitments, some classes were scheduled late in the afternoon or early evening and initially, on Saturdays. At the end of the academic years, when several students had yet to meet the requirement,  two of the courses were offered in a self-study worksheet. The worksheets are self-paced exercises, designed to take approximately one hour.

After two semesters, some ground rules were established. For instance, credit would not be granted for those arriving more than 15 minutes late for class, and students were required to keep track of their own sign-off sheets for proof of completion of classes. The social welfare bibliographer kept a list of attendees for the Social Welfare Research Seminar. Eventually attendance will be recorded electronically.

Formal assessments of the Social Welfare Research Seminar were conducted during Fall 2003 and May 2006. Survey instruments were created to measure students’ comprehension of the material presented and their rating of the value of the program. Each seminar class also has a period for “practice” in which students do a hands-on search on a suggested social work topic (or topic of interest to them). This allows students to see for themselves whether they have mastered the basics of the material on database searching. The instructor checks in with each student during this time.

Goals

The library’s primary goal for the Social Welfare Research Seminar is to help students effectively and efficiently use library and Internet resources to successfully complete required coursework in the social welfare curriculum. A secondary goal is to expose students to concepts and resources, including use of quality Internet resources. This knowledge will be useful to them not only as students but in their professional careers, when they may no longer have university library privileges. It is hoped that students will become aware of what services the library can provide and become acquainted with librarians and library services.
     
As part of the process of developing and evaluating the Research Seminar the seminar’s designers consulted the “Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23)  Because the goals for this seminar are closely tied to the discipline-based research needs of Social Welfare graduate students, not all of the standards incorporated into the seminar were given equal weight.  For example, the bulk of teaching is of concepts related to Standard Two:  “The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23). Nine of the 20 multiple-choice questions on the Fall 2003 assessment survey address students’ knowledge of the scope of information resources and students’ ability to search the resources using Boolean operators, field limits, and controlled vocabulary. Two additional questions assess students’ ability to locate a resource after they select it from a database or the library catalog.
     
Standard Three states, “The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23).  This is also an integral component of the Social Welfare Research Seminar, and three questions on the Fall 2003 survey specifically address students’ ability to critically evaluate resources. These questions elicited correct answers from more than 90% of the respondents.
     
Students are introduced to information sources that provide background information and terminology specific to the discipline. Student awareness of essential information resources such as subject encyclopedias and the Social Work Dictionary enables them to meet Standard 1: “The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed”  (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23).
     
Standard Four is “The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23).  This standard is accomplished during the hands-on practice portion of the seminar. Students are given a social welfare topic to investigate using some of the databases that have just been demonstrated. Students are given the option to substitute a research topic that they are investigating for one of their classes.
     
Finally, Standard Five says, “The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2006, August 23). Ethical issues are partially addressed by the introduction of the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style format.

Assessment

At the end of each Social Welfare Research Seminar in the Fall of 2003, students were asked to complete an anonymous assessment test. A copy of this assessment is included in the appendix at the end of this article. This 20-question test included a question for each key point emphasized in the class. One hundred four students completed the assessment. Total possible points were 100: five points for each of the 20 questions. Scores ranged from 100 down to 25. One score of 25 was the only score below 50. (See Tables 1 and 2.)

Table 1 - Fall 2003 assessment, overall test scores

Score (Percent)

Students (Number)

Students (Percent)

100

4

3.85

95

11

10.58

90

21

20.19

85

17

16.35

80

15

14.42

75

17

16.35

70

5

4.81

65

5

4.81

60

4

3.85

55

2

1.92

50

2

1.92

25

1

.96

Table 2 - Fall 2003 assessment, scores by question

Question Number

Number Correct

Percent Correct

1

all

100.00

2

70

67.31

3

56

53.85

4

102

98.08

5

67

64.42

6

66

63.46

7

74

71.15

8

94

90.38

9

76

73.08

10

99

95.19

11

86

82.69

12

82

78.85

13

69

66.35

14

69

66.35

15

100

96.15

16

84

80.77

17

100

96.15

18

100

96.15

19

94

90.38

20

90

85.58

Analysis of data

Two decisions that had to be made were whether to make the test anonymous and what amount of time would be allowed for students to complete the task. The committee recognized that some students would not put as much effort into an anonymous test and that some students were under great time pressure. At each class the instructor stopped at least 10 minutes early to leave time to complete the assessment.

Approximately 80% of the students who completed the survey were able to correctly answer 75% or more of the questions. Questions 4, 8, and 10, which concerned database scope and Boolean operators, were answered correctly by more than 90% of the students.  This indicates that the goal of enabling students to use library resources effectively was successful. More than 90% of the students also correctly answered questions about understanding the variety and quality of Internet resources.
     
Students did not do as well with questions that concerned choices between appropriate resources (questions 5, 13, and 14), scoring in the 67–69% range on these questions.  In other words, students are not sufficiently adept at research to be able to match specific resources to their individual research needs.
     
The question with which students had the most trouble asked about ways in which students could find out what sources other libraries might own. In retrospect, this might not be an important concept for students to learn. It is probably more useful for students to know that if there is a source that they can’t find in the library, they can use the interlibrary loan service.
     
Students provided extensive comments on the assessment. Comments were solicited in three categories:

#1. Name one or two things that you learned in this Social Welfare Research Seminar that you did not already know.
     
Comments were plentiful and almost uniformly positive. The largest single response was from 14 students who learned about the existence of databases for social work research. Students noted that they had learned how to (a) do research efficiently, (b) do a literature review, (c) identify articles from multiple sources, (d) find social work specific resources, (e) locate articles, (f) use the online catalog, and (g) use dictionaries and encyclopedias. One student mentioned awareness of the amount of information available. Many students mentioned their newfound knowledge of and proficiency with databases and search software. A number of students listed new and helpful methods of searching databases.
     
There were also many comments about the libraries’ Web page resources specifically for social welfare; learning about new credible Web sites from governments, organizations, and statistical sites; and the students’ new awareness of many library services.

#2. Is there anything that was not covered in the Social Welfare Research seminar that you wish was covered?
     
Sixty-seven of the respondents left this part blank, another 25 said “no,” and 12 implied “no.” A number of students added comments about the class, saying that it was very informative, presented in a clear manner, and useful. They noted that they would like more information on how to conduct specific searches (which is offered in another class), how to use LEXIS-NEXIS (mentioned but not demonstrated), more information on finding statistics, more instruction on full-text sources (covered in another workshop),
more on how to look for Internet sources, and a “tour” of library resources in print.

#3. Additional Comments.
     
Comments in “additional comments” expressed the view that the class was very helpful, informative, enjoyable, and useful. Students further noted that this should have been part of their undergraduate experience and that they were unaware of all the resources available. Two examples in response to the question on what they had learned that they didn’t previously know were: “I feel I will be able to access information with ease” and “Everything but I forgot most of it already. I will be contacting you.” In response to the inquiry as to whether anything was not covered that they wish had been, one student commented, “I’ll know when I try to do it and get confused, but I walk away confident.”

Although the authors believe that the current assessment indicates that the library workshops are accomplishing much of their goal, more emphasis on the differences and individual strengths of the social welfare resources and clearer descriptions of the interlibrary loan process should be implemented in future seminars. Recently instructors have placed more emphasis on clarifying these concepts. Additional assessment of student learning outcomes will be administered periodically.

In April 2005 the librarians met with the School of Social Welfare Curriculum Committee to discuss the progress of this program. All of the committee members were enthusiastic and supportive of the program. One faculty member noted that there was a clear difference between students who had and had not taken the Social Welfare Research Seminar. Another mentioned that one difference was in their understanding of what constituted a scholarly journal. School faculty suggested new classes in using EndNote or similar software, formatting papers and research tables, and expanding the components on APA style and plagiarism. They approved some suggestions for new class offerings.

In May 2006, an additional assessment was conducted. Having taught the program for nearly four years, the instructors were interested in whether student perceptions of the requirement correlated with faculty perceptions and with documented student learning outcomes. Six School of Social Welfare classes composed of second-year students were identified. From those classes, students who would be graduating in May or August of 2006 were asked to fill out the brief survey. Forty-six completed surveys were returned. Results are illustrated in Table 3.

Table 3 - May 2006 assessment

1.  At what point in your graduate education did you take the Social Welfare Research Seminar? *

                                                                       

Before completing 15 credits                            50%

From 15-30 credits                                              30%

From 30-45 credits                                                4%

After 45 credits                                                       7%

 

2.  Rate the affect that attending the Social Welfare Research Seminar had on your ability to:

 

Find appropriate information resources for your research, assignments or field work.

poor                            2%

fair                            15%

good                        48%

very good                30%

                                excellent                                    4%

 

Use databases effectively for research, assignments and/or field work.

                        poor                            2%

                        fair                              9%       

                        good                         48%

                        very good                37%

                       excellent                 4%

 

Search the Internet effectively for research, assignments and/or field work.

                        poor                           4%

                        fair                            15%

                        good                         50%

                        very good                26%

                        excellent                                    4%

 

Evaluate information found through databases and the Internet.

                        poor                            4%

                        fair                            17%

                        good                         50%

                        very good                24%

                       excellent                     4%

 

*Question #1 had 42 responses. Question #2, parts a–d, had 46 responses.

The requirement states that students are to complete the initial class, the Social Welfare Research Seminar, during their first 15 credits at the school. Eighty percent compliance by 30 credits seems to be in accord with attendance records collected by the library. Every year a handful of students do not complete the requirement until a few days before graduation.
               
Responses indicated that between 78 % and 89% of the graduating students felt that the information literacy classes had a good to excellent effect on their ability to use information resources effectively.  The largest percentage, 89%, responded positively to the survey question about students’ ability to use databases effectively, while the lowest positive, 78%, was in response to their increased ability to evaluate Internet resources.  Possibly this reflects students’ increased confidence and experience with overall Internet resource use prior to taking the classes.

Twenty surveys were returned with comments. Many of these comments were concerned with whether there should be such a requirement for graduate students. Eight respondents felt that such a requirement was appropriate for undergraduates or that graduate students would have already learned this material. One student who commented that the workshop should be optional accounted for 2/3 of the “poor” ratings received. It is noteworthy that students filling out the assessment survey in Fall 2003 were very enthusiastic about the usefulness of the class. This assessment was taken immediately after attending the Social Welfare Research Seminar. However, two and a half years later, the May 2006 survey of MSW graduating students indicated that a greater number questioned the need to have a requirement.
                       
Students’ positive comments included that the seminar was a good basic overview, that it was helpful in finding journals, that additional follow-up sessions would be handy, and that it should be taken in the first semester. Two students took the opportunity to note difficulties with other library services. One suggested that the libraries focus the seminars on particular topics such as child welfare or aging. A detailed report of this second assessment was also sent to the School of Social Welfare Curriculum Committee.

Challenges

Some of the biggest challenges for this program are presented by the administration of the requirement. The libraries have had problems getting students to take the classes early enough in the MSW program that they will be able to use what they learn in their coursework. Other questions that the libraries grapple with include:  Is there a more effective way of communicating to students about the requirement, beyond the school’s orientation and signage and the library’s Web page and signage? How can a  last-minute rush be avoided when several students who are about to graduate have not completed the requirement? How can the school keep better track of students who are not fulfilling the requirement? A number of solutions were discussed with the school Curriculum Committee, including making sure more students sign up for workshops at orientation, presenting information on the requirement more often to students, enlisting faculty to announce and encourage taking the classes early, and beginning some classes in August before students begin their first semester. Both the library and the school have discussed strategies for using a database to track student completion of the requirement.
     
A major issue for Dewey Library librarians in offering these classes is the workload. The library has a small classroom and students with widely varying scheduling needs. Librarians end up teaching to classes of anywhere from one to 16 students. The average number of students attending the Social Welfare Research Seminar was 7 per class from June 2003–May 2004; 7.1 per class from June 2004–May 2005; and 9.1 per class from June 2005–May 2006. The information literacy requirement has clearly impacted attendance by MSW students positively. Prior to the requirement small numbers of students attended the libraries’ classes. Now almost all MSW students come through the program.

Another challenge is that teaching the Social Welfare Research Seminar can become very repetitive. This problem has been alleviated by enlisting the public affairs and policy bibliographer to teach some classes. A WebCT version of the Social Welfare Research Seminar is now under development and will be tested during the Fall 2007 semester. This will allow students to take the seminar at any time and any place. In the future, WebCT or other technology will be used to offer some of the other courses as well.
           
This program has apparently had an impact on Dewey Library reference services and individual research appointments. While Dewey Library also provides services to three other professional schools and departments (Criminal Justice, Public Administration & Policy, and Information Studies), social work students are by far the heaviest users of reference services. During workshops, social welfare students are encouraged to make individual appointments with the social welfare librarian to discuss their research. Many take advantage of this offer. Generally, the program seems to have increased student comfort level with librarians and library services.
     
Data from the assessment instrument and from faculty comments indicate that this program helps students understand resources available to access social welfare literature and how to more efficiently use these resources and understand the library services that are available to them.

References

Association of College & Research Libraries. (2006, August 23). Information Literacy    Competency Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved August 14, 2007, from http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.htm

Bhavnagri, N., & Bielat, V. (2005). Faculty-librarian collaboration to teach research skills:  Electronic symbiosis. The Reference Librarian, 89/90, 121–138.

Brustman, M. (2006). Social Welfare. Retrieved August 14, 2007, from University at Albany Libraries Web site: http://library.albany.edu/subject/socwork.htm

Cooney, M., & Hiris, L. (2003). Integrating information literacy and its assessment into a graduate business course: A collaborative framework. Research Strategies, 19(3/4),     213–232.

Hooks, J.D. (2005). Information literacy for off-campus graduate cohorts: Collaboration    between a university librarian and a Master’s of Education faculty.  Library Review, 54(4), 245–256  

Lampert, L. (2005). “Getting psyched” about information literacy: A successful faculty- librarian collaboration for education psychology and counseling. The Reference Librarian, 89/90, 5–23.

Pilonis, E. M., Thompson, M.A., & Eisenhower, C. (2005).  The scholarship crash on the information highway: Implications for faculty –librarian collaboration. The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 11(1), 101–114.

Toth, M. (2005) Research and writing and theses—oh my! The journey of a collaboratively taught graduate research and writing course. The Reference Librarian, 89/90, 81-92.

University at Albany Libraries. Dewey Library, Class schedules. (2007). Retrieved August 14, 2007, from University at Albany Libraries, Dewey Library Web site: http://library.albany.edu/dewey/

University at Albany. School of Social Welfare. (2005, August). Computer/information literacy requirement. [Brochure]. Albany, NY: University at Albany School of Social Welfare.

University at Albany. School of Social Welfare. (undated). Selecting an MSW advanced concentration.  Retrieved August 14, 2007, from http://www.albany.edu/ssw/feducation/student.htm

Xu, F. (2006). Library service at the “paperless” information center. Collection Building, 25(2), 61–65.

Appendix

Social Welfare Research Seminar Assessment – Fall 2003

Please help us to assess the effectiveness of this seminar by answering the following questions to the best of your ability.

1. I have attended research classes conducted by a librarian.

  1. Never
  2. Once
  3. 2 or 3 times
  4. 4 or more times

2. Which of the following contains records showing the location of all of the books, journals and other materials owned by the University at Albany Libraries?

  1. EBSCO
  2. ADVANCE Web, the University Libraries’ online catalog
  3. Database Finder on the library web site
  4. All of the above

3. Which of the following sources would be useful for identifying books not owned by the University at Albany Libraries?

  1. ADVANCE Web, the University Libraries’ online catalog
  2. EBSCO
  3. WorldCat
  4. ILLiad

4. Which of the following sources would be most useful for looking up definitions of social work terms?

  1. Social Work Abstracts
  2. PsycInfo
  3. Social Work Dictionary
  4. Encyclopedia Britannica

5. The Encyclopedia of Social Work is a good source to use when…

  1. You need to understand the scope and history of a social welfare topic
  2. You want to understand the federal government role on a social welfare issue
  3. You want to find out some important writings on a topic
  4. All of the above

6. Descriptors or Subject Headings in a database are used primarily to…

  1. Identify terms or phrases that describe specific subjects
  2. Help a researcher retrieve all the pertinent information available on a certain topic
  3. Choose one term out of many to use when describing a topic
  4. All of the above

7. Subject Databases, such as Social Work Abstracts or PsycInfo, are used to….

  1. Find out what books the library has on a specific subject
  2. Find statistical information on a subject
  3. Find books and articles on topics of general interest
  4. Find pertinent literature in a discipline

8. Which of the following search statements is most effective for finding information on transracial adoption.

  1. adoption OR transracial
  2. adoption AND transracial
  3. adoption NOT transracial
  4. None of the above

9. Which statement best describes Social Work Abstracts?

  1. Covers 100 core social work journals plus some dissertations
  2. Includes records from 1977 to the present
  3. Is the basic resource for finding literature on topics central to social welfare
  4. All of the above

10. Which statement best describes PsycInfo?

  1. Is only for psychologists
  2. Covers journals, books, book chapters, reports, dissertations, etc. in psychology and related fields
  3. Covers only recent material
  4. Contains no research literature

11. If  I identify a useful article in Social Work Abstracts, I can find out whether the library owns it in any format (fulltext, print, micro) by...

  1. Checking ADVANCE Web online catalog (or Journals Print and Online).
  2. Checking Google to see if it is on the Web in full text format
  3. Ordering it through ILLiad
  4. None of the above

12. If an article or book that I need is not located in [Library name] but is available in another University at Albany library. I can retrieve the item by …

  1. Going to the University Library or Science Library
  2. Using ILLiad to request that the book be sent to Dewey Library
  3. Using ILLiad to request that an article be scanned and sent to me electronically
  4. All of the above

13. Which of the following statements is accurate?

  1. EBSCO is the best database to use when researching a Social Welfare topic
  2. Full text databases always lead to better articles than databases that don’t make articles available in full text format
  3. Full text databases provide full text for all articles they index
  4. Full text databases are not always the best choice for conducting a literature review because many important resources may not be included

14. What are the two best resources to use if you were looking for literature on how to do social casework with families?

  1. Ebsco and Ageline
  2. ADVANCE Web online catalog and Social Work Abstracts
  3. Social Work Abstracts and Lexis-Nexis
  4. Encyclopedia of Social Work and Encyclopedia of Psychology

15. The University Libraries web site found at http://library.....

  1. Provides access to ADVANCE Web online catalog
  2. Provides access to hundreds of subscription databases
  3. Provides guides to research on specific subjects
  4. All of the above

16. Which of the following is a citation to a journal article?

  1. Fortune, A. and W. Reid. (1999). Research in Social Work. New York:              Columbia University Press.
  2. Videka-Sherman, L. (1996). The impact of federal policy changes on children: research needs for the future.  Social Work 41(6): 594-600, Nov. 1996.
  3. United States Congress. House. Select Committee on Children, Youth & Families. (1999). Report on Welfare Reform. Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.
  4. Welfare in New York City. (2002, May 1). The New York Times, p.A2.

     
17. Which of the following is not usually found in a scholarly (research) journal?

  1. References
  2. Articles written by scholars and researchers
  3. News stories aimed at a general audience
  4. Results of research studies

   
18. Which statement is the most accurate?

  1. The government is responsible for the content of the Internet
  2. The Internet contains information of varying quality
  3. All information found through Internet search tools (e.g. Google and Yahoo) is relevant and authoritative
  4. Regardless of your information need, the Internet is the best place to go

19. Internet sites need to be evaluated for…

  1. Authority
  2. Bias
  3. Currency
  4. Accuracy
  5. All of the above

20. Many nonprofit organizations and government agencies….

  1. Publish working papers on relevant social welfare topics.
  2. Provide statistics on relevant social welfare topics.
  3. Have a web presence that contains useful information.
  4. All of the above

21. Name one or two things that you learned in this Social Welfare Research seminar that you did not previously know.

22. Is there anything that was not covered in the Social Welfare Research seminar that you wish was covered?

23.  Additional Comments (please feel free to use back of paper).