Master of Counselling
Library Research

Research Refresher

Image of stack of books Finding and accessing high quality, scholarly information on topics relevant to your research interests is a vital component of graduate level studies. At times it can be an exciting and satisfying experience, and at other times you may find it difficult to determine and locate exactly what you are looking for.

As well, if you are returning to academic studies after a number of years in the workforce, the array of new information resource formats, and information searching and management tools may be somewhat bewildering. The good news is that there is a core set of concepts, skills, resources, and library services introduced in this tutorial that can help you become reacquainted with the process of academic research.

This tutorial has been designed to allow you to jump in wherever you want. You will gain the most benefit from the tutorial, however, if you work your way through all of its sections. The key is preparation, practice, and play. The purpose of this tutorial is to help you hone your information literacy skills in order to be able to explore effectively the research literature in the field of counselling. So what is information literacy?

Definition of Information Literacy

A useful definition of information literacy is offered by ACRL, the Association of College and Research Libraries:

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
Source: ACRL Best Practices Initiative Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices Working Edition, March 2001.

Maintained by Rumi Graham

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