The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library

Information Literacy Resources and Toolkit: Resources for Students

Useful tips

Meet with a librarian!  Here are some reasons why...

  • To help you think through keywords/search terms to use
  • To help you navigate our collections (print and online)
  • To guide you to the best databases to use for your research
  • To offer suggestions on how to evaluate sources for quality
  • To answer questions about library services and resources
  • To provide assistance with citation managers and style guides
  • To identify materials at other libraries 
  • And much more!

Questions to ask yourself

Questions to ask yourself about the information sources you encounter (from Blur, How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel, p. 32):

  • ​What kind of content is it? 
  • Is the information complete?  If not, what's missing?
  • Who or what are the sources, and are they believable?
  • What evidence is being presented, and how was it tested?
  • What might be an alternative explanation?

Generating keywords for your searches

To come up with keywords for your research, try the following:

1. Think carefully about your topic.  Write it out in a sentence or two.

2. Circle the key concepts in your topic sentences.

3. Brainstorm synonyms or related terms for your key concepts.  One approach to brainstorming is to create a concept map. You can do this on paper or via free online programs such as or Text 2 Mind Map.

4. Once you have your search terms, experiment with different combinations of the terms in your searching of WorldCat, databases, etc.

5. When you successfully find sources that are relevant to your search, pay attention to the keywords and subject terms in the database record.  These may lead you to additional sources.

Need help?

Sorting through information can be tough.  Do you need assistance finding books, articles, and other resources for your research?  We're here to help you at any point during the process. Did you know that you can make an individual appointment with a librarian?  Link to contact information for the librarian for your subject area through our Research by Subject guides.  

Remember, stop by or contact the library services desk for help! 

What is information literacy?

Information literacy skills help you determine the type of information you need and help you search, find, evaluate, and use resources in a variety of formats. As the availability of online resources continues to expand, information literacy skills are essential to academic and workplace success, as well as lifelong learning. One of Bucknell’s Educational Goals is the development of information literacy and technological competency for all students across disciplines. 

Subject Librarian

Nancy Frazier's picture
Nancy Frazier
Bertrand Library
Research Help Area

Research Help

Answers @ Bertrand Library

Answers @ Bertrand Library will lead you to how-to's, tutorials, walk-throughs, and FAQs for a variety of research-related questions. Answers @ Bertrand Library should not be used to search for journal articles, books, and other materials. Please consult subject-specific databases for these searches or ask a librarian. Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions. Access the full Answers @ Bucknell knowledgebase.

Write and Cite
Tools and Tips