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Newsletter: November/December 2022

Information Literacy Thresholds: Information Has Value

If you’ve ever run up against the requirement to “pay $47 for 48 hours of access” to a scholarly article, you’ve experienced first hand that information has value. Luckily, since you’re a member of the Doane community, you can rely on Interlibrary Loan to help you get access to the information you need, quickly, without having to pay a penny. This also highlights a certain amount of privilege members of the academy possess, as people unaffiliated with an educational or research institution would, in fact, likely have to pay to access that information.

In this column, we will explore the Association of College & Research Libraries Frame “Information Has Value.” The definition of this frame is as follows: 

“Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination” (ACRL 2016).

This frame is complex. Most immediately, it encourages students to understand the ethics of using information created by others. Good citation practices show that students “value the skills, time, and effort needed to produce knowledge.” At the same time, the frame acknowledges that sometimes copyright and intellectual property laws can be significant barriers to access, stating, “Experts also understand that the individual is responsible for making deliberate and informed choices about when to comply with and when to contest current legal and socioeconomic practices concerning the value of information” (ACRL 2016).

This frame also deals with the ability to access and share information, while bringing up issues of equity. As explained further in the Framework, “Experts understand that [the value of information] may be wielded by powerful interests in ways that marginalize certain voices” (ACRL 2016). Information produces knowledge, and, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. By limiting access to information for certain individuals or groups, ultimately, their access to power is limited.

  Libraries are places where barriers to information are significantly reduced  

Libraries are places where these barriers to information are significantly reduced through internet access, services like Interlibrary Loan, and exposure to varying viewpoints. However, Libraries also have to bear the cost of information for their users. As companies place a higher monetary value on resources like databases, library budgets need to be adjusted accordingly. If budgets don’t grow at the same rate as the cost of access, this could mean sacrificing certain resources - often to the detriment of library users.

“Information Has Value” is a multifaceted concept that might be difficult to grasp at first. However, in an increasingly connected and commodified world, you will probably find evidence of this frame in action every day. If you are interested in exploring this threshold concept further or would like to work with a librarian on creating IL instruction on this concept for any of your classes, please let us know!


Strategies You Can Use: Database Thesauri/Subjects

Have you ever been disappointed in the search results you get in a database when you're sure there has to be more information on your topic? If so, try the database's thesaurus or subject terms!

Almost every database has some kind of standardized subject terms, also known as controlled vocabulary. These are specific words assigned by a database to describe a book or article in the database. Instead of using keywords, you can search using these terms from the thesaurus or list of subject terms. The link to the thesaurus/subject terms is generally at the top of the search screen.

Here is the Subject Terms link in EBSCOhost databases.


Here is the Thesaurus link in ProQuest databases. Note that it appears on the Advanced Search screen only.


You can also use thesauri for ideas on keywords to use in your database searches when you aren’t quite sure which keywords to try. Type in the term that best describes your topic and see what the thesaurus suggests might be a better term to describe that topic. Using the thesaurus can help you figure out which synonym to use, which spelling to use, or which combination of terms to use.

Since subject terms reflect the main focus of the book or article, searching by subject may be a quick way to narrow your results to a particular topic. However, subject searching should be used as a second step. Try a keyword search first, then see what subjects are recommended to you, or look at the subject headings for useful search results, as shown below. Try adding those to the keyword search, or searching the subjects alone.

Notice in these results of a keyword search on workplace and health initiatives that the subject term for workplace is work environment, and for health initiatives the database uses health promotion and also employee health promotion. Searching with these terms should return more focused results. 


Using a database thesaurus or subject terms is great as a starting point if you are struggling with finding keywords and need to learn about the terms that the database uses. Please ask a librarian for help if you have any questions about this or any other database search strategies. 


Library Student Assistant Spotlight

This month's student assistant is Jorge Chevez Ricardo, a senior from Panama City, Panama. He is majoring in business administration with an emphasis in management and a minor in accounting. We asked him to answer the following questions:

What is your favorite memory of your time at Doane?
    When Doane Men's Tennis beat Hastings for the first time in 27 years.

What is your favorite thing about Perkins Library?
    I like that the library provides all the necessary resources for the students.

Why did you choose Doane to pursue your higher education?
    I had a friend from Panama who was on the tennis team. He invited me to come to visit the school in 2018. After that day I realized that Doane was going to be my home for the next 4 years.

If you wrote a book, what would you write about?
    It's funny that you asked this question. In fact, one of the things on my bucket list is writing a book about my life.

Has there been an experience on campus which changed your view of the world? 
    Living in the US has changed my view of the world. I've been living here for four years and I'm still learning about the American culture.


How Can We Help You?

Each month we'll highlight library services or data that show our impact on students, faculty and staff at Doane.

New York Times Online


Teaching Professor

Do you wish you could read the New York Times but a personal subscription is too much for your budget?


We've got you covered! The library provides access to the full New York Times online to all faculty, staff and students at Doane.

To get started: refer to this guide to create an account. Once you've created one, you'll have access to the nation's paper of record for an entire year! The guide explains how to renew your account every 365 days.

Have your students create their own accounts to take advantage of highly-respected news reporting. Our educational subscription has a few limitations, which are outlined in the guide. Please contact Jayne if you have any questions. 

Do you ever wish you had access to a publication devoted to providing evidence-based instructional strategies in higher ed?


Then you should take a look at The Teaching Professor! The library has subscribed to this online serial for all Doane instructors. So, whether you're new to teaching college courses or an old hand at it, a full professor or an adjunct teaching one course, this newsletter can help improve your instruction!

Access is freely available on all campuses. If you're off campus you'll need to login through the library's proxy first.

We hope you'll enjoy reading the newsletter and learn new ways of connecting with your students and making academic success achievable for them all. 



Take a Break! Library Activities for Finals

You're studying hard for all those final papers, projects and exams -- you need a break! Come to the Library for some study break treats. All events occur at 7pm.
  Wednesday, Dec. 7 Cookies
Thursday, Dec. 8  Donuts & fried croissants
Sunday, Dec. 11 Chips, granola bars & other snacks
Monday, Dec. 12 Pizza
Tuesday, Dec. 13 Chips & other snacks

Other study break activities in the library include coloring pages, Sudoku, word search, crossword and jigsaw puzzles. And we always have board games available as well!

Follow Us!

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TAKE OUR POLL: What are you most looking forward to doing during Winter Break?
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Being with family: 2 votes (66.67%)
Travel: 0 votes (0%)
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Hanging with friends: 1 votes (33.33%)
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Learning Commons
Fall Hours

Monday-Thursday  8am-11pm
Friday  8am-5pm
Saturday  1-5pm
Sunday  2-11pm

Winter Break

Saturday, Dec. 17  CLOSED
Sunday, Dec. 18  CLOSED
Monday-Thursday, Dec. 19-22
Dec. 23-Jan. 2  CLOSED

Library Faculty & Staff

Roger Getz
Director of Perkins Library

Jayne Germer
Learning & E-resources Librarian

Cali Biaggi
Online Learning Librarian

Tammy Roach
Interlibrary Loan Library Assistant

Cheyenne Stillinger
Digitization & Archives Specialist

Subject Liaisons

Need help finding information? Have
ideas for library materials in your
discipline? Want to consult with a librarian
about information literacy instruction for
your classes? Contact the librarian in
your subject area:

Fine Arts & Humanities
Cali Biaggi

Science, Technology,
Engineering & Mathematics

Cali Biaggi

Social Sciences
Jayne Germer

College of Education
Jayne Germer

College of Business
Roger Getz 

"In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim." - Linton Weeks