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Introduction to Library Research

An overview of the basic skills and information needed to begin searching in research databases and evaluating information.

How to Use this Guide

Getting Started: Introduction to Library Research Tutorials

Watch the video below for an overview of tutorial goals and purpose, and recommended ways to progress through the tutorials.

Video Transcript

Welcome to Great Falls College Weaver Library’s Introduction to Library Research Tutorials. We’ve designed these tutorials to help familiarize you with concepts and skills that will help you seek, evaluate, use, and create information to achieve your personal and academic goals.  

Our goal with these tutorials is to help you develop information literacy skills. The American Library Association described information literacy as, “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and to have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the” needed information effectively.

The Introduction to Library Research Tutorials are intended to help you answer questions like, “how should I search for sources?” “can I trust the information I’ve found?” and “How and why do I cite my sources?” by focusing on critical thinking, evaluation, and research skills.

It is recommended that you progress through the Introduction to Library Research Tutorials in the order that they are presented; however, you are able to pick and choose tutorials of interest or revisit tutorials after you have already completed them.


If you have any questions while you are working through this Introduction to Library Research Guide, please reach out to staff at Weaver Library by calling or emailing for assistance.

Information Literacy Overview

What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy is also referred to as "Information Competency," or "Information Fluency."

"To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. [ . . . ] Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand."

From the American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report, released January 10, 1989.

Information Literacy involves students in a process of:

  • knowing when they have a need for information
  • identifying information needed to address a given problem, issue, or answer a question
  • finding the needed information and evaluating it
  • organizing the information
  • using the information effectively to address the problem, issue, or question at hand