Step 1. Choosing and Accessing Appropriate Sources
The first step is to choose the appropriate source that contains information about a chosen topic. Standard Two of the American College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education states, "The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently." Essentially, this means you will want to identify the best means of accessing sources that will provide the information you need, or that your professor has required you to use, rather than wasting time on sources that will not help you with your topic. Val's professor has already indentified appropriate sources in the form of books, research databases, and websites as tools that will help Val find useful information. While the library resources will be helpful to Val's personal interest in a tattoo, she might also want to interview people or conduct surveys of students and friends that have tattoos to find additional information regarding her personal consideration of a tattoo. The next page discusses several factors that influence what sources Val decides to access.