Party raises awareness for information literacy

By Jo Nguyen

The Research Launch Party gave students the chance to familiarize themselves with research methods through the library and other resources such as the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity and the Writing Resource Center.
The Research Launch Party gave students the chance to familiarize themselves with research methods through the library and other resources such as the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity and the Writing Resource Center.

New College students ventured into the Jane Bancroft Cook Library’s second annual Research Launch Party Sept. 24, interacting with librarians and professors on shortcuts to organize, find, and dive into research in college and in their careers.

“I think a lot of students come into college from schools without databases or schools that didn’t teach information literacy. So, there’s a reliance on Google and Google Scholar and they’re insufficient for the research expectations at New College,” says Helene Gold, a librarian specializing in research, instruction and information literacy.

Most high schools cannot afford databases that are available at the collegiate level. Instead, high school students are taught to use Google for all their research needs and that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source – despite it being a solid foundational start. Research sources are, then, something given to students instead of it being an integral part of each student’s education.

“There’s sometimes this assumption that students already know how to operate databases or that they have been exposed to it – and that isn’t the case. With our access to high academic databases, it really is important that students are accessing databases at the level faculty expect work to be done,” Gold said.

The Research Launch Party gave students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with not only the research methods through the library, but with resources such as the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity that can guide students through career exploration, discussion about AOCs, and life after New College with career coaches. In addition, the library also offers the Writing Resource Center.

“I really want to do something in publishing or editing. I’m hoping the more I help people figure out how to write, the more I understand writing,” Maria Penaloza, a New College student and student writing assistant.

The writing center gives students the chance to “pay it forward” to incoming classes with one-on-one assistance in any writing endeavor.

“We can discuss ideas, help outline or revise, and we don’t just do essays. We do speeches, presentations, resumes, creative writing…anything with a writing component,” Penaloza said.

Events like these help students not only understand their information needs but how they can solve them going into the future.

— Jo Nguyen is an intern working with the Office of Communications and Marketing at New College of Florida.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is the state's only legislatively designated Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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