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Do you Google?

: Tips for Becoming a Library Superstar


Name: Lydia Thorne
Time: 15 minutes
Materials: (What will you need in order to teach the session? What will students need?)
o Computer with display; individual laptops or devices with wifi capability (laptops,
phones, tablets) for class activity; handout; separate paper and pen/pencil
IL Standards: (What Information Literacy Standards are relevant to your lesson?)
o Standard 1: The ability to determine the nature and extent of the information needed
Students can determine which Google search operator is needed in a situation
o Standard 2: The ability to access information effectively and efficiently
Students can select Google operators to create an effective search strategy
Lesson Breakdown
Pre-assessment: (How will you find out what students already know about your topic?)
o Ask them to rate their search ability using Google (rating 1-5) on paper
o Ask them familiarity with Boolean operators (hands) and to name a few
(Note: I will be assuming that students will have taken LIS 9003 and have some
familiarity already with Boolean operators)
Duration: 2 mins
Learning Objective: (What will your students be able to do after your session?)
o By the end of the session, students will be able to determine when each Google search
operator should be applied in a given situation
Duration: 30 secs
Google Advanced Search Operators:
1. Wildcard (*)
2. Exclusion (-)
3. Inclusion (+)
4. Similar Words (~)
5. Number Range (..)
6. Restrict keywords (define: filetype:)

Duration: 5 mins

Summary: (What did you cover with your students?)

Duration: 30 secs

Active Learning Activity: Google Trivia!

Duration: 5 mins

Post-Assessment: (How will you find out what students have learned about your topic?)
o Ask class to re-rate their knowledge of Google searching (rating 1-5)
o Ask them how many of them feel like their Google searching skills have improved?
(hands)
Duration: 2 mins

Do you Google?: Tips for Becoming a Library Superstar


Lydia Thorne

23 July 2015

Some common Google search operators:


1. Wildcard (*): The asterisk (*) symbol acts as a place holder for missing words if you only
have a partial phrase or title
Ex.1 [database * systems]
Ex.2 [invit*]
2. Exclusion (-): The minus symbol (-) excludes results from your search results
Ex. [jaguar speed] [jaguar speed -animal]
3. Inclusion (+): The plus symbol (+) includes results in your search results
Ex. [jaguar speed] [jaguar speed +animal]
4. Similar Words (~): The tilde symbol (~) includes similar words in your search results
Ex. [mobile phone] [~mobile phone]
5. Number Range (..): The dot-dot symbol (..) includes a range of numbers in your search
Ex. [academy awards] [academy awards 1965..1973]
6. Restrict keywords (:)
o define: Searches for definitions of words from various web sources
Ex. define:inorganic chemistry
define inorganic chemistry
o filetype: Restrict your search to a specific file type.
Ex. Find PDF Federal tax forms.
IRS tax forms filetype:pdf

Some more restrict keywords for your interest (try them at home!):
o intitle: Finds the word or phrase immediately after the colon in the title
Ex. intitle:genetically modified foods Canada
o allintitle: Works the same way as intitle, but looks for every word in the title
Ex. allintitle:genetically modified foods Canada
o intext: Allows you to make sure a specific term appears on each page in your search
results
Ex. Find funding opportunities from the CLA funding intext:CLA
o allintext: Searches for multiple words in the body of the search result
Ex. allintext:travel packing list .returns pages with travel packing and list

Google Trivia: Are you a Library Superstar?


1) A patron comes to you with the following query:
"I got sick recently from drinking water at home. I'm looking for information on pollution,
specifically water pollution. Can you help me?" What do you do?
o
o
o
o

pollution +water
pollution water
pollution *water
They should just buy a water filter already

2) A patron comes to the desk with the following query:


I cant remember the name of this female author. But I think her last name was Lee
The patron doesnt know her full name and you dont know the author. What do you do?
o
o
o
o

-Lee
+Lee
* Lee
Should have written the name down.sorry not sorry!

3) A patron would like to find an image of a 1956 Corvette. They say they need it to be a jpeg
file though, as they only have so much space on their usb stick. How do you find them this type
of image?
o
o
o
o

1956 Corvette pdf


1956 Corvette filetype:jpg
1956 Corvette define:jpg
Just look on Google Images until you find one!

4) A high school teacher comes to the desk and asks for science inventions between the years of
2005 to 2011- he wants to do a lab for his class. How do you structure your search?
o
o
o
o

2005+ science discoveries


science discoveries AND 2005-2011
science discoveries 2005..2011
Just try to filter the results as you gotheres no one else in line anyways!

5) A history student comes to the reference desk. She is looking for weapons that were used in
the middle ages for a paper that is due tomorrow morning. However, you dont think that
weapon is the only term that applies in this situation. How do you construct your search?
o middle ages ~weapons

o middle ages *
o middle ages +weapons
o search until you find some common terms for weapons in the middle ages and refine your
searchshe shouldnt have left her essay to the last minute anyways!