This artifact is focused upon “the concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services that provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information…” (www.ala.org/corecompetences). For the information professional in government organizations, it is a must to have the skill to teach other staff and management how to use information access and retrieval methods to locate pertinent, current, and relevant information. The sources of information needed by government leaders are many and varied. These policy makers need to know for instance: How many people are unemployed? Is the citizenry well-educated? Is the crime rate increasing or decreasing? Thus, information sources needed within government organizations is “sweeping.” Information requirements in government organizations is often deep and broad; requiring lots of information sources that are varied in type and content. Furthermore, because analysis within government organizations must be unbiased (this is the goal, but not always the reality) total objectivity is the standard. (Often overshadowed, however, by political realities.) The social sciences question set was a project that strengthened my competences in information retrieval to help information seekers locate the most useful, relevant, reliable and authoritative sources. Moreover, the project was designed to improve the information professional’s competence in information access and retrieval as they relate to the varied social science disciplines: political science, public policy studies, psychology, history, and economics.
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