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Library Anxiety: The Big6

Library anxiety is a real phenomenon that can hurt your ability to complete your coursework and do library research. This guide talks about what library anxiety is and about some ways to overcome it.

Big six steps

Following these steps will help you to focus and stay organized while doing your research.

1. Task Definition

  • Define your assignment & identify information needed to complete it.

  • Restate the assignment in your own words. What are you interested in learning?

  • Gather basic information about your topic by reading articles, web pages, etc.

  • Talking with teachers/parents/librarians is also helpful.

2. Information Seeking Strategies

  • Make a list of all possible sources & select the best ones.

  • Choose from nonfiction, news articles, reference books, web pages, databases, ebooks, and multimedia encyclopedias.

3. Location and Access

  • Locate sources & find information within the texts.

  • Consult the library catalog, library reference section, search engines, and web-based references

  • Use a graphic organizer to map out your topic and subtopics

4. Use of Information

  • Engage with your source: read, hear, view & extract the most valuable information

  • Use skimming and scanning to find information that addresses your topic.

  • Look for keywords, pictures, read headlines and first & last paragraphs of articles to help find the “right” information.

  • Take notes – cite your source on your note card 

  • Summarize, paraphrase or quote.

  • Remember to cite each source you use. 

5. Synthesis

  • Choose the format of your project and organize your research notes according to how you will share the information.

  • If your format is a paper, begin by writing an outline.

  • If you are producing a PowerPoint or multi-media presentation, categorize your main bullet points and images. Different formats require different types of organization.

  • Present the information effectively by practicing and knowing your audience.

6. Evaluation

  • Judge the product (effectiveness). 

  • Judge the process (efficiency).

  • Did you meet your objective?

  • Judge the quality of your work.

  • Next, judge the quality of your presentation.

  • You can use criteria such as accuracy, content, creativity, and legibility.

Big6 Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz.

The Big6




Overview of Big6 process

Developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is the most widely known and widely used approach to teaching information and technology skills in the world. Used in thousands of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporate and adult training programs, the Big6 information problem-solving model is applicable whenever people need and use information.


Big6 Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz.