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Contact Information

In person at the J.N. Desmarais Library: The Library User Assistance Desk is just to the left of the entrance to the library.

By email: Reference help is available by contacting the librarian responsible for your subject area. A Librarian will respond during regular hours.

By telephone: Call us at 705-675-4800 or by extension  4800.

Distance education students: Telephone : 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2; Fax: 705-671-3803 (Attention: Off-Campus Library Services); email:

For more information visit our Services for Students page.

Library Instruction

Basic online library instruction is available in either official language using Laurentian's Desire2Learn platform or as videos . For further information consult Alain Lamothe, ext 3304.

For special instruction in this subject during class time, ask your professor to arrange a class by contacting Alain Lamothe, ext 3304.

For instruction on archival materials, ask your professor to arrange a class by contacting Natasha Gerolami, ext. 3339.

What is Information Literacy?

While there does not exist a single definition of "information literacy," there are five steps commonly associated with it:

  1. To recognize when information in needed.
  2. The identification and definition of needs.
  3. To competently find information.
  4. To evaluate the sources.
  5. To use the information ethically and efficiently.

Information literacy enables you to find and use information to the best of your ability. As information platforms are constantly changing, it is important to review and refresh your information skills.

Advanced research is a challenging undertaking which requires perseverance and planning. It is likely that you will need to use both primary and secondary materials in your research. Though there are not official rules on what constitutes primary and secondary materials (it can change between professions), we can say that primary sources are sources created at the time of an event, such as correspondence, art, media (images, music, and videos), data, archival documents, etc. Secondary sources on the other hand, are reflective and analytical, such as textbooks, journal articles, book/article critiques, etc. Library and Archives Canada published an excellent explainer of primary and secondary sources.

If you haven't already completed the Research Skills Tutorial on D2L, we highly recommend you do so before continuing.

Research Steps

There are 5 key steps to conducting research:

  1. Choose a subject: Decide on the scope of your subject, find associated key words, etc.
  2. Search for information: Consult references, conduct a literature review, use the techniques learned in your Online Research Skills Tutorial, etc.
  3. Access useful information: Modify your search criteria when necessary.
  4. Evaluate the sources: Analyse the sources, identify what's missing, are the materials sufficient? Using the 5 steps of evaluation (credibility, authority, etc.) conduct a critical evaluation of the sources you intend to use.
  5. Write and cite: Include your literature review if required.