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Integrating Intersectionality into Library Instruction & Programming: Exploring Background Information

Presented at Library Instruction West 2018, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado

For LIW 2018 Attendees

I also think Wikipedia is a great tool to use for students to do some background reading, and I think they might even be more apt to doing pre-work with a familiar tool.

In the activity below, I have students explore Credo Reference to find something related to the social issue/movement they might be interested in exploring.

The instructor now has students do some pre-searching in advance of class to help with topic development, but I would like to work with her to create something for students to complete beforehand. It might even be that I create a GOTS/LibWizard tutorial similar to the one included in the guide but that is more specific to their class assignment.

What is reference information?

Reference sources, like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and almanacs, provide you with background information on a topic. Wikipedia, for example, is a reference source. (See the "How to Use Wikipedia" video from PSU Libraries).

The World Book Encyclopedia you may have used when you were younger is also a reference source.

There are also specialized encyclopedias that focus on particular subjects or disciplines. For example, The Gun Debate: An Encyclopedia of Gun Rights & Gun Control in the United States.

Credo Reference is a database the library subscribes to that provides access to a collection of reference books.


Please fill out your assigned row on the Google Sheet.

  • In Column B, link to an entry from Credo that relates to your topic.
  • In Column C, briefly write why the entry seems helpful or what you learned.

Building Your Knowledge Base

UNC Libraries, 3:33

GOTS Credo Reference Tutorial

Credo Reference Tutorial

GOTS graphic


1. Connect to the campus network via the VPN if you are off-campus.  You will need this connection to access one or more library databases while taking the tutorial.

2. Take the short quiz at the end of the tutorial.  Enter your email address AND your professor's email address. Afterwards locate the email confirmation. These emails often go to your SPAM folder, so be sure to check there.  It is often easiest to search in your email account for the phrase "Certificate of completion" to find your email confirmation.

3. You are ready! Click on the link below to start the tutorial. Follow the instructions on the left hand of the screen and, as directed, complete activities in the main screen (right).

Credo Reference Tutorial >>


Credo Reference

Overview & Example

Credo Reference is a database that can provide helpful overviews and definitions of broad topics. You will find information from subject encyclopedias, subject dictionaries, and handbooks (reference materials). Many of the entries also have bibliographies for further reading. 

Here is something I found in Credo about "Black power" from the Encyclopedia of American Studies (2016) that seems to relate to the relationship between the black power movement and black women. 

  • "The black power movement was itself criticized for defining black liberation in masculinist terms and for its views of women and homosexuality." 
  • The references at the end point to a potentially helpful book by Michele Wallace, Black Macho and the Myth of  the Superwoman (1978). It's a book that "criticizes sexism in the black community and black nationalism in the 1960s."