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Tool: Determining the places to find information

In the first column of the table below, list all of the possible sources of information that you have brainstormed. In the next column, decide which you think is the best source of information, and put a one (1) beside it. Assign the second best a two (2), and so on, until you have ranked all of your sources. Do the same in the column labeled Number from easiest to most difficult, with one (1) being the source that will be easiest for you to find and use. Finally, in the last column, add up the numbers you have listed in each row. The source which has the lowest final value (lowest rank order) is the source you should start with, the source with the second lowest value should come second, and so on.

The first three rows give you an example of how to do this for an organization trying to preserve area wetlands. In this instance, the Environmental Protection Agency has the lowest value, so members might start there, and then move on to the local Greenpeace affiliate, and their reference librarian.

List Sources Best to Worst
(1 = Best)


Easiest to Most Difficult
(1 = Easiest)
  Final Value
Reference Librarian 3 + 2 = 5
Environmental Protection Agency Website 2 + 1 = 3
Area Chapter of Greenpeace 1   +    3    =   4


Janette Nagy