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A basic understanding of the Internet’s physical and operational structure is one element of information literacy. In this article, “traceroute” and “whois” commands are demonstrated as tools that librarians can use to illustrate how the Internet is geographically distributed, how businesses enable and control information sharing, and how to check a source's credibility by determining website ownership. With these tools, students can gain a better understanding of how online information is created, accessed, and affected in ways that may be otherwise invisible.


This work was originally published in Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian.



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