Searching for Information

This is very important if you care about accuracy - remember - the best information may not be found for free, online, in someone's web page.reference room

  • We have a reference room full of great reference sources that have been compiled by recognized authorities. Just walk over to the room and look through it. You will probably be surprised at the rich collection.

  • You also have online access to encyclopedias as well as thousands and thousands of magazines and newspapers because the library has already paid for your right to use them. And the only password you need is your library card. Start with:
    1. Electric Library - the full text of hundreds of newspapers (including the Washington Post) going back for many years, as well as transcripts of radio and television news shows, full articles from many magazines and reference books.
    2. Ebsco's MasterFile Select indexes over 2,000 magazines and has full text for over 700 of them, ranging from children's magazines to academic journals.
    3. [databases|Other online databases] from school and county libraries.
  • And if you do want to do search through the free stuff, you can learn to search like a reference librarian instead of an amateur.
    1. Start by using sites that librarians have already looked through and selected as very good information sources. Try the Librarians' Internet Index: Websites you can Trust and Info to Go, which is another subscription we have purchased for you.
    2. If you want to do a regular web search - don't automatically hit the Google button. Google is great, but there are other web search engines which may work better for getting what you want. Different search engines return different results! Try these search engines.
    3. Use specialized tools for specialized purposes. For example: Google Image Search or Ask Jeeves Local