If you want reliable sources, head to your library (or the library website!) and check out the library databases. Here’s why:
- Library resources go through a review process. Librarians select books, magazines, journals, databases, and other media sources. This selection process allows the library to collect sources considered reliable, historically relevant, and valuable.
- Library resources are free for your use. Libraries purchase subscriptions to journals, databases, and other resources so they are available for your research. These subscriptions are not cheap but your library considers them a good investment, because the information is valuable, relevant, and reliable.
- Library resources are organized so you can easily find all the sources on a topic.
- Library resources are meant to be kept permanently. One of the primary functions of a library is to be an organized storehouse of in-depth information published throughout time. Current and historical information can be found in the library, giving a picture of how information on a topic developed.
- Library resources come with personal assistance. Unlike the Internet which is primarily do-it-yourself, libraries have staff who are trained to assist you in sorting through all these information sources. They can help you learn to use new tools and can answer any questions you have. Some libraries even provide help through their websites.
- Libraries have large collections of information on a variety of topics which have been carefully selected and organized. The key idea when using the library is that you are getting QUALITY over QUANTITY. Print or electronic library resources are the best sources to use when starting your research. You can efficiently find quality information from a variety of credible resources in the library.
Watch the following video to get an idea of what a library database is and why it is valuable to your research.