When Vacation is Short and Class Assignments are Long
We often hear from students doing research projects that their teachers won't allow them to use sources from the Internet. However, online information has changed drastically in the last ten years, and even in the last two years. It is now easier than ever to access reputable references online, and to be able to evaluate what's good information and what's biased, untrue, or merely questionable.
The Library can help you access resources that you can use in your research, both online and in print. Many of these references are available in both formats. For example, we subscribe to Britannica Online and Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, as well as having the print volumes in our reference collection. Our run of the Santa Fe New Mexican on microfilm goes back to 1849, and our Gale Magazine Database has it as far back as 1994. There's also the Opposing Viewpoints database, based on the popular and useful book series of the same name, but with added features of relevant and reliable online information. In fact, all our databases provide access to tons of print magazines, newspapers, and other useful sources, many of which we don't subscribe to in paper. You can use these databases in the library and from home with your library card.
If choosing which resource to start with seems overwhelming, you can start with Research Pro. This way you can search our catalog for print sources, and also get pertinent and helpful magazine, journal, and reference information. If you can use web sites as a source, try Sweet Search. This search engine is geared towards students, and all 35,000 websites have been selected by educators for reliable and useful content.
A few final tips for research success: make sure you know exactly what the assignment requires, and ask the teacher if you have any questions. Give yourself plenty of time, because not all sources, print or online, are instantly accessible. And last but not least, ask the librarian—aka the Human Search Engine—for help! We know of resources and tools you haven't even dreamed of.
Good luck with your project!