In our internet age, it can seem as though the library is losing its place as a provider of information. I just want to say that can’t be farther from the truth! Sure, you can Google any kind of information, or YouTube many of the DIY videos available out there, or even Wikipedia just about any subject. But unfortunately, much of that information may be erroneous, misleading or biased. It’s not rare to get a message like this from Wikipedia:
Or find joke YouTube channels like this one, which purposefully mispronounces words for no reason at all. And don’t get me started on all the misinformation one can get from a Google search.
The internet can be a great starting point, but I find I end up doing more research than necessary to figure out if that information is accurate.
Of course the library has many books on just about any subject, and the publishers often have better fact checkers than… whoever fact checks on the internet, if anyone does! But that’s not all the library has to offer. We have many online resources that provide accurate information, which anyone can access at home. Let me list a few databases as alternatives.
Instead of Wikipedia, check out Grolier’s Multimedia Encyclopedias and Oxford Reference. Grolier’s has articles for all reading levels, as well as videos and timelines, and Oxford Reference is a helpful resource with articles ranging from mythology, history, dictionaries, law, biographies and so much more.
Our new Chilton’s Auto Repair database is a wonderful alternative to looking up YouTube DIY videos or sifting through pages and pages of online forums.
For those of you looking for proper English pronunciation, make sure you get the right one and look at Pronunciation Power. This wonderful database helps those who want to improve their English pronunciation hear the different sounds of English and includes recordings of a wide range of words.
Getting proper medical information on the internet can be very tricky, so make sure to reference our new online database: Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties. CPS is the standard for drug monographs and will have all the information you need.
Online reviews can be deceiving or contain little explanation for their ratings. Some product reviews are even written as a form of sarcastic entertainment (such as the BIC Cristal for Her Ball Pen). Make sure to get serious, independent reviews for all your next purchases with our subscription to Consumer Report.org.
Finally, the database of databases, EBSCOhost, includes 8 databases that you can search at the same time. From academic articles to newspaper and magazine articles regarding all kinds of subjects, this resource will help you with almost any school or university project. It will even help you find that article you read a few years ago in Maclean’s…
And of course, if ever you need help navigating these databases, never hesitate to call your local library or visit the information desk there. We will gladly help you!