Places to Find Information

No doubt about it the library is the place to go for the best information. These selected resources are the perfect place to start. After that, build on your research for a well-balanced paper.


Encyclopedias and Almanacs
The granddaddies of fact and information books, these two should never be the main source of information for research, but they both offer great places to start once you know your topic.


The Guinness Book of World Records
For funky facts to spice up your research, you can find almost any "most," "biggest," "oldest," "smallest," or "first" here.


Any book you can possibly imagine
There are a thousand reasons why you can find a book on any topic, and they're all categorized under the Dewey Decimal System.


Your neighborhood librarian
Librarians are incredible. Not only do they know a ton of books, newspapers, magazines, and other resources that would be great for research, but they also know exactly where to find them. So put on a smile and politely ask for some assistance.


Surprise, surprise: fiction books, especially historical fiction, can often be used as research sources because you can dig up information about how history inspired the author to write a tale based on true events.

When you don't feel like leaving the house: 7 information-filled Internet resources

Web research can be great, but remember that it really pays to also know your way around the library. However, the Internet generally has trustworthy content, if you know where to look. So without further ado, here are some "www.places to start:"

Internet Public Library

Librarian's Index to the Internet

New York Public Library Online

Amazon's A9 Search




Tips for the extra-motivated researcher: 10 amazing places, beyond the library, to find resources

Remember that analogy about research being a bit like archaeology? Now's your chance to really get out in the field, roll up your sleeves, and dig up some information artifacts.


Your attic
Spend the evening looking in the dusty corners of your rarely visited attic. You may find an amazing primary source like your grandmother's diary from when she was 16, spilling secrets and revealing what the world around her was like in those days.


The Post Office
Learn the inner workings of the U.S. Postal Service how mail gets from place to place, how the methods for delivery have changed over time, why some letters get "express" treatment all firsthand from the postmaster.


A sports venue
Wherever you live, chances are there's some pride in your town for the home team. If you're doing research on a baseball player, check out your team's ballpark for a history lesson on famous sluggers. If football's your favorite, intercept your information at the stadium. If your city is all about hoops, get onto the basketball court and explore! Find out which sporting legends grew up in your area, if any, and track down all your information to score the grade on your paper.


An art gallery
Galleries can inspire you to pick an artistic time period to research. Will you study Michelangelo's sculptures from the 16th century Italian renaissance or Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne's brightly hued paintings?


The doctor's office
The mysteries of the 5 senses can be solved if you kindly ask a nurse for an interview about how humans see, smell, hear, touch, and taste.


A greenhouse
Flowers, plants, and more: if it's green, they'll have it. Get shrubbery samples or study tulip petals. It's a botanist's dream.


The zoo
You love monkeys. You want to research monkeys. You need to research monkeys. There's no better supplement for a written report than going to see these cute simians up close and in person. Take pictures and observe their mannerisms for quality notes.


A law firm
Files at a law firm hold a wealth of resources, from legal documents to histories on previous court cases. If your best friend's mom is a lawyer, ask if it would be possible for her to copy some legal documents or articles from her office on Brown vs. The Board of Education.


Town Hall
How do things work in your city? What laws have stood in place since your town was founded? Who makes the decisions in your area? Chances are, you'll find the answers to your questions at the municipal building and from there, you can build a pretty cool report.


Next door
Maybe your neighbor, Mr. Sheppard, has some stories about being in World War II he may even share some photographs of himself in his fighter pilot gear.

By Cara Pitterman, a library card-carrier since 1991.