As the sheer
volume of information we can access continues growing at an exponential pace,
how do you find the information you need and ensure that it is accurate and
suitable? While Google and other sites open the door to mountains of
information, their search rankings do not list websites in order according to
quality material can be a daunting task. Luckily, you do not have to be alone
in your quest. Skilled, professional information mediators with knowledge of a
vast array of sources are available to help – they are called librarians.
Librarians are experts at collecting and managing information resources and
making them available to people. If you need medical advice, go to a doctor;
for legal advice, see a lawyer. If it is information advice you need, talk to a
librarian, who can guide you to high-quality, trustworthy resources that will
best satisfy your needs.
amount of time librarians spend helping people locate information, they tend to
discover “little gems” – interesting, useful, and content-rich resources others
may not be aware of. Below is a short list of Web resources on a variety of
topics I’ve discovered in my travels.
the Library of Congress; provides free and open access to written and spoken
words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music
that document the American experience.
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a chronological, geographical, and thematic
exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by the
Museum’s collection, from prehistory to the present day.
The World Factbook
information on the history, people, government, economy, geography,
communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266
over free e-books to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone,
Android or other portable device.
the National Library of Medicine; contains reliable, up-to-date information
about diseases, conditions and wellness issues for free.
courses and lectures from leading scholars.
A project of
the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. A
nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that monitors the
accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in TV ads, debates,
speeches, interviews and news releases.
Directory of Open Access Journals
access to free, full text, quality-controlled scientific and scholarly
journals. Browse for journals by subject or search for articles on a particular
The National Science Digital Library
Science Foundation’s online library of resources and collections for science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics education and research.
combination of sites providing statistics and resources for seven sports –
baseball, football, basketball, hockey, college football, college basketball
and the Olympics.
Shelly Davis is the head librarian at Wellehan
Library on campus.