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As the sheervolume 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 andsuitable? While Google and other sites open the door to mountains ofinformation, their search rankings do not list websites in order according toaccuracy.

Locatingquality material can be a daunting task. Luckily, you do not have to be alonein your quest. Skilled, professional information mediators with knowledge of avast array of sources are available to help – they are called librarians.Librarians are experts at collecting and managing information resources andmaking 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 alibrarian, who can guide you to high-quality, trustworthy resources that willbest satisfy your needs.

Given theamount of time librarians spend helping people locate information, they tend todiscover “little gems” – interesting, useful, and content-rich resources othersmay not be aware of. Below is a short list of Web resources on a variety oftopics I’ve discovered in my travels.


American Memory

Produced bythe Library of Congress; provides free and open access to written and spokenwords, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet musicthat document the American experience.


Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History 

Produced bythe Metropolitan Museum of Art, a chronological, geographical, and thematicexploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by theMuseum’s collection, from prehistory to the present day.

Countriesand Regions

The World Factbook 

Providesinformation on the history, people, government, economy, geography,communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266world entities.



Downloadover free e-books to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone,Android or other portable device.



Produced bythe National Library of Medicine; contains reliable, up-to-date informationabout diseases, conditions and wellness issues for free.


Academic Earth

Free videocourses and lectures from leading scholars.


A project ofthe Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Anonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that monitors theaccuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in TV ads, debates,speeches, interviews and news releases.


Directory of Open Access Journals 

Providesaccess to free, full text, quality-controlledscientific and scholarlyjournals. Browse for journals by subject or search for articles on a particulartopic.


The National Science Digital Library 

The NationalScience Foundation’s online library of resources and collections for science,technology, engineering, and mathematics education and research.



Acombination of sites providing statistics and resources for seven sports –baseball, football, basketball, hockey, college football, college basketballand the Olympics.

Shelly Davis is the head librarian at WellehanLibrary on campus.