Sonoma County Office of Education

Library Media Services

Assisting Students with Research

These online esources make it easier to find information online and are especially useful for library staff and others working with students.

Encyclopedias & Other Reference Tools

Britannica Online
Search with mixed success here; links to Britannica articles now show only the beginning of articles to non-subscribers, but Web resources are generally very good and magazine citations are mostly full-text. Since “free” means there are ads on nearly every page and some content and special features are only available to subscribers, consider purchasing the online subscription or CD version for more results, less advertising, and lots of nice extras.

Information Please
This site provides everything you’d expect from an almanac and more. Search almanac categories for world, sports, science and technology, weather, etc. -- or search encyclopedia entries and dictionaries. The site also includes a Kid’s Almanac, homework help, and a link to WebQuest maps.

CIA World Factbook
Country profiles, statistics, maps, and more are available from the CIA. The main page has a link to Flags of the World. Country profiles focus on statistical information rather than narrative description. Each country profile includes a map and there are also links to detailed regional maps.

News, Newspapers & Magazines

Sonoma County Library subscription service databases
Online access to the library’s subscription service databases is an incredible find, especially for students and others doing research. Users with a Sonoma County library card can search online for full text articles and other resources in several databases from EBSCO, GaleNet, ¡Informe!, and ProQuest newspapers. Specific databases allow users to search health publications, children’s magazines, Spanish language resources, biographies, major newspapers, literary criticisms, business journals, and more.

National Geographic Online
View the current edition online; preview print issues; explore interactive topics; and view maps, flags, and other country information. This is an excellent source for all types of maps (political, statistical, geographical, weather, environmental, and more), which can be zoomed in on and easily printed. Article archives go back to 1996 and the National Geographic publications index covers 108 years of articles--a great way to find relevant articles if you have lots of back issues! The site’s partner magazine for children, National Geographic Kids, has its own page.

CNN Online
Get the latest news or search CNN’s archives. You can also search audio, video, and multimedia clips at this site.

Reference Gateways

IPL Ready Reference Collection
The Internet Public Library (IPL) is a virtual library structuring Internet resources much like a “real” library. Ready Reference categorizes online reference resources for dozens of subjects -- from architecture to almanacs, currency converters to chemistry. Access real reference librarians through the Ask a Reference Question and Frequently Asked Reference Questions sections.

Research Models

Big 6 Skills Home Page
Big 6 is a widely-known and widely-used approach to organizing information and navigating the research process. The website is aimed at educators, administrators, parents, and anyone else interested in helping students learn and use essential information and technology skills. The Resources section shares lesson plan ideas, online projects, and assessment tools.