Evaluating Resources

Library Resources

Library resources go through a review process.

Librarians select books, journals, and databases that contain authoritative information produced by experts in a certain field. These might be expert researchers, professional experts, or journalists from news sources with a long reputation of credibility or editorial oversight.

Library resources are free for your use.

Libraries are able to purchase one copy of a book or DVD, which can be shared by many people. Libraries also pay to subscribe to Databases, which can contain millions of full-text articles and book chapters.

The NWTC Library offers Library Search, which lets you search the library's physical and electronic resources using one simple search box! 

Library resources are organized.

Items are organized so you can find all the sources on a topic. For example, when you search for a book in the library catalog you will get a call number. The books shelved near the same call number will cover a similar topic.

Library resources are meant to be kept for long periods of time.

A primary function of a library is to be an organized storehouse of information. As well as finding very current information, you can also find books that are no longer published and older issues of magazines.

Library resources come with personal assistance.

Libraries have staff who are trained to help you. They'll help you learn to use online resources and answer any questions that you have. See who works in the NWTC Library and how to ask for help!

Web Resources

Your first instinct may be to go straight to Google to search for resources, but please keep in mind that:

Most information on the Web does not go through a review process.

Anyone can publish on the Web without passing the content through an editor. Pages might be written by an expert on the topic, a journalist, a disgruntled consumer or even a child.

Some information on the Web is not free.

Many Web pages are free to view, but some commercial sites will charge a fee to access their information.

Information on the Web is not organized.

Some directory services provide links to sites in subject lists. But there are too many Web pages for any single directory service to organize and index.

Most information on the Web is not comprehensive.

Rarely will you be able to use a search engine on the Web to collect information about your topic from earlier decades and different types of sources.

Most information on the Web is not permanent.

Some well-maintained sites are updated with very current information, but other sites may become quickly dated or disappear altogether without much if any notice.

What are databases? And why do you need them?

Yavapai College Library (Permission: You may embed this video in your course/class/LibGuide.)

What is the deep web? And why the library?

Pfau Library, Cal State San Bernardino - Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)