Reliable information on the Internet?

 We all love the Internet – it’s great for finding a recipe, a long lost friend, or how to spell that word; but how reliable is the information we find?

I think of the Internet like a great big filing cabinet that everyone in the office has stuffed full of whatever they find lying around. Its a collection of data, but that data needs to be checked and assessed before I can use it. Imagine pulling out a recipe for chocolate cake and following it and then finding it tasted like dirt because I didn’t check first that the recipe used chalk dust instead of flour!

Your public library is there to help you navigate the difficult task of evaluating the stuff you find on the Web. Librarians are trained to work with you to find the most reliable sources of information that meet your requests.

We also provide you with free access to a range of databases that have within them information supplied by reliable sources – people have done the job of checking if the information is accurate. Using a database is like going to that filing cabinet I mentioned earlier and opening the drawer filled with documents that someone has already put into order and checked for any mistakes like the chalk dust. Also, you may be able to find the information using a search engine like Google Scholar, but that will only give you the citation, that is, telling you what an article is called, who wrote it and where it is found, but often doesn’t give you the stuff you want, the actual article. Our databases link you directly to the article.

You can access our databases from the Find information online link at the Armidale Council webpage.

We have a range of databases, but most importantly we have a search box that will search for information across those databases simultaneously. (It doesn’t search all of them and the ones that it misses are listed below the search box on that page).

So next time you need to find something out try searching our databases before you go to a search engine.