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Getting Started with Library Research   Tags: general reference, library research, online resources, research  

Find reliable information through DCPL's print and online resources.
Last Updated: May 12, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is library research?

Simply put, it's using the library's resources, print and online, to find information on anything from a school paper to a medical diagnosis.

Today everyone uses Google, or a similar search engine, to find answers to just about anything whether they admit it or not. Yes, even librarians are using it. But how reliable is the information? Can it be trusted? Hoax websites and misinformation abounds online, so we must be critical and evaluate the information we are reading online.

The DC Public Library and its librarians are here to help you sift through all of that information to find the most current, trustworthy, and appropriate resources that will answer your questions. This research guide will help you get started, but don't forget that you can always drop by the closest Neighborhood Library's Information Desk to speak with us in person or give us a call if you need more assistance.


The Information Cycle

Check out this video about the information cycle courtesy of Costal Carolina's Kimbel Library.

DC Public Library Guides

Adult Continuing Educational Resources
by Marcia Harrington - Last Updated Jul 17, 2017
A guide to adult education resources provided by DCPL and information on the Adult Literacy Resource Center
290 views this year
Bibliotherapy for Young Children
by Elaine Pelton - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
Guide to using literature to help young children cope with life changes
178 views this year
Citizenship and Immigration
by Myra Remigio-Leonard - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
257 views this year
Community Helpers
by Anne Lyon - Last Updated Jun 15, 2014
Who are the people in your neighborhood? This LibGuide is for elementary-age students.
81 views this year
DC Public Library Research Guides
by Maryann James-Daley - Last Updated Jun 27, 2017
The homepage for DC Public Library Libguides.
1,481 views this year
District of Change: Are DC Schools Getting Better
by Eric Riley - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
Public education in D.C. has been transformed - from IMPACT rating for teachers, to school closings, to boundary and feeder changes, to major facilities improvements, to an explosion of Public Charter Schools. But are DC schools better?
22 views this year
District of Change: Making DC Better for the Arts
by Eric Riley - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
The District has a rich artistic history, including the Go-Go scene, punk rock, the Washington Color School and other artistic movements. As the city continues to grow and change can artists still find a welcoming home in DC?
15 views this year
Dorothy I. Height: Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement
by Wanda Jones - Last Updated Apr 9, 2014
An introduction to the life and legacy of civil rights activist Dorothy. I. Height
9 views this year
E-Resources for Kids
by Julia Pflager - Last Updated Mar 29, 2017
A collection of free, kid-friendly digital resources that can be found in and outside of the library.
67 views this year
Financial Planning
by Megan McNitt - Last Updated Mar 31, 2017
A research guide on the topic of personal financial planning with an interest in life stages and life role.
96 views this year
Foreign films in your library!
by David Gantt - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
A guide to the best-rated foreign films available through the DC Public Library collections
153 views this year
Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated May 25, 2017
Resources to accompany the 2013 DC Reads book selection, "Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia".
92 views this year
by Brandon Digwood - Last Updated Dec 4, 2014
This guide is about resources for gaming of all types, focusing on board games, tabletop role-playing games, trading card games, and video games.
98 views this year
Gay and Lesbian Resources in DC Public Library
by Gregg Grisa - Last Updated Sep 24, 2014
This is a list of some Gay and Lesbian resources available at the DC Public Library
46 views this year
Genealogy 101
by Lauren Martino, Kari Mitchell - Last Updated Jul 26, 2016
Have you ever wanted to research your Genealogy but do not know where to start? With all various printed materials available (print and online), finding the place to begin can be overwhelming. This guide will direct you to resources to help you start.
128 views this year
Getting Started with Library Research
by Esti Brennan - Last Updated May 12, 2016
Find reliable information through DCPL's print and online resources.
78 views this year
Getting Started with Washington, D.C. History
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated May 25, 2017
Resources to jump-start your Washington, D.C. history research.
256 views this year
Helping Beginner Readers
by June Krell, Heather Petsche - Last Updated Nov 29, 2014
Resources to help parents and their beginner readers
11 views this year
Historical Houses in DC
by Teresa Sakon - Last Updated Aug 20, 2014
Much of DC's history can be experienced first-hand by exploring the many historical homes throughout the city's four quadrants.
49 views this year
Language Learning
by Kim White - Last Updated Nov 17, 2015
135 views this year
LGBTQ Fiction and Resources for Teens
by Maya Thompson - Last Updated Jun 5, 2017
This is a comprehensive guide to LGBTQ books and resources for teens at DC Public Library, including lists of award winning fiction, new fiction reads, graphic novels, nonfiction, downloadable Ebooks and even online resources!
367 views this year
Memory Lab
by Russell Martin - Last Updated Jul 17, 2017
Start your personal archiving project today.
3,073 views this year
Movies at DCPL
by Turner Freeman - Last Updated Mar 6, 2017
How to find, borrow or watch movies at DCPL
23 views this year
Music Resources at DCPL
by Maggie Gilmore - Last Updated Oct 8, 2015
Learn about music culture through online resources, books, sheet music and recordings!
47 views this year
Northeast DC Neighborhood History
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated Aug 17, 2017
Resources for Northeast Washington, DC neighborhood history research.
899 views this year
Orwellian America? Government Transparency and Personal Privacy in the Digital Age
by Emily Menchal, Myra Remigio-Leonard - Last Updated Mar 10, 2016
A series of programs at DC Public Library: January 21-31, 2015
159 views this year
by April Derome - Last Updated Jun 20, 2017
Popular adult, teen, and kid's eBooks & Audiobooks in fiction and nonfiction, as well as streaming videos for the whole family.
1,520 views this year
RBdigital Magazines
by April Derome - Last Updated Jul 13, 2017
378 views this year
Southeast DC Neighborhood History
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated Aug 17, 2017
Neighborhood history resources for Southeast DC.
825 views this year
Southwest DC Neighborhood History
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated Aug 17, 2017
Resources for Southwest Washington, DC neighborhood research
323 views this year
Start Your Successful Job Hunt
by Esti Brennan - Last Updated Feb 1, 2017
Whether you just started looking or are an old pro, you can always improve your job-hunting skills! This guide will show you what sort of tools the library has to offer, and how you can use online tools to maximum advantage.
53 views this year
Starting a New Business
by Esti Brennan - Last Updated Dec 22, 2016
A guide to help you locate necessary resources for starting a new business.
71 views this year
by Tamara McKinney - Last Updated Aug 8, 2014
Learn more about the STEAM movement and what is available locally.
41 views this year
Surviving the College Application Process
by April Derome - Last Updated Jul 17, 2017
Applying for college can be a daunting process. Use the information here to get a jump on the application process.
35 views this year
Teacher Resource Guide for Washington, DC History
by Erin Farquhar, Lauren Martino - Last Updated Jun 23, 2017
Selected primary sources, arranged by teaching unit from the DC Public Schools' 12th grade DC History and Government Scope and Sequence
151 views this year
Using Library Resources to Prepare for Tests
by Esti Brennan - Last Updated Jan 18, 2017
Have a test coming up? The library has books and online resources to help you prep for school and career tests like the GED, GRE, ASVAB, Civil Service Exam, and many more.
185 views this year
Welcome to DC
by Jennifer Foster - Last Updated Sep 21, 2014
Resources and Information for Newcomers to the District
33 views this year
Women's History Month
by Alexis Stapp - Last Updated Jan 29, 2015
This guide features library, online and local resources for researching and celebrating women's history
43 views this year
Zinio Digital Magazines
by April Derome - Last Updated Jul 13, 2017
830 views this year

Featured Resource

  • Expanded Academic ASAP
    Covers all academic disciplines, including arts and the humanities, social sciences, science and technology. Access scholarly journals, new magazines and newspapers, many with full text and images.

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