If you’ve selected a person for your next biographical report but there are no books about them don’t spend hours looking through Google search results; instead check out Multnomah County Library’s biographies database list. In these databases you can find quick facts, articles, encyclopedia entries, and even a search engine devoted to famous people.
Still need more information? If you are headed online be sure to evaluate the website before trusting the information. Here are some good questions to ask when doing online research:
1. Who is the owner of the site? Is it clear who the author of the information on the page is? Is there a way to contact the author or owner?
2. Is the website trying to sell or persuade you to buy something?
3. Check the website’s URL to check the authority and validity of the website. When researching, “.edu” and “.gov” are good indicator that it is an official site.
4. Is the site kept up-to-date, with current links, new material and a creation date listed?
5. Based on the information you already have, does the website appear to have accurate information? Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
If you need more help, ask a librarian.