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AHS Subject Guides: Reading: N. Raiola

This guide includes information literacy lessons created to support our Reading program.

Online Resources

N. Raiola

How to use Library Databases

Information Literacy topic: “Determining best sources”

Information literacy topics:

  • Determining best sources

  • Searching strategies for information

  • Evaluating sources

  • Using technology tools

Objective: To learn to access appropriate online research sources, to practice effective searching strategies, and to summarize information from text.


Go to student to activity guide online at:

Amity website→High SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online Stuff→By Subject→Reading→Class Projects →Raiola→ Online Resources and Databases Box



Search our library catalogs from Destiny Quest to find all our printed books, magazines and journals, textbooks, encyclopedias, music CDs, movies (DVD and VHS).



School Product Database Sites:

PictureABC Clio Issues explores more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture.

Take note of your surroundings:  Look at headings, links, etc. Decide on a starting point for a search.

Shortcut Tabs or the Search box (Subject headings or Keyword?... what’s the difference?)

  • Try the quick search box, look at 1000+ results. - Search within the results - Filter

  • Look at the TOPIC tab - search categories alphabetically (see that marijuana has a category under "M")

  • Look at the PERSPECTIVE tab - See the seven categories (see "gun control" under Politics and Government)
  • Look at the LIBRARY tab - decide on a search process - you can select a category or topic - just do a keyword search. (check out the timesaving tips)
  • The DATABASES option is a drop down link to the other databases purchased by the school

SIRS provides resources for many subject areas: arts and humanities, government, civics, economics, world events, 20th Century history

JSTOR includes scholarship published in more than 1,400 of the highest-quality academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as monographs and other materials valuable for academic work
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free
PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. You can filter your results for full-text only, or if you find a great article that you can’t see, then go to another database to see if they have that journal


Visit the Library online resources for further research.


Searching Strategies

Searching Strategies:

Get a library card so you can use iConn at home.

You are MORE likely to find something useful for school FASTER from a paid database than from a web search.

Main points:


  • Use Advanced search for more power

    • Start simple.  You can always add more words to narrow down.

    • Use checkbox ¨limiters¨to LIMIT your search by:

      • specific databases (Issues?  Humanities? Websites?)

      • types of sources

      • formats of sources

      • dates

      • and whatever else is offered

  • Too many results and not really relevant? Add more words to narrow down.

  • Too few results? Broaden your search with fewer words

  • Save good candidates to look at later

  • Sign up to save searches and results

  • Use more advanced techniques:

    • Try with synonyms or related words (poor, poverty, etc.)

    • Use commands (“operators”) to narrow down (and (to get both terms), or (for one OR the other), not (to filter out the word), apostrophes around several words like “world war II” or “world war two” to get the exact phrase

When you identify a good source/article:

  • Refine results, limit to sources, dates, formats you want.

  • Save your chosen results to avoid losing stuff (use personal lists, email, notes/citation tools, etc.). Add a user name and password to recover information.

Websites and Bias

How to Evaluate a Website (can you use it for academic research?)


  • Who created it? Is this person qualified? Is she authoritative (reliable)?

  • What is the information like? Is it accurate, giving complete coverage, well-written, well-organized?

  • Where is the information from? Where is the site stored?

  • Why was it created? Was the goal to present information in an objective and balanced way? If it aims to convince, does it address different points of view?

  • When was it created? Is it current? (sometimes currency/recent is not important)

Research Project Guidelines

Please find the project description here.

Please find the project syllabus here.

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017