For additional resources that can especially help new library staff, click here.
The following resources are intended to be helpful for reference question-answering, especially for those who are new to library online services as ways to help our customers. The ‘faceless’ environment can be challenging when the clues we pick up are not through body language or even verbal intonations (telephone), but there are ways to develop professional relationships that are just as effective and meaningful for patrons.
This section is aligned with AaLDE’s “Reference Analytics” (formerly known as Descriptive Codes) headings. Criteria follows the same web evaluation guidelines normally used by librarians (current, accurate, clear authorship, free and no registration is best, easily accessed and navigate).
Feel free to share a site you find useful, to be added here, with the Statewide Coordinator.
Suggested Resources for commonly-asked questions (using Dewey headings)
Resources that give facts and credible sources of information
- Delaware Library Resources (includes Ebsco, Reference USA, LearningExpress, more): see the eMedia page.
- Homework help/Gale databases provided for home use for all Delaware K-12 students: UD LibSearch (username: udlibsearch, password: homeaccess).
Evaluate your sources – Guidelines
Directories (Ready Reference)
- IPL2 is a good source of information – though it was decommissioned as of March, 2015. It continues to bring relevant web resources for just about any school assignment, including:
- QuestionPoint’s wiki has “Reference Links” on the right, listing online resources from Ready Reference (almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias) to specific information (zip codes, Spanish resources, consumer issues)
Legal, Law (300s)
- For Delaware residents, the Delaware Judiciary maintains the Delaware State Courts Citizen Help Center. Use this for legal information regarding landlord/tenant issues, divorce and custody information, how to pay a traffic ticket (with online options), and more.
- Ask a Librarian Delaware partners with county law libraries and the State of Delaware Legislative Library as subject specialists; you can refer questions to these librarians for help.
- The Law Library of Congress has a “Research Help” page that provides a fairly comprehensive annotated list of resources to find online information on law and the government. It includes international, federal US, and state and territory laws. The emphasis of this guide is on actual codes of law, rather than resources to help citizens (see the Delaware State Courts Citizen Help Center listed site above); still, it is a valuable collection of information in one place.
- Nolo focuses on publishing plain-English legal information that anyone can use. Their website includes articles on a wide variety of topics, a legal dictionary, and a guide to performing legal research. Use the links at the bottom of the website under “Free Legal Information” for easiest navigation.
Entrepreneurship, Business, Financial self-help (600s)
- Global Delaware: http://global.delaware.gov/ An initiative that provides Delaware libraries with a direct way to help patrons who are starting a new business. This site walks the entrepreneur through steps to getting their business license and on their way!
- Business Community/Market Research – The Business Reference and Services Section Education Committee of RUSA has put together an excellent LibGuide for Small Business. It includes recommendations for books, databases and articles, as well as websites on topics ranging from how to start a small business to locating loans and financing.
- Personal Finance – Delaware Division of Libraries has a guide listing books and websites on a variety of topics, including debt and credit and teaching kids and teens about money.
- Delaware Library Entrepreneur LibGuide – a one-stop resource for the many facets of starting a new business, from pro/con considerations, research, resources, financial assistance, and more.
Health, medical, wellness (600s)
Reader’s Advisory (800s) “What can you recommend…?”
Genealogy, History (900s)
- The Delaware Public Archives has a page, “Public Finding Aids“, for databases and resources to assist in genealogical studies.
- A Delaware Library LibGuide on Genealogy.
- Two active groups in Delaware, the Delaware Historical Society and the Delaware Genealogical Society, have online tips, links, a calendar of programs/events, and contact information
- Another compendium of useful websites from the “Internet Sources on Local History and Genealogy Studies” page from the Library of Congress that should help patrons get started on genealogical research.
- A comprehensive list of resources for genealogy is from the National Archives (Archives Library Information Center on Genealogy). It includes information about using the Archives for research, as well as links to websites, databases, and blogs.
- The University of Delaware has a good resource on genealogy.
- HeritageQuest is offered free with a current Delaware library card.
- Ancestry is offered in-library use only through Delaware public libraries. See the list of libraries with availability on the Delaware Library Genealogy LibGuide.
Contact the Statewide Coordinator if you have any additional recommendations!