|Office: FLITE 140F|
SOCY 344 (World Urban Sociology) - Baker
Where to find information about cities:
Wikipedia can give you a good overview of information on a city that will be particularly helpful at the beginning of your research. Be sure to take it with a grain of salt, though, since you don't know who wrote the article! The sources listed at the end of the article can be particularly useful; track them down for yourself and see what you can learn from them.
Credo Reference may not be as big as Wikipedia, but its information is consistently reliable. Credo is good for a brief overview of your city that will be particularly helpful at the beginning of your research. Try out Credo's new Topic Pages to get all your Credo results onto one screen. (To search Topic Pages, click the Try Credo Topic Pages BETA link near the top of the screen.)
FLITE Library Catalog
Books are great for in-depth information that doesn't necessarily presuppose that you have a background in the subject area. If FLITE doesn't have any books specifically on your city, try looking for books on your country and then checking inside them to see if they have a chapter or a couple pages on your city.
You may also want to try searching the catalog by subject--what a book is actually about--instead of just by keyword.
If you didn't find what you need in FLITE's catalog, try MeLCat. MeLCat gets you access to books and other materials held at numerous libraries throughout Michigan, and delivers those items to FLITE (or any other library you tell it) for you to check out. It does take 3 - 7 days for the books to come in, so plan ahead!
Access World News
Access World News contains the full-text of nearly 1,700 news sources from around the world, with coverage for most beginning in the '90s or '00s. Limit your search by country if you want to see what's being written about your city within the country it comes from, or search only within one newspaper if one of your city's newspapers is available.
Not sure how to limit your search by country or newspaper? Take an online tutorial to find out how.
Google Advanced Search
Many cities have an official, government-sponsored webpage full of information to help tourists, residents, and businesses. Government sites are usually www.something.gov.countryEnding, with the part in bold being consistent for all government sites within that country.
Try Googling for something like: city government [your city's name]. If that doesn't work, you can try the following:
Once you know the URL ending for governments in the country you're interested in, you can go to Google's Advanced Search and typing that ending into the "Search within a site or domain" box.
Find out the country ending for your country by searching here. Bear in mind that although most countries use .gov before the country ending in the URL, some use different letters (.go or .gouv, for example). Find one government page and check out what ending to use in your search to find more government pages.
Lonely Planet's website is good for travel guide information.
CIA World Factbook
This site is good for country-level information.
Social Science Databases
FLITE has an awful lot of databases, and different ones will be useful to you depending on what information you're looking for at any given point. If you're not sure what to use, try reading the database descriptions (click the Show/Hide Descriptions link at the bottom of the database listing page), or try one of our general/multidisciplinary databases.
When in doubt, you can ALWAYS ask a librarian for help. You can get in touch with us at the Oval Information Desk in FLITE, over the phone, by e-mail, by chat, or by setting up an appointment to meet one-on-one. You can also contact me (Emily Mitchell) directly. The contact info on the top of this page is there for a reason!