Background of the problem: books, books, and more books!
The Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North
(R 361.97 E56 2005)
- Use our catalog
to find books, videos, CDs, etc. Be sure to look for
Reference Materials like encyclopedias; these are good background
sources. See for example:
Social Work (R 361.003 E56)
Social Issues in
America (R 361.973 S678c 2006)
Encyclopedia of Social Policy (R 361.61
Encyclopedia of AIDS
(R 362.1969792003 E56 1998)
Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence
(R 362.829203 E56)
- Use WorldCat
to find and request books from other libraries. If you are
overwhelmed by the amount of content in WorldCat, try looking up a book
that has already been helpful to you. Then search by some of
the same subject terms. Or look for the section of the record
that says 'More Like This' and click the 'Advanced Options' link.
What you see there should help you find similar materials.
Also, if you are doing an older policy, used the Advanced
function to search for titles published before and during the time when
your policy was passed.
are many ways to go about this. If you haven't already
indentified a specific policy from your preliminary background
reading, try one of the following:
Selecting a Policy
this is a database that covers the most current and
controversial issues of
the day with summaries, full-text articles, pros and
cons, bibliographies and more. Typically these
entries include specific mention of public policies.
almost any advocacy organization will have a section on their website
dedicated to public policy issues. You may need to look in
their archives or history sections to find policy that has already
passed. See NC Policy Watch for a comprehensive list of organizations working on social policy. Try internet searches like '"domestic violence"
policy' - a healthy handful of non-profit organizations will come up
Locating the primary text of specific pieces of public
policy can be tricky. First, you need to identify what level
government issued the policy. Is it a city, state, or federal
policy? Was it a policy passed by the voters (see much of
California's public policy) or generated by a government body?
Did it start as its own bill and get rolled into another
Can you find the bill number - many bills have a catchy name,
in many cases it will be easier to locate the text if you can identify
the bill by its number (ex: H.R. 1893 [106th Congress]). As
can see, there are a lot of details to sleuth out. Hint: in
cases, if you search Wikipedia with the "common" name, the entry will
include the bill's actual number.
Locating the Policy
policy: beginning with the 103rd Congress (1993-1994), documents have
been digitized and are searchable through GPO (Government Printing Office). Beginning with the 101st Congress bills are searchable through THOMAS.
This doesn't mean that it is impossible to locate the text of
policy passed prior to the 101st Congress; you may find it on the web through a
non-profit, think tank, or other website. We can also help
obtain a copy through Interlibrary Loan, but this will generally take 3-7 days.
For state policy: each state has
undertaken digitization at different times. Typically if you
an internet seach for 'your state + legislature' you will immediately
find the web presence of a state legislature. North
online legislative records can be found here.
Please don't hesitate to request help for this part of the
process (email me, call me, or stop by). You can also CALL
state and federal offices of elected officials - if they were a sponsor
of a bill, their staff will typically be able to direct you to a copy
article can involve three steps.
& Databases to find articles or citations.
If the citation includes the full-text or image, you can get the
article right away. If not, go to Step 2.
Finder to see if we have the journal you want.
Note: this is the step to go
to if you *already have a citation* in hand. If
we do, get your article from the source. If not, go to Step 3.
Loan to request the article from another library.
Please allow time.
Selected Full-Text Databases & Web
Sites (sourcess for statistics here!)
databases covering a variety of subjects:
Social Science databases
Suggestions for Citation Management:
– this is an excellent citation management tool that functions through
Firefox. If you use more than one computer, you'll need to
sign up for a free account.
tool integrates into Word or OpenOffice documents
also, with a plugin
for citing Government Documents in APA Style :
- from the University of Nebraska