Tag Archives: Internet resource

Need election information? Check out these FREE resources


Photo from the New Orleans branch of the NAACP

 Election time is coming down to the wire!  Still confused? Try some of these great resources to help you be aware and informed.  Don’t forget to register and VOTE!

The ECC Library has created a Voting 2016 Research Guide devoted to the upcoming elections. This guide provides a one-stop place to access voting information, polling places, elected officials, and more. Some of the sites included are listed below.


VoteSmart: Their mission says it all: “to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.”

OpenSecrets: A nonpartisan guide that traces how money influences America’s elections and policies.

PolitiFact: Statements are examined by reporters and researchers and given the Truth-O-Meter test. A nice place to see who is stretching the truth, or telling lies, and how.

FactCheck: From their mission statement: to “monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”

PolicyMap: This open part of their subscription services allows users to map data all over the country on topics such as housing, economy, education, health, and more.


(you will need your library card activated to use the databases off campus)

CQ Researcher: This database covers a lot of information: current and historical.  It provides in depth reports on important issues and is a great place to go for a good compilation of facts on a topic.

Opposing Viewpoints: Covers controversial topics and gives you the pro/con to each side of the debate.

U.S. Election information

U.S. Election Commission: Provides information on the upcoming elections, including voter registration information.

C-SPAN video library: Watch videos related to various C-SPAN programs, including a special Campaign 2016 section.

Can I Vote?: This site will quickly tell you if you are registered to vote, or what you need to become a registered voter.

Ballotopedia: A free online encyclopedia of American Politics.

Local voting information

Kane County Elections

Cook County Elections

Voting information outside of Kane and Cook Counties:

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Top 5 Tips for Smarter Google Searching

Searching Google is easy, right?  You just type in your word into the pretty white box and get 40 billion awesome results (NOT!)

We are going to make your life easier by providing these Top 5 Tips to smarter Google Searching.  Feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

  1. Quotation Marks 
    For example: “higher education” instead of higher education. This will narrow your results and allow the computer to search for the phrase.
  2. Boolean operators: AND and OR 
    AND is the default for Google searching, so when you add terms to your search, it will keep narrowing your focus.
    OR is a way to expand your search if you keep hitting dead ends. For example: higher education OR college OR university. Good for synonymous terms.
  3.  Site (domain) search: keyword + site:extension or name 
    For example, a search for children “mentally ill parents” site:gov
    will filter out most other site extensions and bring back government websites (.gov). This allows you to target one type of website as you search. You can also specify a specific site such as:
    anxiety site:Mayo Clinic to just retrieve results from the Mayo Clinic website.
  4. Google Scholar
    If you’re unsure where to start this can be a good starting point that directs you to scholarly resources. Sometimes you will get full text available through the library on this site as well. Not everything will be in full text.
  5. Advanced Search
    This tool is also great when you are looking for a specific source as it has a field for “all these words” as well as a field for “this exact word or phrase”.

–Submitted by Karen Klein, Reference Librarian

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 6-12

This week  is National Suicide Prevention Week. People who commit suicide usually display one or more warning signs. The more signs a person shows the greater their risk is.

Here are a couple of warning signs:

  • If a person talks about killing themselves
  • If a person increases their alcohol intake. Or starts to take/ abuse drugs
  • Change in a person’s mood such as increased depression or a loss of interest in life.

For a more comprehensive list check out The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s webpage. If you or a friend feels like they need help the National Suicide Prevention hotline is available at 1 (800) 273-8255.

Karen new pic–Submitted by Karen Klein, Reference Librarian

Citation Guides are now available via OWL Purdue

OWL graphicECC Library will now be providing links to the OWL Purdue citation guides, as the Hacker guides we have known and loved have been discontinued.

Here are the quick links to each citation style:

Access to the different types of citations (books, periodicals, electronic, etc.) can be found on the LEFT sidebar. Also available are in-text guidelines and sample papers.

For other citing help and NoodleTools, see our Citing Your Sources webpage. If you need assistance using these new guides, please contact the library at 847-214-7354 or libref@elgin.edu.  Or stop on by Building C–we would be glad to assist you!

Chromebooks are here!

Check one out!


Want to get to know the new Chromebook in the comfort of your own home?

The ECC Library has a limited number of Chromebooks available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.

Chromebooks can be borrowed for a three day check out period. They are checked out with your student ID.

You MUST BE a student to checkout the Chromebooks.

Chromebooks technology is accessed with your student login profile, so you can use Google Drive, Google Docs, etc. and save them to your profile for use on other devices.

Citing got you down? We can help!

Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

It’s that time of year! Papers are due, and works cited/bibliography become the challenge of your week.  Make it easier by checking out the options below.

Don’t forget that you can get personalized citation help from the ECC Librarians. We are available during all of our library hours (many nights until 10 p.m.) and have experience in the various formats.  Contact us by email, chat, text, phone, and in person.

Find an awesome career

Whether you are just beginning to explore a career, or you are trying to find a new one, the library has developed a Career Development Resource List to get you started.

This guide walks you through the career development process, offers links to self-assessment, books and e-books in the library that will provide information on a chosen career, schools and training information, ECC college contacts for assistance, and more.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your job prospects and employment. Give these resources a try and take yourself to the next level!