If you’re a debater, a fan of politics talk shows, or otherwise a news junkie, or if you want to follow what lawmakers are up to, you’ll be pleased to learn about two databases the Library subscribes to: CQ Researcher and CQ Public Affairs Collection. The Library subscribed in the hopes that they’d put the huge amounts of information the government puts out in context and make research a lot easier. They’re premium stuff, and available for anyone with a library card to search regardless of where they are. Even if government’s not your cup of tea, you’ll still find in-depth analysis of the news that exceeds the level of detail of even major papers such as the New York Times. CQ Researcher, in particular, makes extremely interesting reading. Everything from what the FCC can or should do when people like Don Imus put their foot in their mouth, to the relationship between religion and politics, gets discussed and debated.
CQ Researcher represents the latest step in the Free Library’s ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of students writing debate papers as well as the interested public. Used together with one of our most popular databases, the pro-and-con Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, it helps provide a balanced perspective of both sides on major controversial topics. It is the online version of a print publication that focuses on a single new topic each week. In addition to detailed background information, issues feature a bibliography followed by 500-word pro and con essays and timelines. Recent topics have included the global food crisis, the transition to digital TV, and campaign finance reform, although comprehensive recent information for long-term controversies including abortion and the death penalty is also available.
CQ Public Affairs Collection is a more technical resource focused on helping researchers track specific actions of the government. It can provide a user-friendly alternative to begin government documents research before users plunge into the large amounts of text on government websites. CQ Public Affairs Collection puts analyses, summaries, and the text of key government documents including laws and court opinions side-by-side with contextual information such as behind-the-scenes notes, key congressional votes, timelines, facts and figures, association information, etc. Try a search for “Second Amendment”, for example, and you will find an analysis of why the National Rifle Association ended up agreeing with a gun control supporter on a law she proposed. If politics has always seemed mysterious or you’ve been overwhelmed by the reams of documents Uncle Sam puts out every year, give CQ Public Affairs Collection a try. Then jump full force into primary sources at one of our libraries!
To access these and all other databases, go to the Advanced Search page
or click on “databases” in the blue Find section on the Library’s home page
. You’ll initially see the databases sorted into subject categories, but if you prefer an A-to-Z view, click Browse All
. Be sure to have your library card handy, and make sure that you know your PIN number. If you don’t remember your PIN number, use our PIN Request Form
or contact your local librarian.