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Social services research

Free online databases

ProCon presents the "pros and cons of current issues".


Gale In context: Opposing viewpoints is made available through NOVELNY. They provide both general overviews, for getting the big picture, and articles for digging deeper once you have a focused research question. Sources include videos, reference, academic journals, statistics, and news.



The Pew Research Center offers both free and subscription services on the "numbers, facts and trends shaping your world."

The Barna Group offers both free and subscription services. "Barna Group research reveals the religious and cultural trends affecting your life everyday". They are currently offering a free Church Response Toolkit for COVID-19.


Other reputable online sources


  • links to all U.S. government services and information. In English and en espanol.
  • QuickFacts provides statistics for all states, counties and cities
  • The Salvation Army and other not-for-profit organizations ***
  • news ***

***Not all organizations or news sources are reputable***

A reputable source identifies itself and its qualifications, so that you can verify them, and its purpose, so that you can take its bas into account. For example, an organization should identify whether it is advocating for a certain population. The same story will be reported differently by different newspapers based on their editorial bias.

Is it TRUE?

Don't spread these viruses!

  • MISinformation -- "incorrect or misleading information".  
  • DISinformation -- "false information that is deliberately and often covertly spread".

We are particularly vulnerable to mis- and dis-information when it supports what we already believe.

Your best protection:

  1. Stick to reliable sources, such as those recommended by the librarians
  2. Check your source's I. Q. -- the source is clearly IDENTIFIED so you can independently verify who they are, and it is QUALIFIED 
  3. Check your facts -- Snopes is the superhero of fact checking. Think of using SNOPES before hitting that Share button like washing your hands when you've been out.