Monday, November 8, 2010

Points of View Reference Center (Database)

Points of View Reference Center (Database) Publisher: EBSCOhost. URL: Accessed through: Santa Clara County Library.

About the database: Points of View Reference Center is a subscription database power by EBSCOhost. The focus of this database is on current issues and providing users with a comprehensive look at all viewpoints on the issue. The database currently covers 255 topics, including abortion, censorship, crime and punishment, evolution, foreign policy, human rights, religion, substance abuse, and women’s issues. Each topic is accessible by a link on the homepage. Selecting a link takes the user to a page where the issue is broken down further. For example, after selecting the “Animal Welfare” link on the main page, the following sub-topics are then available for selection: animal experimentation, animal rights, domestic animal overpopulation, endangered species, factory farming, honey bee population, hunting, industrial agriculture, invasive species, vivisection, wolves in U.S. parks. For each of these sub-topics, an overview is provided, along with a point and counterpoint debating the issue, as well as a guide for critical analysis. In addition, tabs are available to find periodicals, newspapers, books, radio and TV transcripts, primary source documents and images for the specific sub-topic.

Critical evaluation: The Points of View database is an excellent resource for teens who are studying social issues, or even adults who are interested in learning about different viewpoints on a certain topic. For each of the 255 subjects featured in the database, there is a very large amount of information that provides a comprehensive look at the issue. Beginning with an overview about the topic, the user is informed about the history and recent events pertaining to the issue. Next, the user learns about both sides of the argument, something that is often difficult for a teacher to provide. Lastly, a guide is given to assist the user in thinking critically about the issue. The result of these four components is an excellent look into the topic that is invaluable for teens. This database would be especially helpful for teens that participate in debate clubs or are studying current events. One of the great things about Points of View is it does not assert that one side of an issue is correct. Instead it provides an unbiased snapshot of the topic and allows the user to draw their own conclusions. The database also provides research guides on such topics as creating an essay outline and citing sources which are helpful for teens. The homepage for the database includes a spotlight on a certain issue that is particularly important as well, giving teen’s who might not know what they’re looking for a place to start. Overall, Points of View is a really great resource for teens who are interested in learning more about social issues. Please note that this is a subscription database, and is accessible to teens who have library cards with Santa Clara County Library.

Reader's annotation: Points of View provides a comprehensive look at current controversial social issues. Learn about opposing viewpoints on the topic, as well as the history, and discover news stories pertaining to the issue.

About the publisher: EBSCO, headquartered in Ipswick, Massachusetts, has been publishing reference materials for over sixty years. EBSCO publishes an extensive list of titles that are used heavily in schools, public libraries, and universities including Academic Search Premier, Biomedical Reference Collection, General Science Collection, MedicLatina, Teacher Reference Center, and World History Collection. EBSCO’s services are integrated to combine reference databases, online journals and books, and linking services. They are also used by hospitals, corporations and government institutions, making them one of the most prolific publishers of reference information. EBSCO works with over 81,000 publishers across the world to provide the most up-to-date and accurate research for its customers. (

Genre: Current Events/Social Issues

Curriculum ties:
Current events
Sex education
Medical issues

Booktalking ideas:
Demonstration on using the database
Demonstration on searching using keywords
Discussion about topics and comparing both sides of issues

Reading level/Interest Age:
Age 14+

Challenge issues:
Many topics are controversial (abortion, AIDS/HIV, evolution)
Challenge counterpoints:

Recommend parent discuss issues with child before using database.
Recommend parent use database with child.
Recommend parent discuss both sides of argument for issue in question.

Reasons for inclusion:
From one of world’s leading publishers of reference information.

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