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Reference Sites

Reference Questions | Internet Search Engines

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Useful Resources 
Biography Literary Criticism Statistics: Putnam County
Dictionary Public Records White & Yellow Pages
Elements of Style Quotations Search  

Media Links

ABC News Huffington Post Rolling Stone
Arts Journal International Herald Tribune Times of London
Asia Times Journal News (local) TV NEWS Archives
BBC News National Public Radio US News
CNN    The New Criterion Village Voice 
Daily Beast New York Review of Books Washington Post
Daily Kos  New York Times WNYC (public radio)
Fox News The Onion  
Hudson Valley New York News Philadelphia Inquirer

Internet Search Engines

Click any of the left-side boxed site names below to search. Listings link to other Web sites. Mahopac Library cannot be held responsible for the content, including advertising,
on these other sites.
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Ask performs best when given shopping and business queries. It does not do as well with simple keyword searches. Given a natural-language query, Ask answers with a short list of similar questions for you to ask instead of your original question. The service has answers to its own questions, but its list of questions often misses the point.'s mission is to bring users the best information on the Web for any topic, employing human insight and methodical review. Each piece, whether a Web Guide, a Beyond the Headlines story or a Netcetera article, receives the same meticulous research. The Web sites included in each piece are connected through original narrative, providing users with information on each site before they even click on it.
Google focuses solely on searching. Fast and with a spare interface, Google consistently turns up high-quality, highly relevant results. Google does well on both specific queries and broad-topic searches. It's also has a high accuracy rate for targeting specific home pages.
Yahoo! handles general searches with aplomb, but complex and natural-language queries are best taken elsewhere. Few tools are provided for refining searches. Although still a solid offering, Yahoo! has failed to keep pace with some of its competitors.

General Reference Resources
The engines listed on Beaucoup's main site (except "Shopping"), are "free information" sites, not lists of commercial products or services. These engines are searchable in that they have either an input engine or an alphanumeric listing, which allows the user to zero in on pages pertaining to the topic being researched. is a free virtual library resource center for educators and students, librarians and their patrons, families, businesses and anyone exploring the Web for valuable research information.
ipl2, the Librarians' Index to the Internet is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 9,000 Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to users of public libraries. ipl2 is used by both librarians and the general public as a reliable and efficient guide to Internet resources.
Refdesk indexes quality Internet sites and assists visitors in navigating these sites.

Portals falls squarely in the middle of the search-engine pack. It's a perfectly adequate search engine and Web directory, but it lacks the power and accuracy of some others. has some useful extras, such as a handy news search and specialized searches for photos and audio/video.
For complex, carefully targeted Web searches, HotBot, owned by Lycos, is one of the more accommodating search engines. HotBot provides an impressive number of ways to specify what you seek and where to find it.
Lycos's main strength is its depth of search results, which include the four most popular Web sites, determined by user-selection traffic and listed before other Web hits. Results may also yield links to related searches, news articles, or shopping sites.

Metasearch Engines
Dogpile identifies and retrieves as many records from search engines as are retrieved when those engines are searched individually. Dogpile tries to translate queries into the nearest similar syntax for each target engine. This works well under some circumstances, but not others.
IxQuick searches several major engines and ranks results primarily based on how many engines list the site as a "top 10". This metasearch tool covers more of the major search engines than most, and also allows searching of news, MP3, and image sources.
Zoo allows you to search multiple leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Truveo, at once. provides a gateway to more than 800 search engines, directories, and other reference tools. Access to the full collection is provided through a directory on its home page; categories of searches are grouped on the page that opens from the "Advanced" option next to the search field.

Reference Questions:

Reference librarians at Mahopac Public Library will accept questions through the e-mail form below. Please try to limit your query to a single point of fact. Our reply is limited to a single paragraph which may cite a larger work or web address. Please supply a telephone number where you can be reached.

Also please include an accurate and complete e-mail address . We cannot reply by telephone to questioners outside the Mahopac, NY local calling area.

Click HERE to bring up the e-mail form.


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