Resource of the Month: Points of View Reference Center

logoPOV_ICLgSifting through the sheer volume of data offered up by cable, broadcast, radio, internet, and print media can feel like drinking from a fire hose.

It can also be difficult to find unbiased sources on controversial topics. Many of us want understand both sides of an argument, and to know the definitions of terms and acronyms taken as understood in other articles. Where can the uninitiated go to get an overview of divisive topics like gun control, religion, censorship, or abortion?

EBSCO’s Points of View Reference Center is a fine place to start. The resource identifies itself as “an interface intended for public, academic, and high school libraries… designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects.”

The site is designed for easy searching and browsing by subject. The bulk of the Points of View Reference Center home page presents main topics alphabetically, with more than 250 subtopics visibly listed under the appropriate main topics. Click on any topic and you will be whisked to a page featuring:

  • an overview of the topic,
  • two argumentative essays (one for each point of view),
  • and critical thinking suggestions to promote informed opinions going forward (and since the site is maintained by EBSCO, you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips).

The Points of View Reference Center home page also highlights the day’s most newsworthy topics in a ticker called “In the News”. They also offer two sidebars: one called “In the Spotlight”, and another aimed at high-school debaters.

To access the Points of View Reference Center, point your browser to NCLive.org. Scroll down and look for the “Current Issues” link. Follow the link and look for another link called “Points of View” (you will be prompted to provide your library card number and PIN).

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