"Opposing viewpoints" assignments are pretty common, but Howard County Library does not have Gale’s "Opposing Viewpoints" database. Why not? We don’t need it. If students are expected to do Pro/Con assignments at the Library, point them in the direction of the SIRS Researcher database.
At one level, SIRS Researcher is simply a straightforward periodical database. As such, by providing full text articles from 1,800 national and regional publications, it is quite useful Still, the Library has other products that do pretty much the same thing. What makes SIRS Researcher unique among our online holdings is that it provides assistance to students for opposing viewpoints assignments.
A "Leading Issues" box on the database front page lists over 300 topical Pro vs. Con categories, and clicking on any one of them will bring a student directly to a results page that both lays out the essential questions at issue and provides a student with a long list of full text pro and con articles for them to use in their analysis.
The SIRS Researcher is not one of the better known Library databases but it is well worth gaining a closer acquaintance.
Joe McHugh – Howard County Library Administration