Off the Shelf: Find credible resources for all your information needs

Literacy is often thought of as simply the ability to read and write. The literacy we need to navigate our world goes far beyond letter recognition or being able to read instructions.

Computer literacy, digital literacy, civic literacy, health literacy, news literacy, and media literacy all affect how we each interact with the world of devices and the non-stop content that’s available.

Information literacy is the ability to realize when information is needed, to think critically about different types of information, analyze what type of information is right for your intended purpose, to know where to locate useful information and to effectively use any information found.

As part of information literacy, readers are encouraged to regularly ask themselves, “Who benefits from this?” When you read an article shared on social media, consider who benefits from the ability to sway your opinion. When you read a medical website funded by a special interest group, consider who benefits from you seeing the ads.

Graphic courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Graphic courtesy of North Olympic Library System

NOLS provides a variety of resources to support information literacy including online databases. Gale databases offer unlimited access to a robust collection of content that includes primary sources.

Gale resources include:

• Gale Health & Wellness — full-text medical journals, magazines, reference books and more, for both professional and consumer health researchers

• Gale in Context — Global Issues: international news, viewpoints, reference materials, primary documents and more sources related to international issues

• Gale OneFile News — 2,300+ full-text U.S. national, regional and local newspapers

• Academic OneFile — 17,000+ scholarly journals and authoritative sources on subjects of academic interest

• General OneFile — journal, newspaper, magazine and original source documents on topics of general interest

Visit and select Online Resources to browse the options. Log in with your library card number and password or PIN. If you don’t have a library card, sign up instantly on the NOLS website.

Graphic courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Graphic courtesy of North Olympic Library System

If you’re not sure if you have a library card, need help resetting your password or PIN, or have any other questions about Gale databases, contact library staff at

Gale databases are funded by the Washington State Library and provided by NOLS to community members.

For more information about library resources, stop by the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave., and talk to the friendly library staff, call 360-683-1161 or visit

Sarah Morrison is a librarian with the North Olympic Library System.