If you or your students need background information on a topic, here’s a friendly reminder that the libraries have a variety of specialized reference sources–many of them online. Many of these online sources come in convenient packages.
For example Oxford Reference Online brings together respected subject dictionaries and other tools in one database (You can search across the tools, by the way.). Gale Virtual Reference Library is another collection of subject encyclopedias. For yet another example you can browse the CredoReference collection by subject or type of resource (atlas, quotations, Religious text, etc.).
Explore these collections. Encourage your students to do the same. Your librarians are happy to answer additional questions about these packages and their contents.