Skip to Main Content

Competences: 23 Things Reference - Thing #14

SIRS Discoverer in 2 Minutes

Watch this 2 minute video to get a brief overview of SIRS Discoverer!

Practice Exercises

Copy and paste the following text into a Word file. Answer the questions using SIRS Discoverer and then attach the Word file to an email and send to

1.  An elementary school student is doing a project on black holes.  Perform a subject heading search for black holes.  What is the total number of articles your search returned?

2.  A middle school student is doing a project on celiac disease and needs a newspaper article.  Cite the newspaper article you find.

3.  A middle school student is doing a report on Amelia Earhart and needs a magazine article about the pilot.  Use the database feature Biographies to find an article.  Cite the magazine article you find.

4.  An elementary school student is doing a project on Denmark and needs some basic statistics such as population, capital, etc.  What is the population of Denmark and the capital?  Use the database feature Country Facts to find the answers.

5.  A middle school student needs to find a chemistry project to do for the science fair.  Use the database feature Science Fair to find a chemistry science experiment.  List the name or title of the experiment.

Reference Question for Thing 15

A patron comes in and asks for help finding tax forms.  Describe how you would find them for the patron.

SIRS Discoverer

About SIRS Discoverer:

SIRS Discoverer is a general reference database for elementary and middle school learners, researchers, and educators covering curriculum areas such as reading, language arts, current events, science, social studies, history, health and technology.

Now aligned to Common Core Standards, all content is 100% full text, hand-selected and indexed from over 2,100+ reliable high-quality domestic and international newspapers, magazines, and reference material. Over 9,000 educational weblinks are integrated via the Discoverer WebFind content set. Only safe, relevant resources are selected for SIRS Discoverer.

User-friendly special Database Features such as "Science Fair Explorer," "Skills Discoverer", "Spotlight of the Month," Biographies, Activities, Country Facts (and more!) further support the curriculum, while engaging students as they identify content they need for research, homework and class work.

Discoverer also offers supplemental curriculum and learning materials, including student activities, an educator's guide, middle- and elementary-level student workbooks, citation guidelines, research strategy worksheets, and more. 

To Access SIRS Discoverer:

Go to the Ephrata Public Library website.  From the homepage, select the POWER Library icon at the bottom of the page.  The Library System of Lancaster County database authentication page will open in a new tab.  Enter your library card number in the text box available and select the Go to Online Resources button.  Scroll about 1/2 of the way down the page until you see the POWER Library Network icon and click on it.  From the POWER Library menu page select the link for SIRS Discoverer.

Searching SIRS Discoverer:

Read the Quick Start Guide below to learn how to navigate the database's interface, conduct searches, and analyze results.