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Almanacs

Use an almanac when you are looking for current statistical data and basic information about a topic.

Almanacs are published annually and include up-to-date facts about the world, current events, countries, sports records, business and the economy, astronomy, education, awards, space, and much more. They may also include statistics, maps, charts, and color plates of flags.

Some of the common almanacs you may find in your library or online are The World Almanac and Book of Facts, Time Almanac, Almanac of the 50 States, and Infoplease.com.

When do I use an almanac?
Use an almanac when you need the following:

  • up-to-date information (e.g., what the flag of a specific country looks like or what the population of a specific country is)
  • a list of things (e.g., academy award winners or first ladies)
  • to compare things (e.g., the highest mountain, the longest river)

Where do I find an almanac?
Look for an almanac online or in the reference or nonfiction sections of your library. Often the books have a call number of 031.02 or 317.3. Use your library's online catalog to find the call number. 

How is an almanac organized?
Almanacs are arranged by general topics. Indexes help you locate the specific needed information.

How do I use a print almanac?
An almanac is usually arranged by topics. Think about what information you need. Then think of the general topic and the specific topic, and use the indexes to see what you can find that matches or comes close to what you want.

Like most nonfiction books, an almanac has a table of contents and an index. The index is frequently located in the front rather than the usual place in the back of the book.

The index will be in alphabetical order by main headings (usually in bold print) and subheadings (usually indented).


Example: If you need the most recent election results for Egypt,
find Egypt as the main heading listed in the general index, and then
find the subheading Election.This will tell you the page to turn to
for the information.

 

Example: Look up Basketball as a main heading. Under Basketball,
it may list NBA and then another subheading called Coaches.
This lets you know that on the page listed, you may find a chart of
the NBA Coaches of the Year or All-Time Coaching Victories.

 

 

How do I use an online almanac?
Some online almanacs require a subscription and may be available through your school or public library. Others are available for free. Online almanacs are searchable by keyword or subject. Or, browse the topics and their drop-down subheadings on the page.