Conducting Library Research

Pamphlets and Annual Reports

Pamphlets and annual reports provide internal information on a wide variety of public and private institutions. When journalists need information, they get on the phone and make contacts, going directly to the source. You, too, can go directly to the source. Many organizations and companies gladly send out pamphlets, brochures and reports just for the asking.

As a reference, the Encyclopedia of Associations is a useful guide to organizations, categorized by name and subject. For government agencies, try the United States Government Manual. Ask your librarian where they are located.

Many libraries have already done the legwork for you, maintaining files of pamphlets organized by subject. A word of warning: take information from these types of sources with a grain of salt. Be discriminating: annual reports tend to paint a glowing picture of the companies they cover. Likewise, organizations advocating particular points of view will not hesitate to publish information in terms that are the most favorable to their overall objectives and goals.

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Introduction