Thinking about when and why information is created can help you work out what sort of information you need for a project, and where you can get it.
The information cycle. A guide developed by the Uni of Illinois Library.
Think about what sorts of information you need for your project, and what sorts of information are likely to exist. Do you need statistics, studies by scholars, book length narratives, or newspaper reports of a recent event? Try not to be blinded to specific formats of information - while you might prefer to read a short article on the computer, the best coverage of your topic might be in a book on the library shelves. Don't be put off by the length of a book - the information you need might be in single chapter or a few pages.
Looking for local information?
Information about a neighborhood, or a local event or crime is most often found in local newspapers and magazines. The news module of Nexis Uni contains the full text of newspapers from across the country, including the New York Times. Ethnic Newswatch covers "ethnic" newspapers including El Diario and the Irish Echo. EbscoHOST Academic Search Complete contatins magazine articles (as well as some journal articles).