Once you insert these into the microfiche or microfilm machine (and there are separate machines for each), you will be able to see the text of the article that you are looking for.
The subject heading category allows you to put in key words that might lead to books in your interest area.
As you are reading a book, journal article, or newspaper article, you should keep the following questions in mind, which will help you understand how useful the book will be to you.
Magazines (including Time or Newsweek) are called periodicals as they are published periodically (weekly, monthly, etc.).
However, not all libraries have their entire collection on line.
So, if you are looking for information on say, the Civil War, and think that some older sources might be useful to you, be sure to ask the librarian if the library still maintains their card catalog.