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Reference & Library Resources


The following listings provide links to Web-based library resources. Each of these offers its own comprehensive collection of subject matter. You can search these in the same way you would a conventional library. Additional site-specific details appear below.

Daily Almanac – A date-searchable collection of historical events, holidays, and birthdays.

2001 Congressional Pictorial Directory – Grades 4-12 – The Government Printing Office’s on-line Congressional "face book" offers images and short biographies of senators, representatives, and other government officials. Use them in reports, profiles, or for other research purposes.

American Fact Finder – The U.S. Census Department offers this Java-enabled site which can produce a wide variety of statistical and factual information on American population, economics, educational, and other statistics. It’s a great research tool, especially if you know what you’re looking for.

All Experts – Grades 6-12 With SupervisionHere’s a site with offers "experts" in specific fields and issues, but use it with caution. The site includes some categories which probably aren’t appropriate for younger children, and there seem to be no specific criteria for the volunteer "experts." Students interested in specific science or history topics should be able to get interesting information, but validity could be an issue. If in doubt, try a few queries yourself.

Ask Dr. Universe – From Washington State UniversityGrades 3-12 (can be read to younger children) – Put this site up on your classroom computer for students to browse for hours and learn amazing things to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. Submit a question of your own, read the question (and answer) of the day, choose big or small questions: Why do people need sleep? Why don’t spiders stick to their webs? Why does hair turn gray? Answers come from the graduate schools at WSU and are presented in a beautifully designed format to please the eye and tease the mind. Non-science questions are also welcome. The question of the day would be a great start for your class each morning. – For those needing literary, writing, or historical reference information, Bartleby could be one-stop shopping. The site collects on-line versions of several dozen standard reference works, and it also offers a search interface that can make short work of finding even the most obscure information. Every teacher should know about this one.

Booklist Home Page – This is the web incarnation of the American Library Association’s periodical of the same name. The web version includes listings and reviews of popular books for children, young people, and adults, as well as articles of interest to librarians and those in the business of making reading and reference accessible to students and adults.

BOOKWIRE – Inside the book businessGrades 9-12 from School Library Journal – This site gives book industry news, events and features, reviews, author interviews, links to book related sites. Also has top library websites of the month and librarian resources. This part would be of most help to English teachers researching new text. This site also gives opportunities to meet and discuss with authors on their particular book. The School Library Journal Online is great for students because they can use this for researching books and for book reports. They are also encouraged to look up their favorite author to learn more about them. Also contains some software, calendar of literary events and job listings in the literary world. Updated weekly.

Budget of the US Government for 1999 – from the Government Printing Office. The full text of the budget, supporting charts, and other documentation.

Census Quick Facts – Population and demographic information for any state or county in the nation is available from this easy to use site. The data available includes population, ethnic composition, and other related information

Children’s Book Council – This site offers a helpful set of resources for teachers and librarians. There are lists of newly published books, links to ordering and other book-related resources, and a list of "not to be missed" titles and authors for various grade levels. Resources are updated regularly, so there’s always something fresh to offer to students or other teachers. Well worth a visit.

The CIA World Factbook – Despite is cloak-and-dagger title, this site offers detailed, straightforward cultural, political, and economic information on hundreds of nations around the world. The information includes flags, pictures, and other graphics in a presentation that remains interesting even when the content gets a bit dry. Great starting point for research by middle and high school students.

Citing Your Sources – Here’s an on-line resource from Duke University offering drop-down instructions for citing more than a dozen different types of sources. What’s especially slick is the comparison between Chicago, APA, MLA, and Turabian style formats. This makes the site useful across a wide range of standards and settings. It’s the closest we’ve found to one-stop shopping for research citation help.

Copyright Resources – This is the Stanford University Library’s site for copyright and fair use information. It provides detailed information on copyright restrictions and the use of copyrighted material for educational use. It also contains links to legal resources and other information dealing with the use of copyrighted material in education and teaching.

Dictionary of Difficult Words – Here’s a British resource for teachers who want to build vocabulary in capable students. This on-line dictionary lists thousands of words that are – well – difficult. In addition to a search feature, the site will easily crank out lists of words that you might want to include in vocabulary drills. There’s plenty to work with here.

Dictionary of Dictionaries – Here’s a collection of on-line dictionaries for dozens of specialties, foreign languages, and the like. If you’re looking for technical, foreign, or other definitions, you’ll likely find the answer here.

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – A collection of fables, "morals," and famous sayings, many with their source references. Great resource to show students the origin of phrases and sayings used in everyday conversation. From Bibliomania.

ERIC – Educational Resources Information Center This is the newest incarnation of ERIC – a single-point reference to the various ERIC resource databases and clearinghouses. This information is intended for teachers,  administrators, and researchers. An outstanding professional resource.

Ask ERIC – Ask ERIC is a federally funded site that is rich in teaching resources, including lesson plans, guides for using technology, and subject-based links to other Web resources. ERIC also maintains extensive digest collections of research articles in a wide range of education and instructional specialties.

The English ServerGrades 9-12 – The English Server is a cooperative which has been publishing humanities materials since 1990. It currently offers over eighteen thousand works. A few of its many general topic categories include: 18th Century Studies, Cultural Theory, Recipes, Literacy and Education, Marx and Engels, and Rhetoric. This is a comprehensive and rich site well worth a look.

FirstGov for Kids – Grades 3-8 – This site offers one-stop surfing for federal agencies’ offerings for younger students. The collection covers topics from government to ecology to physics, and the offering vary from very good to mediocre. Nonetheless, this is a convenient, safe starting point for students interested in working with government sources.

Headbone InteractiveGrades: 4 and up – Provides curriculum, lesson plans and activities to teach Internet research to your class. Allows for either individual or cooperative learning opportunities. Most work can be monitored. There is no filtration so teachers should supervise students while they are working.

Information Please Kids’ Almanac – Here’s an on-line reference to thousands of facts, sorted into kid-friendly categories and with plenty of instructions. This site feels a lot like other search engines, but it’s designed with kids in mind, and yields results that will keep young researchers enthused. Great starting point for any factual question or research topic.

InfoFinder – Try this search utility for your hard-to-find topics. Provides links to a variety of specialized search utilities for those "needle in a haystack" searches.

The Internet Public Library – This is an unusually comprehensive collection of Web reference resources on topics ranging from current events to zoology. Most of the content is at adult levels, and offers a truly international selection of resources which can be adapted for lesson planning or classroom use.

The Library of Congress – Web-based excerpts from the nation’s largest library, with subject-based and thematic groupings which change from time to time. Not the simplest site to navigate, (it’s improving), but the content is high-quality.

Library Tips for Kids – A collection of ten great things to do at the library. Compiled by the American Library Association as part of American Library Week. This site also includes links to other library resources and ides.

Internet School Library Media Center – by Inez Ramsey, Library Science Program, James Madison University – This site contains professional and student resources. It also provides librarian resources and links with online networks. Visually appealing with many links to library and academic information. This site is user-friendly, providing several links and extensive search features. There are lesson plans available along with curriculum resources. Student resources are easy to understand and are well thought out. It also has an electronic library and is updated regularly.

Library Land – An index to resources for librarians published by the University of California at Berkeley. This site includes a large selection of web-based resources for research and current events.

Library Resources in Spanish – While there are lots of ways of finding reference information in Spanish, this site from the University of California offers a concise selection containing Spanish versions or analogs for many popular web resources. The site could provide a nice alternate starting point for Spanish-language web surfing.

Mag Portal – An interesting meta-collection of full-text magazine and on-line magazine articles, sorted by general subject catefgories. This resource is interesting because it lets users quickly assemble several treatments of a given topic. Some of the publications may be unfamiliar, however, so expect authoritativeness to be an occasional issue.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Page – More than an on-line dictionary, this site includes search features, word studies, a word of the day, and more. A reference tool that’s actually interesting to use.

Multicultural Book Review – Teachers K-12 – Source: Joe Mele – This site provides a qualitative list of Multi cultural books. The site provides and solicits teacher-reviews of multicultural literature including but not limited to African-American, Asian-American Latino, Jewish Eskimo and Native American. The site provides a review of the month of a featured work.

NoodleTools – Grades 4-12 and Teachers – NoodleTools offers two research aids: a "fill in the blanks" search engine designed to help novice web users conduct complex searches, and an on-line tool to generate MLA style bibliography citations for a wide variety of sources. The bibliography tool is especially useful for its ability to spit out a technically correct citation for almost any situation. Teachers might want to play with this a bit before turning the students loose on it.

Peter Milbury’s School Librarian Web Page – by Peter Milbury, School Librarian. A site designed for librarians and containing mostly professional materials. This site is mostly for librarians but contains professional resources for teachers and links to many other library pages and professional resource pages. Has a guide for educators which appears to be helpful for those new to the Internet. User friendly and eye appealing.

Princeton University Reference ResourcesGrades 9-12 and APA virtual reference desk from Princeton University Library staff. This is an easy access to online dictionaries, encyclopedias, data archives, government info, library resources, book/journal collections, measures and weights, currency converters etc. It is user friendly and updated regularly.

Research for Beginners – Grades 4-6 – Developed by a school in Rhode Island, this page does a nice job of helping first-time researchers get organized and started. The "getting organized" content is stronger than the "research resources," but it could be a great place to start on that first research paper.

ResearchPaper.comGrades 7+ – Research (all subjects). This is a commercial site developed in cooperation with Macmillan Publishing and the Purdue University Writing Center. The site includes many sections to guide students through the process of research (including Internet source information), planning, and writing, including documentation styles and grammar explanations. It also includes information for ESL students and those writing in the work environment. It could be useful as a reference to be recommended to students for home use to supplement school assignments, or its structure could be used to plan a research unit for a class in any subject.

Roger Taylor’s Connecting the Curriculum – Roger Taylor’s approach to teaching and lesson design has become extremely popular. This web site offers a free example of one of his lesson unit plans. Other items are available for a fee. Check to see if your district is already a subscriber.

Roget’s Thesaurus On Line – The on-line version of the classic reference for finding the better word – synonyms, antonyms, quotes and phrases.

Quotation Center – Grades 9-12 from Cybernation. This site has many quotes you can peruse and download. This site is more for professional speakers and motivators but anyone in public speaking classes would find this site essential in making a good presentation. Could also be used by those wanting to motivate students. This site categorizes 13,000 quotes by topic and author and has a search engine. You can even download a quotation screensaver. Easy to use. Updated monthly. – Here’s a site that offers quotations indexed by subject, author, type, and several other categories. It’s an easy-to-use resource which makes finding quotations almost fun. Suitable for secondary students who understand how to use source materials.

Rigby Subject Resource Guides – K-12 – Reed Books – This Australian site is an excellent reference guide. Excellent links to any research and reference materials out there on the Web!! Very easy to use, well thought out reference guide with links to anything that has to do with academics! This guide also provides grade level information, professional resources, several other language resources, lesson plans, topic discussions, and research help and assistance.

Research-It! – Grades 6 and up – "Look-ups" as only the Web can do them. Research-it provides a collection of look-up and location tools to help user find, verify, or locate people, places, and concepts. Easy to use.

Roget’s Thesaurus This site is an online thesaurus from Project Gutenberg. Has great search engine that searches by phrase and subject.

A Resource to Help Adults Find Good Children’s Books – Teacher/parent/librarian resource K-8 – From Parent’s Place, Bethesda, Md. Brief book reviews of children’s books. This site lists children’s books by Award, Popularity etc. It includes software reviews as well. The reviews are brief and informative. Biographies on the reviewers are available. This site would be useful in planning units of study as well as a resource for ordering books and materials.

WhoWhatWhen – Grades 4-12 – Navigating this interactive timeline takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a nice tool to use for finding people and events – in time context – from a number of different subject areas. There isn’t a lot of depth, and the site sends to to the search engines for more specifics. But if you need to group information by time period, this is a useful tool.

World Almanac for Kids – Grades 3-7 – This is a nicely configured on-line almanac that covers a full range of content on geography, nature and the environment, biographies, and much more. The content at each level is basic, providing an introduction and enough facts to get a young researcher started. Good site for an introduction to research techniques. Commercially published.

World Wide Words – Grades 6-12 – Word origins and meanings can be great fun, and the answers you get from this page aren’t always what you were expecting. There are numerous theme-based sections, new material posted each day, and the definitions go well beyond American jargon. Great site for vocabulary building.


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