As a librarian, I often get asked for advice or suggestions on how kids can use the library to complete research projects. I am always thrilled to answer because the library has so much to offer, particularly in the realm of digital resources!
A good place to start is the library catalog, particularly if you want print resources, like nonfiction books or encyclopedias. Each library location has computers designated as catalog computers only—meaning you don’t need to log in to accomplish your search. Once on the catalog, I always suggest clicking the “More Search Options” link that takes you to the advanced search. From here you can limit your search to a specific library location (find items available in the library you’re in right now), target audience (juvenile vs. adult books), detailed material type (do you want a book, audiobook, or magazine?), collection (juvenile nonfiction or young adult fiction), and language (prefer to read a book in Spanish?). Limiting your search options using the advanced search function can give you more targeted results.
Can’t find the information you’re looking for, or your teacher requires digital as well as print resources for your research project? The library has a number of really cool databases that may suit your needs. From our website, you can get to kid specific databases in a few ways. You can click the “Research” tab in the navigation bar, and then in the “by Guide” drop down menu, select “Kids.” Or, from the main webpage, go to “Guides” in the navigation bar and select “Kids” from the drop down menu. The bottom of this webpage will list the databases directed at that age group.
Here is a rundown of the types of databases we offer for kids, and how they may be used.
- Your one-stop shop for homework help and tutoring. There’s writing assistance, a language lab, exercises to build skills or prepare for tests, and opportunities to collaborate online with other students.
- Use this database to find out about other countries or regions of the world. A kid edition reflects a kid’s view of daily life around the world; the world edition showcases cultures from over 200 countries; or you can use the states edition to explore our own country.
- This classic online encyclopedia works similar to Google—type in your search term with results including articles, images, and videos.
- Similar to Britannica Library, this database is designed for elementary age children and is not too advanced. Research using the basic or advanced search bar, or by topic (such as animals, people, technology, etc.). Results include books, articles, and images—and notice the reading levels listed, too.
From Power Knowledge we have three different science-based databases all for grades 3-6.
- Earth, Space, and Science
- Life Science (aka animals and plants)
- Physical Science (atoms, energy, matter, and more)
Get stuck? Ask your friendly youth services librarian for some one-on-one help. We love helping kids and teens find the information or books they need. Happy researching!