Resources for Students: Help for Homework or Finding Information for School Assignments 

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School has started and that means homework!  The Library is a great place to find books for a school project.  The Library also offers many resources available for students and families from the comfort of your own home. With a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library card, students can access our digital collections and our databases.

Digital collection materials are eBooks, audio books, music, movies, and magazines that download or stream to your computer, tablet, or phone.  Digital materials are great because there is never a late fee, they are available anywhere you have Internet connection, and some items may be accessible instantly without any wait time.  In OverDrive you might find books like The School for Good and Evil series, Lego Super Heroes or a book about black widow spiders. In Hoopla you might download the Disney Moana Soundtrack or watch Pokemon 3: The Movie.

However, many families may not know that there are databases available for children, teens and students on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s website. Databases are curated resources that are only available with your library card number and its unique PIN number. (If you have forgotten your PIN number, it can be reset at any Carnegie Library location.) These database resources are more reliable and trustworthy than random information found on the Internet because they have been carefully selected or created for children, teens and students to use from respected, professional information sources.

The Internet is full of information, but not all of it is verifiable or from dependable sources.  Students may have a hard time sifting through the amount of information on the Internet to find material that is usable for their school assignments. Additionally, these databases will protect students from material that may be inappropriate or unsafe for them to access. Many of these resources also provide easy copy and paste information for when students need to site their sources.

These resources can help students complete homework assignments, play educational games, enjoy a paired reading experience, or do research for a school assignment.  On the Library website, under the Kids & Teens section, there is a side link to Homework & Testing Help where you can access this information.

Here are a few of my favorite youth or student databases:

Tutor.com offers live tutoring and homework help from real tutors every day from 3 pm to 10 pm! Live Homework Help offers online tutoring for 4th grade to College level students in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Non-traditional students and adult learners can take advantage of essay writing, skills building, GED prep, and other tutoring services designed specifically for adults.

Scholastic go! Is a general kid’s reference resource or a digital encyclopedia. Type what you are looking for into the search box and find articles, links to credible websites, images, maps, and more. Includes teacher’s guides, lesson plans, worksheets, and other teaching resources are also available.  

Kids InfoBits provides elementary-aged students with age-appropriate, curriculum-related content covering a broad range of educational topics such as animals, arts, geography, health, literature, people, social studies, technology, etc. 

TumbleBooks add animation, sound, music, and narration to existing picture books, producing an electronic picture book which you can read or have read to you. You’ll also find chapter books, math stories, puzzles and games, and videos. All content is available for PCs and Macs. Some content is also available for use on iPhones/iPads. To access, select “mobile” from the “Choose” menu in the top right corner. 

BookFlix pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction books, offering an engaging way to link fact and fiction, reinforce early reading skills and introduce children to a world of knowledge and exploration. 

The truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth about people, places, nature, history, science, and more! TrueFLIX provides eBooks that are enhanced with a related content in a variety of text types and media–including primary sources, fiction, videos, audio clips, images, and related websites. 

Research In Context provides students with language arts, social studies, and science curriculum support through age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines, primary sources, etc. 

Science Reference Center offers full-text articles from science encyclopedias, reference books and magazines, as well as lesson plans, science experiments, and more.

This is just a sample of the available databases, there are many more. Any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Children’s or Teen Specialist can help youth learn how to use these databases or help them search for information they need to complete homework or school assignments. Librarians love it when they get asked questions about databases!

Jamie is the Children’s Librarian at CLP-Allegheny. She is originally from Idaho and grew up caring for a small collection of animals such as horses, goats, rabbits and sheep, just to name a few. Of course, her favorite children’s stories feature animals doing rather silly things.   

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