Search Tools & Databases
Explora is an easy-to-use tool that can help you complete research and classroom assignments. Discover reliable information on topics covering a wide range of subjects including art & music, literature, language arts, geography, history, social studies, world cultures & languages, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health, and sports. Search results are aligned with a student’s grades in school.
Watch a tutorial on using Explora for Middle School here.
Middle school students can access biographies, historical essays, encyclopedias, and popular, middle school magazines.
This online chronicle provides a year-by-year documentary of American thought and action. Read the original words of more than 1,500 authors who made and analyzed American history through their speeches, writings, memoirs, poems, and interviews.
This source provides a collection of thousands of e-works of classic primary sources and general reference materials. It covers 12 subject areas—world history, U.S. history, political science, law, literature, science, mathematics, social science, philosophy, religion, language, and language arts. Materials include political documents, landmark court decisions, editorials, photos, and multimedia.
This resource provides great research material appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Content from the high school level of Britannica will also appeal to adults.
Provides biographical and bibliographical information and references on many U.S. and international authors.
Read-alike recommendations curated specifically for younger readers. It can help kids find books that are right for their reading level and interests.
This is a fiction database that provides subject heading access, reviews, annotations and much more for over 135,000 titles. It also includes other content of interest to fiction readers, such as Author Read-alikes, What We’re Reading, Book Discussion Guides, BookTalks and Annotated Book Lists. For school media specialists and teachers, there are Picture Book Extenders and articles on Teaching with Fiction.
Access to thousands of encyclopedia entries on a variety of topics.
GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. Topics include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. Read up on PV cells, greenscaping, and much more.
This valuable service is available 24/7 from any Internet-enabled computer at your library or from your home! The Learning Express Library includes academic testing and career testing. It also includes GED test materials.
This excellent resource helps students research multiple sides of current issues and complex topics including affirmative action, cloning, DNA profiling, HIV/AIDS status disclosure, immigration, Iraq and much more.
This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today’s classrooms including controversial opinions and viewpoints
Comprehensive coverage for Environmental Studies including agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, and affiliated areas of study.
Discover a wealth of information at the National Library of Medicine. Beside links to Medline and other free databases, there are links to historical medical documents, historical photos, videos, books, journals and historical medical statistics.
This premier resource contains full text for more than 560 journals concerning topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
Designed to meet every student’s science research needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for hundreds of science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals and other sources. Topics covered include biology, chemistry, earth and space science, environmental science, health and medicine, history of science, life science, physics and more.
This collection of full-text articles and journals offers information in nearly every area of academic study including computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and many more
This database features full text from more than 1900 reference books, encyclopedias and non fiction books PLUS 200 history periodicals.
Watch a tutorial on using History Reference Center here.
Specifically designed to provide high school students with full text access to periodicals, reference books, primary source documents, biographies, and more.
MasterFILE™ Premier contains nearly 1,750 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. Also find nearly 500 full text reference books and biographies.
Digital collection of the world’s major news content. It includes millions of articles from newspapers, newswires and news magazines. In addition, it offers television and radio transcripts and ongoing daily updates from popular news sources.
Designed for use in elementary schools, this database provides access to primary sources, articles and information from popular, elementary school magazines, encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Covering the latest concepts, theories and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences, including addiction studies, ethics, public welfare, urban studies and more.
Choose from 70+ world languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Greek, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean.
To get started, set up an account by visiting VPL’s Mango login page. Sign in or click the ‘Sign up’ button. You can register for a free account provided by the library from this page with just an email address and password.
Choose a language and have fun!
This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today’s classrooms including controversial opinions and viewpoints.
Suggested Homework Websites
- Information Please – Encyclopedia, almanac, atlas and dictionary all in one.
- Khan Academy – Video lectures with online practice for math, science, economics, arts, history, and computer science.
- Discovery Education – Homework help resources, plus interactive games, videos, virtual labs and activities.
- Library of Congress – Historical records and digitized books, photos, maps, manuscripts, film, and sound recordings.
- Study Tips – Tips on note-taking, test-taking, organizing, studying for tests, concentrating, and more.
- Biography.com – Over 7,000 biographies of people past and present.
- Nobel Prize – Biographies of Nobel Prize recipients and laureates.
- Gallery of Achievers – Read about individuals who have shaped the 20th century by their accomplishments.
- Miller Center – In-depth information on each U.S. President and administration and presidential speech archive.
- aicoach.co – Connects kids and parents to sites that teach children about personal finance, business, economics.
- Crash Course YouTube Channel – John Green teaches U.S. history and World history (each in 47 12-15 min videos.)
- Timeline of Art History – The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents 300 timelines, 930 essays, and about 7,000 objects.
- Literary Criticism – Websites about authors and their works to browse by author, title, or nationality and literary period.
- Free Book Notes – Book summaries and study guides for thousands of books, compiled from several major study guides.
- No Fear Shakespeare – Shakespeare’s plays with page-by-page translation into modern English. More Shakespeare links.
- Poetry Foundation – Browse classic and contemporary works, by subject, style, period, or poet. More poetry links.
- Webmath – Step-by-step answers to hundreds of math questions and the option to type in your own problem.
- Purplemath – Need help with algebra? This is the place for illustrated step-by-step examples and videos.
News & Social Trends
- PBS NewsHour Classroom – World news and reports written for students.
- Pew Research Center – Nonpartisan reports about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.
- ProCon.org – Today’s controversial issues presented in a balanced, comprehensive, straightforward pro-con format
- Library of Congress – Maps, photographs, letters, diaries, newspapers, sound recordings, interviews, and historic films.
- National Archives – Written documents, images, maps, charts, graphs, audio and video.
- Western History Collection at Denver Public Library – Documents, photographs, maps, art, newspapers and more.
Research & Writing
- Common Types of Papers – Examples and resources for writing research papers and a wide range of essays.
- Grammar Check – useful site filled with lessons on grammar rules, common confusions, and alternatives to overused words, as well as, academic and creative writing tips.
- The Research Process – Resources to help with writing skills, thesis statements, style and language, and citation.
- Science.gov – Search across 15 federal agencies with just one query for science articles, news, studies, data, and more.
- The Physics Classroom – Physics concepts explained and quizzes to test your understanding.
- Hour of Code – Intro designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics (and beyond.)
- TED Talks Technology – Over 500 video talks on topics of technology.
- CNN Tech News – News and video covers the internet, business and personal tech, video games, and more.