Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School Tools

It's that time again, summer is coming to a close and students are headed back to school. WalMart and KMart have been swamped with parents and kids buying school supplies. I walked past a cart filled with pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, and other school supplies. I heard the mother say that they were finally done shopping, and they should have all the tools they need to do well in school this year. I walked by, smiled, and began to think about tools for school and what other tools the kids will need to help them succeed.
The Armstrong Library believes in partnering with our school system, and we are always looking for better ways to provide educational resources to help both teachers and students  - whether they are in kindergarden or college.  Here are some of the tools we have in our library toolbox. All are available for free and from home on your computer, although you might have to come into the Library for a username and password.
MAGNOLIA is an extensive online research tool provided by the Mississippi State Legislature. It is filled with nearly one hundred different databases that can be searched for reliable information. The key point to remember is this is NOT information you could find with Google. The magazines, newspapers, television, and radio transcripts are all in pdf format giving them the look of the actual article. This tool is provided to us free from the state, and if we don't use it we could lose it. Cuts to library funding makes this tool even more valuable as we try to provide the best for our students.
Learning Express Library is an online learning site with over 800 online courses, tests, and ebooks to help you improve your reading, writing and math skills - for all ages. It can also help you with job search and workplace skills improvement, career certification and licensing exam preparation, college entrance and graduate school admissions exam preparation, GED exam preparation, and more. You'll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.

World Book Online is a premiere online reference source, with thousands of articles, state of the art multimedia, editor reviewed websites, periodical content, and more. Plus, there are more than 1.3 million pages of primary source documents – books, documents, selections – fully integrated with the encyclopedia content. Research and teaching tools include timelines, citation builder, and saved research. Thanks to the D A Biglane Foundation, we are able to provide this tool for another year.
New Resources in Print and Online.We purchased five new printed reference materials from Salem Press that also come with online access. Some subjects include, Encyclopedia of American Immigration, Great Events from History from Middle Ages to 1600, Psychology and Mental Health, and the Solar System.

Get more details on the Online Research Tools page of our website. While you're there, check out our In House Research Tools as well.

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