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09.03.04

Homework Help

Do you need three sources for a paper due next week, none of which can be an encyclopedia?  The Library can help.  What is the source for a quotation used by Gov. Kaine in a speech last week?  The Library can locate that.  What if you suddenly remember Sunday night that you have an assignment due Monday, you need a newspaper or journal or encyclopedia article, and the Library is closed?  The Library can help with that, too.

Two outstanding resources are available to give students the information you need, 24/7.

Britannica Online is the electronic version of the Encylopedia Britannica, the venerable authority published since the 18th century.

Find It Virginia is a vast collection of magazine and newspaper articles, as well as tv and radio transcripts, business and investment information, health and wellness information, encyclopedias and other reference works. 

Both of these tools are available at www.tcplweb.org under Electronic Resources.  All you need to access them from any Internet connection is a library card.

You can search Find It Virginia using any of several database collections, or you can do a Power Search of multiple databases at once.

Collections include:

Biography Resource Center contains biographies of 320,000 people from around the world and throughout history.  Material included is very current: the latest entry for Alex Rodriguez is dated February 19, 2009.  There is a recent entry for Danny Doyle, director of Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.
General One-File includes millions of full-text articles, including Kids InfoBits for students in kindergarten through grade 5, InfoTrac Junior Edition for students in grades 6-8, and InfoTrac Student Edition for high school students.

ELibrary includes articles from newspapers, among them the Roanoke Times & World News, Richmond Times Dispatch, Washington Post, magazines, transcripts, pictures, and maps.

Contemporary Literary Criticism contains for each author covered: a biographical/critical introduction, listing of principal works and sources for further study.

Expanded Academic ASAP, General Reference Center Gold, and Gale Virtual Reference Library offer a wealth of journal articles and reference tools.

The Virtual Reference Library contains 19 reference works.  A check in Beacham’s Guide to the Endangered Species of North America for “mussel Clinch River” brings up entries on seven varieties of endangered mussels in our own region.  Each entry includes a color illustration, description, behavior, habitat, distribution, threats, conservation and recovery efforts, and references to more information.

A frequently asked question in the library is for state information for school reports.  Blackbirch Kid’s Visual Reference of the United States presents overviews of all fifty states, territories, and possessions, including a picture of the flag, the motto, the capital, statehood date, demographic information (population characteristics), tree, flower, dog (did you know that Virginia’s state dog is the American foxhound?), maps, history, geography, resources, industry, and famous people.

Subject-oriented databases include Business and Company Resource Center, Computer Database, Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module, InfoTrac Religion and Philosophy, LegalTrac, and Military & Intelligence Database.

For teachers and other professionals, there is the Professional Collection, which presents the full text of more than 250 journal titles.  It is easy to scan the contents of journals in your field and spot articles worth a look.

Articles can be viewed online, printed or emailed.

Homework never was so easy, or so much fun.  It is amazing what you can find in Britannica Online and Find It Virginia, and you might amaze your teachers with all you now know!  For more homework help, visit www.tcplweb.org or call 988-2541.

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