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Reference Online


Direct Student Reference Database

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer with WebFind - An excellent direct student research database that provides articles and information from professionally evaluated and vetted sources and specifically intended for student use.  This is the go-to resource for research papers and projects.  WebFind is a carefully evaluated search source for safe, reliable websites that will provide students with appropriate information for research topics.  Username and password are required and can be obtained from the library.

Online Newspapers

Austin-American Statesman - The e-Edition of the Austin-American Statesman. Username and password are required and can be obtained from the library.

The New York Times Replica Edition -  The online replica edition of The New York Times. Username and password are required and can be obtained from the library.

General Reference (Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, Almanacs)

Fact Monster - This website is a kid friendly general toolbox of facts and resources, including facts, dictionary, encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, games, and much, much more.

IPL KidSpace - KidSpace @ The Internet Public Library is a wealth of resources with help and links to all sorts of topics. Need help with a science fair project? They have resources for that. Want to learn about an author? They have that information, as well. Want to learn HTML (the code behind a webpage that makes it look and work the way it does)? They show you how. They can even help you find a library! This is an excellent resource for when you are looking for something, brought to you by the experts – Librarians!

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary - This is a good basic dictionary and thesaurus. It also includes the option to hear the pronunciation of the word by clicking on the little speaker next to the word.

Rhyme Zone – A rhyming dictionary – enter a word and get words that rhyme, synonyms, definitions, and homophones.

Thesaurus.com – A dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and related words.

SpanishDict.com – An English to Spanish dictionary, including conjugation, and audio pronunciation.

WordReference.com – A translation dictionary that translates English-Spanish/Spanish-English, and several other language translations.

Encyclopædia Britannica - An excellent online encyclopedia (encyclopædia is the British spelling) available (in limited form) for free. The site includes browsing and subject searches, as well as added content, such as daily features and daily news links.

Infoplease - A free online almanac of information with added links for biographies, an atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus.

Texas Almanac - This almanac provides great information and statistics about our great state of Texas, including state flags, symbols, and seals, and statistics about population and ranks.

Social Studies Reference

CIA – The World Fact Book - Yes, this is provided by the CIA, but don’t worry they won’t spy on you if you use it. The World Fact Book is a really good online atlas/encyclopedia that has maps, information, and flags of countries around the world.

National Geographic Maps - National Geographic maps and geography information from the geography experts. There are also links for animals, history, people and places, photography, and world music.

World Flag Database - This interesting flag site can show you what the flag of any country looks like, along with basic information about the country.

Infoplease.com World Atlas with Maps – An atlas resource with clickable maps, almanac information, encyclopedic information, and more.

The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century - Timelines can be an interesting and fun way to learn about history. This site lets you learn about U.S. presidents from 1900 to 2009. Choose a president from the timeline, then read about the president using the tabs at the top, or explore their activities by clicking on the “Explore Timeline” button that starts with the “Early Life and Career” section. A little tricky, but very interesting once you learn how to navigate the site.

Science and Math Reference

Ptable.com – An excellent dynamic Periodic Table reference that gives information about electron configuration, appearance, uses, history, isotopes, etc. about each element.

Science Kids – This great site has lots of scientific facts, games, and experiments, in a wide range of topics – brought to us by the friendly people of New Zealand.

Science News for Kids – Articles about discoveries in science that kids will find interesting.

Biology 4 Kids – A great site for explaining topics in biology.

Chem 4 Kids – This site provides excellent explanations for chemistry topics.

Cosmos 4 Kids – Another well done site with explanations about topics in astronomy.

Physics 4 Kids – You guessed it – great explanations about things physics.

Geography 4 Kids – This site explains about Earth science, such as Earth structures, atmosphere, biosphere, etc.

NumberNut.com – A great site for learning about Math – from basic shapes and counting to advanced functions and variables.

Facts and Fun

Smithsonian Education - The Smithsonian provides great information and virtual tours of art, science and nature, history and culture, and people and places, among other possibilities.

NCES Kids’ Zone - NCES Kids’ Zone has mind benders, polls, day in history, word of the day, quote of the day, an excellent graphing tool and math information, data to help you start comparing high schools and colleges, and a variety of other material.


Biography.com - A great resource for finding basic biographical information. This site includes videos, games, born on this day, and photo galleries.

Harcourt Multimedia Biographies - An excellent resource for a wide range of biographies and biographical content. Biographies are classified in easy to use categories, such as Presidents or Writers for example.


Occupational Outlook Handbook - For students curious about careers and the future of those careers, this site allows searching on a vast selection of occupations.

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