School is in session and that inevitably means homework. Last year, my first grader came home from school and informed me that he had a report due in a few days, and that he needed to research an animal of his choice and use reputable sources for his information. When I was his age, I would pull an encyclopedia off our bookshelves, but these days physical sets of encyclopedias are expensive, quickly outdated, and almost obsolete. Before I panicked, I remembered that with my Provo City Library card, I have access to World Book Encyclopedia online (http://www.provolibrary.com/a-z-resources-list/list/alpha/w).
As my son and I researched his report, I realized that we have access to five different versions of World Book! Here is a little summary of each:
World Book Online
This option gives you access to all the other versions as well as Timelines and eBooks.
World Book Kids
This was the obvious choice for my little guy. This version is filled with fun graphics, easy to understand articles, and even games and interactive maps.
World Book Student
This version is geared toward elementary and middle school students. The information is a bit more detailed than the kids’ version, and it comes with neat tools like an option to sign in and save your research, as well as a citation builder that helps students create MLA, APA, and Harvard citations.
World Book Advanced
Here we have the graduated, grownup version of the encyclopedia. This no-frills edition has a more advanced search tool, and links to primary and secondary sources.
World Book Spanish
As expected, this version is in Spanish and is geared toward Spanish speaking students. The interface targets young kids and has activities and games as well.
Wikipedia is awesome, but sometimes you need resources that are a little more curated and that is where World Book steps in to help! Each of these portals provides quality information that is easily referenced and designed for its specific audience.
Sometimes, I’m a little nostalgic for that physical encyclopedia set of my childhood, but hopefully my son will build memories too as he discovers the wonders of information in a format made for his generation.