Electronic Resources

  • next paper

    When I was in school, I really, really hated writing papers.  So much that once when I had a paper due the next day, I forced myself to write a page on Why I Love to Write Papers (all lies) to try to convince myself to WRITE IT ALREADY.  I did end up getting the paper done in the middle of the night, but if you don't want to go to the trouble of coming up with a three-point thesis on why you love writing papers, check out the resources we have on our website!  They're a huge help and I wish I'd had them back in high school and college!

    1. First, you've got to figure out what to talk about.  That means you've got to do a little research to see what interests you.  Our How to Research page will help you know where to look for the right information.
    2. If you need credible sources for your paper, a simple Google search won't do.  You need to look at websites that show you academically relevant articles.  Luckily you have access to a whole bunch of those websites with your library card!  The Homework Help section of our Online Resources page lists several golden nuggets of websites that have tons of articles perfect for school papers.  A couple of favorites: Points of View will give you great information if you're writing on a much-debated subject or issue (it will give arguments for both sides of the issue!). EbscoHost also has sources on a ton of helpful topics - biographies, literature, science, history, and health just to name a few.
    3. If you still want to try your luck with Google searching, you should check out our Evaluating Online Sources page.  It will help you figure out which articles and books are going to be the most valuable so you don't waste your time with bad sources!
    4. Once you've done some research it's time to get down to it.  This How to Write a Paper page breaks it down into steps - just take them one at a time!  You'll be done before you know it.
    5. Of course you need to show where you got all of this lovely information.  Time to Cite Your Sources.  Many online resources and databases have handy citation builders that will build the citation for you, but if not we also have links to a few websites that can help put it all together for you.

    There you go, your next paper should be a breeze.  Of course if any of this gives you trouble, come in to the library - our librarians are trained in this stuff and we're ready to help you any time!  It might just be the extra oomph you need to get your next paper underway.

  •  picking favorites

    Today's a very special day, and you might not even know it! It's International Book Lovers Day! Given that this is one of the happiest days of the year, we've been brainstorming the best ways to celebrate. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Read something, of course!

    2. Read to a child.

    3. Have a child read to you.

    4. Start a book club.

      Book Clubbin
      Source

    5. Reserve a book club set for your brand new club. 

    6. Check out a book from the library.

    7. Donate books you no longer want to the library. If we can’t add them to the library collection, we sell them in our book store and all profits go to library programming.

    8. Write a review of a book you love on Amazon. Reader reviews can make a big difference in an author's career.

    9. If you don't already have one, open a Goodreads account to keep track of what you've read and what you want to read.

    10. Follow our children's or teen and adult staff review blogs.

    11. Fill out a personalized reading recommendation form on our website and we'll recommend books just for you!

    12. Make plans to meet an author and get a book signed at one of our many upcoming AuthorLink events.

    13. Skim a review journal like Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, or The New York Times Book Review to find your next great read.

    14. If you have kids, add story time to your fall schedule. It starts up again on August 28th!

    15. Sniff a book.You know you want to.
      Rory Gilmore
      Source

    16. Have a favorite genre? Check out our adult, teen, and children’s booklists for recommendations.

    17. Visit our Read-alikes page to find authors who are similar to your favorites

    18. Reread a book that always makes you cry. It’s cathartic.

    19. Set up an Overdrive account if you haven’t already! We have hundreds of ebooks and eAudiobooks for you to check out.

    20. Think audiobooks readers are too slow? Listen to audiobooks on Overdrive at whatever pace you’d like – even chipmunk-speed double time.

    21. Download Libby to your smartphone and test it out. Overdrive will be phasing out its old app soon in favor of this new, easier-to-use app.

    22. Don’t feel like you have enough time to read? Try a graphic novel.

    23. Read an award-winning book.
      Newbery  
      Caldecott 
      Printz 
      National Book Award 
      Nebula 
      Pulitzer 

    24. Or, read a Goodreads Choice book selected by fellow readers. Make sure to vote for your 2017 favorites at the end of the year!

    25. Cuddle your pet while reading.

      Gloomy Days are the Best
      Image by Cat Versus Human

    26. Ask a librarian for a book recommendation.

    27. Visit a used bookstore like Pioneer Book.

    28. Learn a new skill from a nonfiction book.

    29. Try your hand at writing a book.

    30. Sign up for NaNoWriMo and commit to write an entire novel in November.

    31. Use Novelist to find books you might like.

    32. Does your place of employment have a waiting room? Stock it with books, including picture books for young readers.

    33. Is the library missing a book you’d like to read? Submit a purchase request, and we might just buy it.

    34. Or, see if we can borrow it from another library for you. It's free!
    35. Some books always seeem to be checked out. Place one on hold to make sure you're next in line!

    36. Take a look at our librarians’ favorite children’s, teen, and adult books from last year, and make plans to attend next year’s Best Books program in February

    37. Set aside a specific amount of time each day for reading.

    38. Give a book as a gift.

    39. Learn about our early literacy workshops for children ages 2-3 and their parents/caregivers.
       
    40. Create a cozy reading spot in your home.

      Reading nook
      Source

    41. Try reading a book in a format you don’t usually use – eBooks, digital audiobooks, books on cd, or maybe even a printed book.

    42. Read a book from an unfamiliar genre.

    43. If you’re a teen, sign up for our Teen Volunteer Board. You can help make the library even better!

    44. Did you know the Provo City Libray and the Orem Public Library have a reciprocal agreement where their patrons can use both libraries? Get a library card at the Orem Library if you don’t already have one, and double your library options!

    45. Plan to bring your children to Library Kids for books and literacy-based crafts and activities.

    46. Make sure your kids see you reading for fun. They're more likely to love reading if they know you do.

    47. Register for Parent/Child Book Clubs in September.

    48. Watch a film adaptation of a great book.

    49. Read the book one of your favorite film adaptations is based on.

    50. Sign up for a library tour to learn about the fascinating history of this beautiful building or about how to use the library more effectively. 

      Library at Dusk Summer 019.2

    51. Know a Provo resident who doesn’t have a library card? Encourage them to get one by sharing what you love about the library and how easy it is to set up an account.

    52. Reread your favorite parts of your favorite book.

    53. Finally pick up that classic book you’ve been meaning to read for years.

    54. Have a struggling reader at home? Have them read to a pet.

    55. Or a stuffed animal.

    56. If you have kids age 4 and younger, pledge to read 1000 books with them before kindergarten

    57. Recommend a book to a friend.

    58. Build your home library by buying a book you love.

    59. Volunteer to read to seniors at a retirement home.

    60. Encourage your children to talk about what they’re reading by asking lots of open-ended questions.

    61. Read the books your children love to make these conversations even better.

    62. Gather friends and family for silent reading time.

    63. Set a reading goal for the rest of the year.

    64. Carry a book with you all day.

    65. Become a #bookstagrammer.

      Essays by E.B. WhiteImage by @oliverskywolfoliverskywolf

    66. Upcycle a book into art.

    67. Buy a book for $2 at our used bookstore.

    68. Revisit a childhood favorite.

    69. Visit Buzzfeed to take endless “which book character are you?” quizzes.

    70. Plan a literary-themed Halloween costume.

    71. Start a little free library.

    72. Tuck a friendly note into a book donation for the person who buys it.

    73. Make a new recipe from a cookbook.

    74. Reorganize your bookshelves.

    75. Run out of shelf space? Buy and set up a new bookshelf. You can never have too many.
      Not Enough Bookshelves

     

  • back to school

    It’s that time of year again. School supplies are bought, schedules are finalized, and we all must admit that summer is over and the school year has begun. Luckily, the library is here to help! Check out the following list of the library databases you should know about if you want to have a stellar school year! 

    BIOGRAPHY REFERENCE CENTER

    Did you know that Mark Twain loved looking for human skeletons, bats, mysterious passageways, and pirate treasure in pitch dark caves? These are the kind of gems found in the Biography Reference Center. This database offers a comprehensive collection of more than 460,000 full-text biographies. This resource will come in handy when researching and writing papers for your history or English class. 

    Also try:

    HISTORY REFERENCE CENTER
    LITERARY REFERENCE CENTER
    SCIENCE REFERENCE CENTER  

    COLLEGE PREP CENTER: LEARNING EXPRESS LIBRARY

    For some of you, it may be time to start those college applications. If so, let me introduce you to the College Prep Center. The College Prep Center will help you prepare for the SAT and PSAT, ACT, AP tests, admissions essays, and more!  

    DMV PERMIT PRACTICE TESTS

    Are you getting your driver’s license this year? DMV Permit Practice Tests will help you pass the test with flying colors! This database includes free tests, written specifically based on Utah DMV materials.  Through this database you can also find an online copy of the Utah driver’s manuals as well as a FAQ section with detailed answers to 100+ DMV-related questions. 

    FREEGAL – DOWNLOADABLE MUSIC

    If you are one of those people who can’t study without background noise, then Freegal® Music might just change your life. Log onto this database with your library card number and PIN to download or stream more than 9 million songs! Try it out today by going to the Freegal® website or by downloading the free app!  

    LYNDA.COM

    And lastly, Lynda.com. Perhaps you want to learn more about InDesign so you can go above and beyond in your Yearbook class, or maybe you want to learn basic photography skills so you can take awesome pictures for your school newspaper. Lynda.com has what you need! This resource will help you learn software, technology, and creative skills to achieve your personal goals. Trust me, it’s life-changing. 

  • We are very excited about this one! Your Provo City Library card now provides you with free access to Lynda.com, a leading online platform for top-quality video-based tutorials. Access Lynda.com through our Online Resources or by using this portal. What are you waiting for? Start learning!

    lynda 01

  • OverDrive is a fantastic way to check out eBooks and audiobooks, all completely free to you! Check out OverDrivein your browser, or download the OverDrive App and get started today! 

    overdrive 01

  • overdrive 2 01

  • True confessions of Carla:  I am not a music person.  I mean, I like music.  I enjoy a few tunes in the background while I am working or running.  I play the piano well enough to know I should never try to accompany or entertain anyone.  But when it comes to truly appreciating music like so many people do, I am just not there.  

    So, if I can get really excited about our newest online resource, I can only imagine how most of you more cultured and musically inclined folks will feel.  The Provo City Library now offers all Provo Library card holders access to Freegal!!  

    What is Freegal? Well, it’s a free music service. All you need is your Provo City Library card number and your PIN. With those two numbers you have downloadable or streaming access to more than 9 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 80 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.  

    Each day, Provo Library Card holders can stream 5 hours of music from the Freegal site and each week, they can download 3 songs.  Those are three songs they can download and keep forever.  No checkout periods, no due dates, no overdue fines.  

    In the last few weeks, since we’ve started promoting the service, over 1,800 songs have been streamed and 223 songs downloaded by excited library patrons.  What are they finding?  Well, popular genres so far include alternative, classical, holiday, and pop.  And what songs are they downloading?  Here is a short list of some popular tracks:  

     

    ARTIST SONG TITLE
    Adele Hello
    Adele I Miss You
    Adele Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
    Rachel Platten Fight Song
    Pentatonix Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy
    David Archuleta O Holy Night
    Walk the Moon Shut up and Dance

             

     

    We hope that many of our patrons discover and enjoy this great new service.  Find it on our website with our other digital collectionsor download the free app for access on your mobile device.    I have already downloaded a couple Air Supply songs (because they were on one of the 7 8-track cartridges that I owned in high school that would play in my awesome dinosaur of a car), a few Christmas songs (because you can never have too many versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), and some of Adele’s new songs (because I aspire to be better informed about new music). 

  •  

    condo renovation

     

    If you’re a DIY-er like I dream of being, the library is a great place for getting ideas and helpful how-to instructions.

    In the age of the internet it’s hard to imagine why you would want to go to the library instead of just typing your question into Google.

    Librarian tip: The internet is great, but the library is better.

    Here are a few reasons why I chose to use the library’s resources instead: 

    • I get sick of all those ads or popups asking you to watch this video or subscribe to their newsletter. Navigating websites can be very annoying!
    • Surely I'm not the only one who mistakes an ad for content on the page. It’s really hard to distinguish sometimes.
    • Websites are usually trying to sell you something. This makes it more difficult to trust the information provided.
    • It's difficult to determine if you can trust that someone actually knows what they are talking about or if they are merely passing themselves off as an authority on the topic. 

    At the library, however, you can find trusted information from experts with no advertising (well, magazines have advertising but at least you can turn the page...). 

    So here’s how I went about using the library to help with my condo renovation.

     

    The Dreaming Stage

    Provo City Library has a variety of great resources if you’re trying to figure out what your style is or how to tackle a project. During this stage I looked through a lot of books and magazines.

    Librarian tip: Use your mobile device to access full color magazines including several with great home improvement articles.

    Watch this brief video tutorial to learn more about downloading  digital magazines.  

    While a lot of home improvement magazines show high design concepts out of my price range or focus on décor over renovating, there is still a lot of good practical advice. For example, in House Beautiful magazine I found several articles discussing trends in paint colors. This helped me figure out what colors and style I wanted to go with (grays and blues, and a more modern style).

    In addition to magazines, I checked out several helpful books that provide do it yourself information about nearly any type of home remodeling or renovation project.

    Probably one of the most helpful books I checked out was NEW KITCHEN IDEA BOOK by Heather J. Paper (2016).

    kitchen

     

    Updated just this year, this book is crammed full of inspiring and practical design options for every part of the kitchen. It covers everything from layouts to countertops, cabinets, sinks and appliances. It also discusses flooring and other finishing details and even has a section on eco-friendly ideas.

     

     

     

    The Reality Stage

    When we finally, finally began the actual remodeling process, I was again very grateful for the resources available at my fingertips.

    Librarian tip: Utilize your 24/7 access to Home Improvement Reference Center, an online database providing users with detailed, user-friendly “how-to” information covering all manner of home improvement/repair projects.

    At one point, we switched to refinishing the cabinets to save money. However, we had no idea how to properly paint cabinets so they wouldn’t chip or fade. I went online to use the Home Improvement Reference Center and found the perfect article describing exactly what we needed to do. 

    Just as a comparison, I also tried searching YouTube for instructional videos and found a few results, but they either left out critical details or implied your paint would chip even if you used their instructions.

     

    The Enjoyment Stage  

    While this project turned out to take far longer and cost a bit more than planned, the resources I found at the library helped me create the vision I had in my head  and gave me the confidence to tackle doing it all myself. Now onto living in my new lovely abode!

  • lynda

     

    Provo City Library offer its cardholders free access to Lynda.com’s 6.300-plus course library of instructional videos. This new database to learn software application, design, job search and business skills that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

    While lynda.com requires a paid subscription to learn from top-quality, industry experts, now a Provo Library card gets you unlimited access Lynda.com’s courses for free. Simply enter your library cardbarcode and PIN on any computer with an Internet connection and begin learning on your own schedule.

    This database is built around five or ten minute video tutorials along with downloadable examples and exercises. Earn certificates of completion that can be added to a resume or attached to a Linkedin profile.

    Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can find exactly what you need to update job skills, advance in a career or pursue a hobby with an ever-growing list of courses and videos in business, creativity and technology. Kickstart your career development, step-in to basic or advanced technology,strengthen your eye for creativity, and much more all on your own time, wherever you may be.

    This new service, powered by Lynda.com and Linkedin, is free with your library card. To get started, visit our Online Resources page or use this direct link. You can find helpful tools and information, as well as a link to contact support.

    Related: Lynda.com By the Numbers

  • meet libby 01

     

    I have a new best friend, and her name is Libby. 

    For a long time, I have loved checking out eBooks and downloadable audiobooks from the library. I love that it's fast! I love that it's free! I don't always love that things automatically get returned at the end of three weeks whether I'm finished or not, but I do love that it's impossible to get late fees on electronic materials. I love our library's selection through OverDrive. 

    But I'm going to be honest for a second: I haven't always loved OverDrive's interface. It often feels like there are a few too many steps to get to a point where I can actually listen on my phone. How do I get to my bookshelf again? As a champion for utilizing these resources, I've always felt like the hurdles were worth it, but I completely understand how new users might get frustrated with the numerous steps it can take to get from finding an eBook to actually reading it. 

    But now Libby is here, and Libby is different.

    Libby by OverDrive is OverDrive's new, streamlined app that eliminates all the things I hated about checking out eBooks and Audiobooks. Libby remembers your library card so you don't have to sign in every time. Libby can remember that you want eBooks sent to your Kindle or iPad but audiobooks downloaded on your phone, and she does it right every time.

    With Libby, you're a search and a click away from reading or listening to the book you want. The steps go like this: 

    1. Install the Libby by OverDrive App on your device. 
    2. Search for your library and sign in with your current library card (Libby can even remember more than one card and toggle between them, if you'd like). You only have to do this step once. 
    3. Search for a title you're interested in. 
    4. If the title is available, tap "borrow." Libby will send the book to your bookshelf according to your preferences. 
    5. Once you've borrowed a title, you can go to your bookshelf to start reading or listening immediately, or you can keep browsing. 

    Libby is still part of the OverDrive family, which means that you'll see the same collection you've always seen in OverDrive, with new titles added all the time. There are few features that don't sync up with OverDrive's old app (like recommending purchases to the library), but if all you're doing in the OverDrive app is reading or listening to books, you're going to love Libby. 

    She's my best friend, but I'm happy to share. Happy reading!

  • college prep

    You might think that the Library was a good resource for your 5th grade state report (and you are right! It is!), but we can help you well beyond 5th grade! The Library has fantastic resources that are accessible remotely, which means that you can do them all without even changing out of your pajamas (I can hardly think of a better way to prepare for college!). Here are some great ways our website can help you prepare for college: 

    Do you need to prepare for college entrance exams like the ACT and SAT? We have a database with free practice tests, tutorials, and e-books. All you need is a library card to log in.

    Do you need to strengthen your academic skills to prepare for placement tests? Our College Center can help with that.

    What if you're preparing to take the GED? You can take practice tests and build your skills with the High School Equivalency Center.

    What about community service to strengthen your application appeal? Consider doing volunteer work at the library (okay, this one will require you to change out of your PJs...).

    You can also be part of our monthly Teen Volunteer Board, where you can volunteer with a group and work on projects together and help the librarians with special projects!

    Come in and ask a librarian how we can help you prepare for college, or check out the "Plan for College" section on our Homework Resources page.  We're ready to help!

  • stpatricks

    True Confessions of Carla: St. Patrick’s Day makes me anxious.  I think this is a result of being pinched in elementary school when I forgot to wear green.  It probably only happened once, but it was enough to create an emotional scar.  Now, many years later, the possibility of an unwise wardrobe choice on St. Patrick’s Day actually weighs on my mind throughout the first part of March. 

    Despite this, I still love St. Patrick’s Day!  Hopefully you do as well.  In celebration, I thought I’d learn a little more about Ireland and share it here with you!. And, like the librarian I am, I used a library resource to do it. 

    The library subscribes to an awesome resource called Global Road Warrior. This database has amazing information about countries around the world. Global Road Warrior is perfect for anyone traveling to a foreign country and for anyone interested in learning more about the world.  My sister actually uses it to introduce her children to a new country every month, which is great way to introduce the world to her family.

    Global Road Warrior

    Anyway, using Global Road Warrior, I learned the following things about Ireland:

    • Saint Patrick’s Day is the Ireland’s National Day and can last up to 5 days and include parades, festivals, plays, concerts, and fireworks.
    • Ireland has almost 900 miles of coastline.
    • The population of Ireland is 4,832,765.
    • Irish public mail boxes are painted green.
    • Ireland is rich with superstitions.  Some great examples:

      Irish Mailbox

      • Cutting the nails of a baby before he turns a year old will make him a kleptomaniac when he grows up.
      • To cure tonsillitis, apply hot potatoes placed in a stocking on one’s throat.
      • To get rid of warts, get some soil from underneath a pallbearer’s feet while attending a burial ceremony; put the soil on the wart; then make a wish that it will be gone soon.
      • Killing a cricket will provoke its kind to destroy a person’s clothes.
      • It is good luck to throw footwear on the way home from a party.
      • Children walking backwards are believed to be cursing their parents.
    • Traditional Irish cuisine is generally based on meat, cabbage, and potatoes or praties.  (Global Road Warrior even has a few recipes including Soda Bread, Champ, and Coddle!)
    • Banshee, galore, hooligan, shamrock and smithereens are all Irish words that have been “loaned” to the English language. 
    • And finally, here are some wise Irish proverbs with which I leave you:
      • “A friend’s eye is a good mirror.”
      • “It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.”
      • “What butter and whiskey will not cure there is no cure for.”
      • “Many a time a man’s mouth broke his nose.”
  • here to help

    I recently took a phone call from a library patron who was interested in learning how to use some advanced functions in Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, etc), but taking a formal class was cost prohibitive. This patron wanted to know if we had any resources that could help them.

    Oh do we have resources…

    Can I just tell you? Asking a librarian what resources are available for [insert task/project/assignment here] is one of the best ways to make us love you. We want to tell you all about the amazing resources that you can use for FREE!

    For this patron, I recommended four different resources:

    1. The Computer Help Lab which takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 5:00 PM in the Special Collections Room. This particular patron wasn’t available during those hours, so next I recommended…

    2. Book a Librarian. With this service the patron can request a time that suits them to meet with a librarian one-on-one to get individual help. The patron liked this idea, but was also interested in self-directed learning. So I also recommended…

    3. Learning Express Library, which has a lot of great resources that range far beyond just basic computer and Microsoft Office skills, including standardized test resources (ACT, ASVAB, GED, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, Praxis, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.), resources for becoming a U.S. citizen, basic math, reading, and writing resources, and so much more that this is just the tip of the ice berg.

    4. And finally, one of my favorites, Lynda.com. I don’t really know where to start when trying to describe the wealth of resources available on here. In addition to Microsoft Office courses, Lynda offers fantastic and professionally produced video courses on subjects relating to and including: 3D and animation, audio and music, business, CAD, design, courses for developers, education and e-learning, IT, marketing, photography, video, and the web.

    For the Provo City Library, providing our community with access to information, instruction, and learning is central to our mission. We are here to help, and want to make sure you are aware of the amazing, FREE resources available to everyone.

    The next time you come in, ask a librarian what great resources the library can offer, and watch their face light up.Just try it.

    I dare you.

  •  

    flat tire 01

     

    I have a car. She and I usually get along quite well, but sometimes she needs a bit of extra attention. For example, she recently broke her shoe (flat tire), and I know how frustrating it can be when a heel breaks. You can’t really walk, and until it’s either fixed or you replace the shoes, you’re quite miserable.

    I’m pretty sure that’s how my car felt as I tried to leave work the other day. She was incredibly sluggish. As in, it’s really cold and I refuse to get out of bed and deal with the day, sluggish. I got out and looked her up and down. That’s when I noticed it--the flat tire. 

    My first thought was to call my brother (who is a mechanic). My second thought was, “I’m a fully capable woman, and I can change my own darn tire!” 

    I’d never changed a tire before. I saw my mom put a spare on once… when I was 10.

    Yeah, I got this!

    Laugh if you must. I know I’m being overly dramatic about changing a tire. It’s really not that hard, and I know that now. Between my owner’s manual and using the Library’s Wi-Fi to watch an instructional YouTube video, I was able to successfully take off the flat, put on the spare, and then drive to my mechanic.

    flat tire 2

    This is a true story! Photographic evidence!

    I tell you this story because it got me thinking a lot about car repair, and how little I know. Changing a tire isn’t complicated, but some things are. Thankfully the library has a lot of great resources to help. One of my favorites (and totally accessible online) is Auto Repair Source. I love it because you can select your car’s year, make and model, then get information about your car specifically. What information? Diagnostic and repair information, labor time guides and estimates, specifications and maintenance schedules, how-to guides (including how to change a tire), and so much more.

    At the very least, when I go to my mechanic I can sort of sound like I know what I’m talking about.

    Sort of.

    I don’t know cars well, but Auto Repair Source is really helping me learn more, and at least sound more knowledgeable. I won’t try fixing cars myself (a librarian can only do so much), but I can certainly help you find information on how to do it! 

  • wbonline

    True Confessions of Carla: I secretly want to own an entire set of encyclopedias.  I do not think I am alone in this desire.  If you are over the age of thirty, you may remember the days of researching for a school report without the aid of the internet.  Having your own set of encyclopedias was homework gold!  I don’t actually own a set because, really, where would I put it? And also, like my cell phone and laptop, it would be outdated by the time I peel off the packaging.

    Fortunately, the Provo City Library has us covered.  Not only do we keep a current edition of the World Book Encyclopedia in our reference collection, but we subscribe to the online version which our residents have access to 24/7!   While Wikipedia and Google are great for answering some questions, World Book Online has some great advantages:

    • You have access to scholarly articles, primary and secondary source documents and loads of images, illustrations, maps and videos relating to your research subject.
    • Articles are authored by expert contributors and researchers.
    • Information is updated regularly and consistently.
    • Information is accessible through age appropriate platforms which adjust for reading levels.
    • Citations, those pesky things only students have to worry about, are included on the same page making research papers a little bit easier.

    If you have never taken a look at it, you really should because it is marvelous!  To access our subscription to World Book Online, visit us at www.provolibrary.com and select “World Book Encyclopedia” under the “Learn” menu.  If you are at home, follow the link for “Home Access” and supply your Provo City Library Card number and PIN and Boom!  Homework gold is once again yours!

    I’ll admit, it’s not the same thing.  You miss out on that shiny paper, the heft of each volume, and that musty smell which I nostalgically link with the desperation of a fast approaching due date.  But it is possibly, the very next best thing. 

  • Encyclopedias

    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.