Sunday, April 22, 2007

Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book

Your child has a homework assignment on a not-so-well-known historical figure. You find some mentions of him/her in our circulating and reference books, but not enough to flesh out a report. What to do now? Is your instinct to search the Internet? While the Internet is a fun and useful tool, it is also filled with outdated, slanted, and wildly incorrect websites.

Before you point your mouse toward Google, search our databases. As a card-carrying member of Fauquier County Public Library, you have access to an impressive amount of databases, including the Britannica and World Book Encyclopedias. If your child is not quite ready to tackle the entries found in these encyclopedias, don't worry. Britannica and World Book Encyclopedias have kid-friendly features for our younger patrons.

This isn't your mother's Britannica or your father's World Book. For example, the Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids not only features child-friendly entries, but also includes Compton's Encyclopedia for middle school students, Britannica's Elementary Encyclopedia for elementary students, a world atlas, statistics and other information for all 50 states, and much more.

World Book Kids features child-friendly browsing and entries, pictures, and activities to enhance projects.

Both databases are attractively designed and for easy use.

The entries also include a "How to Cite This Article" feature at the end of the entries (I wish this would have been around when I was doing reports!). World Book follows the MLA (Modern Language Association) citation format. Encyclopedia Britannica cites entries in both MLA and APA (American Psychological Association) format. Check with your teacher to find out which format she/he prefers (MLA is a very common form in elementary through high school grades; APA or Chicago Style may be introduced in high school, but students may not encounter them until they are in college.).

All databases can be accessed at home (or wherever else you have Internet access). You just need to enter your barcode number located on your library card.

If you need help navigating the databases, ask someone at the reference desk. We're here to help.

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