Monday, April 14, 2014

Thing 23: The Final Thing

I've enjoyed sharing 23 Things with you - so for my final thing I want to spend a little time talking about Minnesota's ELM databases. For some reason these databases, which are funded by our state legislature and available free for every library (and citizen) in the state, seem to be a well-kept secret. And that's just a darn shame! They are quality databases that are awesome resources for all ages and stages, that can be easily accessed on computers and mobile devices. If you are not familiar with them you are definitely missing out!

Right now you can find these excellent resources at One of my favorites is Encyclopedia Britannica. The most incredible feature in Encyclopedia Britannica is the way users can adjust the reading level to suit their needs. This allows students to move up and down in reading range while gathering the same content, and allows teachers to adjust difficulty for their students as needed. The text can be read aloud, translated into a variety of languages and shared simultaneously with an entire class.

For younger students, Kids Infobits, KidSearch and Searchasaurus are research databases specifically created for elementary students. They are easy to use and provide students with magazine and journal articles, images, multimedia files and more. The reading level in these also has some range, and again, translating is a breeze. In addition, creating a citation from all three of these is slick and teaches students the value of citing your sources.

For older students you won't want to miss the great research found in Student Reference Center and Student in Context. And if your topic is something related to science, the Science Reference Center is the one for you!

If your research leads you to arguing one side of an issue, be sure to visit the Points of View Reference Center.

The best part? All of these databases are provided for people living in Minnesota! There is no added charge for subscribing. So if your school isn't directing you to these resources you'll want to visit them on your own at

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