Homework Help

  • General sites and reference sources
  • Writing a research paper
  • Finding magazine and newspaper articles
  • Language and literature
  • History
  • Biography
  • Science and mathematics
  • Special Library services

    Jump to your school on the Web...

When working on homework assignments, there's no better place than the Library. When you need help, don't hesitate to ask!  You can ask a librarian in the Library, by phone, via email, or online.

The Web can be a great source of information, but remember, Web sources are not all of equal value, accuracy, and authority. Questions to Ask When Evaluating Websites will help you to distinguish among sources.

Suitable for elementary and middle grade students Denotes resources suitable for students in elementary and middle grades

Web resource Web resource  Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library card Available with Skokie Public Library card  Available in Library only Available in Library only

General Sites and Reference Sources

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardBritannica Online

Check out Britannica when you begin research for basic information about people and events. Britannica offers good web links, video clips, pictures and even Spanish translations about many topics too.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardCAMIO

CAMIO is an online museum collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works of art. Search the site to see if has what you need. Students are welcome to use the images in school projects—just include credit.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardGale Virtual Reference Library

Like the title says, GVRL is an online collection of encyclopedia-like books on many topics. Use GVRL for quality articles on topics ranging from science, health and medicine, literature, history, arts and much more. The book covers are shown on the opening screen. You can “open” each book online and see the different sections.
Skokie Public Library's guide to this database

Web resourceInfoplease.com

Use Infoplease when you need quick, easy-to-look up facts such as population statistics, sports records, data about the economy, and much more.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardLearningExpress Library 3.0

This is a great source for practice tests like the ACT, SAT and several other standardized tests. Learning Library Express provides immediate scores and feedback. Register to create a user name and password (in addition to your Skokie Library login).
Skokie Public Library's guide to this database.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardnetTrekker

netTrekker gathers more than 330,000 teacher-approved websites and digital resources for students. Each learning resource is reviewed and tagged by experienced educators to help quickly find the most relevant content to engage students in learning. Results may be refined by school level (elementary, middle, or high), reading level, or subject (social studies, science, etc.).

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardWorld Book Online Reference Center

This resource provides basic introductions to topics, similar to Britannica. Note the collections of primary sources and timelines that could be helpful for your projects. World Book also has a Spanish version.

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Writing a Research Paper

Web resourceInternet Public Library TeenSpace: A+ Research & Writing

Learn how to research and write a paper using library and Internet resources. A special section called Citing Sources includes information on how to cite print and electronic resources in a bibliography.

Web resourceWorldCat

WorldCat is a handy “world catalog” that you can use to check thousands of other libraries to find books Skokie Library may not have. Ask a librarian to order the book/s or fill out an online request form.

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Finding Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Use the Magazine and Newspaper Locator to find databases containing a specific journal title or to locate titles by subject area.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardChicago Tribune – 1849 to the present via ProQuest

Search the Chicago Tribune back to 1849 right up to the present. Up to 1987 everything that appeared on the original pages is included, including photos, cartoons and ads. After 1987 only the written articles are available.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardFactiva.com

Try Factiva for business news articles and also as a general newspaper and magazine source. Factiva shows articles in Spanish, French, Italian and other languages besides English.
Skokie Public Library's guide to this database

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardJSTOR

JSTOR has academic—or scholarly—articles on a variety of subjects. Use JSTOR when you need more detail and depth than typical newspapers and magazines offer.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardMasterFILE Premier from EBSCOhost

MasterFile Premier is another good place for news and magazine articles. Plus, it contains a great collection of images and primary sources.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardThe New York Times via LexisNexis Library Express

Start here when you need a New York Times article for an assignment. The selection goes back to 1980.

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Language and Literature

Web resourceLiterary Research 101 from Skokie Public Library

Use this helpful Skokie Public Library guide to print and online resources when you are doing literary research. The guide includes sources for literary criticism, information on authors, summaries and texts of literary works, and information on how to cite your sources.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardLiterature Criticism Online — Something About the Author

Cross search two major sources at once here when you need information about authors and their work.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardMango Languages

If you thought you had no time to practice learning a new language, try Mango. Mango offers online foreign language courses and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

Web resourceOxford English Dictionary

The online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which covers the language from the earliest times to present day, explains the current meanings of words and their development through time.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardRosetta Stone Library Solution

Rosetta Stone is a language learning resource that provides lessons in thirty languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese.
Please note: Only Level 1 lessons are available and a microphone is required.

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Web resourceChicago Metro History Education Center

This site includes information on the current Chicago Metro History Fair and much more.

Web resourceCIA World Factbook and State Department Background Notes

These two government web sites offer frequently updated statistics and maps on more than 200 countries. For more detailed historical background on several countries, try the Library of Congress Country Studies.

Web resourceLibrary of Congress Country Studies

This government web site is a good source for historic and economic background about many countries. The Country Studies were originally published as books.

Web resourceResearching the 20th Century: Useful Materials for Decades Projects

This Skokie Public Library bibliography lists chronologies, timelines, yearbooks, video recordings, and other resources for students working on decades projects.

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Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardCurrent Biography Illustrated

Find quality articles and photos for past and present individuals from all walks of life. The articles once appeared in the print version of Current Biography magazine.

Web resourcePresident's Hall

Learn about all the U.S. presidents here on this section of the White House web site.

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Science and Mathematics

Web resourceHowStuffWorks

This easy-to-use web site offers explanations of, like the title says, “how things work.” Think hybrid car engines, satellite radio and robotic surgery, for example. The site also has lots of ads, so be sure you are looking at your search results, not the ads, for information.

Web resourcePurplemath

Get help with algebra and even some precalculus.  There are worked-out examples, explained clearly, for each topic.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardScience Online from Facts on File

Use Science Online to find science experiments, videos, diagrams, articles, and biographies of famous scientists.


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Special Library Services

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardAtomic Training

Atomic Training contains short videos explaining specific tasks in many of the most Suitable for elementary and middle grade studentspopular software applications in use today. The videos may be watched in sequence like a course, or watched individually to learn a specific part of a program.

Web resourceEmail

Email your questions to our reference staff -- anytime!

Web resourceHigh School Textbooks Available in Adult Services from Skokie Public Library

A selection of Niles North and Niles West textbooks are available for in-Library use. Check this list and then stop at the Adult Services Reference Desk on the second floor to borrow what you need.

Web resourceInstant Message (IM) a reference librarian

Chat with a librarian from Skokie Public Library live online during Library business hours using your chat program or through the Library's chat box.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardLynda.com

Lynda.com provides access to over 8,000 video courses in technology and business.
Please note: First time users should click the "Create a profile" link to set up a password.

Telephone Reference

Call Skokie Public Library's Reference Desk at 847.673.3733.
   Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 9:00pm
   Saturday from 9:00am to 6:00pm
   Sunday from 12:00noon to 6:00pm

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