In second grade, my teacher Mrs. Fox introduced me to one of the delights of education, namely pacifying curiosity through research.
If a topic interested a student, she permitted him or her to do a report for extra credit. The reports, as I recall, were mostly plagiarized chunks of text from a couple library books and perhaps the World Book Encyclopedia, awkwardly tied together with limited vocabulary. Nevertheless, Mrs. Fox would give the extra credit and encourage us to do more.
I do not remember the extra credit being the primary motivation for students. In second grade, grades were still somewhat nebulous; I was aware that extra credit would improve my scores, but it was all still quite abstract for my 8-year-old brain. What did motivate me was the ability to pursue and explore a topic on my own — to take what we had learned in the classroom and do further exploration. There was something empowering and exciting about investigating a topic on my own.
That pursuit of knowledge that Mrs. Fox nurtured remained with me all through my education. The research I did through high school and college was nothing more than an extension of what I did in second grade, with the exception of the plagiarism. Additionally, it continues to spur me to explore unfamiliar ideas and seek and discover new concepts. What fascinates me is how much information is now available to students doing research.
As the new school year approaches, I want to take the opportunity to remind students and parents of the vast collection of resources available through Community Library. Locally, we have a collection of nearly 100,000 items, including books, magazines, movies and CDs. Students can seamlessly access an additional 400,000 items through the Consortium of Ohio Libraries at sunbury.cool-cat.org. The library also provides approximately 175,000 eBooks and audio-books through the Ohio Digital Library at ohioebooks.com.
In addition to our book and eBook collections, Community Library offers a variety of databases to assist students with research at community.lib.oh.us/databases/. Following is a list of just some of the databases that will help students with their studies.
• World Book Online: World Book is the online version of the popular print encyclopedia. In addition to the encyclopedia, World Book includes other primary sources, such as a dictionary, atlases, and videos. World Book is always a great place to start a research project.
• Student Research Center: Student Research Center is a collection of magazines and journals as well as other books and reference works. This resource covers all disciplines and is excellent for in-depth research.
• Literary Reference Center: Literary Reference Center offers a wide range of information on authors and their works. It includes biographies as well as critical essays and is the perfect tool for any literature class.
• Points of View Reference Center: Points of View Reference Center contains information on both sides of current and controversial topics. It’s a great choice for students working on persuasive essays and speeches.
• Science Reference Center: This database provides easy access to science resources including magazines, journals, books and experiments. This resource would be useful during science fair.
More than ever, there is an abundance of information available to students doing research. Although it is impressive, it can quickly become overwhelming. We hope that Community Library can be a partner in your research, helping you navigate the many resources and making the process easier and more fruitful. If you have any needs, please contact us for assistance. We wish students and parents all the best this coming school year.
If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to contact me at 740-965-3901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chauncey Montgomery is the Community Library director. Community Library is located at 44 Burrer Dr. Visit Community Library online at community.lib.oh.us.