Dear District 143 Teachers,

I am thrilled to announce that the SWAN consortium of 100 libraries (to which all the public libraries serving the students of District 143 belong) has purchased a robust collection of online databases for use by member library cardholders.

What's a database? A database is an expertly curated collection of online resources that would normally not be available on the free Internet. Databases typically contain more reliable information than the free internet for academic use.

What's included? Resources of special interest to elementary and junior high students, their teachers, and their parents and guardians include:

NoveList K-8 Plus: Reading recommendations for kids' fiction and nonfiction that you can search by Lexile, subject, and grade level.

Primary Search: Resources to support elementary school students, including encyclopedias specifically for kids, articles from children's magazines including Highlights and Junior Scholastic, and a large image collection.

Middle Search Plus: Resources to support middle school students, including biographies, magazines, primary source documents, photos, maps, and flags. Includes Sports Illustrated Kids, Scholastic News, National Geographic and dozens more. Articles include reading level indicators (Lexile).

History Reference Center: Full-text articles to support research in history and genealogy and lesson plans to support student learning.

Points of View Reference Center: Resources for students to understand issues, develop critical thinking skills, and develop persuasive arguments. Includes essays, overviews, articles, and transcripts on, citizens' rights, earth and environmental issues, global issues, health and medicine, and media and communications.

Science Reference Center: Full-text articles to support research in applied sciences, biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and energy. Includes the Science Image Collection, a database of high-quality science images from National Geographic, UPI, Getty, NASA, and Nature Picture Library.

How do my students get started? To access all the databases in the package, students should go to the link for their home library below and login using their library card and PIN. If a student needs a library card, their parent or guardian should contact their home library using the contact information also provided via these links. (And teachers, if you live in the Chicagoland area, there's a very good chance your home library is also a member of SWAN and also gives you access with your library card!)


Markham and Posen:



Need assistance? Midlothian Public Library staff can provide instruction in the use of these resources for teachers, parents and guardians, or students, individually or as a group, via phone or Zoom. if you have interest in an instruction session, please contact me via the email below. Or, if you just have a quick question, please call (708) 535-2027 and ask for the Help Desk!

Wishing you safety and wellness,

Jennifer Cottrill, Library Director

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