Need help with school research projects? Library resources to the rescue! (Part 2)

By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam

As mentioned in my first post in this series, Google is a great resource of information and can be a useful first source when researching for school projects.

But did you know that there are many subscription-based library resources that can be accessed online with your Oak Park library card? Not only that, but you can use an iPad, Chromebook, mobile device, or desktop to access these resources right from home!

On the Research and Learn page on the library’s website, you’ll find subscription-based resources that can be accessed for free with your library card and PIN. 

Last month, I highlighted CultureGrams, National Geographic Kids, and World Book for Kids. In this post, I will feature two more resources that are amazing sites for research for school projects and for curious minds.

Interested in maps & the world outside your door? Then you’ll love these resources!

AtoZ Maps Online

This online database is a comprehensive collection of royalty-free downloadable maps, from ancient history to today. Need a map of almost any place in the world? There is a good chance you can find it here and be able to download it for free!

Screenshot of AtoZ MapsOnline with map images and menu

AtoZ Maps Online contains antique and modern country maps, regional maps, world maps, U.S. state maps, and congressional district maps, plus an extensive collection of flags, including country, international organization, and state flags.

Are you a history buff? In this vast collection of maps, you can find:

Interested in climate and weather? In the database, you’ll find:

  • A collection of climate maps such as this Global Weather Visualization Map, which shows the speed and direction of winds across the planet. It’s mesmerizing!
  • A Geology map of the world that shows the latest earthquakes and their magnitudes.

To top it off, on this site you can test your geography knowledge by playing a GeoFind it Quiz game!

Teachers and parents can access teaching tools like lesson plans, crossword puzzles, and National Geographic Standards to help integrate this amazing database into their curriculum.

AtoZ World Culture

This online database is home to information about world history, cultures, languages, foods, religions, and more. 

  • Want to learn about a country that you know very little or nothing about? Click the search bar and type in the name of the country.
  • Have a school culture project and need to learn lots of facts about a country? Search from a drop-down list of countries.
  • Interested in expanding your geography and cultural knowledge? Click on the map to explore a new country!
Screenshot of AtoZ World Culture with Where do you want to go, a world map, and a list of countries to choose from

A new country is featured on their homepage each day, inviting you to visit a unique place every day of the year. 

In researching a country in this database, you have access to a wealth of photos showcasing the capital city, landmarks, the climate and natural landscape, the people, and culture. This database provides a cultural overview of each country, including cultural diversity and religion:

  • If you are interested in cuisine and would like to obtain some recipes from different countries, you can find them here! 
  • If you have an interest in traditional and modern music forms, you can expand your knowledge here. 
  • If you find names fascinating and would like to learn about traditional names, this is a great place to find that information!

You can obtain a wealth of basic facts about each country such as its flag, location on the globe, local language, capital city, country codes, currency, highest and lowest points of elevation, national symbols, and demographics such as population. And you can obtain in-depth information about each country such as its culture, society, education, and history. 

The social indicators section for each country contains a wealth of facts and statistics, and includes several graphs that show comparisons of countries around the world, including fertility rate, income share, and life expectancy.

Just like the AtoZ Maps Online resource, AtoZ World Culture provides teaching tools for educators, parents, and caregivers, including lesson plans that can be integrated into the everyday curriculum.

These are two amazing online resources with a wealth of information from AtoZ! We hope you explore! All you need is your library card and a computer! Have fun learning!

More library resources for kids


About Eileen

Eileen Saam is a children’s digital learning librarian who loves discovering new things, learning from others, and sharing with children the joy and wonder of books. One of her favorite things to do at the library is to help children, families, and teachers find books and digital resources that delight and inspire them.

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