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     August 2006


Enclosed is this month's free newsletter for eLibrary® Curriculum Edition subscribers. This newsletter is designed to help teachers, librarians, and administrators stay informed about the latest changes to their subscriptions, while providing classroom resources and giving tips for using their ProQuest solutions in a variety of settings.

Don't miss our online archive for access to past issues, and to make changes to your newsletter options.

In this issue:


Our product development team is constantly reviewing customer feedback and making changes to our learning resources to meet your needs. Several updates or content additions were recently completed, and we wanted to bring them to your attention.

Cleaner, Revised eLibrary Interface

Last year hundreds of schools trialed eLibrary Science, and inadvertently got a glimpse of the future of the look and feel of our entire eLibrary family of K-12 solutions.

In a few short weeks, eLibrary and eLibrary Curriculum Edition will get a makeover, which will round some corners, brighten up colors, tighten up spacing, and in general bring the award-winning graphical interface solidly into 2006.

Plus, some of our advanced search options will move slightly, and provide a more streamlined search experience for users at all levels of proficiency.

More information about when these cosmetic changes will go live is forthcoming. In the meantime, sign up for an eLibrary Science trial today to see the changes in action.

Educator Story: “Google? No. eLibrary and BookCarts? Yes!”

A few days ago we received the following testimonial from a long-time eLibrary user in Canada. Food for thought as the new school year gets underway!

From: Diane Gallagher-Hayashi
Stelly's School
Saanichton, BC, Canada

“A few years ago, I purchased eLibrary Curriculum Edition for my library in Canada. The feature that sold me then was the BookCart tool. Today, I still find the BookCart feature the most useful parts of eLibrary.”

“One of my struggles, as a teacher-librarian, is the 'Google syndrome.' While Google is a perfectly good search engine, I find students head to Google immediately and don’t try any other avenues, even if Google is not the best first choice for their particular need. In addition, students will often spend the entire class searching Google without finding time to make any notes, or actually get started on the assignment. With the help of their classroom teachers, I have been able to encourage students to use eLibrary instead, cutting their search time in half.”

“When a classroom teacher books into the library, I request the topic of research and then put together a BookCart. I include both articles found on eLibrary and related websites and I have all the BookCarts organized by subject area.”

“When the students come into the library I ask them to login, open the library webpage, and then wait. Once they are all logged in, I walk them through the process of finding the appropriate BookCart. We have a link to eLibrary on the school library webpage, making it easy for students to access this from

“I keep the BookCarts that get used from year to year, updating them as necessary, and delete the ones that are a ‘one off’. Teachers have told me they love knowing that their students will have a ready list of articles and websites, and that they can comfortably confine the research to one or two classes. Students frequently thank me for making their job easier. To find the BookCarts I created, conduct an advanced search, and enter the word Hayashi in the Author field.”

Thanks for your thoughts, Diane! This year, why not take advantage of our BookCart/QuizCart tools to guide student research, rather than allowing students to spend time and energy finding unvetted resources via Google.

Do you have a comment or story you’d like to tell about your subscription? Send email to and we’ll feature it in an upcoming newsletter from ProQuest.

Feature Reminder: QuizCarts

eLibrary BookCarts can now include QuizCarts. QuizCart assessments are not intended as research activities because they are mostly focused on factual information and not on using resources to reach conclusions and reasoned opinion on issues and problems. QuizCarts are most useful when BookCarts are used for reading assignments that update topics that are either not included in textbooks, or are out of date. Most textbooks generally average 4-6 years old, so it is not uncommon in this age of information that many new discoveries or significant events have occurred after a textbook is published and that are essential for learning.

Teachers can search any textbook topic in eLibrary and collect the most current articles in a BookCart to supplement the textbook. The QuizCart can be integrated into the BookCart as both a pre-test and a post-test to assess the reading assignment. These BookCarts should include multiple articles and websites so that students will have to “dig” for the information. Teachers can also require students to print and build a notebook of the most significant articles on each topic. QuizCarts provide up to 10 multiple choice questions that are scored automatically and then emailed to the teacher for review.
  1. Access the eLibrary or eLibrary CE Teacher Edition.
  2. Click the BookCart Admin link.
  3. Click the Local tab and then Create a New BookCart.
  4. Click Quizzes in the Product option pull down menu.
  5. Enter your email address in the Email box.
  6. Scroll down and click Quizzes.
  7. Scroll down again to the quiz multiple choice question builder.
Teachers should generally create the BookCart readings before they create the quiz so that the student learning resources are correlated to the questions.

ProQuest Donates 'Shelter Library' to New Orleans

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, ProQuest and IBM joined forces to develop the Shelter Library, supporting the thousands of adults and children evacuated to Baton Rouge. Since its opening, the Shelter Library has served hundreds of evacuees, helping them file insurance claims, connect with loved ones via email, track emergency aid, and help kids stay current with schoolwork by providing premium online homework support. As part of the New Orleans Public Library, the Shelter Library will serve these residents as they return home to rebuild. Find out more.

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Podcast Podcast XML Let’s face it--no matter how many times we visit our favorite online learning resources, we’re bound to miss a feature or two. This month, we present one of the least-known but most useful feature sets of your eLibrary subscription: Transferring multimedia files from eLibrary into presentation software.

One of the most compelling uses of our ProQuest multimedia resources is to enrich student presentations. Our full line of K-12 solutions offer access to audio, video, and Macromedia Flash content--all of which can be inserted into presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint.

Our new video podcast focuses on one of our popular quick start guides that can help you locate and make use of the multimedia files you access through your ProQuest subscriptions.

To sign up for our new monthly podcasts and see this feature in action, click here!

1. Get Ready: Web Browser Cleanup

Before obtaining a multimedia file to insert into a presentation program, it’s best to perform some basic browser clean-up. As you may know, every browser uses something called a cache folder to store previous viewed files and online content. This is where the multimedia files from your ProQuest subscription are stored before viewing inside your browser, along with hundreds or even thousands of old webpages and other files that users of your PC or Mac have accessed in recent days or weeks.

To help speed up the process of locating and inserting multimedia files into your presentation, we’ll first clean out this cache. To clean out your cache in Internet Explorer:
  • Click the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.

  • Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files.

  • Click the box next to Delete all offline content, and click OK.

  • Your Web browser cache is now empty. Click OK to close the window.
2. Get Set: Locate Multimedia

Your ProQuest subscriptions make it easy to locate audio, video, and Macromedia Flash content using a variety of search methods. In eLibrary, one method is to enter your search query, then make sure that only audio/video is checked as the content type. Additionally, you may click the purple audio/video icon on the main search page to find content by publisher.

Here’s a short list of the types of media files you’ll discover in eLibrary:
Video: .mov + .wmv
Audio: .mp3 + .wav
Flash: .swf

Keep in mind that ProQuest streaming multimedia files cannot be reused in student projects. The file is stored within our servers and can’t be transferred to your local computer for use in this manner.

3. Go: Locating & Integrating Multimedia

Once you’ve found a multimedia file you wish to insert into your presentation software, view it in your browser once. Once you’ve listened to or viewed the file, you can find it in your cache and integrate it into your project.

To learn how to locate your multimedia file and prepare it for integration into your presentation using Internet Explorer, retrieve a copy of our newest quick start guide.

Now you’re in the know! We hope this month’s tip and trick bring you closer to being a true eLibrary power user.

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eLibrary Editor’s Choice 160,000 websites include many that provide tutorials, puzzles, and games in English Language Arts and in Mathematics. This is important because these are the two essential skills areas that currently lagging in student performance across the county. These are also the areas that are the major focus of No Child Left Behind and the SATs. Starting this school year, Science will be added to the essential skills tested by the states.

Activity: Teachers can create BookCarts that collect the best of these websites using the Topic Search tool.
  1. Logon to eLibrary Curriculum Edition.
  2. Access the Teacher Edition.
  3. Click the Topics tab.
  4. Under Mathematics, click Tutorials, Practice, and Games.
  5. Note the links to activities and tutorial resources for Mathematics.
  6. Click the Back button on your browser to return to Topics categories.
  7. Click English Language Arts.
  8. Note the variety of practice exercises on language arts fundamentals.
  9. Open and browse the resources in both categories.
You now have a better idea of resources that can help students when selected appropriately by teachers and collected into a BookCart to save time for students.

Teachers can also use special ProQuest professional development model BookCarts. These BookCarts provide a collection of resources for teachers to use in developing lesson plans and keeping current in their field.
  1. Access the Teacher Edition.
  2. Click the BookCart Admin link.
  3. View the complete list of model BookCarts by clicking the ProQuest Carts tab.
  4. Click the Professional Development folder.
  5. Look for Math Info, Games, and Puzzles.
  6. Look for Science Teacher Resources.
  7. Look for Graphic Novels, Comic Books, and Reading Skills.
  8. Click the Copy icon to move them to your Local collection.
  9. Explore the resources in each for ideas on building your own custom BookCarts.
When you’re ready to build, you’ll need to read the tutorial or take our free online course.

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Later this month, both ProQuest Learning: Literature and History Study Center will re-launch with a host of changes and new additions. You can access PQLL and HSC via your eLibrary CE subscription by clicking the History or Literature button on the right side of the search interface.

ProQuest Learning Literature


Over 200 new author biographies and 60 revisions and updates biographies currently in PQLL. New biographies include:
Ray Young Bear
George Washington Cable
Ciaran Carson
Tu Fu
Jane Goodall
Amde Hamilton
Abiodun Oyewole
Li Po
Esmeralda Santiago
Lewis Thomas
Gerald Vizenor
Victor Villaseñor
More than 40 authors from Heinemann’s African Writers Series. The first novels published in English by African writers appeared in this series during the early 1960s. Chinua Achebe, author of the novel Things Fall Apart, was its first editor.

3 Period Pages: Renaissance, Neoclassicism and Romanticism

3 Literary Movement Pages: The Inklings, Postcolonialism and Hip Hop
The Inklings: A literary group that included authors C.S. Lewis and R.R. Tolkien. This study page has over 20 articles about aspects of the literary movement and over 40 articles about the novels The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Postcolonialism: 8 video clips showing colonial and postcolonial experience. 68 articles about postcolonial literature. Over 180 articles on specific authors or works. 35 NPR interview transcripts.

Hip Hop: Almost 60 articles about hip hop as a literary movement. Over 60 articles about particular hip hop artists; 20 NPR interview transcripts. Wide range of reading levels: articles from newspapers and popular magazines to scholarly journals. Something for the reluctant reader as well as articles for the more advanced students, or even for teachers (lesson planning). The study page articles trace the origins of hip hop poetry in the Black Arts Movement, as well as to the West African griot, a community’s respected storyteller.
History Study Center

  • Default is now to return results only when they contain all of your search terms (like Google), unless alternative Boolean operators are used.

  • Results are still returned in relevance order.

  • The option “most recent first” will sort the journal articles in reverse chronological order.

  • Articles published on the same date will be sorted alphabetically by article title.

  • A Sort button will appear following the dropdown list.

  • Plurals and grammatical variants included.

  • Alternative spellings and synonyms included.

Contents grouped into five areas: Study Units, Historical Documents, Maps & Reference, Multimedia, Journals. Each area can be searched independently or you can search across all contents, with results broken down by area. Durable URLS added for each page; copy and paste to save each.

DBQs (Document Based Questions)

In Study Units and Information Resources area; 50 topics planned, there are 24 in this release:
U.S. History:
Early European settlement in the Americas
American Revolution
Western Expansion
Causes of the Civil War
The Civil War
Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy
The New Deal
The Cold War
Civil Rights movement
World History:
The Reformation
French Revolution
The Industrial Revolution in Britain
Causes of First World War
First World War
Russian Revolution
The League of Nations
Second World War
Clips downloadable in QuickTime (version 7.1 required).
Link will be provided to get appropriate version in the Information Resources area.
Maps & Reference, Historical Documents, Journals: Print View added.
Thumbnails for images & maps appear in the article text of reference books and atlases, clickable to view full-size image.
Page image navigation by Page Number bar.
Publication “HNP documents,” a sourcebook with the selections from ProQuest Historical Newspapers that are in HSC.
Table of contents will be browseable.
Title moved to top of page.
10 new animated maps (in Chadwyck-Healey Animated Maps).
50 new Cartographica maps (in Chadwyck-Healey Atlas of World History).
Citation for sent document added.
Back link added; 1000 item limit for entire My Archive. No individual folder limit.
Area reserved for library branding (width 120 pixels maximum).
Customization options page added to the Information Resources area.

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The use of source documents offers students a direct glimpse into the past. But without context, these sources can confuse as often as illuminate. Our newest offering places these resources into a relevant framework that enriches both the content and student understanding of the material.

SIRS Decades features more than 5,000 hand-selected primary and secondary source articles highlighting key events, movements, people, and places in 20th-century America.

Each decade features an overview essay, which offers concise, relevant overviews. By reviewing the essay, students can understand the scope of the decade, the major groups or people concerned, key themes and influences, and important laws involved. Inline hyperlinks in the essay help students explore additional resources relevant to the essay’s themes.

These documents may include primary sources from the time period; present-day articles; entries from encyclopedias and almanacs; or government documents such as laws, pamphlets, or forms. In addition, the featured thumbnail image spotlights a high-impact graphic related to the major theme of the decade. Each decade also provides a list of related topics. By selecting a topic, students can access specific primary and secondary sources associated with the topic and further background essays that place the sources in context.

Here are direct links to several examples within SIRS Decades. To access the resources, first sign up for a free 30-day trial, then login, and click these links:



Find out more about SIRS Decades at our K-12 website.

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ProQuest LearningPage can make your life easier with a great selection of educational resources for the coming school year. Now is the perfect time to be sure you have everything you need to help make successful learners out of all the young people in your life.

A subscription to any of the ProQuest LearningPage websites will bring thousands of developmentally appropriate resources to your desktop, 24/7, 365 days a year. Our online store of resources is full of books, lessons, worksheets, and other valuable materials. ProQuest LearningPage has quality materials for every reading need and level at very low prices, available at the click of a mouse.
    Reading A-Z: Get instant access to thousands of developmentally appropriate books, lesson plans, worksheets, and activities. Print as many copies as you need at any time, all for one low annual price! The website also offers Spanish, French, and U.K. versions of various books.

    Vocabulary A-Z: Build hundreds of customized vocabulary lessons to match the subjects you’re teaching. The categorized word bank has approximately 4,000 words to choose from, with more added regularly. Topics include science, social studies, math, health, language arts, music, physical education, and everyday words.

    Raz-Kids: Combine kids' love of cartoons with effective reading instruction. Raz-Kids offers interactive books at 17 levels to motivate students and help them learn to read. The website also provides online quizzes, printable worksheets, and an online management system for teachers.

    Reading-Tutors: Print hundreds of lessons and materials for use by tutors, parents, or teachers to provide students with extra support in key reading areas, helping them to improve their reading skills.
Download free samples to try out any of these great low-priced products. We've made it easy for you by placing all the samples in one convenient location.

For information on any of the ProQuest LearningPage websites, please call 866.889.3729 or email

We have everything you need for back to school--quality, affordable educational resources at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere!

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eLibrary Elementary: August is American Artists Appreciation Month. Students in elementary school are motivated by arts and crafts activities. eLibrary Elementary has hundreds of these activities and also information on famous artists that students will want to research and learn more about.

Topic search provides an easy way for students and teachers to connect to 20 curriculum-related topic areas. One of these is Arts & Crafts.
    1. Click the Topics tab > Arts & Crafts.
    2. Click Art Projects & Activities > Activities.
    3. Note the variety of website links and articles about activities for kids.
    4. Ask students to choose several activities that they could do in groups.
    5. Click the Arts & Crafts link to return to the major topic.
    6. Click Artists > Painters.
    7. Assign a different painter to each student to research and summarize in an oral report to the class.
SIRS Discoverer: August includes several food-based observances like National Watermelon Day; Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night; National Catfish Month; More Herbs, Less Salt Day; and National Peach Month. Why not have students do research on the origins and nutritional values of these foods, as well as recipes that involve them?

Assign different students to one of the foods listed in the themes above. Using SIRS Discoverer, have them make oral reports on three topics relative to the foods assigned:
  1. Where do these foods primarily come from and why?
  2. What is a recipe for using this food that you like, and why?
  3. What type of nutritional value does this food provide?
  • Type the name of the food source in the Keyword/Natural Language box and Search.
  • Select an article that answers the first question.
  • Type the name of the food “and recipe” in the Search box (example: peaches and recipe).
  • Select an article that answers the second question.
  • Type the food source “and nutrition” in the Search box.
  • Select an article that answers questions three.

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Our professional development training program is a complete package that delivers the key processes to ensure successful program implementation, and the content to support ongoing use and customization across the entire curriculum.

The CEU-eligible program provides educators with research-based technology integration strategies and tools for customizing instruction and assessment using our eLibrary and SIRS online learning solutions. Schools receive the materials they need to build professional development and instructional models that can maximize teacher efficiency and effectiveness, and improve student achievement.

Educators receive rubrics, assessments, activities, and content designed to spur students' information literacy skills, critical thinking, and reading and writing abilities, while increasing their own technology usage. Plus, our flexible model ensures that all instructional staff in a school or system will benefit from the lessons learned.

Our fresh support for our line of SIRS solutions will train your teachers to fuse four types of literacy using SIRS resources with state and national learning standards. Find out more about this new program today--just in time for your spring training dates!

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CultureGrams can help you broaden your students' understanding of the world and its peoples. Our World Edition includes 190+ country profiles, written for junior high students and older. CultureGrams also has a Kids Edition and a States Edition, geared for upper elementary students. These editions include kid-friendly profiles of 70+ countries and all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

CultureGrams goes beyond mere facts and figures to deliver an insider's perspective on daily life and culture, including the history, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.

Liberia (New!)
  • Capital: Monrovia
  • Population: 3,482,211 (rank=130)
  • Area, sq. mi.: 43,000 (rank=100)
  • Area, sq. km.: 111,370
  • Real GDP per capita: $900
  • Adult literacy rate: 73% (male); 42% (female)
  • Infant mortality rate: 129 per 1,000 births
  • Life expectancy: 47 (male); 49 (female)
Did You Know?
  • Freed U.S. slaves established coastal settlements in Liberia in the early 19th century.
  • Traditional folk instruments include the tugbar (a percussion instrument), pli (a flute), and nonkpan (a horn).
  • English is Liberia's official language but only a small minority speaks it as a first language.
Sixteen indigenous ethnic groups comprise 97 percent of the population. The largest are the Kpelle (15 percent), Bassa (14 percent), and Gio (11 percent). Smaller groups are the Kru, Gbandi, Grebo, Mano, Vai, Lorma, Kisi, Gola, Krahn, Mende, Mandingo, Dei, and Belleh. Most of the population's remaining 3 percent consists of Liberia's two non-indigenous ethnic groups: Americo-Liberians (who descend from immigrants from the United States) and Congo People (who descend from immigrants from the Caribbean).

About 40 percent of Liberians are Christian. The largest denominations are Baptist, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Lutheran, and Assemblies of God. Another 40 percent follow indigenous animist religions, which typically focus on the belief that spirits inhabit both living things and inanimate objects. The remaining 20 percent of the population is Muslim. Liberians who follow animist beliefs often incorporate elements from Christianity or Islam into their religious practices. Likewise, many Christians and Muslims still retain some traditional animist beliefs.

Personal Appearance
Most urban Liberians wear Western clothing. European and U.S. fashions are most popular. T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers are common attire for men, though some men (especially in rural areas) prefer the African boubou, which consists of a long, loose top and baggy trousers. In professional settings, men wear a suit and tie; women wear a blouse, skirt, and high heels. Hairstyles for urban women often include elaborate plaits and extensions. Typically, only urban women wear jeans or skirts. It is common for both urban and rural women to wear a lappa (a brightly colored, ankle-length wraparound dress that ties at the waist) with a blouse and a colorful headwrap (which often matches the lappa).

In rural areas, it is common for the extended family--including parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins--to live together in a cluster of neighboring homes. Many rural families are polygamous; some men marry as many as three wives. Family members share most responsibilities. Women and girls take care of small children and the elderly, gather water and firewood, and prepare meals. Men and boys are responsible for home repairs and farm labor. Urban families live in nuclear units consisting of a husband, a wife, and children; both parents usually work outside the home. To find out more about CultureGrams, connect to our website today.

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Each month, our SIRS® WebSelect and SIRS® Discoverer WebFind editorial teams scour the Internet for top-quality sites that help teachers teach and students learn. Although no Internet site can supplant a quality research database, these vetted resources offer unique resources that are sure to be of interest.
Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs
Organization: Newseum

"View the first U.S. exhibition to bring together Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs from 1941--the first year a photograph was eligible for the award--to the present day." (NEWSEUM) Short biographies of the photographers are included.

Losing Louisiana
Organization: Zach Wise

This site offers compelling photographs and audio on the effects of hurricanes Rita and Katrina on Louisiana. In addition, visitors can listen to interviews with coastal restoration experts; learn about the history of the levees; and gain an understanding of subsidence, the sinking of the land along Louisiana's coast.

Paris, A Roman City
Organization: French Ministry of Culture and Communication

This spectacular site offers 3D reconstructions of ancient Paris--the Roman city of Lutetia--and its Gallo-Roman monuments. Visitors can learn about aspects of daily life of Roman Paris and take a tour of this marvelous city. There is also a section on archaeology in Paris.

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Our ProQuest product trainers are standing by to help you get the most out of your subscription--and learn more about our other digital learning resources! We offer a wide variety of online training sessions each month.

Plus, all attendees can easily obtain a Certificate of Attendance (right) for any of our online courses! The certificate documents the course name, amount of class time, date, and verifies attendance. You can use the certificate to document attendance in the class and submit it along with the additional documentation your school district requires to award you with continuing education credits.

Be sure to tell your trainer that you would like to receive a certificate via email at the start of each class. They’ll be glad to help!

You can download three ready-to-print versions of forthcoming training dates and times in PDF format.

Our training sessions cover after-school hours within several time zones. Best of all, there's no cost to participate. All you need is a computer with Internet access, a phone, and one hour.

Register for a course!

(Interested in Reading A-Z programs? Click here.)

You may also sign up for a timely enewsletter to receive training dates each month via email as soon as they're available.

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What features of eLibrary CE do you and your students find the most useful? Have you recently used or are planning to use eLibrary as part of an assignment or student research project? How do you and other curriculum leaders in your institution use your ProQuest educational resources?

Share your experiences with peers working in schools across the country and around the world--through an upcoming Product News Bulletin! We're waiting to hear from you. Please send your ideas and stories to:

If we choose your submission, we'll contact you for additional information and permission to use your story in a future issue.

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Increase the usage of your digital learning solutions! Our forward-to-a-friend service makes it easy to instantly send this product bulletin -- and all the great ideas and information it contains -- to others in your subscribing institution with a click of your mouse.

Also, be sure to encourage them to sign up for our SIRS, CultureGrams, ProQuest, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, eLibrary, eLibrary Curriculum Edition, and additional enewsletters as appropriate.

To change your email address, sign up for additional newsletter titles, or modify your subscription settings, click here.

ProQuest offers a growing family of K-12 classroom-focused, subscription-based online research tools. Many of these education solutions offer reading level-linked (lexile) content, support 21st-century information literacy skills, and help schools differentiate instruction across all curriculum areas.

Learn more about all of our tools here, tap into our training resources and videos, and don't miss our new eLibrary research tool (more). We also have a pair of special resource pages just for teachers (with lesson plans) and librarians.


Your ProQuest K-12 Team

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