Phineas Banning High School

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LAUSD Digital Library

What is a database?
Think of a database as a digital filing cabinet where information is collected/stored and organized in a logical way that makes it easy to access and use. There are history databases, science databases, literature databases, art databases, music databases.  There are databases of newspapers, magazines, maps, sheet music. There are also collections of databases. Basically, a database is a collection of some sort of information.
What is the LAUSD Digital Library?
The LAUSD Digital Library is a collection of subscription databases and online encyclopedias that give students and teachers high quality, credible, and relevant  scholarly sources for academic research. Many of the databases and encyclopedias have research and writing tutorials that make your tasks easier. There are translation tools, citation tools, links with Google Drive, read-aloud features.  (It is also completely appropriate to use the digital library to find non-academic information!)
How do I access the LAUSD Digital Library?
If you are on campus it is easy. Simply click the link below; you can also access it from the Banning HS website home page, in the Quick Links Box, or from the Library Home page.
If you are off campus click on the Remote Access button and sign in with your LAUSD SSO. For teachers that is your LAUSD SSO; for students this is your LAUSD email and password.
Where do I start? How do I know which database/encyclopedia to use?
What information are you looking for? What is your topic? Do you need an overview of a subject or are you doing in-depth research on a topic? Consider your audience and purpose.
Look at the brief descriptions of each of the LAUSD Digital Library resources.
Can't I just use Google or Yahoo instead of the LAUSD Digital Library?
The LAUSD Digital Library will give you more targeted, accurate, credible, relevant, sources for your academic research. The sources have been vetted and are updated regularly. You do not have to sift through the many "hits" you will get on a Google search. You will save a lot of time and effort by using the digital library databases and encyclopedias. The Digital Library is not a commercial search engine. No one is trying to sell you anything. It is an excellent bridge to the kind of scholarly research you will be expected to do in college.

 *LAUSD Digital Library Free Sites are links to useful and interesting free sights for academic research and personal growth. They are grouped by academic discipline and topic. You can access them anywhere you have the internet!
Featured for FALL 2019!
ProQuest Databases


World Book and Britannica
  • Both are great places to start your research
  • Provide an overview of your topic, background knowledge, connections
  • Current; updated regularly
  • Information is provided at 3 different reading levels
  • Both World Book and Britannica offer a Spanish version
  • Both offer a translation tool, a text to speech tool, citation help and will allow you to email, download as a PDF, or save to your Google Drive. In addition to the main article there is tab linking to images, video and audio, and one linking to related information including other related encyclopedia articles, primary source documents, books and eBooks, special reports, and web pages.
  • History Databases! Search one or search them all.
  • American Government
  • American History
  • Daily Life Through History
  • World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras
  • World History: Modern Eras
  • Explore by theme
  • Mostly encyclopedic articles categorized in "Library" (more specific) or "Topic Center" (more overview)
  • Be sure to check out the Tools for Students for "research tutors" and "research wizards" that can help with every aspect of your research.
American National Biography
  • Contains bios of nearly 19,000 Americans
  • Search by name or topic
  • Provides research ideas through small, curated lists of articles on a variety of topics that connect this massive collection of biographies to the Oxford Companion of United States History
Cavendish Square Digital
  • Very visual
  • Reference collections on a variety of topics
  • Select a collection, then either browse through a list of topics or use the search bar
  • Translation and listening available
  • Research tools vary by collection
  • Once you are in an article there is an abundance of helpful features-listening, translation, citation, saving to Google Drive, sharing, etc.
Colombia Gazetteer of the World Online
  • Encyclopedia of geographic places and features
  • "Most articles have details on where the place is located, its dimensions and borders, and information on economic activities, demographics, history, and former or alternate names and different spellings and pronunciations." (From the site)
  • Includes citation information for articles
Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
  • While there are many well-known poems to be found in this database, it is really everything about poetry and poets, and poems.
  • Includes poetic terms glossary
  • There is a "listening room" to hear poems
  • Includes bios of poets, commentaries, history, criticism, and sources where you can find the poem you are looking for (if not on site)
  • Has good search tips
Culture Grams
  • Detailed and extensive information on every aspect of culture(s) of over 200 countries, our 50 states, and 13 Canadian provinces
  • Very visual with pictures, infographics, videos
  • Full range of tools for listening, translation, citation, downloading to Google Drive, and more.
  • This one is more advanced and takes some practice!
  • Provides full-text databases, subject indexes, point-of-care medical reference, historical digital archives and e-books from more than 375 research databases and more than 380,000 e-books plus subscription management services for 355,000 e-journals and e-journal packages.
  • Contains more than 75 years’ worth of  content that covers a wide range of core curriculum areas—from history, science, literature, and careers to geography, health, current issues and more - at the middle, high school, and academic levels.
Maps 101
  • You guessed it. It's all about maps for teachers and students.
Oxford Art, Music and University Press
  • Everything Art and Music, along with scholarly general interest books, journals, and online products.
Salem Press Health/History
  • Reference content includes healthhistory, science, and Careers.