Welcome to the Charlotte Jackson Research & Learning Portal


Now retired, as a dedicated regional librarian in the Los Angeles Public Library system, she devoted her professional life to the imparting of one of the core Stirrup Family Values– EDUCATION. Charlotte served with such distinction that she is mentioned in the book, African-American Librarians in the Far West. Helping young people develop an appreciation for the value of life-long reading and learning was a true passion of hers.

In honor of our beloved Grand Elder and her commitment to the Stirrup Family Valueswe are pleased to provide this educational resource. Here you will find links to a variety of valuable information, designed for the novice or expert, young or old, to aid in your research and study efforts.


Online Search

Searching the web should not be daunting; rather, it should be about discovery and exploration, With a little care, it can be an art as well as a science. A really strong researcher doesn’t just start and stop at Google. Having a number of search tools at your fingertips, along with learning a few simple search techniques, is the best way to find more of what you wantwhen you need it. Experiment with these great sites. Don’t be afraid to try new ones. You will be pleasantly surprised with how much more great stuff you will find!


Go To Websites


INTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARYINTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARY  Created from the merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII) websites, this website is a non-profit, largely student-run website at Drexel University. Visitors can ask a reference question. Volunteer librarians and graduate students in library and information science form collections and answer questions. Help for anyone from people devoted to this science makes Charlotte truly grateful and proud.


DIGITAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF AMERICADIGITAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF AMERICA  brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used.


WWW VIRTUAL LIBRARYWORLD WIDE WEB VIRTUAL LIBRARY  was the first index of content on the World Wide Web and still operates as a directory of e-texts and information sources on the web. Started in 1991 at CERN in Geneva by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and the World Wide Web itself, It is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert. It is sometimes informally referred to as the “WWWVL”, the “Virtual Library” or just “the VL”.


LIBRARY OF CONGRESSLIBRARY OF CONGRESS  As the de facto national library of the United States of America, and the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 158 million items.


PROJECT GUTENBERGPROJECT GUTENBERG  is a  volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, and to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooksFounded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital libraryMost of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer.


digilibrariesDIGILIBRARIES  offers a digital source of free eBooks for any taste, a vast range of titles in digital format and a growing eBook collection. Simply browse the various categories on the left or simply use the search box. The aim of the site is to give quality, fast and required services for downloading and reading eBooks. The site was created by readers for readers. 


WIKIHOW3WIKIHOW  is a web-based and wiki-based community, consisting of an extensive database of how-to guides. WikiHow’s mission is to build the world’s largest and highest quality how-to manual. The site started as an extension of the already existing eHow website, and has evolved to host over 163,000 how-to articles as of September 24, 2013. All of the site’s content is licensed under the Creative Commons.


Google ScholarGOOGLE SCHOLAR  provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.




Dictionaries & Thesauruses 


onelookONELOOK  is a meta-search tool indexing 13 million words from 1,000 dictionaries.


dictionary-comDICTIONARY.COM  Includes definitions from American Heritage, Random House, and Merriam-Webster.


definitions.netDEFINITIONS .NET  is a multilingual dictionary that provides definitions and translations.  Their definitions come with usage examples, part of speech, etymologies, phonetic and voice pronunciations, citations and translations to more than 40 different languages!


The Visual DictionaryTHE VISUAL DICTIONARY  is designed to help you find the right word at a glance. When you know what something looks like but not what it’s called, or when you know the word but can’t picture the object, this dictionary can help. Filled with detailed illustrations labeled with accurate terminology in up to six languages, you can easily explore the 15 major themes to access more than 6,000 images.


vocabulary-comVOCABULARY.COM  is an outstanding dictionary and engaging vocabulary teaching tool. The site is an easy, intelligent, and personalized way to improve your vocabulary. It combines an adaptive learning system (The Challenge) with a fast dictionary (The Dictionary) so you can more quickly and more efficiently learn words. The best part is that it’s free.


abbreviations-comABBREVIATIONS.COM  touts being the world’s most comprehensive directory and search engine for acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms on the Internet. It has hundreds of thousands of entries organized by a large variety of categories from computing and the Web to governmental, medicine and business.


thesaurus-comTHESAURUS.COM  Over 17,000 entries. Find synonymsantonymsand brief definitions.


mathworld.comMATHWORLD DICTIONARY  is an excellent source of mathematical definitions and concept explanations.


Computerlanguage.comCOMPUTERLANGUAGE.COM  is a concise, user-friendly, up-to-date computer and technical dictionary, featuring more than 20,000 topics and 2,500 images. If you need an easy to understand definition for just about any computer or technical term, this is the site.


webmdWEBMD MEDICAL DICTIONARY  is where you will find definitions for thousands of medical terms, treatments, and tests — even health-related abbreviations, prefixes, and suffixes.


lawcomLAW.COM DICTIONARY  offers concise, easy-to-read definitions from The People’s Law Dictionary.


investorwords-logoINVESTORWORDS.COM  is an online financial glossary which contains over 15,000 definitions. Their goal is to help individuals understand important concepts required to succeed in today’s complex financial world. The glossary is updated regularly and covers important topics like stocks, bonds, banking, accounting, insurance, and forex.


businessdictionary-logoBUSINESSDICTIONARY.COM  is an online business resource, featuring over 25,000 definitions spanning across critical business-related topics including management, small business, economics, human resources, entrepreneurship, recruiting, and corporate strategy. Each definition provides a clear and concise description of the term to help users gain a comprehensive understanding of the concept.



Search Engines




GOOGLE  is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalog of Web pages available today. Try Google ‘images’, ‘maps’ ,’news’, and ‘translate’ features.


WEBOPEDIA  is one of the most useful websites on the World Wide Web. Webopedia is an encyclopedic resource dedicated to searching techno terminology and computer definitions.  Webopedia is a great resource for non-technical people to make more sense of the computers around them.  Teach yourself! 


ASK.COM’s  really clean interface rivals the other major search engines, and the search options are as good as Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo. The results groupings are what really make stand out. The presentation is arguably cleaner and easier to read than Google or Yahoo! or Bing, and the results groups seem to be more relevant. See if you agree!


YIPPY  searches several top search engines for you, combines the results, and groups similar results together into groups. Deep Web pages are usually harder to locate by conventional search. This is where Yippy becomes really useful. If you are searching for something obscure like obscure government information, hard-to-find obscure news, academic research and otherwise-obscure content, then Yippy is your tool.


duckduckgo_logoDuckDuckGo  has more instant answers than Google. It also has some really cool features, like ‘zero-click’ information (all your answers are found on the first results page). DuckDuckgo also offers prompts that help to clarify what question you are really asking. DuckDuckgo does not track you, and the ad spam/clutter is much less than Google.


internetarchive_logoTHE INTERNET ARCHIVE  has been taking snapshots of the entire World Wide Web for years, allowing you to go back in time to see what a web page looked like in 1999, or what the news was like in the past. The archive is also full of all kinds of free content (video, sound, music, books, graphics, etc.) that are free to use in your projects or research. You won’t visit the Archive daily, like you would Google or Yahoo or Bing, but when you do need to travel back in time, use this search site.


MAHALOMAHALO  is the rare ‘human-powered’ search site, using a committee of editors to manually sift and vet thousands of pieces of content.  This means you’ll get fewer Mahalo hit results than you will get at Bing or Google, but most Mahalo results have a higher quality of content and relevance. Mahalo also offers regular web searching in addition to asking questions.  Depending on which of the choices you make at the top of the page (How to, Courses, Answers), you will either get direct content topic hits or suggested answers to your question.


dogpileDOGPILE  was the fast and efficient choice, way back in the day, before Google. Today, Dogpile is coming back strong with a growing index and a clean and quick presentation. If you want to try a search tool with pleasant presentation and helpful crosslink results, definitely try Dogpile.


yahoo_logoYAHOO!  is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an email-box, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more. This ‘web portal’ breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners.


BingBING  used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009. Called a ‘decision engine’, Bing tries to support your researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving you various search options across the top of the screen. Things like ‘wiki’ suggestions, ‘visual search’, and ‘related searches’ might be very useful to you.


GIGABLASTGIGABLAST  is a newer search engine, originating in 2002.  Its database is small, especially when compared to Google, MSN, and Ask, but it has some very nice features.  One is “Giga-Bits,” which displays “related concept listings” at the top of the results page. Also at the top of the results page are additional links to reference pages (for research purposes) and related pages that help you narrow and customize your subject search. On its basic page, GigaBlast offers separate search links for the Web and its subject directory. In its index, GigaBlast includes PDF, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, PostScript, and Excel files.  It has a nice date-reporting feature that links to both the date indexed and the date last modified. (See the URL line)   Its Advanced page, while lacking some advanced search features, is clean, simple, and easy to use.


CREATIVE COMMOS SEARCHSEARCH.CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG  is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyrightlicenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.CC has no control over the results that are returned here. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. Always check!




Safe Search Engines for Kids

Kids are very net savvy these days, and many are getting that way at younger and younger ages. This can be scary and a real concern for parents. With a bit of parental help and the tools offered here at the portal, kids can easily grasp the basics of search. The search engines above cater to both kids and adults. Even with the moderation search engines use, however, some content may not be suitable for young, impressionable minds.

Browsing safe content is the single most important reason for using search engines made specifically for kids. A search engine that appeals to kids with its kid friendly looks could be a secondary reason. Letting a child search the web using these search engine for kids helps to lessen the natural worry and concern parent’s understandably have. Having said that, be aware that there is no guarantee that every search will be kid-safe, but there is a much higher probability with the stuff indexed by these very useful and child friendly search engines for kids.



BOOLIFYBOOLIFY  makes it easier for Kids to understand how to use Boolean operators in providing the operators as colorful jigsaw pieces. All they need to do is drag them to center board and construct the search.


QUINTRURA FOR KIDSQUINTURA FOR KIDS  Is powered by Yahoo. It gives a more visual way of searching using a keyword cloud. Parents need to know that this unique kids’ search engine handpicks the sites it links to and periodically rechecks for safe content. You start off your search with a keyword in the text box and then modify it with any of the keywords in the cloud. Quintura displays five results per page. Clicking on the surrounding icons takes you to the five preset search categories ““ Music, History, Animals, Sports and recreation, and Games.


KIDS CLICKKIDS CLICK  is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. It is a directory of good resources (a 600+ strong subject list) which kids can use for information or schoolwork. This great resource links to a comprehensive collection of good, clean sites, and the search page is without any ads.


KIDREXKIDREX  is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing with a dinosaur standing guard. It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible.





Go To Websites for Kids


BRITANNICA KIDS 1BRITANNICA KIDS   is considered by many to be the most trusted online kids encyclopedia for homework help and general knowledge information on a variety of core subjects like science, math, social studies, language arts, geography, and religion. Their site search engine offers three search choices: Children’s Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), and  Dictionary & Thesaurus. They also offer mobile apps and a  homework helper subscription service (for children 6-14).


PBS KIDSPBS KIDS  is where you’ll find all the popular PBS characters, each with learning games for kids to play: Clifford, Curious George, SuperWhy, The Cat in the Hat, and much more. the characters also have their own mobile apps to engage with kids on the go. Children really connect with these characters, and that connection aids in the learning process.


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDSNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS  is a site developed to help children discover and learn about the planet and the natural world. The site is full of games, videos, information, cool photos, and more that will keep your kids engaged and learning.



NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LITTLE KIDSNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LITTLE KIDS   features great content like games, crafts and recipes, science, videos, and animal information. It’s a great site for kids 5 and under.


SESAME STREETSESAME STREET  Loved and learned by generations of children and adults around the world, this highly interactive site is a fun, safe, and educational place for kids to play and learn. Parents can set up playlists of videos and games that even pre-readers can navigate through. Downloadable podcasts allow parents to take shows on the road — or just watch them later. The PlaySafe feature available on some browsers allows parents to lock a playlist or game page so that kids left to play on their own can’t get to other Web sites.



NGAKIDS ARTZONENGA KIDS ART ZONE  is a site created by the National Gallery of Art which offers an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history. There are a variety of art-making tools that encourage exploration and creativity, these activities are suitable for all ages. Simply select a thumbnail image on the page or click one of the large colorful banners above to learn more about each program and begin creating interactive art online.


WONDEROPOLISWONDEROPOLIS   is an award-winning site where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), their Wonders of the Day® will help a child find learning moments in everyday life. Wonderopolis walks the fine line between formal and informal education. Each day, they ask a new and intriguing question.  Their approach both informs and encourages new questions, encouraging new questions and ideas.




Homework Help for Students, Parents, & Teachers 



hippocampusHIPPOCAMPUS.ORG  This site’s thorough content gets high marks for helping students with multiple subject areas because it offers video, audio, and written tutorials, plenty of examples, and interactive options. Their content also covers 10 high school subjects. Lessons often start with warm-up questions and typically end with a quiz or sample problems (and the answers) for maximum reinforcement. The site also offers interactive aids for more than 100 common textbooks.


BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework HelperB.J. PINCHBECK’S HOMEWORK HELPER  Since 1996, this homework resource site has been a valuable collection of the best free education and homework resources for students, teachers and parents. Although this site was designed for all elementary, middle and high school students, many college students have used this site.  Also, many of the links are intended to help parents and teachers, since they are key partners in the educational success of students.


factmonster3FACTMONSTER.COM  is where kids can find just about anything they want to know on this fact-loaded site, with entries on everything from Greek and Roman mythology to multiplication tables to world capitals.


scholastic homework hub

SCHOLASTIC HOMEWORK HUB  offers tips and techniques for studying, practice quizzes, and research references that will jump-start research reports.



kids-govKIDS.GOV  provides kid-friendly links to hundreds of U.S. government-run websites divided by school grade and category. You’ll find lots of great content and links to places like the Library of Congress, NASA, and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as nonprofit and educational sites. It’s a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers alike.


homeworkspotHOMEWORKSPOT.COM  is a homework help services website created by a team of educators, librarians and journalists who have evaluated and organized websites into the best and most relevant grade-appropriately categorized educational sites. Parents can find articles and advice on helping their kids with homework, school comparisons, preparing their kids for college and safety tips for surfing the Internet. Teachers can connect to resources for lesson plans, information on special education and organizations dedicated to improving education.


homework centerTHE HOMEWORK CENTER  is an easy to use and extensive collection of educational websites—a great resource for online homework help services. Links to online homework resources are organized by topic, and further narrowed into sub-categories (but not grade level). Online chat with a librarian for answers to your questions is also available.


The Behive schoolTHE BEEHIVE SCHOOL  has a large collection of website links to homework help services. Information is organized by grade level, specifically for elementary, middle and high school students. Each grade level has its own portal where students can enter, click on a subject and follow the links to lessons, articles, games and quizzes that are appropriate for their learning level. A parent portal provides articles and advice for parents on a variety of topics. Students (and others) can post questions and answers for each other, and interact together. The Beehive site is available in English and Spanish.


CliffNotesCLIFFSNOTES.COM  While known for its literature guidesCliffsNotes has information and help for grades 7 and up on many subjects, including basic French, Spanish, and 10 sciences. The site’s “Cheat Sheets” (ready-to-go review sheets) contain basic formulas and data on a variety of topics. The many glossaries of terms are a big help for kids and parents alike.




Language Learning



BBC LANGUAGESBBC LANGUAGES   Free online language learning: courses, audio, video and games, including the alphabet, phrases, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, activities and tests. The BBC LANGUAGES QUICK FIX is a great mini-introduction to essential phrases in almost 40 different languages.



duolingoDUOLINO  is extremely well structured for a free language-learning program. Duolingo has you drill through exercises, which are part of larger lessons, to learn basic words, phrases, and grammar. Then you practice what you’ve learned by working on translations of real-world content from blogs and websites. Other Duolingo users then rate these translations, a practice that has been shown in some studies to actually work.



FOREIGN SERVICE INSTITUTELlANGUAGE COURSESF.S.I. LANGUAGE COURSES  is dedicated to making language courses freely available in an electronic format. This site is an independent, non-profit effort to foster the learning of worldwide languages. Courses here are made available through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to provide quality materials for language learning.


busuuBUSUU   is a social network for language learning.Users select one or more of the12 languages supported and work through the self-paced units.When you first start out, you’ll encounter a lot of flashcards for learning new words and phrases, but as you advance, you’ll have the opportunity to practice writing and answering questions, which will be marked by other users who speak the language you’re learning natively.


OmniglotOMNIGLOT INTRO to LANGUAGES is packed with lots of information including a guide to all major alphabets, syllabaries and other writing systems. The site has a great first overview of many languages, and follows it up with links to courses and other tools for that language.





Tips for Better Learning


 Better Online Research        Search Made Easy


Boolean Operators for kids   More Homework Help


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