Library

 

Providing a Solid Foundation

Our library supports the St. Louis Catholic School curriculum and provides a well-balanced collection of print and non-print materials, housing over 16,000 books, periodicals, and videos, in addition to a number of databases and online resources. Our goals are to stimulate curiosity; enhance reading and research skills; inspire creative and critical thinking; and provide access to literature and information in both the library and the world beyond.

spacerThe library sponsors a number of reading incentive programs. Students are encouraged to read books from yearly award sets: Gallery (Gr. 1-3), Bluebonnet (Gr. 3-6), and Lectio (Gr. 4-8). Students who complete certain requirements with these programs may earn certificates, parties, and medals.
spacerScholastic Book Fair. Two Scholastic Book Fairs each year put exciting new books in student hands and enables the library to purchase new books and generate funds for its operation. Parent volunteers help set up the displays and assist student shoppers.


Library Programs and Resources

Award Reading Programs

The Gallery, Lectio, and Bluebonnet Awards are optional reading programs that provide students the opportunity to read books recommended by librarians. Reading these books can be counted towards completion of the Honors Readers program, as well as providing additional reading incentives, such as certificates, parties, and medals.

Honors Readers

The Honors Readers program was created by the Home and School Association, in conjunction with the school library, to provide students with a list of recommended books for their grade level, and an incentive to encourage reading.

Lists and Instructions by Grade:

Reference and Resources

Online Newspapers

Austin-American Statesman – The e-Edition of the Austin-American Statesman. Username and password are required and can be obtained from the library.

The New York Times Replica Edition –  The online replica edition of The New York Times. Username and password are required and can be obtained from the library.

 

General Reference (Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, Almanacs)

Fact Monster – A kid friendly general toolbox of facts and resources, including facts, dictionary, encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, games, and much, much more.

DK Find Out! – A fun resource for students to explore and learn interesting and amazing facts.

IPL KidSpace – KidSpace @ The Internet Public Library is a wealth of resources with help and links to all sorts of topics.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary – A basic dictionary and thesaurus, including options to hear the pronunciation of the word.

Rhyme Zone – A rhyming dictionary – enter a word and get words that rhyme, synonyms, definitions, and homophones.

Thesaurus.com – A dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and related words.

SpanishDict.com – An English to Spanish dictionary, including conjugation, and audio pronunciation.

WordReference.com – A translation dictionary that translates English-Spanish/Spanish-English, and several other language translations.

Encyclopædia Britannica – An excellent online encyclopedia (encyclopædia is the British spelling) available (in limited form) for free.

Infoplease – A free online almanac of information with added links for biographies, an atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus.

Texas Almanac – This almanac provides great information and statistics about our great state of Texas, including state flags, symbols, and seals, and statistics about population and ranks.

The Library of Congress – The granddaddy of all American libraries; it contains an impressive amount of historic, scientific, sports, arts, and literary information, as well as online exhibits and resources.

 

Social Studies Reference

CIA – The World Fact Book – Provided by the CIA (yes, that CIA), the World Fact Book is a good online atlas/encyclopedia that has maps, information, and flags of countries around the world.

National Geographic Maps – National Geographic maps and geography information from the geography experts. There are also links for animals, history, people and places, photography, and world music.

World Flag Database – An interesting flag site that can show you what the flag of any country looks like, along with basic information about the country.

Infoplease.com World Atlas with Maps – An atlas resource with clickable maps, almanac information, encyclopedic information, and more.

The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century – Timelines can be an interesting and fun way to learn about history. This site lets you learn about U.S. presidents from 1900 to 2009. Choose a president from the timeline, then read about the president using the tabs at the top, or explore their activities by clicking on the “Explore Timeline” button that starts with the “Early Life and Career” section. A little tricky, but very interesting once you learn how to navigate the site.

National Archives – A treasure trove of documents, genealogical information, and other research information.

Digital Public Library of America – An impressive collection of historic and cultural facts and information. Try it now through the widget below.

NewseumED – A free website with excellent archives of media from 35,000 publications, with a focus on media literacy and First Amendment rights.

Science and Math Reference

Ptable.com – An excellent dynamic Periodic Table reference that gives information about electron configuration, appearance, uses, history, isotopes, etc. about each element.

Science Kids – A great site that has lots of scientific facts, games, and experiments, in a wide range of topics – brought to us by the friendly people of New Zealand.

Science News for Kids – Articles about discoveries in science that kids will find interesting.

Biology 4 Kids – A great site for explaining topics in biology.

Chem 4 Kids – This site provides excellent explanations for chemistry topics.

Cosmos 4 Kids – Another well done site with explanations about topics in astronomy.

Physics 4 Kids – You guessed it – great explanations about things physics.

Geography 4 Kids – This site explains about Earth science, such as Earth structures, atmosphere, biosphere, etc.

NumberNut.com – A great site for learning about Math – from basic shapes and counting to advanced functions and variables.

 

Facts and Fun

Smithsonian Education – The Smithsonian provides great information and virtual tours of art, science and nature, history and culture, and people and places, among other possibilities.

NCES Kids’ Zone – NCES Kids’ Zone has mind benders, polls, day in history, word of the day, quote of the day, an excellent graphing tool and math information, data to help you start comparing high schools and colleges, and a variety of other material.

 

Biographies

Biography.com – A great resource for finding basic biographical information. This site includes videos, games, born on this day, and photo galleries.

Harcourt Multimedia Biographies – An excellent resource for a wide range of biographies and biographical content. Biographies are classified in easy to use categories, such as Presidents or Writers for example.

Saints Stories for Kids – Loyola Press has put together a great resource for learning about the saints.

 

Careers

Occupational Outlook Handbook – For students curious about careers and the future of those careers, this site allows searching on a vast selection of occupations.

 

Resources

Google Earth – Google Earth is a fun, and free, way for students to explore our planet and learn geography. It does require downloading and installing onto the computer, but it gives a fascinating view of the Earth’s cities and land features. Take a 3D tour of the Grand Canyon or Mount St. Helens, or zoom in on Austin and try to find your house or St. Louis School.

NASA World Wind – NASA World Wind is similar to Google Earth, but takes it further. The controls are not as easy to use and it takes a fairly powerful computer, but the added features are pretty spectacular. Add on features for Earth include not just place names and borders, but also flags of the countries, natural disasters, animations of events, the Lewis and Clark Trail, and much more. This free software also includes zoom-able views of Venus, Mars, the Moon, Jupiter, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Place names and space vehicle landing locations are also available on some of these planets.

FunBrain – This site makes learning fun! Great games to practice math, grammar, reading, etc. plus fun online books and stories (including Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

Math Fact Cafe – Kids can get lots of math practice with this website. With fact sheets, flash cards, and time and money activities for 1st – 4th grades, Math Fact Cafe can help students master the fundamentals of mathematics.

Finding Dulcinea – This great, free resource for students provides current events content, online guides about the Internet and a variety of other topics, and events and birthdays that correspond with each day in history. A fun and useful website to connect with history and events.
Great Websites for Kids – The American Library Association puts together a lot of resources onto one site, including math, science, literature, arts, and so much more.  This is a great place to start your research!

Student Search Tools

No search engine is 100% clean and foolproof, but the following search engines and research sites do all they can to remove inappropriate content to make student searches safe.

Kiddle – A new kid-friendly, safe, visual search engine from Google.

Sweet Search – This search engine is designed specifically to provide students with search results designed for school research. The searched sites are evaluated by experts who determine the accuracy of the information and the appropriateness of the material for school students.

Safe Search Kids – Google’s search engine for kids, where their SafeSearch feature is always on, making searches more kid friendly and filtering out more adult content.

Infotopia – An academic search engine, accessing only trusted sites that have been evaluated by librarians, educators, and library and education consortia.

KidRex – Another site using Google SafeSearch, as well as additional custom filters.

KidsClick! – Kidsclick is a website directory created by librarians for students. Students can browse through the index of sites, as well as enter a search.

CyberSleuth Kids – CyberSleuth Kids has a search function, as well as topic browsing options (this can be helpful for students who are not sure what or how to search for something, but know the topic they need). The site also has free clipart for projects, math worksheets, games, coloring pages, and more.

Awesome Library – Awesome Library has 35,000 carefully reviewed resources divided into topic searches. It also has a Google search bar, with SafeSearch already configured.

HomeworkSpot – HomeworkSpot is like an online reference desk, with a variety of research tools and answers to previously asked questions. The site has pull down menus with a wide variety of reference options and links, as well as current events and homework related information.

Librarians’ Internet Index – Librarians are master searchers and this site, created by librarians, breaks down areas of knowledge into easy to use index categories. By using this site to research subjects, students will find the best websites to find their information.

Online Books and Book Reviews

Online Books

International Children’s Digital Library – This fantastic website has digital scans of books made available to Internet readers by their author, or through public domain. These books are international and in many different languages, from English to Tagalog. You can search by age, region, type of book, book cover color, and size of book. Readers can also select how they view the book, from the standard image scan to a spiral presentation. It may be necessary to help some students get set up initially until they become more familiar with how the site works.

LibriVox – A site with a number of free audio books in the public domain.  The Genre/Subject tab has sections for a number of children’s book genres.

Fairy Tales of the World – Fairy tales from around the world are presented through this site.  Stories are organized by continent and include familiar favorites as well as some that may be new to the reader.

World of Tales – Many tales from around the world are presented through this website, free of charge.  A small warning – the arrows above and below the story do not lead to the next page, but to an advertisement.  To go to the next section you will need to go to the previous page and choose the link for the next section.

Bartleby – Bartleby is an online source for quotes, biographies, and great classic books, such as Æsop’s Tales and Arabian Nights, just to name a couple.

Storynory – A great site with a wide variety of stories and fairy tales with well presented audio, as well as the text of the story.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales – The tales of the Brothers Grimm are told through this link by National Geographic.

Children’s Books Forever – Free downloads of Children’s Books

Children’s Storybooks Online – This website has a number of children’s books for a variety of ages, and they are all free to view online.

Storyline Online – This is an excellent program of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation where actors do readings of children’s books. The streaming video is accompanied with music, pictures, and the text of the book, so children can read along.

Big Universe – Big Universe has a wide assortment of well written books, including graphic novels, available for reading online. There is even an option for creating your own picture book using their library of graphics.

Children’s Books Online – This feature of the Rosetta Project is a volunteer effort to put classic books online. These books may be old, but their content is timeless.

Storia – Although not a free resource, Storia, from Scholastic, is child friendly, provides interactive story elements and learning additions, and e-books can be purchased from the online book fair after the physical book fair has concluded.

 

Online Book Reviews

Common Sense Media – A resource for parents to not only see book reviews, but also see parental concerns about a title, such as strong language or mature content.
The Children’s Literature Web Guide – This website gives readers a chance to see recommended books, reader discussions, find author websites, and to get information about book reviews.

Flamingnet – Flamingnet is a book review site with most reviews provided by students. The books reviewed are for preteen, teen, and young adult readers.

Guys Read – Guys Read is a great resource for finding books that finicky boys (and girls) will want to read. Many of these books have been recommended by boys themselves. Guys can select books from those recommended by other guys or they can search based on their favorite book, author, or subject. There is even a search available for adult “guys” to find a book they might like. This site was started by author Jon Sciezka who is famous for his incredibly popular books that guys like to read.
Kidsreads.com – A great website with very good reviews, information about upcoming book releases, books relating to upcoming holidays, movies based on books, polls, contests, etc. This is a great resource for just about any student who wants to know what’s hot in the world of books and allows fun participation through polls, questions, and contests.

Parent Resources

GreatSchools – This website is a parent guide for helping kids with learning disabilities. Schwab Learning has tools to help identify difficulties, managing your child and home, connecting with others, and resources.

Family Contract for Online Safety – This is a great way to introduce Internet safety to students. Have the family take this pledge and learn how to avoid dangerous sites and activities online.

FamilyEducation.com – FamilyEducation has a number of resources for advice, blogs, raising children, and a other situations parents face.

CatholicMom.com – CatholicMom.com has a wide variety of resources for Catholic activities, parenting suggestions, games, and insight.