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Educational Resources

One of the best treasures of free educational resources is often overlooked by teachers and students alike: their local public library. A wealth of services and information is available, all for free, if you take the time to visit the library and familiarize yourself with the educational resources available. Many libraries have printed materials just for teachers and students, outlining the various educational resources and services they can utilize.

The most obvious resource the library offers are books on every topic imaginable. If you call the library before your visit, the librarian is usually happy to gather books for you to fit any topic or interest. This saves you time from having to dig through the stacks yourself. In addition the library offers magazines, videos and DVDs, puppets, books on tape and oftentimes educational games and puzzles. They also have an entire section of books devoted to teachers, with curriculum materials and great books to help out with lesson planning. Many libraries have gone even further and have created theme boxes. These are containers filled with resources to fit a specific topic, such as Native Americans, wildlife, Colonial times or plants. Each box is filled with books, videos, pamphlets and often real objects that students can handle to help strengthen their experience of the theme. They may even contain specific lesson plans for the items.

A less well-known educational resource that most libraries have is access to multiple databases of information. If you are a student doing a paper on any given topic, your librarys databases can help you access a plethora of information, such as current research articles and periodicals. You can usually print these out right from the computer, without having to wait for an interlibrary loan of the hard copy. These free educational resources are invaluable to any teacher or student, and are available right at your local public library.

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