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Homework Help

Having trouble with your homework? Here is a list of databases available to help you from home arranged by the type of assignment. If you need a live person to help you with your homework, check our program calendar for homework help at different library branches. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please call your local library location. If you are a teacher and would like to arrange for a librarian to come to your school and show how to use any of these resources, teach information literacy skills, or talk about online safety, please call 919-560-0111 or email

Key to Symbols

internet icon Available from any computer with Internet access.
library card icon Available from any computer with a library card.
NC LIVE icon Available from any computer with a library card, provided by NC LIVE.
library building icon Available from any computer within a library building.

K-5th Grade

These databases have articles written at a level for a younger child, suitable for most elementary school assignments.

Kids Search NC LIVE icon
Search through many encyclopedias and magazines in one place. You can search by lexile level under Detailed Search. There are also materials available for teachers and homeschool parents.

Primary Search NC LIVE icon
Contains full text of nearly 70 popular elementary school magazines which can be searched by reading level.

NC LIVE icon
A subject-based online resources for kids. Includes Lexile scores.


Biography in Context library card icon
Biography in Context delivers research support with 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals — spanning history and geography. More info…

Credo library card icon
If you know the name of the person you are looking for and only need a short article from a reliable source, this may be a good choice. Credo will generate APA, MLA or Chicago Manual citations.

Controversial Topics

Do you have an assignment where you need to argue your point of view on a controversial issue, such as gun control? Then these two databases will give you many reliable sources.

CQ Researcher NC LIVE icon
Explains both sides of controversial issues in the news and gives reliable facts to let you decide for yourself how you feel about a topic. These are the same articles which appear in the print version of CQ Researcher. This database will also generate its own citations in APA, Bluebook, Chicago Manual or MLA format.

Opposing Viewpoints library card icon
Opposing Viewpoints is the premier online resource covering today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change, Health Care to Immigration. Opposing Viewpoints helps students research, analyze and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations and more.

Countries and Cultures

Do you need information about how life was during a certain time period, and/or a certain country? Do you need quick facts about a country?

Credo library card icon
Reliable, factual information about a country including maps and flags from the CIA World Factbook.

CultureGrams library card icon
Links students to country reports that go beyond mere facts and figures to deliver a one-of-a-kind perspective on daily life and culture. In-depth reports covering 200+ countries, the United States, and Canada. More info…

Daily Life Online library card icon
This database provides coverage of history, geography, social customs, family life, leisure, arts, food, clothing, religion, holidays of over seventy countries from around the world from the 4th century CE to the present. This is a good source if you are doing a paper about what life was like during a certain time period or you need to know about customs, food, etc for another country in the present day.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History library card icon
Covers all aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day. Using biographies, historical essays, and thematic pieces, many written by foremost scholars, it addresses a wide array of subjects in over 2,300 articles to define in one source the cultural roots, participation in American life, and current condition of the African-American community. (Scroll down to find encyclopedia.)

UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes library card icon
Provides detailed studies of tribes from all over the United States and Canada, including small tribes and some that no longer exist. Gives detailed yet accessible information on history, religion, art, government, economy, daily life and current social and political issues.

Learning a Foreign Language

Pronunciator library card icon
Pronunciator is an online language-learning service that covers 75 languages, including English as a Second Language (ESL). Learn how to speak a foreign language with the help of pronunciation analysis, virtual coaches, simulated conversations, scored quizzes, and downloadable audio lessons and phrasebooks. Courses are designed for children and adults from beginners to advanced learners.

Credo library card icon
Do you need a foreign language dictionary? Get dictionaries in nine different languages translated to English. Click on bilinguals after entering Credo to see the foreign language dictionaries.

Literature and Reading

Free internet icon
A literature study guide search engine.

Literary Reference Center Plus NC LIVE icon
Provides scholarly articles and criticism, biographies, author interviews, a history timeline, and the full text of public domain novels, short stories, and poems.

Novelist K-8 NC LIVE icon
Reader’s advisory service for fiction and nonfiction titles, designed to support kids’ pleasure reading and school work. Searchable by author, title, series name, plot and lexile level. Includes author read-alikes and lists of award-winners. More info…

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

If you need an article from a local paper from the late nineties to the present, or from the New York Times from 1985 to the present, you can start here. If you need an older article, come in to the Main Library on the second floor for help. This is a small list of what is available, if you need more help, please come in or call your local library location.

Magazine and Journal Title List NC LIVE icon
Check here to see if NC LIVE carries a particular magazine or journal title that you would like to read online. If you can’t find the right title, ask a librarian or call 919-560-0110 for help.

MAS Complete NC LIVE icon
Contains full text for more than 500 popular, high school magazines including America’s Civil War, American Heritage, American History, Archaeology, Astronomy, Bioscience, Careers & Colleges, Civil War Times, Congressional Digest, Discover, Economist, History Today, Nation, National Review, New Republic, New Scientist, Popular Science, Science News, Scientific American, Smithsonian, World War II, etc. All full text articles are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles).

New York Times NC LIVE icon
Provides full text access to New York Times (1980-current), New York Times Magazine (1997-current), and New York Times Book Review (1997-current).

Newspaper Source Plus NC LIVE icon
Search the full text of newspapers from around the country including, the New York Times from 1985 to the present, the Herald-Sun going back to 1998, and the News and Observer going back to 1999.

North Carolina and Local History

Documenting the American South internet icon
DocSouth includes books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs related to southern history, literature, and culture.

North Carolina Collection internet icon
Durham County Library has a large archive which can help with many local history questions. While some of the collection is available on the website, some things are only available in the building. Please call 919-560-0171 if you have any questions.

North Carolina Encyclopedia internet icon
This is a good place to get reliable information about the state of North Carolina. Maintained by the North Carolina State Library.


Credo library card icon
Contains the full text articles from many different reference books devoted to all areas of science including astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, physics and more. While you will not find suggestions for science experiments, you can find the background information you need for your project after you have decided on your topic.

Gale Virtual Reference Library NC LIVE icon
Contains the Gale Encyclopedia of Science, Encyclopedia of Biomes, and more. This is a good place to get quick, reliable information about most science topics.

Grzimek’s Student Animal Life Resource library card icon
This resource book offers broad, comprehensive coverage of the animal kingdom, ranging from the simple — sponges and corals — to the complex — mammals. Animals are grouped by major classifications: sponges; corals; jellyfishes; segmented worms; crustaceans and mollusks; insects; fishes; amphibians; reptiles; birds; and mammals. (Scroll down to find the resource.)

Test Preparation

LearningExpress NC LIVE icon
Are you going to take the SATs, ACTs, or AP exams, or are you struggling in school and need to practice skills for the North Carolina End of Course Exams? This database has free online classes and practice exams to help you score higher. More info…