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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 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 contact your local DCL location.

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.

Online Tutoring

Brainfuse HelpNow library card icon
Online tutoring for a large number of subjects. With HelpNow, tutors and students work together in real-time in an online classroom by typing, drawing, and marking-up lessons and web content. Plus, students can share files in the writing lab to submit writing assignments to writing tutors any time of the day. The Brainfuse full-service test center offers practice tests for all levels in math, reading, and writing as well as college preparatory tests – including the SAT. Help & More Info

K-8th Grade

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

Gale in Context: Elementary (previously Kids InfoBits) library card icon
Elementary students can search for information on current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports, and more. It includes easy-to-understand articles from over one hundred children’s magazines, newspapers, and reference books.

National Geographic Kids library card icon
Full issues of National Geographic Kids magazine from 2009-present (3 month embargo). You’ll also find hundreds National Geographic Kids books, kid-friendly images and videos and a section to explore topics such as animals, the environment, places and more. Help & More Info

SIRS Knowledge Source NC LIVE icon
Articles, primary sources, websites and graphics to support K-12 students with research, study and homework.

SIRS Discoverer NC LIVE icon
Designed specifically for elementary and middle school students, SIRS Discoverer offer articles, nonfiction books, images, activities and websites curated for educational relevance, age appropriateness, and readability.

Multiple Subjects

MasterFILE Premier NC LIVE icon
MasterFILE Premier provides full text for magazines, periodicals and reference books covering a wide-range of subject areas. This database also provides an Image Collection containing photos, maps and flags.

SIRS Knowledge Source NC LIVE icon
Articles, primary sources, websites and graphics to support K-12 students with research, study and homework.

Image Quest library card icon
Image Quest offers a simple search to find images for homework, reports, flyers and presentations. The 3 million images come from 45 sources, are cleared for noncommercial, educational use and are suitable for all ages. Users can download, print or email their images and pull the citations they need. If you are in a DCL location, you can access Image Quest without a library card here.

eLibrary Curriculum Edition NC LIVE icon
This easy-to-use curriculum and reference resource delivers one of the largest general reference collections of periodical and digital media content designed specifically for schools and libraries of all kinds, as well as additional subject-based material.

ProQuest Research Companion NC LIVE icon
An award-winning, cloud-based information literacy solution that enables educators and librarians to guide students through research projects efficiently.

Credo Reference NC LIVE icon
Credo is an easy-to-use tool for starting research. Gather background information on your topic from hundreds of full-text encyclopedias, dictionaries, quotations, and subject-specific titles, as well as 500,000+ images and audio files and over 1,000 videos.


Gale in Context: Biography (previously Biography in Context) NC LIVE icon
Research support with 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals — spanning history and geography. More info…

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 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.

SIRS Issues Researcher NC LIVE icon
SIRS® Issues Researcher helps students make sense of the world by offering relevant, credible resources that tell the whole story on major issues and world conflicts of the day. Start with SIRS Issues Researcher for background and current analysis necessary for research and understanding of 330+ current and pervasive leading issues.

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?

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. Help & More Info

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

MUZZY library card icon
MUZZY Club is the online version of the award-winning language course for children developed by the BBC. Durham County Library patrons now have access to a second language – at home, at grandma’s house, in the library, at school – anywhere there is an internet connection. (Note: If you are accessing Muzzy from outside of a Durham County Library location, you will need to enter your 14-digit library card number when asked for “Login ID.”) More info…

Transparent Language NC LIVE icon
Build your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a foreign language. Over 110 languages to choose from, including English for speakers of over 30 languages. Mobile apps for iOS and Android let you learn on the go. Help & More Info

Literature and Reading

Beanstack library card icon
Beanstack is an innovative new way to connect children and their families with books that match each child’s interests, age and reading level. Every week, a book in the library’s collection will be suggested specifically for each registered child based on the information customers provide in their online profile. Recommendations are sent by email and are also available via an online profile that families can access anytime. In addition, each recommendation is accompanied by a learning guide containing helpful tips, background information, and activities to encourage engagement and critical thinking. More info…

African American Poetry NC LIVE icon
Poems from 1750-1900 including Lucy Terry Prince, Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and more.

American Poetry NC LIVE icon
Find poems written from 1650-1920. Includes Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.

English Poetry NC LIVE icon
Find poems written from 600 to 1900 including Thomas Percy, Walter Scott, Robert Dodsley, Francis Turner Palgrave, and more.

Faber Poetry Library NC LIVE icon
A collection of some of the most influential poets of the twentieth century.

Free internet icon
A literature study guide search engine.

Literature Resource Center NC LIVE icon
Articles, critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, and biographies covering authors, their works, and literary movements.

NoveList Plus library card icon
Reader’s advisory service for fiction and nonfiction titles – supports 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. Help & More Info

Twentieth Century African-American Poetry NC LIVE icon
Contains modern and contemporary African American poetry, featuring almost 9,000 poems by 62 of the most important African-American poets of the last century.

Twentieth Century American Poetry NC LIVE icon
Includes 50,000 poems drawn from 750 volumes by over 300 poets from the last century.

Twentieth-Century English Poetry NC LIVE icon
A collection of more than 600 volumes of poetry by 283 British poets from 1900 to the present day.

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.

New York Times library card icon
Onsite (library building) access | Offsite / remote access
Unlimited access to, excluding the crossword puzzle. Access requires an individual New York Times account – see instructions for details. More info…

ProQuest Central NC LIVE icon
General reference database for over 175 subjects from magazines, journals and newspapers, including peer-reviewed and scholarly works.

ProQuest Newsstand NC LIVE icon
News content from many national and international newspapers, newswires and selected news magazines.

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.


Gale Virtual Reference Library library card 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. Help & More Info

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 Library 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. Help & More Info