Virtual Reference Desk

Gateways
First Gov the official "gateway" to government information
Internet Public Library Reference Center basic tools that you'd expect to find in a library
Librarian's Index to the Internet annotated reference section
Library Spot a rich collection of reference links
University at Albany Libraries an impressive variety of reference tools
iTools offers search boxes in different areas, like search tools, language tools, map tools, and more!
Know Play? presents reference options in a simple design of pull-down menu

Almanacs
Fact Monster a fun almanac designed for middle schoolers
Information Please Almanacs several topical almanacs
U.S. Census Bureau provides, business, people, and geography information about the U.S.
World Almanac for Kids connect to facts about animals, nations and states, sports, and more!

Biography
Academy of Achievement profiles of extraordinary individuals
Biographical Dictionary more than 28,000 bios of notable figures from history
Biography.com over 25,000 biographies from A&E
Distinguished Women bios of women past and present
Inventor Hall of Fame bios by inventor or invention
PBS Biographies offers profiles of notables originally featured in broadcasts
Presidents' Hall contains speeches, profiles of the presidents, first ladies, and vice presidents
Presidents of the US with background info, election results, notable events for each president

Countries
Amnesty International evaluates nations on the basis of human rights
Background Notes from the U.S. Department. of State
Country Briefings features economic forecasts, fact sheets, and data country by country
CountryReports.org country info from around the world
Ethnologue info for all of the world's known languages
Flags of all countries premiere flag site
Human Rights Watch presents regional and county reports
Internet Conflict Data Service provides info about conflict and ethnicity by country and regions
Library of Congress Country Studies general info
Lonely Planet Destinations offers travel info with maps
Portals to the World in-depth information and links for world nations
United Nations' InfoNation view and compare data for all United Nation member states

Dictionaries & Translators
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language a school staple, offers word roots
Babel Fish Translator translates boxes of text or full web pages
Glossarist a comprehensive directory of glossaries
Google Language Tools translate text and / or web pages in a variety of languages
Information Please Dictionary and encyclopedia
Law Dictionary defines legal terms
Medical Dictionary defines hundreds of medical terms
Merriam-Webster Language Center offers a dictionary and a thesaurus
Picture Dictionary a multilingual picture dictionary designed for language learners of all ages
Rhyme Zone a useful rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
YourDictionary.com offers content from more than 1800 dictionaries in more than 250 languages
Webopedia defines computer and Internet terms
Webster's Word Central features links to related words and a rhyming dictionary

Encyclopedias
Britannica includes links to "best" web sites
Columbia Yahoo sponsored site that's good for quick answers to many questions
Highbeam Encyclopedia "because knowledge is cool"
How Stuff Works articles about how things work
HyperHistory search timelines of history
Information Please Encyclopedia and dictionary
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy philosophical research
Medline Plus medical encyclopedia

Government - International & Federal
First Gov "your first click to the US Government"
Ben's Guide to US Government how laws are made, citizenship, and more
First Gov for Kids companion First Gov site designed for younger audience
The White House executive branch of our government
The Senate connect with your senator, search for bill
House of Representatives what's happening in the house
Kids in the House learn about congress, and how laws are made
US Supreme Court official site
American Factfinder US Census Bureau information
GOVSPOT Federal, State, and Local Government resources
THOMAS searchable information about the U.S. Congress
CNN America Votes General info about elections
Project Vote Smart about US elected officials & candidates
United Nations official site
US Mission to the United Nations official site

Grammar Guides
Online Writing Lab Purdue University offers grammar handouts
Common Errors in English quick reference list to widespread grammar and spelling mistakes

Homework Centers
High School Hub a well organized suite of tools
Homework Spot covers all major curricular areas on all grade levels
Basic Steps in the Research Process a detailed guide

Maps & Atlases
All the World's Maps index to maps for any country
American Memory Map Collections: 1500-2003 historical maps!
Color Landform Atlas of the United States includes relief, county, and satellite maps
Historical Atlas of the 20th Century offers thematic maps
Historical Map Collection, University of Texas hundreds of maps arranged by region
Maps on Us "navigation made simple"
Mapquest type in an address and get a map
National Atlas US Atlas offering multimedia maps, and users can create their own detailed maps
National Geographic's Map Machine offers full World Atlas and more!
Places in the News maps of areas in the news today
TopoZone detailed, zoomable, topographic maps of the entire United States
Weather Maps from the Weather Channel
World Atlas from the WorldAtlas.com

Quotations
Bartleby offers quotation search across well-known indexes, including Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
Dictionary of Quotations a fully indexed quotations site
QuoteLand search for quotes by topic or author

Time / Date / Calendar
AlternaTime gathers an impressive collection of historical Web timelines
Official US Time guide to US time zones
On this Day from The New York Times
This Day in History from the History Channel
Time Capsule creates a full chart of happenings for any day in history
Time & Date has current time and date for places worldwide
10,000 Year Calendar view and print a calendar for any year from 1 to 10,000 A.D.

White & Yellow Pages
Anywho find people & businesses in US and Canada
Switchboard e-mail, address, and phone finder
Zip Code Lookup have an address, need a zip code

50 States
Stately Knowledge fact sheets for each state, and links to official state pages
50 States and Capitals essential information in list form
Stateline.org "your source for state news"

Calculating & Converting
Convert Anything to Anything over 8,000 conversions
Currency Converter get current foreign exchange rates
Measure 4 Measure provides links to a variety of measuring / conversion tools

Social Issues
Public Agenda offers pros and cons, and assessments of public opinion
Public Education Network offers "fact-based research" in critical areas, with many links

Miscellaneous
Kidszone Create a graph an online tool to create graphs and charts.
Multicultural Calendar investigate holidays and festivals of the world by month, holiday, or country
Cyndi's Genealogy List over 30,000 links
Hoovers Business Network company profiles and links
Reader's Advisory recommended reading for kids, teens, and adults!
Religions - a guide to the world's religions by the BBC
National Gallery of Art locate works of art that are in the National Gallery's collection by artist, title, and subject

Last Modified on November 8, 2013