Research Help

For Students

Parents of elementary or middle school students can ask library staff for assistance in searching the online library catalog for books and finding them on the shelves for school projects. If a book on a research topic is not available, students can access free and reliable encyclopedias, ebooks, and articles on a just about any topic by using Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) available under our Resources tab.  During most of our open hours, a reference librarian is available and happy to assist you or your child navigate online resources.  

Elementary School Resources

World Book Encyclopedia Resources for Elementary Students - Encyclopedias provide great background information on a topic. 

Kids InfoBits - Covers a broad range of elementary school topics in one accessible resource.

World eBooks - Includes lots of great ebooks on tons of different research topics!

Middle School Resources

World Book Student - Features more than 40,000 encyclopedia and reference articles, biographies, videos, images, and activities that support middle school research needs.

Gale in Context: Middle School - This is a database that middle school students can search a basic topic to find encyclopedia entries, articles, and other information on their topic.

World eBooks - Includes lots of great ebooks on tons of different research topics!

High school and college students who are doing research for a class should also ask to talk to a librarian.  A librarian can quickly direct you to reliable sources of information via Google or a library database. Students will also get tips for citing sources quickly and correctly.  Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) has some databases available for research, or students can also log on to the resources available through their school. High school students should also check out the databases available from TEL on our Resources tab

For Patrons with Reference Questions

Patrons who have complex or tricky reference questions (including genealogy, history research, medical questions, and government agency questions) should ask for a librarian.  A librarian can direct patrons to the best and most reliable source of information or refer patrons to another resource where the requested information may be found (e.g. Ben Hooks Central Library, University of Memphis Libraries, historical societies, archives, government agency websites or offices, etc.).  During most open hours, a reference librarian is available, and questions submitted through the Ask Us goes directly to a librarian.