News from the Reference Desk Category: Literacy

Oxford English Dictionary

Dictionaries are for more than just spelling. They give you meanings of words, break them down into syllables, explain how to pronounce them, show the words’ origins, tell you how to make a word past tense or how to change a noun into an adjective. And that’s just the start.

Mount Prospect Public Library subscribes to one of the greatest dictionary projects in the history of civilization (no exaggeration), The Oxford English Language. Different than Webster’s, the OED is a project designed to document all of the English language. There are over 171,000 words defined with over 2,400,000 quotations for English literature and other documents. This last year, the online project has begun to add audio examples in both standard American pronunciation and British pronunciation.

Britannica Library

britannica libraryThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.