Skip to main content

LAUSD Digital Library (Databases)

Student Research Center

All the sites on this page are part of the LAUSD Digital Library. 
In this section are links to the Digital Library Subscriptions that have elementary level resources. 
In the teacher/parent section below there is more information about how to use databases and links and descriptions for all the databases in the LAUSD Digital Library.  
There are also demonstration videos below for each of the sources listed here.
Click On the Blue Links to Explore Any Topic
Encyclopedias (elementary, middle, and high school):
World Book (S) and Britannica
  • Click on the ELEMENTARY level
  • Search using the pictures or by typing in key words.
Databases With Elementary Level Options
Associated Press (AP) Images:
Use this to find pictures about current events, people, places, and animals. 
CultureGrams (ProQuest)
Click on KidsEdition and learn about people and places around the world.
EBSCO Publishing:
Use the Searchasaurus to explore topics by pictures or search using keywords for pre-readers.  Young researchers might try the Kids Research Center and more advanced researchers could even use the Student Research Center: Middle School for more challenging research projects.  (S)
Explore the world by going on a virtual field trip or find maps to learn about new places. 

For Teachers and Parents: LAUSD Subscription Databases and Descriptions


What is the Digital Library (DL)?
A  digital library provides access to scholarly digital sources including subscription databases and encyclopedias for easy access to accurate information.   If you are doing academic research you should use this or the library catalog for your research, though there is a lot of information to satisfy personal information needs as well.

What is a database?
database is like a digital file cabinet; it organizes a collection of information to make the information searchable and accessible.A collection is any group of information/knowledge sources (books, articles, etc.).  In the case of the subscription databases in the DL, the collections are arranged by source type and/or subject.  For instance, EBSCO has a database of just newspapers and magazines; Grangers World of Poetry only contains information related to poetry. 
The Los Angeles Public Library also has databases that are freely accessible (most  require an LAPL card number and PIN, which you can get for free  at any of the LA public libraries -- applications are in our library as well).

How do I access the LAUSD Digital Library (DL)?
  • LAUSD's Subscription Database: Collections of journal articles, newspaper, maps, videos and other types of resources accessible only through paid subscriptions that are available for all LAUSD students and employees.
    • ON CAMPUS:  Just click on the link above or the links below and do your research.
    • OFF CAMPUS:  you may access the digital library by clicking on the"Remote Access"  button and signing-in with your LAUSD SSO (For teachers, this is your SSO; for students, this is your LAUSD email and password).
  • LAUSD Digital Library's Free Sites:  Links by subject matter to free sites useful for academic research gathered by ILTSS.  These links are grouped by discipline and topic.  Since these are general internet sites, you may access them anywhere you have internet access.

How do I know which database to use?  
What kind of information you are looking for will determine which resources you use. For a general overview, you might use an encyclopedia.  For more in depth research, you might use a database, listed alphabetically below with brief descriptions, including types of sources and subjects to help you choose which is best for your research.   Using scholarly tools for research will save you the time of having to verify the accuracy and credibility of sources you might find in a general internet search through a commercial search engine, such as Google or Yahoo.
The Databases:  Click On the Titles to Access Each Database
You may search individual databases and encyclopedias using the links below or the links on the main LAUSD Database Page linked above.
Encyclopedias (elementary, middle, and high school): World Book (S) and Britannica
  • excellent starting points for research
  • give you an overview of your topic and to fill in gaps of background knowledge needed to clearly write about your topic
  • are updated nightly, so contain the most current information
  • written by researchers who gather and consolidate verified information (unlike Wikipedia) so you can be sure that the information here is accurate and up-to-date; here is an great article about the importance of encyclopedias and insight into how they are created.
  • Spanish version available in World Book  (see buttons on bottom of the home page).
  • Britannica has a teacher/CCSS resource section
Databases With Elementary Level Options:
Associated Press (AP) Images
Though not specifically designed for elementary school, since it is picture based, is still accessible for younger students.  This database contains albums of photos owned by Associated Press organized according to historical and current events, and people. The photos contain detailed cataloging information for easy citation in academic or editorial work. They are not free to be used in other types of work.
CultureGrams (ProQuest)
This site provides insight into the culture of a country.  It was started as pamphlets to train missionaries, but is great for anyone curious about the customs of places around the world or preparing for a trip.   A great compliment to the Gazetteer and Facts on File.  Use the KidsEdition for younger students. 
EBSCO Publishing:
This collection contains something for almost any topic.  The search includes all EBSCO search features (full-text, peer-reviewed, publication date, etc) and has links to latest news about the topic in the search results.  The Discovery Source is customized for LAUSD.   Here are some of particular interest:
  • Searchasaurus (Elementary School): Search by pictures and topics as well as keywords. Great for our youngest scholars.
  • Student Research Center: Middle School: This a database that draws from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, radio and T.V. news and more. It covers a wide variety of topics, including social issues. This database is good to transition from the elementary visual searches to more text based searching for our young scholars.  (S)
This database contains any time of map you can imagine.  In addition to specific searches, you may browse by subjects (Geography, History, Earth Science, & Civics) or collections (i.e. Antique Maps, Physical Maps, U.S. Congressional Districts).  There is even a section of maps in Spanish.
Databases for Middle to High School Levels:
Search in various databases to find encyclopedia articles, journal articles, news articles, cultural documents, government documents, and archival images.  Allows you to filter a search by type of source you are seeking.
American National Biography
This database contains portraits of over 18,700 Americans. It is searchable by name or research topics such as Women's History or Hispanic American Heritage, for which subdirectories are available within the database. Teachers, this is also a teacher's guide for ideas on how to integrate the database into your curriculum and how to align lessons to the CCSS.
Career Cruising
Research career options and outlooks. Provides description of tasks, workplace, salary ranges, outlook by state, and required education. Take assessments to find jobs you might like, locate schools with programs in your fields of interest, and even search for jobs within your field.  There is also a Spanish version of the site and a portfolio section to gather information for your career searches and applications.
Columbia Gazetteer
A geographic encyclopedia searchable by type of place, state or province, country, continent, population or geographic coordinates. Data includes information about both physical places and political entities and includes both current and historical information (i.e. name and border changes for countries). Included citation information for accurate and quick citation in papers.
Facts on File 
This is a collection of databases organized by broad subjects (Careers & Education, Current Issues, General Reference, Geography & Culture, History, Literature & Language Arts, Medical & Health, and Science & Mathematics). The actual databases focus on more specific topics (i.e. Issues & Controversies, American Women's History, Bloom's Literary Reference Online). These databases offer easy to browse interfaces that look more like a new website than a traditional database, though they also provide in-depth search tools.  Also includes a World Almanac and allows you to sort by primary and secondary sources.
Gale Databases
Contains multiple databases organized by subject matter, including biography, literature, and science.  It also contains Opposing Viewpoints In Context, a database that focuses on social issues and useful for persuasive assignments; it provides information on many current topics and includes viewpoint essays, reference sources, statistics and more.
Granger's World of Poetry
All things about poetry and poets organized by subject, biographies, commentaries, history & criticism, and sources (books or journals) where you find the poems you are seeking. Includes full poems for some titles. You can also look up poetic terms in the glossary and listen to the poems read in the listening room. Provides citation information for reference lists.
Oxford (Grove) Art Online  and  Oxford (Grove) Music Online
These two databases are highly specialized resources for anything you want to know about art or music.  The advanced search allows to you to narrow to a topic or category or to search across all their resources.  Find information on anyone from da Vinci to Botero, from Tchaikovsky to Lil Wayne.
Oxford (Grove) University Press
Think of this as a hybrid between an encyclopedia and a database.  You may browse through sources by subject or reference type.   This is probably best for either browsing or if you already have a narrowly focused topic.
Salem Press
Contains databases sorted by discipline and concepts containing content from Salem Press.  This is like a specialized encyclopedia, so it is not aggregating journal article, but just providing access to researched information from this press.