Online Research and Learning

General Research and Learning

Books and Reading Resources

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Consumer Information

  • ConsumerReports.org provides full ratings and recommendations on thousands of products and services.  Including appliances, cars, electronics and computers, home and garden, health and fitness, babies and kids, food, personal finance, and travel. 
  • ConsumerSearch.com (free website) – site editors editors personally research every product category to recommend the best choices. 
  • USA.gov / Consumer Issues – Learn how to be a safe consumer, what to do when a purchase or service goes wrong, and more. 

Genealogy

Health and Science

  • Health and Wellness Resource Center (Gale) – carefully compiled and trusted medical reference materials.
  • MedlinePlus – health information from the National Library of Medicine (free online).
  • Mayo Clinic Diseases and Conditions (free online) – comprehensive guides on hundreds of conditions.
  • ProQuest Science Journals – for students in academic research environments, this collection of scientific journals (dating back to 1986) features over 1,145 titles—with more than 965 available in full text.
  • Science in Context (Gale) – an engaging online experience for those seeking information on hundreds of today’s most significant science topics.

History and Current Affairs

  • Biography in Context (Gale) – full text magazine articles, images, and hand-picked web site links. Includes material from Contemporary Authors.
  • Global Issues in Context (Gale) – international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events.
  • History Reference Center (EBSCO) – entries from over 1,500 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books, as well as nearly 57,000 historical documents.
  • Opposing Viewpoints (Gale) is a cross-curricular resource that provides informed, differing views help learners develop critical-thinking skills.
  • Points of View (EBSCO) covers almost 400 topics, each with an overview, background, arguments and counter-arguments.  Also included for each topic is a Guide to Critical Analysis for help in evaluating controversial subjects and opposing viewpoints.
  • The Topsfield Times is the library’s local history wiki, a work-in-progress.
  • U.S. History in Context (Gale) – contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in U.S. History.
  • World History in Context (Gale) – for those seeking information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in World History.
  • See also our Magazines and Newspapers page.

Young Researchers

  • Britannica Learning Zone is designed for pre-K through 2nd grade, featuring interactive learning games about numbers, letters, sounds, geography, and more.
  • Britannica School is updated continuously and closely correlated to all curriculum standards.  Spanish version is available as well (Britannica Escolar).
  • Explora is a web portal to EBSCO’s databases, specially designed for school-age students and educators.
  • Gale Student Edition has content geared towards high school level projects.
  • Kids InfoBits (Gale) is specially designed for the K-5 set.

Looking for more?BPL Ecard

The Boston Public Library has an even more extensive collection of online resources.  Most are available to anyone with a BPL ecard.