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Internet Public Library for Reference
The Internet Public Library started out as a university project at Florida State and over the last five years has grown into a tremendously helpful reference resource for students, librarians and the public alike. Currently, the site is run in part by Drexel University's Library and Information Services Department in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Partially staffed by students and strictly monitored by University professors, the site is a wonderful resource for those seeking information on almost any topic one could imagine. The home page features links for kids and teens, newspapers and magazines, resources by subject and special collections. If you do not wish to browse the sections, you can use the search box to find your information or submit a question for answering by a librarianship graduate student.
Want to learn what libraries have online? Check the Resources by Subject, then Arts & Humanities. Scroll down to Libraries and click to find a list of hundreds of libraries who have put their content online. Statistics from IMLS and the collection policy of the ipl2 are also in this subject subset.
Because the site is a live learning site for graduate students, there are glitches in the information. But on the upside it is relatively easy to submit corrections. Scroll to the bottom of any web page and click on the link that says "Contact Us." This link connects to a page where one can report bad or broken links. I highly recommend that you give the feedback. This is how students learn. Conversely, if you do not see links that you believe should be included, you can submit those as well.
When I was a graduate student, I worked several semesters at the ipl2. I continue to do so now that I have graduated. It is a wonderful resource and my way of giving back to the library student community. In addition, the links provided must be to free sites or mostly free sites, making it a wonderful resource for public libraries and home school use. One of the projects that I worked on in grad school was a listing for homeschooling resources.
The Internet Public Library is another free resource for your reference and research toolbox. But, unlike most other free resources, using it and providing feedback only helps make it better.
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