High School Resources

A list of what’s available for free or as a North Castle Library taxpayer, if you go through the library website to find it. 

Many require a library card.

Always look for the word “Register” to gain access from home, possibly.

You will not have access to everything at home. You will need a library card. If your library doesn’t have a great digital library, you likely can visit one that does, and borrow a guest pass to use their system.


Baylor University Research Paper: Timeline

Fast, Furious and Fine Tuned: Google Searching

Citation Machine: Great tool, but it doesn’t always work. Double check it.

Metro Referral Card: These are card that give access to specific materials unavailable in your library, and allows you to use the material in the library itself. The material may be checked out when you want it. You are not likely to get access to online sources. Metro cards are good for 2 weeks, and allow you to use it one time.

10 Study Skills That Lead to Success

Academic Support

Khan Academy: you probably know this, so, just reminding you of it here.

Tutor.com From Princeton Review: Online tutoring, homework help. Coming very soon (today???) to Westchester Libraries


Don’t hesitate to go down to a middle school when you look at encyclopedias. You probably just want to use them to see if a topic is interesting, then use articles and books for your report.

WikipediaUnedited, often repetitive, inefficiently written by any number of authors. Use for Sources listed, or when you can’t find your library card.

Encyclopedia Britannica Options (from  https://www.westchesterlibraries.org/research-tools/ )

  • Britannica Academic – Delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information. The rich combination of the venerable Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough collegiate research.
  • Britannica High – Encylopedia Britannica for high school students. Helps students get quick facts and in-depth information on a wide variety of subjects. Start research projects with multiple resources in one place and find multimedia to use in projects and presentations.
  • Britannica Middle – Encyclopedia Britannica for middle school students. Helps students find fast answers and get homework help, explore videos and articles on famous people and places as well as discover maps, photos, and illustrations for school projects.


How do you find a book? 

Literary Criticism 

Gale Literary Sources : Criticism, biographies, overviews, pirmary sources, etc..(Register for full access)

Salem Press Literary criticism, history, current events.(Register for full access)

History and Current Event Articles

JSTOR Journals, primary sources, and books. (Register for full access)

Salem Press Literary criticism, history, current events. (Register for full access)

From Westchester Libraries:

Academic OneFile – The premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Extensive coverage of the sciences, technology, medicine, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

Infotrac Newsstand (Gale) – Full-text newspaper database has several NY newspapers, including the NY Times from 1985-Present, as well as over fifty national and international newspapers. Click here for a title list. (Full-text)


Academic OneFile – The premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Extensive coverage of the sciences, technology, medicine, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

American Physical Society Journals – The American Physical Society is the world’s second largest organization of physicists and publishes more than a dozen scientific journals including the prestigious Physical Review and Physical Review Letters

Directory of Open Access Journals – A service that covers free, full-text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.

ConsumerLab.com – provides comprehensive information about vitamin, herbal and other supplements, and nutritional products. Includes ConsumerLab.com’s independent product evaluations, test results for ConsumerLab.com selected products and Approved Products from ConsumerLab.com’s Quality Certification Program, product recalls, and safety warnings. A science-based encyclopedia of natural products is also provided, including a drug-interaction database. Note: This database is only accessible in the library

ConsumerLab.com at Home

Health Reference Center Academic – Multi-source database provides access to the full text of nursing and allied health journals, plus the wide variety of personal health information sources in InfoTrac’s award-winning Health Reference Center.

The Merck Manuals – Offering both the Professional and Consumer versions, The Merck Manuals are one of the world’s most widely used medical information resources. The Manuals have committed to making the best current medical information accessible by up to 3 billion health care professionals and patients on every continent by 2020.

X-Plain Patient Education Health Tutorials – More than 1400 educational videos with basic health information about illnesses or conditions, medical tests and procedures. Versiones en español de este contenido también están disponibles aquí

Secrets of the Sequences: Video series on the Life Sciences – With initial funding from the Pfizer Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, VCU has assembled 50 of the best videos from the public television series, “Secrets of the Sequence” to assist teachers in the application of genetic research across the biology curriculum. Funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has allowed for the creation of additional videos, which are also included on this site.

Developing a Skill Set or Take an Online Course 

Learning Express Library: To learn Microsoft software (Word, Powerpoint, Excel,  etc)


Lynda.com: How to do fun things like put a video into a Powerpoint presentation, and also learn study skills and a slew of other things, like computer programing, management tips, financial management, etc…etc… Go through your library’s website to get it for free.

Gale Courses: Courses that are mostly aimed for technical rather than college, but could be very useful for anyone- like grammar, photography, basic legal training, along with LSAT test prep, etc…

The Great Courses Courses. Register through your library with RB digital, and get this from home: “The courses range from a myriad of subjects and includes: History — Study ancient and biblical times, medieval Europe, Eastern and Western civilizations, as well as how these historical periods still impact society. Health — Dive into courses on meditation, nutrition, natural healing and brain fitness. Science — Learn from America’s leading scientists in numerous areas of study ranging from biology, astronomy & space, engineering & technology and beyond. Language Arts — learning leadership, thinking and communication skills in both professional and personal lives are essential to get a head. And Much More!”

Khan Academy online academic classes. 



A to Z World Food, Thanks for Helping Me Ditch the Bird

Tired of Turkey?  Simply because the pilgrims (who were close to starvation and would have eaten anything at that point) ate it, doesn’t mean that we have to suffer through another year of it. We are still relative new-comers to the world stage. We have only been a country a little more than 200 years. We are not steeped in tradition. As New Yorkers especially, we should be proud of our melting pot, proud to try new things, proud to embrace cultures that are not our own.

In celebration of America, in a show of my patriotism, I am not suffering through another dry bird. This year, I, a person of Northern European decent, am honoring my country by honoring my fellow Americans who have made my life more interesting and more fun than any over-sized chicken ever could. I am making a Mediterranean main course this year: Lamb. And, to compliment it, I will be attempting Baklava. Further more, I making New England Clam chowder, because the fun is in the mix of flavors, and it goes well with lamb. Nothing’s going to stop me. You go ahead and bring the potatoes.

Oh, and by the way, they have some really great potato recipes at A to Z World Food, a database that lets you explore other cultures without going through security.  That’s where I’m heading for my alternative Thanksgiving feast.

To find it, go to northcastlelibrary.org, pull down on the right hand side of the page, General information, and click on A to Z World Food.

Buying a Used Car

My teenager totaled our Nissan Pathfinder. We needed a third car. It was terribly inconvenient but our schedules could be moved to wait until we found the best deal. We decided that the money we could save was worth searching out a private party, as opposed to giving a dealer a cut.

Here are some things to consider when buying from a private party:

  • Sometimes owners are oblivious about how disgusting they have kept their vehicle.
  • You might have to do some driving in different directions in order to see the cars.
  • You might have to be flexible makes and models, which means more research is needed.
  • You are meeting someone you don’t know; and you are possibly handing over a large sum of cash. You are taking a risk.
  • You need to have a mechanic check it out, which might be a real hassle if you are driving a distance away from your mechanic.

My friend, Bob, (yes, that’s his real name, and this really happened in the same time frame), on the other hand, was on his way to look for a car at a dealer when his twenty year old Toyota broke down.  Bob knew he wanted the same car, newer model and he was willing to spend a more to reduce the risks and hassle of private party purchasing.

Here are some considerations if you decide to buy a used car from a dealer:

  • The dealer, and negotiating expert, takes a cut of the sale.
  • Usually the dealer details the vehicle before bringing it to market, so it’s not gross.
  • If you fancy a certain make an model, it’s easy to find who sells it, and even if you have to look at different years; you can compare apples to apples, more or less.
  • You may have to drive to different dealers to get the best deal.
  • You want your mechanic to check it out before you buy.

Step 1, Narrow Down to the Car You want, using Consumer Reports

Whether you’re buying from a private party, like me, or buying from a dealer, like Bob, you want to start with Consumer Reports. They are the only non-advertising-driven publication that provides all of the following:  ratings and safety, driving experience, reliability, and owner satisfaction reviews of a particular car, (and unreliable lists of local inventory, so get that somewhere else).  Consumer Reports will also tell you the trouble spots of vehicles, which you can ask about and use as a negotiation point.

Step 2, Find Your Car

Bob got a list of cars available at local dealers, not from Consumer Reports, because they are older listings, but from the following:

Carguru.com is an intuitive site that with wonderful graphics. They let you filter by make, cost, miles, options, engine type, fuel type, color, etc… etc.  It’s pretty fantastic.  They have nice green arrows to tell you if they consider what you’re buying to be a good deal. The only problem is that it’s advertising driven, so it’s not exactly unbiased. That didn’t stop Bob from taking what he found and gong to the different dealerships, to negotiate the best deal. Go Bob!

Carfax.com is the place to go if you want to get picky, which both Bob and I wanted to do, and run the VIN (vehicle identification number) to make sure the cars we looked at weren’t in any accidents, and that the title was clean. Carfax has more listings, with information on such things as price drops, and number of owners, etc.. .  Carfax also has a payment calculator- maybe Bob needed that, too.

Here’s where I went to find a car being sold by a private party:

Craigslist.org. This site hasn’t changed in years. The graphics are terrible, it gives tons of false hits, dealerships put their cars on there any way, so it’s not all private parties, and it takes a lot of time to sort through it all. People often misspell words, so you don’t always get all the ones you want. It is arguably not worth it. Then again, that might be where you find your deal.

Ebay.com is equally as bad as craigslist, but sometimes people will advertise on one and not the other.

Step 3, Vehicle Records.

Go to carfax.com to find out repair records, accidents, title history, etc… It’s worth the $15. Free or cheaper  VIN reports give you what you pay for.

By being aware of all that was available, Bob definitely got a great deal on his used Toyota, which the dealer had detailed for him. Despite its used condition, it looks new. What extra he may have spent by purchasing from a dealer, he made up for in keeping his job, not taking off to look for a car, and sparing himself a lot of hassle. Bob is a happy person.

After a few false starts, I ended up getting my daughter a super old, ugly, all-wheel drive, highly rated in safety, and easy to drive Subaru. I bought it from a mechanic, who did some work on it when the florist who previously owned it supposedly retired. It had dirt and dog prints all over it. It took more time and aggravation., but in the end, all I wanted to do was to give her a safe, reliable car to drive, and spend as little as possible, so I’m happy too.

College Net Price

We have been saving for college for 17 years, but nothing prepares you for the costs. We were disappointed when my daughter announced that her 1st choice school was one of the more expensive schools. I confess consoling myself with the fact that she probably wouldn’t get into it any way.

Then we got out the net price calculator. And, you know what? We found that some schools we thought would be less expensive are more expensive, and my daughter’s first choice….was actually more on the affordable side.

Here’s the link. Give it a try!



Book Donations

North Castle Library strives to obtain a collect that our patrons are requesting in the format that that they are most comfortable using. The public outcry right now is for more multi-media items, and more programs. We need space!

Fortunately, your beautiful books don’t need to be thrown away. If your’re interested in donating your books, please Check this list to find a place to donate.




Oh! The Places You Will Go! Oh! The Apps You’ll Use!

Point to Point Travel Apps with the Great Reviews

Is the idea of traveling wonderful, but the idea of organizing a trip a headache? Are you aware that “there’s an app for…” just about every aspect of traveling, but you don’t know want to sort through them, or use them and find out, “what seemed like a  good idea at the time, ”  in the end, has cost you more money and wasted your time?

Read on for help picking a place to go, making sure you have what you need to go there, finding a deal, packing, plan exciting things to do, and getting around, and more.

If you have a question about an app that’s not listed, please let us know! Maybe it’s a dud, or maybe it’s a charm we’ve overlooked, and can share it.

Continue reading “Oh! The Places You Will Go! Oh! The Apps You’ll Use!”

Thankful for Music, Comedy, and Ability to Access Albums From the World Wide?

Having trouble accessing your happy place? We’ve got you covered. Go to our homepage, click on the Music tab, go down to Freegal, put in your library card number and password (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number), and find the right album to turn your mood around.  Listen to an album of comedy, or choose from countries accross the globe. Particularly, on Thanksgiving, you’ll want to download their Thanksgiving playlist so you’ve got some happy tunes in the kitchen.

Are you alone this Thanksgiving? Or do you have a family that doesn’t appreciate Football? In that case, enjoy a free concert of your favorite artist, right from home. Go to the same place where you found Freegal, and just below it you’ll see Quello. It’s a wonderful way to see a concert! Connect your computer to your T.V. and you’re all set!

Call the Reference Desk if you have any questions.