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Common Core and the St. Charles Public Library

One of the key shifts of the new learning standards is a greater focus on nonfiction reading with an emphasis on finding and using information, thinking critically about it and using it as evidence and/or in problem-solving. The St. Charles Public Library has information resources available through our traditional print, DVD & audio collections and electronic resources which include eBooks, eAudiobooks and virtual reference resources available 24/7. Information experts are also available to assist with research in person, or by phone, email, text message or chat. Contact information is found at  

Librarians Can Help You Locate:

  • Nonfiction
  • Informational Texts
  • Award-Winning Nonfiction
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Biographies
  • Direct links to online encyclopedias and databases
  • Informational DVDs & Playaway Views
  • Poetry
  • Dramas
  • Fables, Folktales, Fairy Tales and Mythology
  • Genres:  Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Stories in Verse, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction and more.
  • Computer use and online research
  • Assistance downloading eBooks & eAudiobooks

Stop at the ASK ME Desk in Youth Services or the Reference Desk on the main level for your information needs.  

Online Database Resources

The Library subscribes to a number of online encyclopedias and databases that contain articles, photographs, maps and other kinds of information. Below is a sampling of the reference resources available. These are available to anyone at the Library. Access from outside the Library requires a St. Charles Library card number and PIN.

America the Beautiful - Features comprehensive information about each of the 50 states.

Chelsea House Biographies Online - In-depth looks at people who have shaped our world.  World leaders, sports stars, popular icons, writers, legends of the Old West, and many more.

Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database - An online database with over 400,000 reviews and links to parent and teacher resources, and more.

CultureGrams - Features cultures of 182 countries, including maps, statistics, photographs, national anthems, recipes and currency converters. Includes information about each U.S. state and Canadian province as well.

Fact Cite- Biographies for Beginners - Illustrated biographies written especially for beginning and striving readers.

Fact Cite – Greek and Roman Mythology - 500 articles on Greek and Roman mythological figures with more than 300 illustrations.

National Geographic Kids - Contains National Geographic Kids magazine, 200 National Geographic Kids books, and 500 kid-friendly and downloadable images.

Newsbank – Local and National newspapers.

PebbleGo -  Biographies, Earth and Space and Social Studies are resources designed especially for students in grades K-3. They include photographs, videos and educational games.

PebbleGo Next - Find information on all U.S. states, with curriculum-connected content for grades 3-6. Link to American Indian tribes based in each state, with historical and current data. Learn more with videos, state songs and regional recipes.

Science Online – Diagrams, definitions, biographies, experiments and essays in specific subject areas from Facts on File.

ScienceFLIX - A highly-engaging, interactive, curriculum-driven digital resource with reading levels for students in grades 4 through 9. Includes videos, experiments and information on careers in science.

TrueFLIX - Includes digital Scholastic True Books, links to further information in Grolier Online and websites about each topic. Non-fiction topics include: continents, ancient civilizations, U.S. government westward expansion, natural disasters, space, human body and ecosystems.

World Book Online - Start here for background research on any topic. Articles are updated with current events information, useful links on the Internet, a monthly calendar of important dates and a Today in History feature.


Common Core State Standards Initiative

The Common Core State Standards were developed by educators and content area experts at the request of the nation’s governors and education commissioners. They provide a consistent blueprint of the knowledge and skills U.S. students need to learn for success in our 21st century global economy, no matter what path they choose after high school, be it college, careers or workforce training programs. The Standards were designed to provide a set of consistent learning goals identifying what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. 1  A video clip explaining the standards can be found at

The standards/ goals span all grade levels, but their depth and focus change as students progress from grade to grade. For example this is how English Language Arts & Literacy Anchor Standard 1, Part 1 looks across several grades: 2


Standard 1, Part  1


Grade 5

Grades 11/12

Key Ideas and Details  Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text


With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


Quote accur- ately from a text when explaining

what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.



Resources for information on the Common Core State Standards:

Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Application to Students with Disabilities

Illinois State Board of Education. College and Career Readiness New Learning Standards.

National PTA. Common Core Video Series

National PTA. Parents’ Guides for School Success.


Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests were created as an assessment piece to monitor student progress and to help customize teaching to a student’s learning needs. 3 PARCC is a computer-based testing system given to students in grades 3-8 and in connection to math and English language arts courses in high school. A video clip explaining the PARCC Assessment and more information about the tests can be found at

Resources for PARCC:

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -

This includes information about the test and score reports, information and resources for parents and includes practice tests.

Illinois State Board of Education. PARCC Primer

Practice Tests from Pearson Education, Inc.



1  “What Parents Should Know,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, accessed July 9, 2015, .

2 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, “Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts / Literacy),” Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010,

3 “About PARCC,” Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, accessed July 9, 2015,