Back-to-school is less daunting with TEL database

The Blount County Public Library's back patio is an ideal place for a study break.

Photo by LuAnne Jackson

The Blount County Public Library's back patio is an ideal place for a study break.

The Blount County Public Library's back patio is an ideal place for a study break.

Photo by LuAnne Jackson

The Blount County Public Library's back patio is an ideal place for a study break.

After a nice summer vacation, some students may dread the thought of heading back to school. But the Tennessee Electronic Library can help make the transition easier, officials said.

The Tennessee Electronic Library ( makes available at no cost an extensive collection of online educational materials to help make returning to the classroom a less daunting experience.

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) provides an Internet link to databases that provide access to a variety of materials on various subjects.

Students who are working on research for classroom assignments can tap into TEL to find a huge selection of newspapers, news magazines and scholarly journals containing information about current events, economics, education, environmental issues, health care, literature, art, politics, social science, technology and more. TEL can be used to find ideas for science fair projects and social studies projects.

For younger children, TEL offers the Kids InfoBits database, which is specifically designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This database offers age-appropriate content and visual graphics.

TEL also offers the LearningExpress Library, a database with practice tests for high school students who are planning to take the SAT or ACT and tutorials for students in fourth grade and up who want to improve their math, reading comprehension or writing skills.

For parents, TEL is a wonderful resource because it is accessible through any internet computer which makes it available for research any time of the day or night. When children remember that a report is due, they can use TEL for searching periodical articles on whatever topic is needed. No more late-night trips to the local library or book store.

For teachers, TEL has a number of collections, including Educators Reference Complete, Educators 200 and Professional Collection.

For professionals, TEL has multiple databases highlighting business, economics, science, health, medical, politics, technology and more.

For all ages, TEL is available through the Blount County Public Library’s web site at At the home page, click on “Electronic Resources,” then click on “Tennessee Electronic Library.” In the “Search” box, enter the topic for which you need information. The Blount County Public Library Reference staff can assist with any questions or problems using TEL.

The Reference staff is also available to give informational presentations about TEL and how it can be useful in classrooms or for homework assistance at home. To schedule a presentation or for more information, contact the Reference Department at 982-0981, ext. 4, or 273-1436.

While the Blount County Public Library subscribes to approximately 400 print periodical publications, TEL is a splendid tool because it provides access to more than 10,000 magazines.

TEL (, which is a free resource available to all Tennesseans, is administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, a division of the Tennessee Department of State. The Tennessee Electronic Library is funded by the state, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and through pledges made by libraries throughout Tennessee.

Free and open to the public, the program is at the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville.

For further information about other library programs or services, call the library at 865-982-0981 or visit the Web site at

This story originally ran in The Chattanoogan on Aug. 5, 2009. Local information has been contributed by the Blount County Public Library.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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