General Facts

Oxford English Dictionary

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The Oxford English Dictionary – or OED to language aficionados – has long been considered the definitive work on the English language.  

In addition to learning the current meaning, pronunciation and usage of a word, you can look up its first known use in print, and learn about how its meaning has changed over time. Using the OED, you can find the origins of English words you may not have thought about, from  “cypher,” and “bead” to “ukulele,” and “nachos.”

Through the Oxford English Dictionary Online, you can also learn who the sandwich was named for, or find all the historical synonyms for commoners. You can even view timelines and discover which political terms were in vogue from the year 1000 to present, with entries ranging from “purple state” to “aproneer.”  

The OED offers a unique insight not only into words, but into history. Check it out, along with UAPL's many other Premium Resources.


UAHS Student Portal

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Students, do you feel overwhelmed trying to find appropriate sources for your projects and homework? Then the UAHS Student Portal is for you!

The UAPL Reference Librarians have narrowed down our extensive list of resources and organized them by categories that are relevant to high school students.

Easily discover databases and eBooks with information from encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, professional journals and other sources appropriate for school work. Many of these resources even tell you how to cite what you found! Best of all, they are all available any time of day.

You will need your UA library card number and PIN to access the valuable resources found through the UAHS Student Portal. And don’t forget, you can always contact a Reference Librarian by phone, textemail, or in person for assistance in using our databases and eBooks.

World Book Encyclopedia

Presents the online version of the award-winning encyclopedia with thousand of images, articles and primary source documents.

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Reference eBooks

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Did you know you don’t always have to go to the library to look up reliable and authoritative information in reference books?

Whether you are working on a school project or research paper, have a bet with a friend over a fact, or just want to satisfy your curiosity about a topic, UAPL card holders can get online access to a variety of encyclopedia titles covering science, history, business, medicine, culture and much more. You can even use your mobile device when you’re on the go!

An example of just a few titles that are available include:

See a full list of all the reference eBook titles by going to Gale Virtual Reference Library,  or download the Access My Library app (iOS | Android) on your mobile device, and choose UAPL as your local library. You can also access individual eBooks through the UAPL Databases page.

Disasters and Tragic Events Book Cover

Encyclopedia of Everyday Law Book Cover

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture Book Cover




World Book Spanish

Presents a Spanish language version of the World Book Encyclopedia.

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Check out one of UAPL’s newest resources, AtoZdatabases. Here are some examples of what you can do with AtoZ:AtoZdatabases logo

  • Find People: Get directory information for a resident in the US, or create mailing lists for things like reunions, block parties, or Christmas cards.
  • Look for a Job: Search for employment opportunities, create lists of businesses that satisfy a criteria, learn about a business before an interview, and more.
  • Do research for your own business: Create mailing lists, find sales leads, perform market research, investigate competition, and more.
  • Locate a doctor or dentist: Find health professionals by specialty, location, state of license and more.

Try it today, then let us know what you think by taking our short survey.

EBSCOhost Databases

Searches the contents of several databases at once, for scholarly and general coverage of business, consumer, education, health, and science information.

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Ace School Assignments with Explora!

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Hot air balloons photographed from below.Wondering where to start to find good sources for elementary, middle, or high school projects and assignments? Try one of these new resources, now available through UAPL’s Reference Databases page:

Explora is an interface that offers simple searches of a collection of magazine and newspaper articles, essays, and primary sources, appropriate for homework and covering every school subject. Each profile will search sources at the appropriate school level. There is also an Explora geared toward adult researchers and college students with the same simple-search features.

In addition to being easy to use, you can also access Explora on a mobile device, get topic ideas and suggestions, create a profile and save your research, get citation help, and many other useful features.

These Explora resources improve on and replace Searchasaurus, Kid’s Search, and Student Research Center, which have been discontinued.

Try it today! And keep Explora in mind for future school assignments.


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