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"Best of the Web"     
The Internet is a huge and valuable resource, but sometimes it is hard to find the exact information you need with a general search.  Here are some librarian-selected websites, organized by category.  We hope you find these links useful for homework help, general consumer research, finding your next good read, and more.  Do you have a suggestion for another website that should "make the cut"?  Let us know and we'll consider adding it to the list.
Homework Help and Research
This A and E television site features biographical information about comtemporary people and historic personas and focuses mainly on American culture.  It includes many newsworthy people and politicians.
Country Profiles
This website is a service of the BBC and provides an overview of the history, politics, and economic backgrounds of countries and key international organizations.
 Pop Culture and Entertainment
Internet Movie Database
Find biographies of movie and television celebrities, directors, and producers.  Or search for a particular movie or televison show to find out what actresses, actors, and writers were involved, as well as what year it was released.
General Knowledge and Fast Facts
Convert It!
Use this online calculator to convert one measurement (e.g. miles) to another (e.g. kilometers).
Old Farmers Almanac
Use this online version of the classic reference source to find useful information on topics such as the weather, astronomy (especially related to the moon), gardening, housekeeping, backyard birding, beekeeping, and more.
Books and Authors
Publishers Weekly
This website is a useful resource for all things related to books (both print and digital) and the publishing industry.  For example, access bestseller lists, book reviews adn business news articles.
This site dubs itself "the home page for science fiction and fantasy" and includes book excertps and reviews, author interviews, industry news, podcasts, a discussion forum, and more.
This resource is like a "facebook for book lovers."  Sign up for an account to share book recommendations with friends and ask for personalized book recommendations based on favorite books you have already read.  Even if you do not want to sign up for an account, you can still access features like book reviews (organized by genre), and "best of" lists.
This government website has information for parents, teachers, community members, teens, and kids on how to recognize and respond to bullying and cyberbullying (bullying through electronic technology).
While this is a commercial site and users will encounter some advertising and promotions, it also has plenty of useful information on books, authors, and helping your child succeed in school.  For example, it has a "what to expect" section with articles targeted for each grade level on general curriculum, standards, and how to build authentic practice into everyday family life.  For example, ask your child to help you check the change at the store or figure out how much of a particular ingredent you need if you are doubling a recipe. 
This website is a handy tool for helping parents select tv shows, movies, and apps that are most appropriate for their children, and also helping parents teach their children about using social media and being responsible "digital citizens."  It includes plenty of reviews that rate titles on categories such as "educational value," and "sexy stuff," as well as articles and other information to help parents feel more informed, empowered, and in control.
Consumer Information 
Consumer Reports
Access the online version of this popular print puplication to find consumer information on common purchases, such as large household appliances and electronics.  While one needs to subscribe to access the specific recommendations for particular makes and models, other features are available without a subscription.  For example, the site offers "buying guides" for commonly purchased items.
International Revenue Service (IRS)
Access (and download) all of the frequently needed IRS forms, publications, and instructions in one convenient place.
US Securities and Exchange Commission
The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis,and Retrieval system hosted by the US Securities and Exchange commision (otherwise known as EDGAR) performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the Commission.  This makes EDGAR an excellent resource for researching various companies and planning personal investment strategies.
Federal Bureau of Investigations
This is the official site of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  Access FAQ's, official reports and publications (such as a "Parent's Guide to Internet Safety), and "most wanted" lists.  Lern more about the history and operations of this government agency, and access a special section just for kids, called "fun and games."
National Center for Disease Control
Access information on a range of health and wellness issues, such as workplace safety and environmental concerns.  Also, look up various diseases and conditions to learn about symptoms and treatment options.
Library of Congress
Access the library's online catalog of holdings and learn more about its history and mission.  Also, access many special collections of photographs and digitized historic newspapers, maps, etc.