The Biography Reference Bank is a database of biographies This resource allows you to quickly find the information you are looking for. Instead of searching through multiple websites and links to find information about a particular person. The user can search for people based on occupation, gender, place of origin, birthdate, activity and lifespan. The interface of the database is set up like other EBSCO interfaces. I searched for Susan B. Anthony and was able to see a multitude of articles and biographical information about her. When I select the first Susan B. Anthony result I can see three biographies. I like that there are choices for the student. I can learn that Susan B. Anthony lived from 1820-1906. The abstracts quickly explain that she was a suffragist and abolitionist. She was a leader and lecturer in women’s rights. She advocated the constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote. The abstract is extremely informative for students. Social Studies standards for each grade level have specific people in the state standards. Teachers will find this resource incredibly useful for students to complete research about particular people in history. Students can write reports, or make presentations based on this information. I wanted to see how up-to-date the database is. I searched Donald Trump and the most recent biography is from 2009. There are three choices of biographies for him. They are from 1984, 2000 and 2009. It is interesting that this source shows new biographies as well as the old biographies, instead of merely having the newest version. The 1984 biography describes Trump as a real estate developer for a billion dollar organization. The 2000 biography describes Trump as a US millionaire property financer. This article as states that, Trump announced in 1999 that he was joining the Reform Party as the first step in deciding if he will be a presidential candidate in 2000. The 2009 article was updated in 2015. The article mentions Trump’s role in the show The Apprentice and the fact that he is running for president, but has offended many people thus far. Each article was informative. It is good to know that students can learn a lot from previous articles as well as the most recent articles, this is something that most likely will need to be pointed out to students. From my experience, students enjoy reading about people they are interested in. As a media specialist this year, I have acquired many new books that are about people whom interest my students. They enjoy reading about actors, athletes, and musicians. The biographies section of our library is becoming increasingly popular. I’m glad to have found an online resource for students to use for researching people as well.
Grades: 3 and up. Subject(s): Biographies. Overall rating: 9.
Trump, Donald J. (1984). June 14, 1946. https://doi.org/Trump, Donald (Biography Reference Bank (Bio Ref Bank), 2009); Trump, Donald John (Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Biography, 2000)
Anthony, Susan B. (2004). February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906. https://doi.org/Anthony, Susan B (Chambers Biographical Dictionary (Bio Ref Bank), 1997); Anthony, Susan Brownell (American Reformers, 1985)
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