“The Dog Ate My Homework” No Longer an Excuse

December 05, 2005

For Immediate Release

New Website Offers Homework Support Specifically for New York City Children

New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library Launch homeworkNYC.org

New York City schoolchildren from Kindergarten to 12th grade can get round-the-clock help with their studies through homeworkNYC.org, a new website created by the City’s three library systems. Whether at home or after school in a community library, students can use this site, which was developed in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, to access resources previously available only in a physical library.

The new website was developed with the support of the Wallace Foundation as part of the Learning in Libraries initiative. Learning in Libraries focuses on changing the way libraries serve youth outside of the classroom.

“HomeworkNYC.org brings together a wide range of information in one easy-to-use site,” said Susan Kent, Director and Chief Executive of The Branch Libraries, The New York Public Library. “It helps students pinpoint the answers they need, and because it has been developed by a team of librarians and educators, young researchers can trust that the information is thorough and reliable. We are deeply grateful to The Wallace Foundation for helping New York City’s libraries establish the site and provide an important resource for local students.”

“Learning does not and cannot stop when the school day ends,” said Nancy Devine, Director of Arts and Communities, The Wallace Foundation. “The Wallace Foundation is pleased to support homeworkNYC.org, which will help New York City’s children and youth access the combined resources of New York’s three library systems and provide real-time access to educators.”

“The Brooklyn Public Library is pleased to present, along with The New York Public Library and Queens Library, homeworkNYC.org. Working together, the Libraries have provided a website 
that will be of invaluable assistance to all New York City schoolchildren,” said Ginnie Cooper, Executive Director, Brooklyn Public Library. “From languages to history, to art, science and math, all subjects are covered. Now, whether working from home or from the Library, the homework help students need is just a mouse click away.”

“Libraries support the education of children and youth every day. This website, developed collaboratively by the three city library systems and the New York City Department of Education with the financial support of The Wallace Foundation, extends our ability to support this important goal through innovation to support the education of our youth,” said Thomas W. Galante, Library Director, Queens Library.

How to Use HomeworkNYC.org

Searching by research topic or class subject, students concurrently find resources as expansive as encyclopedias, online databases, eBooks, videos, and much more, in one place; the website can be used by students in after-school study at libraries and at home. Subjects included on the homeworkNYC.org website are math, science, history, government, language arts, music & art, religion & mythology, geography, and health.  There are three levels of access to the information contained on the website:

• Students are able to get answers from a wide variety of reference sources without any password or library card required. Sources include encyclopedias and dictionaries provided by answers.com and links to librarian-reviewed websites with relevant information.
• Any student from any of New York City’s five boroughs can use the password “homework” to access 12 NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) databases, including the Gale Virtual Reference Library, the General Science Collection from EBSCO, Informe (Revistas en Español), Searchasaurus (for children in grades 1-3), and The New York Times and The New York Post (2000-present). Animated tutorials, with audio, showing students how to use the databases are included. The databases in NOVEL include a vast amount of excellent research information that is not available through a common Web search. 
• Using a library card from any of the three library systems, students can access dozens of additional databases with magazines, articles, pamphlets, books, and other resources. Databases include World Book Online Reference Center, Biography Resource Center, and New Book of Popular Science (for Students), a science encyclopedia with over 400 articles geared to students. NOTE: Applications for library cards from all three systems can be downloaded and printed from the homepage of homeworkNYC.org.

The “Toolbox” Section on HomeworkNYC.org

The following can be found in the easy-to-access “Toolbox,” available on the right-hand frame from the homepage.
• Links to three “live” homework help services: Ask-A-Librarian, Dial-A-Teacher, and Live Homework Help
• An online scientific calculator to help with math homework
• Links to various Study Notes (SparkNotes, Cliff’s Notes) for quick overviews of numerous subjects and works of literature.

Additional Sections and Features of HomeworkNYC.org

  • Getting Started, a section designed to help students learn how to study effectively. Study tips and information on how to compile and write research papers, footnotes, and bibliographies can be found here. 
  • Top 10 Resources, a collection of recommended links, websites, databases, and assorted other resources. This will change frequently, depending on New York City school assignment due dates and events.
  • News and Hot Topics, two features giving up-to-date information on subjects relevant to their school life. Curriculum changes, Regents exams, and other school events are included in these sections, as are guides to help them prepare for assignments.
  •  Links for Parents & Teachers, in two different sections, including informational letters in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and Korean that explain to parents how their children can use homeworkNYC.org.
  • Students can choose the homepage design; options include a style called “Coney” that has a Coney Island feel, and “Blackberry” with its urban landscape.

HomeworkNYC.org has partnered with Answers Corporation, which operates the answers.com website. Answers.com provides HomeworkNYC.org basic reference content used to fulfill student searches. “We are very honored to be partnering with the prestigious public libraries of New York City on this exciting new initiative to help students find the authoritative information they need when doing research and homework,” stated Jeff Cutler, Chief Revenue Officer of Answers Corporation. “We see this as a tremendous validation of our ability to deliver aggregated, comprehensive results from trusted information sources when people need to find Answers.”

HomeworkNYC.org is made possible by a major grant from The Wallace Foundation as part of the Learning in Libraries initiative. For more information about what the Foundation has learned about out-of-school time, education leadership and arts participation, visit the Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org.


Contact:     Gayle Snible  212.704.8600     |     gsnible@nypl.org