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When you are traveling on the Internet, you can travel anywhere in the world. Clicking on colored writing (hypertext links) may take you to faraway places. You can click on these at any time.
You can also search from a search site like Yahooligans or Google. Some of these have subject category links. You can just click on one and browse. Or you can type what you're looking for into the search box and see what results you get. If you are searching, try to just use one or two words in your search. So, if you need the capital of Arizona, you can just type "Arizona capital". You don't need to type a sentence like "What is the capital of Arizona?"
Every website has its own address, called a URL. If you know what website you want, you can type it into the address bar at the top of your browser. For example, the address for the South Orange Public Library's website is www.sopl.org. Typing that in will bring you to our main page. Most addresses will being with "www", but not all. Most will end with ".com" for a commercial site, ".org" for a site for a professional organization, or ".edu" for an educational institution.
Have fun exploring - you can come back to to the South Orange Public Library children's page at any time.
Computers share information over the Internet. You will have no way to know for sure who is using the computer that you have reached. Many of the people you meet will be strangers. Always ask an adult before you give any information about yourself on the Internet. If a website or someone you are chatting with asks for a picture of you, your address, your phone number, or a credit card number, make sure you do not do it until an adult says it's okay.
Also, some websites are not meant for children to look at. If you can, have an adult help find sites that are right for you (there are some great ones listed in our bookmarks). If you ever see anything on the Internet that makes you feel uncomfortable, let an adult know. They'll help you stay away from those sites.
Okay. Now you want to go someplace.
First of all you need to remember that there are different kinds of places. Some places are collections of hypertext links - they are organized lists of other websites for you. Some places give you information and links. Some places have images. Some are the web pages of real places, that is, pages created by a place that you could visit in person, like a museum or a library. Some places, on the other hand, are places that only exist on the Internet. To give you an example...
Let's say that you are interested in animals...
Going to the Electronic Zoo brings you to a huge collection of links. This site will lead you to more information and images about animals than you can take in at one time. (There's even a section on Fictional Animals.)
If you want to see what animals are in a real place that you could visit (well, the next time you're in California), you can go to the San Diego Zoo. Being a real place, there's lots of information that's mostly for visitors. You can also find pictures of the animals in the zoo, some games, and panda FAQs. (FAQs are usually interesting. It stands for Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are interested in one particular kind of animal, use a search engine and, if you are in the library, ask for help if you need it. You will discover places like The Tiger Information Center or Whale Net.
If you are at the library or have a library card and are at home, you can also use library databases. These
are collections of information about different topics that are especially for library users. These are a great
place to start if you are doing research because you can be sure the information is reliable. To see the list of
databases go to our reference page. Some of the
databases that might work for you are:
EbscoHost:Magazines, Novelist, Poetry (clicking on this will bring you to another list of databases - here try Searchasaurus or Kids Search)
But feel free to try all of them!
Please remember that once you have gotten someplace, you need to
And if you want to try a few more places, you could use our Bookmarks as a place to begin.
You are probably getting the idea that the World Wide Web is bigger than any library. You're right. But there are still lots of ways to find books and stories and even other libraries. Some of these places are collections of links, some are provided by publishers, some will tell you more about your favorite authors.
The Children's Literature Web Guide is a collection of links to just about anything that has to do with children's books. You can find books and stories online, bookstores and publishers, things written by kids, lists of books and lots more.
You might want to visit a publisher like HarperCollins Children's Books where you'll find games, How a Book Is Made, plus books like Stuart Little and Amelia Bedelia.
Or you can travel right to some authors' home pages. Maybe you'd like to try visiting Eric Carle, who wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Quiet Cricketor Jan Brett who wrote The Mitten and The Umbrella.
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you could visit Scholastic, the American publisher, Bloomsbury, the British publisher, or use this Harry Potter links page.
For information on the Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, visit the Narnia website.
If you like the Series of Unfortunate Events, visit the Lemony Snicket website.
You can also find magazines online. Try Sports Illustrated for Kids Online or American Girl.
You also may want to visit The Internet Public Library's Youth Division It has a Story Hour and links to places that might give you homework help.
If you are still looking for places to explore, check out our Bookmarks - a collection of links to some of our favorite places.
Most of all, we hope you have a great time traveling on the Internet. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. If you are in the South Orange Public Library, or any other library, you can ask a librarian. Remember, too, that books are another good source of information. Your librarian can even recommend some about the Internet.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Beth Halliday, head of children's services.
This page was last updated October 2008.