Thinking back to my younger years, I can't recall a time when I had to ask my parents for help with my homework. Sure, there were trips to the store for poster board or to the library (hooray) for extra resources, but my parents did not have to sit with me and actually help me figure out the assignments. Not sure if that was dumb luck, good fortune or simply a different day and age. I hear from friends who are parents now and they say their children's homework demands a lot from the kids and often from them. You're in luck, because if you are a 21st century parent, there are online resources to help you and your child conquer the homework hassle.
I hope I don't need to tell you that the Library is still a phenomenal place to get homework assistance. From Kindergarten to graduate school, we have books, audiovisual items and Web resources to move you to the top of the class. You may be surprised by some unique online services we have that give you truly personalized service for those moments when you don't know where to turn.
Take our "Ask A Librarian" service. Click the "Ask A Librarian" link in the Reference section of our Web site, type in your library card number and you'll be immediately connected to a friendly, professional librarian who will work hard to answer your questions. Of course, we have an amiable reference staff of our own and you are always welcome to stop by or call 847-376-2917 with your questions. But if we aren't open, "Ask A Librarian" is available, 24/7.
Last week, we introduced a brand new service to the Des Plaines Public Library community: HelpNow. The "Ask A Librarian" people can handle every kind of reference question, for adults and children. HelpNow is specifically designed to provide live, online homework help and tutoring for students from grades 3-12. All the basic core subjects are available: mathematics, language arts, social science, science and the basics of reading and writing. HelpNow is available at just the right times for young people: 3 PM to 11:55 PM, daily. (3 PM, for your 5th grader; right up until midnight, for your procrastinating high schooler.) You will need your DPPL card number to receive assistance from HelpNow. We'd also love to hear from you if you try HelpNow, so we can evaluate the usefulness of the new service. Contact us via email or even through this blog with your comments and suggestions.
Don't panic the next time your kids ask for homework help - now you know where to turn.