Shelf Talk 14: Homework Hub


Welcome back to school! Even if you don’t have a student in your life, you can’t deny the energy that a new school year brings. The beginning of school means a new start: time to wear new clothes, make new friends, learn new things. For many in our county, school is especially new this year. The COVID19 pandemic means that roughly 40% of our students are attending school virtually this fall. Whether in-person, virtual, or homeschooled, teachers and students are relying more on internet-based work than ever before.


This new reliance on technology leaves households without internet access at a distinct disadvantage. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 34% of households in Mississippi County do not have reliable internet. The digital divide in the southern end of the county is even more stark: 40-50% of homes are without reliable internet access. Students from these families have more difficulty participating in virtual classrooms, reviewing lessons, and completing take-home assignments.


To address this digital divide, the Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) is introducing Homework Hub. The Osceola, Keiser, and Wilson library branches will shift their hours to accommodate students’ homework needs. Students can reserve time at Learning Stations where they will have free computer (or WiFi access for devices from school) and socially-distanced space to complete school assignments. Half-hour Learning Station spaces are available at each branch Monday through Thursday from 4:00 to 8:30. Visit www.mclibrary.net/homework for more information and to reserve Learning Station space!


MCLS is also proud to announce its new tutor.com program, thanks in part to grant funding from the Mississippi County Community Foundation. Their mission is to “provide online, on-demand academic tutoring, homework help, and test preparation to kindergarten through 12th grade students, plus early college students and adult learners. Any MCLS library cardholder can connect with a highly qualified, expert tutor in a safe and secure online classroom. Tutors are available in a variety of subjects and test prep areas, from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day. Tutor.com also offers expert writing help, test prep resources from The Princeton Review® for the ACT®/SAT®, Advanced Placement (AP®) course videos, and so much more.


Tutor.com’s academic help includes:


  • Academic Tutoring: Students of all ages can get help with homework, test preparation, and skills and concepts from class. Tutors are available to work in English and Spanish.

  • Writing Help: Tutor.com’s expert writing tutors do more than offer feedback on students’ grammar and mechanics; they help students become better writers. They achieve this by focusing on higher-order concerns and offering comprehensive, constructive feedback. Students can submit their essays, book reports, and even their college or scholarship application essays for live writing help in an interactive, online classroom or for review through the drop-off review service.

  • ACT and SAT Essentials: Students preparing for college entrance exams can take practice ACT and SAT tests, receive a full score report that includes suggested areas for review, view video lessons on tested concepts, and use practice drills to help reach their target scores.

  • Practice Quizzes: Students preparing for an end-of-chapter test, final exam, or standardized test can use tutor.com’s practice quizzes to assess their knowledge on over 100 areas in math, science, and social studies. Practice quizzes are also available for the ASVAB military entrance exam.”

To access the service, please visit www.tutor.com/mcls from any internet-ready device. You will be asked to sign in with an MCLS library card, which means now is a great time to make sure your card is current! In addition to tutor.com, your library card gives you FREE access to Libby eBooks, AudioBooks, and eMagazines, and a wide variety of academic and student databases. Drop by your local MCLS branch to renew your card and those of the students in your life. Your student may come home with an MCLS card application form from school (also available at bit.ly/MCLStudentCard). These student cards will unlock the same great MCLS resources as an adult card. You will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN. Contact library staff for help updating your account information and PIN.


We are looking forward to a great school year. Make sure to follow Mississippi County Library System on Facebook and Instagram for updates about Homework Hub, tutor.com, and other great MCLS initiatives! As always, feel free to contact me at broberts@mclibrary.net anytime with questions or suggestions.


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