Britannica – From the State Library of Kansas

britanica open newsletter
Encyclopedia Britannica Library Online, available for free through the State Library of Kansas, gives you four sites: an academic version for college students and a public library version for children and young adults with a reference center. Each age-appropriate level allows you or your child to research projects, complete homework, and view images and videos.

Screenshot of the opening page of the Britannica Library Children's page.
Britannica Library – Children


Access the State Library of Kansas’ subscription to Britannica Online through the State Library of Kansas databases list: here. From this page, find the General Research category and select either Britannica – Academic (for college-level resources) or Britannica – Public Library (for children- and young adult-level resources).

Users can create a personal account to save articles, add notes, and create lists. Easily cite articles in Britannica Library with the easy citation tool in a variety of styles, including MLA and APA.

Adjust the reading level on each Britannica Library article with the Reading Level 1 – 2 – 3 tool.

Each article also provides an option to hear the text read aloud and all reading levels have play/pause, stop, rewind, and fast forward controls. The text highlights as each portion is read aloud.

read aloud

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2021 Reading Challenges

It’s the start of a new year and we’re saying hello to three new reading challenges.

Each challenge asks that you read 12 books over the course of the year (36 books if you choose to complete all three challenges). We have paper challenge slips in the library’s lobby and the adult category-based reading challenge is also available for participation on Beanstack.

Click on the reading challenge to open a printable version.


2020 12 book reading challenge SM (1)

Participants who join this category-based reading challenge on Beanstack, log their reading, and complete the challenge by the end of December will be entered into a drawing to win a prize.


Everyone Has Read It Except Me 2021 (2)

In the Everyone Has Read it Except Me! challenge, choose one book each month, choosing from the five choices, to make your own reading challenge.


2021 YA Reading Challenge (1)

Our new Young Adult challenge asks you to choose one book each month from the choices given.

Happy reading!

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Book Review: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

As an avid reader, I think it is safe to say that I think about books 24/7. One of those books was The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. The cover of the book kept appearing in my mind and I knew that I had to read it.

The Downstairs Girl is a young adult historical fiction that takes place during the women’s suffragist movement in Atlanta, Georgia. The story focuses on seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan who becomes a lady’s maid for the daughter in the Payne household after being fired from her old job as a hat maker. As she does her duties as a lady’s maid, she becomes the new advice columnist for the newspaper under the pseudonym of Miss Sweetie. However, she was not expecting her advice to become the talk of the town when she challenges society’s rules about race and gender. While Jo faces her professional challenges, she has personal challenges of her own that sets her on the path of finding the identity of her parents who abandoned her long ago. Jo faces trouble when her search for her parents put her in danger when she faces the notorious criminal of Atlanta. Jo faces the decision to stand up for what’s right or will she have to back down?

I enjoyed reading Stacey Lee’s book. She did a wonderful job portraying a strong female character who is smart and witty. I appreciated how Miss Sweetie’s advice was placed at the beginning of different chapters throughout the book. Each piece of advice written tied in with the storyline of the chapters. If you like reading historical fiction with a strong character, I would highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading her other books especially her soon-to-be-released book of spring 2021: Luck of the Titanic.

Other books by Stacey Lee
The Secret of a Heart Note
Under a Painted Sky
Outrun the Moon

If you liked this review, try these great books
Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai


Book review by Kendra, Lead Circulation Librarian and Young Adult Consultant.

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Book Review – The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

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The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Kate Turner has moved back home to the little town of Blexford, England, where she finds contentment in her designing career and baking for the local Pear Tree cafe. But her life begins to change drastically when her best friend convinces her to sign up for a holiday dating event: twelves dates with twelve different men to help her find love for the holidays. But as the drama and hilarity of the dates begin, Kate realizes that she might find love much closer to home.

Light-hearted and humorous, The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss was the perfect romantic-comedy to curl up with this holiday season. Unlike many Christmas books, it shied away from overly-dramatic angst and sentimentalism while still remaining heartfelt and sincere at its core. Is it predictable? Yes, but in the best way. The reader immediately guesses who Kate will end her story with, but the fun of the book is watching how it all comes about.

For anyone looking for an entertaining book to read this season, look no further than The Twelve Dates of Christmas. It is sure to make you laugh and smile all the way through.


Review by Jackie, Circulation Librarian

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