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Question of the Week: History of Mexico, Culture, & Customs

A 6th Grade student requested assistance on his research to retrieve resources for his school assignment on the history of Mexico including culture and customs.  He asked for books and articles, including magazines and newspapers.


First, I recommended the library catalog for books and provided a search strategy on "Mexico, Culture, Customs". The customer selected the book: Mañana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans from the General Collections at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Then we changed our approach and limited the search to the "Children’s Collection". The student selected two books: Costume Around the World: Mexico and from the section on "Countries/States" he selected the book Mexico.


Secondly, I recommended using the printed World Book Encyclopedia for his research and looked up Mexico for his topic.  The student selected a 2012 printed edition of The World Book Encyclopedia in order to checkout.


Thirdly, I also recommended and searched the SJPL databases for articles including the History Reference Center and Academic Search Complete.


Using the terms "Mexico, Culture, and Customs" in searching the History Reference Center database, the student selected the article "Mexican Holidays. By: Kalman, Bobbie, Mexico: The Culture, 2002". Also, by using the same terms in the Academic Search Complete database, the article "Extending Current Boundaries Between the Private, Domestic and Public Display of Mourning, Love and Visual Culture in Mexico City" was selected.


Finally, I recommended and searched the SJPL database World Book Student using search the term "Mexico".  A complete article is available on Mexico. Also suggested to use database Masterfile Premiere ("Articles from Magazines, Journals & Newspapers") and did an Advanced Search on "Mexico, Culture, and Customs" and the customer selected two articles by Goldman, Phyllis Barkas: "Mexico's Unique Culture" and "Monkeyshines on Mexico".


The student was amazed having retrieved all information for his school assignment and excited to learn that he can have access to all the SJPL databases from home with his valid SJPL card.


See more Questions of the Week

San Jose Public Library Offers Access to Online World Book for Students in English and Spanish

The World Book (Encyclopedia) Student Online [electronic resource] offers research tools, biography information, geographical information, quizzes and activities, images and videos. These resources are helpful for students in grades K-12, and can provide valuable resources for homework assignments.



Signing in is possible on your home computer using your library card Barcode and Pin number. If you need help signing in call the reference librarian at your nearest library. 


English World Book



Spanish World Book


Are You Interested in Getting Better Grades on Your Academic Papers?

Did you know you can access journal articles for writing academic papers from the San Jose Public Library Databases and they can improve your research papers?


To access this information all you need is your name, library card number, and pin.  

To look for academic journal articles you will use "Academic Search Complete" which all San Jose Public Library users have access to.


Step 1: Click on the Learn image  titled "Homework, research, articles" from the library homepage www.sjpl.org.

Step 2: Click on the top link titled Magazine and Journal Articles

Step 3: Enter your keywords of what you are looking for in the blank boxes and click "Search"

 academic search complete search box screen shot

To learn how to perform more detailed searches visit a librarian at your local branch library.  

Math Tutoring - Homework Help Sessions at Berryessa Branch

picture of Susan Chang during a tutoring sessionBerryessa Branch Library is offering afterschool math homework tutoring sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 till 5:00 p.m. weekly. An experienced volunteer tutor Susan Chang helps  school age children (K-12 grades level) to better understand math concepts and teaches problem solving, while helping children with their homework in a nice and friendly manner. No registration required. 

The Missions of California Books Online!

The Missions of California cover

Are your kids always telling you last minute that they have a project on a Mission and when you get to the library all the books are checked out? Worry no more! The Missions of California Books are available in digital format online at sjpl.org. Go to our catalog and do a keyword search for "missions of california." Then click the link on the mission your child has to do report for then type "missions" for username and password and you're set. All the same information online ready for you at anytime.

Looking for Magazine and Journal Articles? Try Academic Search Complete

San JEbscohost logo with magnifying glassose Public Library is an exceptional city library system for many reasons – our outreach to San Jose's diverse, multicultural community and the award of last year's National Medal for Library Service certainly attest to this! Perhaps one of our most unique features is the factNational Medal for Museum and Library Services that we are partnered with San Jose State University and a happy advantage of this academic partnership is, as a public library user, you are able to use SJSU’s wealth of information and even their databases –  if you physically go to Dr. King Library. 


However, if you would like to do scholarly research from home, there is no better tool than SJPL’s Academic Search Complete which you can search from home with your library card no. and PIN.  Having both peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines like Consumer Reports, Academic Search Complete is one of the world’s most comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text databases.  


So, if you are an SJPL user have an in-depth research project, don’t forget to look into Academic Search Complete as an excellent first stop.