Back to school means back to the library

New shoes, new school supplies – and new homework. When the research papers and tough math and science projects hit, it’s time to head to the library.

These days, the library is more than just a quiet place to study. It’s also a great place to get one-on-one help from a librarian, participate in afterschool programs, and hang out with friends.

Programs vary, but no matter where you live and study, the most important school supply of all is a library card. A library card gives students access to books and videos from libraries throughout the state, as well as age-appropriate online research databases.

Minneapolis Public Library

Homework Helper offers free drop-in homework help for elementary, middle- and high-school students. Tutors work with students one-on-one to help them complete assignments, do research, use computers, and navigate library resources. Last year, Homework Helpers answered almost 13,000 questions. The program runs in nine branches during the school year, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 1-5 p.m.

Online Live Homework Help connects students to expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English. Tutoring is available online daily, 3-10 p.m. Spanish-speaking tutors are available in math and science Sunday-Thursday, 3-10 pm. A Minneapolis Public Library Card is required to log in from outside the library. Parents are welcome to log in for a demonstration. Visit

Teen Central is a space at the downtown Minneapolis Central Library designed by and for teens – teens only. Get help with homework, hang out, register for fun workshops, even write on the walls!

Hennepin County Library

Ask a Librarian is a free online service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A Hennepin County Public Library card is required.

Teen Tech Youth and Learning (TTYL) provides homework help for students in elementary, middle and high school. Elementary kids can also improve their reading skills by reading to volunteers and playing games. Students in middle and high school can explore technology, including video games, laptops, podcasting and camcorders. The program is available at the Augsburg Park Library, Monday-Wednesday, 3-7 p.m. and at the Brookdale Library, Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; Monday-Wednesday, 3-7 p.m.

St. Paul Public Library

Live homework help is a free online service available every day, 3-10 p.m. A St. Paul Public Library card is required.

The West Side Student Homework and Activity Center at the Riverview Library provides students of all ages with homework help and tools. The West Side Student Homework and Activity Center is open Monday-Thursday, 3-7 p.m.

At the School Work and Mentoring Place (SWAMP) people of any age can get help from a tutor. Rondo Community Outreach Branch Library Monday-Thursday, 3-7 p.m. and Sunday,

1-4 p.m.

At the Study Place Offering Tutoring (Sun SPOT) at the Sun Ray Library students of any age can get help from a tutor, work on homework, or just hang out. Teens can become involved in the Teen Advisory Group or the Writing Club. Open Monday-Thursday, 3-7 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

Students Together After School at Rice Street (STARS) provides tutors for students of all ages. Rice Street Library, Monday-Thursday, 3-7 p.m.

At The Zone Homework Center students of all ages can receive help from a tutor or work independently. Dayton’s Bluff Library, Monday-Thursday, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday, 1-4 p.m.

Maggie Snow is a program specialist at the Minneapolis Public Library.

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