Omnigraphics’ The Teen Resource Center | Reference Database Review

The user-friendly design, conversational yet well-documented text, and dependable suggested resources will appeal to adolescents. The site also effectively addresses topics teens may feel more comfortable researching privately, making it a solid choice for most libraries serving high school students.

Omnigraphics’ The Teen Resource Center

Grade Level Grade 9 Up

Cost Annual subscriptions are $550 ($495 for schools and libraries).

Content The Teen Resource Center presents “expert life hacks for today’s teens,” with more than 2,000 articles on everything from allergies, drowsy driving, and applying to college to banking, fitness, and eating disorders.

About 30 broad categories, or topic hubs, are featured on the homepage. Clicking a hub pulls up an overview with links to articles on narrower areas (“career exploration” includes articles on mentoring, internships, volunteering, and more). Articles range from five to 10 paragraphs, often including bulleted lists, boxed text, bolded subheadings, clarifying charts and line drawings, references, and website, phone, and address information for relevant government organizations, nonprofits, and foundations. Language is inclusive and nonjudgmental. Content is drawn from Omnigraphics publications, supplemented by government websites and a variety of sources such as Consumer Reports magazine and teendriversource.org. Students may submit questions and suggestions for future coverage. Frequently asked questions (about 500 in total) appear alongside relevant entries.

Ease of Use/Visual Appeal The layout is attractive and informative though not overwhelming, with sharp photos of a diverse array of teens engaged in everyday activities. Navigation is intuitive. Students can browse a list of topic hubs on the left-hand side or search by keyword. A top ribbon menu groups these subjects under three category headings: health, financial literacy, and personal growth. Guidance on using the site is available at the bottom of each page, although portions feel more like a disclaimer than search tips (“this information is not meant to replace expert advice from a doctor…”)

The Teen Resource Center will likely see significant use for personal browsing, especially when teens are reluctant to ask about topics directly. The resource’s treatment of sensitive topics including sexual abuse, opioid addiction, and mental health is straightforward and supportive, with links to hotlines and reliable sources. Other subjects, including driving, finding a part-time job, sleep, and voting, may fit more easily into classroom discussions.

Searching is occasionally frustrating. Some terms, such as vaping or venereal diseases, return no results, even though they are covered under e-cigarettes and sexually transmitted diseases, respectively. Users must rely on the breadcrumb trail rather than the back button when returning to major topic areas.

Verdict The user-friendly design, conversational yet well-documented text, and dependable suggested resources will appeal to adolescents. The site also effectively addresses topics teens may feel more comfortable researching privately, making it a solid choice for most libraries serving high school students.


Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Middle School/Upper School Library

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