A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area

Middle and Upper School Library

Our library is designed to support academic research and reading for pleasure. Our physical collection includes more than 6,000 books, DVDs and periodicals. Additionally, the library houses a Mac lab with nine computers, and we have five Macs in the main library space. Fourteen Chromebooks and a variety of multi-media equipment are also available for checkout.

The library is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Ruffin is always happy to assist students and teachers in finding the information or resources they need!


Haiku is CFS' Learning Management System. It allows teachers to post homework assignments, organize course content, create online quizzes, have online discussions with students and share content with other Haiku users.

Find A Book

Find an E-Book

Wide range of classic full-text, searchable reference, verse, fiction and non-fiction. Indexed by author, subject, and title. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Shakespeare's complete works, Gray's Anatomy, and much more.

25 sources of free public domain books
An updated list of sources of free books in the public domain in electronic and audio formats.

American Fiction, 1851-1875
Comprehensive, digitized collection of nearly 3,000 works of American adult fiction of the 18th and 19th centuries. Read online or download as PDFs.

Reading Guides

Summer Reading Recommendations

Stay tuned!

Teen Reads

Tons of reviews and excerpts of YA (Young Adult) books, as well as adult titles that are appropriate for a teen audience. Features include Cool New Books, Word of Mouth (a forum where teens talk about what they’re reading), author interviews, biographies, contests, and free giveaways. Check out the annually updated Teen Reads Ultimate Reading List of more than 450 titles!

YALSA's Best of the Best

YALSA stands for Young Adult Library Services Association. Each year a group of librarians read a whole lot of books and watch a whole lot of movies to find the best books and media of each year. The result is a handy list of the best of the best for teen readers and viewers.

YALSA also offers a Teen Book Finder App for mobile devices.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. The website includes lots of resources to help readers find books with diverse characters.

Rainbow Book Lists

The Rainbow Book List is released every January and includes quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, recommended for readers from birth through 18 years of age. The list is a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

Online Databases

General Research & References

Gale Databases
Student Resources In Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on a wide array of subjects. The solution merges Gale's authoritative and continuously updated reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience.

Sweet Search: A Search Engine for Students
Sweet Search is a search engine designed specifically for students. It culls through 35,000+ sites which have been determined to be credible sources of information by research experts and librarians. While it's true that you will find many of the same sites in a Google search, you won't find all of the extra stuff, and Sweet Search will put the most relevant (not the most popular — there's a difference!) at the top. Try it — you might like it!

SIRS Discoverer
General reference database primarily for LS and MS students and teachers.
Password required off campus; email a librarian if you don't already know it.

Online encyclopedia all about North Carolina.

CIA World Factbook
Up-to-date information on countries of the world: geography, people, government, economy, energy, transnational issues, and more. Also a great place to find world maps and flags.

Covers the pros and cons of many controversial issues, including background, timelines, core questions, top arguments on each side, "did you know?" and more.

Worldbook Online
World Book Online delivers a progressive sequence of core databases supported by supplemental tools, such as language translation, graphic organizers, and unique Webquests.

News & Current Events

Newseum: Today's Front Pages - See the front pages of more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide.

Washington Post - Create an account with your CFS email address and you will have free & unlimited access to all digital content!

New York Times - You can only read 10 free articles each calendar month, but students have unlimited access to the website while on school wifi.

Data & Statistics

ProQuest products are designed to support the widespread, integrated, sustained, and effective (WISE) use of technology to help K-12 schools and public libraries develop educators' skills and improve student achievement at every grade level.

Easy to find, download, and use datasets generated and held by the U.S. Federal Government. Includes geospatial data.

U.S. Census Bureau
Loads of statistics. For quick and easy facts about a place, try the American Fact Finder.

World Bank Data Catalog
Download access to over 8,000 indicators from World Bank data sets.

United Nations Statistics
All U.N. statistical databases accessible through a single entry point.

Primary Sources

North Carolina Digital Collections
More than 90,000 historic and recent photographs, state government publications, letters, manuscripts, and other resources on all kinds of topics related to North Carolina. Collections include Family Records, Federal and State Constitutional Materials, NC Senate Audio, NC Newspapers, Civil War, World War I, Civil Rights, STEM Archives, and much more. All are free to access and most are full-text searchable. A great place for local primary sources!

Library of Congress
LOTS of digital collections of historic photographs, films, maps, newspapers, documents, and more. Browse by topic or search for a specific subject. A small sampling of a few top choices:

Offers a no-cost program for K12 schools that includes access to content from Fold3, Newspapers.com and the U.S. collection of Ancestry.

ProQuest products are designed to support the widespread, integrated, sustained, and effective (WISE) use of technology to help K-12 schools and public libraries develop educators' skills and improve student achievement at every grade level.

Digital Public Library of America
Offers a single point of access to millions of items —photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more — from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.

Documenting the American South (DocSouth)
UNC's growing collection of primary resources for the study of Southern history, literature and culture. Includes large collection of slave narratives.

Freedmen and Southern Society Project
Documents and interpretive essays covering historic period of emancipation (1861-1867) in the words of its participants.

Duke University Libraries' Digital Collections
Many excellent collections, including:

Digital Schomburg
A division of the New York Public Library, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is devoted to the preservation of materials on the global black experience. Includes photographs, prints, books, articles, video, oral histories, and more.

Search engine for the digitized collections of museums, libraries, archives and galleries across Europe.

Internet Archive
Evolving archive of Internet sites and other digital cultural artifacts. Home of the Wayback Machine, which allows you to see what a website looked like years or months ago.

Arts & Humanities

A substantial, free collection of images, videos, and essays relating to arts, history, religions, cultures, and more.

Art History from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Five decades of Met publications (books and journals) on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free. Also check out the Met's Collection Online!

All legislation since 1973, Congressional Records, House Committee proceedings, and more.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
Information on more than 35,000 slave voyages that forcibly transported over 12 million Africans to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.

The Labryinth
Free, organized access to resources in Medieval Studies.


Encyclopedia of Life
Free online resource bringing together information, supplied by authoritative sources, about all life on Earth in text, images, video, sounds, maps, classifications and more. Also has resources for educators, Google Earth tours, podcasts, and other cool stuff.

National Library of MedicineScience Direct
Full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from nearly 2,500 journals and 26,000 books.

Copyright & Fair-Use

This section contains a collection of materials to help you better understand copyright, fair use and plagiarism. And remember:
  1. Even if a source is copyright-friendly, you still need to cite it.
  2. Our librarians are always available to answer any and all of your questions about research, citations and digital use.

A few important definitions:

  • copyright: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work)
  • fair use: a legal doctrine that portions of copyrighted materials may be used without permission of the copyright owner provided the use is fair and reasonable, does not substantially impair the value of the materials, and does not curtail the profits reasonably expected by the owner
  • plagiarize: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; to use (another's production) without crediting the source

Source of all definitions: Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Copyright and Fair Use

In this short animated video, students are introduced to copyright, fair use, and the rights they have as creators. It reviews the Four Points of Fair Use and when they apply.

TEACHERS: This video can be used in conjunction with the lesson plan Copyrights and Wrongsand/or with these discussion questions. (You can also download the video, licensed under a Creative Commons NonCommercial-Attribution-No Derivatives license.)

The Plagiarism Spectrum: Tagging 10 Types of Unoriginal Work

"Identifies 10 types of plagiarism based on findings from a worldwide survey of nearly 900 secondary and higher education instructors. Each type of plagiarism is given a digital moniker to reflect the significant role that the internet and social media play in student writing."
Worth a look!

A Fair(y) Use Tale

This humorous yet informative 10-minute video was created by Bucknell University professor Eric Faden. It splices together very short clips from Disney films to deliver information about copyright principles and fair use — ironic given that Disney played a key role in extending legal copyright terms. WARNING: Images change non-stop, which could bother some viewers. (The video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Source: Stanford University Law School: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2007/03/fairy-use-tale).

Flowchart for Understanding Plagiarism

This handy flowchart is brought to you by EasyBib.com, which has many free guides to understanding research and citation practices. As you may know, EasyBib is also an excellent tool for creating citations and bibliographies — and every CFS student and staff member has an EasyBib account! For more info, come talk to a librarian.

Royalty-Free Creative

Tools for Creating

Insert your own digital photos and videos into this easy-to-use video creator. Makes professional-looking videos that you can

An online presentation tool that makes your projects really pop!

Music and Sounds

Sound Bible
Free and royalty-free sound clips for download in wav or mp3 format.

Purple Planet
A collection of royalty-free music that can be used for any type of film production or web presentation.

A useful free media site that has royalty-free music and audio.

You can download royalty-free music for YouTube and mixed-media projects!

CC Mixter
Even more royalty-free original free music for your soundtracks and projects!

400,000 tracks! You can search by instrument, genre, or mood. UPDATE: Some Jamendo tracks are no longer free, so make sure you're searching the free options.

Creative Commons Images

Photos For Class
Properly attributed, Creative Commons photos collected especially for school use.

A large collection of free high-resolution photos and illustrations.

A useful site with a variety of royalty-free high-resolution photographs.

A copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students.

Free Mixed Media Sites

Creative Commons
The hub for shared multimedia content. Licensed media — images, songs and videos — for anyone to use for free in projects.

Digital Public Library of America
DPLA brings together the riches of America's libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to all.