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State Libraries Stand in the Social Distancing Gap

As COVID-19 closes schools and keeps people home, America’s state libraries are tremendous resources for reading, literacy services, learning for all ages, and even business development and skills building.

Mar 15 · 5 min read

As families across the country are challenged by social distancing and voluntary isolation in the face of COVID-19, libraries are helping to fill the entertainment, education, information, and inquiry gaps. While you may already think of your local library as a resource for digital and online resources, we want to encourage you to also check out the amazing resources from your state library too.

Across the country, our state libraries are the gateway to online and digital collections that give every state residents free e-books, magazines, journals, newspapers, streaming audio and video, audiobooks, primary source materials, test preparation, homework help, genealogy records, state and local history, career search and skills building, local authors, and (believe it or not) more! In every state, the state libraries are tremendous resources for reading, literacy services, learning for all ages, and even business development and skills building. And with all the medical concerns in the news, state libraries provide free access to high-quality authoritative databases of health information and connections to government resources.

Many of America’s state libraries have databases, ebook collections, health information, and educational support that are funded in part by with grants from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). So if you see a notice on a state library page like “made possible by state and federal funds” you should know that this powerful partnership between the state library and the IMLS benefits each and every resident in your state. It is one more way that a small amount of smart money for libraries makes a difference in our communities.

It’s important to note that the offerings at each state library differ from each other. These resources are generally only available for residents state-by-state (which is appropriate considering that it t is taxpayer-funded). In some states, you just need to be online in the state (so if the website asks you to allow a location please do to access it). In others, you’ll need a free library card to log on. But there is always an email address for tech support if you run into problems.

We’ve done our best to point you in the right direction to each state library’s free digital and online resources. Don’t be shy about looking around more on the state library site, too.

Alabama Virtual Library from the Alabama State Library

Alaska State Library — State Electronic Library Doorway

Arizona State Library — Digital Arizona Library

Arkansas State Library and

California State Library — Online Collections

Colorado Virtual Library — Colorado State Library

Connecticut State Library — researchIT CT

DC Public Library — Go Digital

Delaware Libraries — EMedia and Delaware Catalog

Florida Electronic Library from the Florida Division of Library and Information Services

Georgia Public Library Service (State Library) — GALILEO

Hawaii State Public Library System — Browse the Collection

Idaho Commission for Libraries — Libraries Linking Idaho

Illinois State Library — Research Database

Indiana State Library — Digital Collections and

Iowa — State Library of Iowa — Digital and Online Resources

Kanas State Library — E-books and Databases and

Kentucky Virtual Library

Louisianna State Library — Databases for all Lousianna Residents and

Maine State Library — Digital Maine Library

Maryland State Library Resource Center

Massachusetts — State Library of Massachusetts Collections

Michigan E-Library — Library of Michigan

Minnesota State Library Services — eLibraryMN

Mississippi Library Commission — MAGNOLIA

Missouri State Library — Digital Refence

Montana State Library — Digital Library

Nebraska Access — Nebraska Library Commission

Nevada State Library — Silver Star Library

New Hampshire State Library — Resources for Residents at Local Libraries

New Jersey State Library — Jersey Clicks

New Mexico State Library — El Portal

New York State Library — NOVELny

North Carolina State Library

North Dakota State Library

Ohio Digital Resources — State Library of Ohio

Oklahoma Department of Libraries — Digital Prarie and

Oregon State Library — Digital Collections and

Pennsylvania Online Library (POWER) — Office of Commonwealth Libraries

Rhode Island — Office of Library and Information Services -Ask RI

South Carolina State Library Digital Collections — All Databases and

South Dakota State Library — Databases and E-Resources

Tennessee Electronic Library from the Tennesee State Library and Archives

Texas State Library and Archives — Tex Share

Utah State Library — Utah’s Online Public Library

Vermont State Library — Vermont Online Library

Virginia Collections — Library of Virginia

Washington State Library

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction — BadgerLink

West Virginia Library Commission

Wyoming State Library — GoWYLD and

Several other national organizations have free access to reading, education, learning, and entertainment resources. A few highlights are:

Library of Congress maintains a helpful guide to history resources

Harvard Law Libraries maintains a comprehensive guide to free online legal resources.

Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks from the public domain.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

If you find other gems please drop us a line. We’re all in this together until we can flatten that COVID-19 curve.

Stories about libraries and librarians around America.


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EveryLibrary fights for library funding. Any library budget anywhere should matter to every library everywhere. We are in this together.


Stories about libraries and librarians around America. We cover the breadth of experiences that people have through their libraries, and showcase the amazing people who work there.

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