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.
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
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
Iowa — State Library of Iowa — Digital and Online Resources
Kanas State Library — E-books and Databases
Kentucky Virtual Library
Louisianna State Library — Databases for all Lousianna Residents
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
Oregon State Library — Digital Collections
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
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
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.