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 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.

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