Tagonline libraries

Seven Major Steps to Find an Online Library (part 2)

Step 4. Check out your university resources. If your university does not have a digital library, it can point you to some free online libraries that you can make use of. Some universities cooperate with massive online libraries that provide a paid service, in addition to free online libraries. The universities usually pay for this service, allowing their students to use for free. Typically, these libraries concentrate on providing digital versions of academic journals and other periodicals. They occasionally provide digital books as well.

Even if you are not studying at the university, a university website still can direct you to a helpful resource. Any free resources in the library will generally be available to the public, while paid services are only available for free for students with valid student IDs.

Step 5. Do a wide search on the Internet. If you want to find an online library, one of the fastest and simplest ways to do a search is to use your favorite Internet search engine with a good set of basic search terms such as “online libraries”, “list of online library services”, “free online libraries”, or “free list of online libraries.” Although a library typically connotes the idea of a free lending service, some websites offering online library services first require users to sign up for a paid membership. That is still fine if a small fee does not bother you; however, free digital libraries often have comparable collections.

Step 6. Consult websites that recommend or review online library lists. When searching for online libraries, you may come across a variety of websites that provide a list or directory of online libraries. These lists provide you with lists and informative explanation of what makes a certain library’s services stand out among all.

Step 7. Read the terms of services clearly. Before borrowing from any online library, read to understand clearly the rules and conditions of borrowing. Some online libraries are free while others require you to pay a small fee for partial or full access. Some libraries allow you to keep the books you borrow forever, while others set a limit. Some libraries place a limit on how many books can be checked out at once or during one day.

Seven US online libraries with specialized collections

Here are seven online libraries with specialized collections that you can visit right now to honor the contributions of the US libraries and library workers.

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a free online collection of more than 36 million digital materials from libraries, museums, and archives. Its digital collections and primary sources cover all fields, from the influenza pandemic in 1918 to the golden age of comic books.

Nautical Archaeology Digital Library

If you are interested in shipwrecks, the Nautical Archaeology Digital Library has you covered. The library is a collaboration of ShipLAB and Texas A&M University, containing ancient ship models and searchable shipwreck databases.

CIA’s FOIA Electronic Reading Room

If looking for digital data makes you feel like a secret agent, just head to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room. The digital collection provides items from FOIA and CIA release programs, including a collection dedicated to the oldest classified documents in the US and more than 50 years of CIA information on UFOs.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library offers open access to biodiversity literature. It is home to curated collections with books from field diaries from explorations of Antarctica to Charles Darwin’s personal collection.

New York Public Library

The online collection of New York Public Library contains about 890,000 digital items. It provides archives and manuscripts, including books, photographs, prints, and more unique collections, such as a massive database of more than 17,000 historical restaurant menus.

Getty Publications Virtual Library

The Getty Publications Virtual Library is home to an impressive collection of more than 300 publications of art books, which you can read and download for free, including some that are out of print.

National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine provides a huge collection of digitized materials that are related to health and disease. Through its online database, patrons can read about the history of forensic medicine, view the earliest anatomical drawings, and discover an exhibition that is dedicated to the accomplishments of women physicians.

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