Online Library Resources In Self-Quarantine

Library booksGuys, two words none of us want to hear ever again: hunker down! But the way things are, we may just have to, in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

So as you prepare and plan, I recommend that you make a list of digital content that’ll ease the hunkering down (both for you and your kiddos). Stream music, movies, TV shows, download books and comics, create music playlists, read latest issues of popular magazines on your device and the best part is, you can do it all for FREE through your public library!

Check out your local libraries’ websites for library card and access info. If you don’t have a library card, no problem. You can sign up for a card online too! There’s lots to topics to choose from such as Puccini’s opera to National Geographic videos.

Brazoria County Library  (online library card registration here)

Fort Bend County Library (online library card registration here)

Harris County Public Library  (online library card registration here)

Houston Public Library (online library card registration here)

Note: certain restrictions may apply. Library card issuance is based on residency. While some content is always available, you may have to place a hold on others.

Almost all public libraries are closed and offering a variety of online resources. Many library vendors have stepped up and offering more to libraries so they can in turn offer them to their customers. So folks need to check their local library websites for virtual programs such as story times, crafts, book clubs as well as e-books, e-audiobooks, music and movies. Almost all libraries have some type of “Ask” service where customers can send their questions – research, genealogy, book list etc. This is a good time to use this service since it gives staff a way to continue to provide services and perhaps an opportunity to work from home.

Additional free online services:

  • LinkedIn is offering some Lynda.com courses for free. Some libraries also offer all of Lynda.com’s content for free with a valid library card.
  • Many museums and zoos are giving free virtual tours.
  • Free workouts – Keyla Alfaro, a fitness instructor in the Sugar Land area streams her yoga, pilates and Zumba classes on Facebook.
  • Library of Congress – a lot of digital content; many collections of American historical significance
  • New York Public Library – same thing; a lot of digital content primarily focused on New York and its culture scene
  • Adobe, Zoom, Spotify are all offering some type of short term free subscription.
  • Bodleian Library of Oxford University is also offering a wide range of digital stuff for free – Digital Bodleian at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • Harvard Business Review is making its Coronavirus coverage free for all readers. Just sign up for the Daily Alert – hbr.org
  • There’s also a National Emergency Library (archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary) which is a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching and intellectual stimulation (from their website).

Saima the Librarian




Saima Kadir is a librarian, interested in web content writing, solo travel and is an avid list maker! You can find her at the downtown HPL location on most days (when not self-isolating).

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