While the library is closed, we have compiled this list of free resources available online for you to use.
Please check back regularly as this list will be updated.
Fine & Performing Arts
- Google Arts & Culture – Explore collections from around the world with Google Arts & Culture, created by the Google Cultural Institute. Discover millions of artworks, historical sites, and stories, any time and anywhere in stunning detail.
- Metropolitan Opera – A free HD streamed Opera daily; each opera is available starting at 6:30 pm and is removed at 3:30 pm the next day.
- Weiner Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) – Daily broadcasting of recordings of previous opera and ballet performances that remain available for 24 hours each.
- Berlin Philharmonic – Redeem code BERLINPHIL by March 31, and receive free access to all concerts and films in the Digital Concert Hall.
- Look for your favorite musicians and bands on social media, many are streaming free concerts online. Examples include: Chris Martin (Coldplay), Keith Urban, John Legend, P!nk, Neil Young, and the Dropkick Murphys.
- Explore.org – Live Nature Cams & Documentary Films. Explore.org is the world’s leading philanthropic live nature cam network and documentary film channel.
Food & Cooking
- Massimo Bottura – Michelin-starred chef of Gucci’s Osteria restaurant in LA has launched cooking demonstrations & lessons on his Instagram account.
Museums, Zoos, & More
- Smithsonian Institute – Includes links to the 19 buildings, galleries, and exhibits that make up the Smithsonian, including the National Zoo, Natural History Museum, Postal Museum, National Air & Space Museum, and more.
- Chicago Field Museum – The Chicago Field Museum’s Learning Resources page includes resources on a variety of topics.
- National Archives Museum – Learn about the Founding Documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
- Brookfield Zoo – Bring the Zoo to You Facebook Live chats daily at 11:00 am. enjoy a live chat with our animal care staff and some of our animals. We’re going to be bringing you some of the coolest and most interesting animals around while also providing informative sessions that engage and educate.
To Make & Do
- Crayola – Free printable coloring pages.
- The Brain Scoop – Educational videos created to bring museum work to a broader audience.
- Khan Academy – Free online learning, with a variety of subjects for all ages.
- TED Talks YouTube Channel – Explore the best talks and performances from the TED conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less).
- ScienceAlert – 5 Space and astronomy activities you can do from the safety of your home right now.
- NASA – Explore the universe through online activities, eBooks, podcasts, and more
- FunBrainFree – Stimulating brain games for all ages. Includes simple puzzles, matching games, math games, coordination games, and more.
Keep Calm & Be Kind
- Calm – Free meditation resources including audio and video recordings of soothing meditations, sleep meditations, sleep stories, calm music, soundscapes, yoga, kids meditation practices, and other mindfulness resources.
- Kindness Resources – We need to distance ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other. During difficult times, we often see the most beautiful acts of kindness.
- Audio Book Cloud by Tumblebooks– All ages audiobook database. Use the following username: tumble2020 and password: A3b5c6
- JSTOR Open Access – Explore academic content on JSTOR that is open to everyone, everywhere. Search thousands of free journal articles and open access book chapters.
- Cambridge University Press – At Cambridge University Press, Open Access submissions are accepted in more than 350 journals.
- BookPage – Book reviews, author interviews, and more.
- Internet Archive Open Library – Digitized books which may be borrowed and read online immediately in your web browser. Click here to learn how it works.
- 25 Sources of Free Public Domain Books – Check out this list of sites that offer free public domain books in electronic and audio format.
Sports & Active Lifestyle
- Chicago Fire: Streaming the 1998 Inaugural Home Match – Chicago Fire FC invites fans to enjoy a look back at the Club’s 1998 inaugural home match at Soldier Field. Choose from the full original broadcast or a condensed match with commentary by Chicago Fire FC play-by-play broadcaster Tyler Terens and current assistant coach — and star of this historic match — Frank Klopas.
- Y on the Go – Your destination for your favorite family content, fitness classes, and community connections.
- Adobe: FREE Creative Cloud Access – Adobe is giving students and teachers free, temporary remote access to its Creative Cloud suite of apps. Available, at present, until May 2020. To qualify for free home Adobe CC access, students need to be from a school or college that is an Adobe education customer. It’s not the most straightforward of processes and therefore might not happen immediately. Students will need to go through school IT admins, who can request home access via application form. It might be worth notifying your school or college of the offer, just in case they’re not already aware, to help speed things up. Adobe will evaluate each request, but if your facility is registered, then you should qualify for the temporary license. Adobe: Common questions for Students & Teachers in campuses impacted by COVID-19
- How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak – Article from The Washington Post
Virtual Tours & Online Exhibits
- Georgia Aquarium Webcams – Southern Sea Otters, African Penguins, Piranhas, Beluga Whales, Jellyfish, Puffins, California Sea Lion, Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef, Ocean Voyager Webcam
- Monk Seals exhibit at the Waikiki Aquarium
- Great Dane Puppy Nursery in Massachusetts
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo Webcams – Naked Mole-rat Cam, Lion Cam, Giant Panda Cam, Elephant Cam
- San Diego Zoo Webcams – Baboon Cam, Penguin Cam, Panda Cam Archive, Polar Cam, Ape Cam, Koala Cam, Giraffe Cam, Burrowing Owls Cams, Elephant Cam, Tiger Cam, Condor Cam.
- Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam
- Houston Zoo Webcams – Giraffe Cam, Gorilla Habitat Cam, Elephant Yard Cam, Leafcutter Ant Cam, Rhino Yard Cam, Chimp Window Cam
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – Aviary Cam, Coral Reef Cam, Jelly Cam, Kelp Forest Cam, Monterey Bay Cam, Moon Jelly Cam, Open Sea Cam, Penguin Cam, Sea Otter Cam, Shark Cam
- National Aquarium
Cultural Attractions & Sites
- The Great Wall of China
- Buckingham Palace, England
- Tower Bridge, England
- White House, USA
- The Gardens of Versailles, France
- Doge’s Palace, Italy
- Michigan Science Center
- Johnson Space Center, USA
- American Dairy Association Northeast Dairy Farm Tours – Virtual farm tours to watch on YouTube.
- The Louvre Museum
- The Van Gogh Museum
- The Guggenheim Museum
- The Vatican Museum
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- The British Museum
- Detroit Institute of Arts – Ordinary People by Extraordinary Artists Exhibit; Frida Kahlo in Detroit Exhibit; Self-portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States, 1932; Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Precisionism Exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibit, Modernism Exhibit, Watercolor Painting Exhibit, American Modernism Exhibit, United States Exhibit.
- High Museum of Art – Photos from the Civil Rights Movement; Incredible, Innovative, and Unexpected Contemporary Furniture Designs; Bill Traylor’s Drawings of People, Animals, and Events; How Iris van Herpen Transformed Fashion
- Fire Museum of Memphis
- Memento Mutter – Medical oddities at the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, PA
- Paris Musees – Online exhibits of 14 city of Paris art museums
- Henry Ford Museum – Collections from the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, MI
- American Museum of National History – Windows on Nature Exhibit, Picturing Science Exhibit, Highlights from the Museum Online Exhibit.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art – Explore 26 online exhibits.
- The Museum of Modern Art – Sophie Taeuber-Arp Exhibit
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – Explore 16 online exhibits.
- Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
- National Museum of the US Air Force
- National Museum of the Marine Corps
- US Naval Academy Museum
- Armory Art Center – Explore a virtual gallery tour of the Florida art center’s 2020 All Artists Show.
- Hockey Hall of Fame – Learn about hockey’s finest players, moments, and artifacts with a 3-D tour of the Toronto Museum.
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Arches National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Virgin Islands National Park
- Volcanoes National Park
- Everglades National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- National Parks, USA – There are 113 virtual tours of National Parks available on Google Arts & Culture.
Nature & Natural Wonders
- Galapagos Islands
- Great Barrier Reef, Austraila – Swim through the Great Barrier Reef with the help of several videos narrated by David Attenborough
- Hang Son Doong, Vietnam – Tour the world’s largest cave, located in Vietnam
- Halema’uma’u Crater
- Haleakala Crater
- Nahuku Lava Tube
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – CDC is the nation’s health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic. CDC increases the health security of our nation.
- NewsGuard Coronavirus Misinformation Tracker – NewsGuard sifts through news to sort fact from fiction, and has temporarily removed their paywall until July 1. Visit their Coronavirus Misinformation Tracker to learn more about sites promoting inaccurate or misleading information about the outbreak.
- New York Times: Free Access to Coronavirus Information – The New York Times is providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help readers understand the pandemic. Email signup is required to read all of the articles on the page.
- Harvard Medical School Resources
Employment, Finance, & Business
Jobs & Career Services
- Executive Service Corps – This website offers resources for how to better handle working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:
- CBS News List of tips for Working From Home
- If you are job-hunting during the pandemic, consider remote jobs from FlexJobs, Indeed: Remote Jobs, all of which are currently hiring during COVID-19.
People’s Resource Center: Rent assistance and other financial assistance will be available by appointment only. Clients need to call (630) 682-5402, ext. 323 for an appointment. Employees will screen each client prior to providing services.
Local & Small Businesses
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO)
- COVID-19 Impact Form – Responses to the questions in this form will assist the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in evaluating specific areas of need at this time. They appreciate your input and are working diligently to secure all resources that they can.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information for Small Business – DCEO is working diligently to secure access to helpful resources for small businesses throughout the State of Illinois and has compiled these helpful links regarding COVID-19.
Education & Learning
- ABCMouse (use code AOFLUNICEF) – ABCmouse.com is where children can learn important educational basics (often referred to as “the ABC’s”) through the use of a computer mouse. At ABCmouse.com, the computer mouse comes to life as ABC Mouse, who serves as site ambassador and guide to early learners everywhere.
- ABDO Books – ABDO Books is offering free access to some eBooks in its catalog through June 2020.
- ABDO Zoom– Online research for beginning readers. Login: ABDO Zoom; Password 2020
- Brainpop – Brainpop is an animated educational site for kids, supporting core and supplemental subjects including Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Arts & Music, Health, and Technology.
Families can get free access to all BrainPOP products for at least 30 days. During the COVID-19 pandemic, access will be extended as long as schools are closed.
- Funbrain Jr. – Explore Funbrain Jr. for games, activities, printables, and stories for kids ages 2-6.
- Lakeshore Learning – Lakeshore is a leading developer and retailer of top-quality educational materials nationwide. For those facing school closures and in need of quick and easy activities to supplement children’s learning, they offer more than 1,000 free resources for home and school!
- Mystery Doug – A list of K-5 science lessons that are easy to do at home. No sign up or login required.
- NOAA Science Activities for Kids & Families – A quick roundup of NOAA’s most popular educational resources to help you learn about the ocean and atmosphere.
- National Geographic Kids – Kids can find out about the world around them while learning about all areas of science.
- Scholastic Learn at Home – Keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences kids can do on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
- Beanstalk – Interactive educational materials focused on children from ages 1½-6 years. Access is free during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ScienceBuddies – Thousands of free resources for learning STEM, including a collection of 160+ fun, hands-on STEM activities and videos. Each K-12 activity covers a specific STEM concept, can be done in an hour or less, and can usually be done with materials easily found at home.
- Scholastic Teachables – This resource for PreK – 6th Grade offers printable activities for any subject: math, science, reading comprehension, STEM, writing, and beyond. Download printable lesson plans, reading passages, games and puzzles, clip art, bulletin board ideas, teacher supports, and skills sheets. Over 25,000 teacher created, vetted printables to support your instruction. User ID: schteachables46. Password: blue.
- PBS Learning Media – Curated collection of free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for teachers and learning at home. Create a free account to save and organize content.
- NASA STEM Engagement – A variety of STEM-related videos, homework help, and games from NASA.
- Mathspace – This adaptive math program for grades 3-12 gives students feedback at every step of their work. Also includes full eTextbook aligned to state and common core standards and instructional videos and reporting tools. Any school that has closed during the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible for free access. Contact your school and ask them to apply for access.
- Gale Resources for Teaching and Learning – A temporary hub for educational support during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes free access to interdisciplinary, curriculum-aligned resources to support online learning from pre-K through undergraduate, as well as ways to optimize existing resources.
- Britannica Digital Learning – Free access to Britannica LaunchPacks, for social studies and science, being leveraged by schools across the world grappling with shutdowns, conducting virtual lessons, and working to minimize the impact on students, families, and staff.
Ancestry – Free at-home education resources from Ancestry and access to nearly 500M National Archives records
Stories & Authors
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – Mo Willems, famed children’s author is doing daily doodles at 1 pm. ET through the Kennedy Center, where he is artist-in-residence. It will be a mini drawing workshop, and he also promises to show kids around his studio a bit.
- Storyline Online – The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
- Draw Every Day with JJK – Jarrett Krosoczka will be posting a drawing lesson daily, archived on his YouTube Channel. For starters, all you need is a pencil and paper!
- Oliver Jeffers – Oliver Jeffers will be reading a book a day on Instagram Live and then posting the videos to his website.
- Mac Barnett – Mac Barnett will be reading a book a day on Instagram Live.
- The Spanish Experiment – Well known children’s stories translated into Spanish, read aloud by a native Spanish speaker.
- Atlantic White Shark Conservancy – AWSC is offering a daily story hour the week of March 16th. The books are being read via Facebook Live each day on their Facebook page. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy website also lists the books read, along with additional lesson plans and activities.
- KidLit TV (KLTV) – KLTV is a diverse group of parents, educators, librarians, kid lit creators, and award-winning filmmakers working together to create fun new ways to reinforce an appreciation of reading that children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. READ OUT LOUD features storytime with authors at KLTV HQ!
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room – Created by Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA. You can complete this escape room as a family or individual, you can compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun!
- Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library – A virtual tour of the 20th Anniversary Exhibit at the British Library
- Center for Puppetry Arts – Now you can enjoy curriculum-based workshops and Digital Learning interactive puppet shows from the safety and comfort of home. All you need is an internet connection to join in the Zoom room.
- Children’s Book Almanac – Daily children’s book recommendations and events! Discover the stories behind children’s book classics, new books on their way to becoming classics, and events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.
- DC Comics Kids Camp – This new program is designed to help parents engage kids at home. Parents can follow DC Kids social channels (Twitter and Instagram) to download kid-friendly, superhero-themed activities and previews of past and upcoming DC middle grade graphic novels. The DC Kids social channels will also feature videos from all-star authors and artists for parents and kids to watch together.
Books & Audiobooks
- Audible – Audible is making a curated collection of audiobooks for ages 0-18 completely free. The collection has been handpicked by Audible’s editors and is a mix of stories to entertain, engage and inform young people. Selections are available in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and Italian.
- Penguin Random House Publishing – Penguin Random House is offering temporary open access to their materials.
- Tumblebooks – K-6 children’s eBook database. Use the following username: tumble735 and password: books
- Tumblemath – K-6 math ebook database. Use the following username: tumble2020 and password: A3b5c6
Activities to Make & Do
- Make Art Studio LIVE! – Make Art Gallery in Paducah, Kentucky is streaming kids art on Facebook Live.
- Little Bins, Little Hands – A site for kids & families with great science & STEAM ideas, including recipes and free printables.
- Living Well Mom: Activities for Kids – From free printable travel activities to fascinating STEM activities like salt crystal leaves and snowflakes, you’ll find kids’ activity ideas for toddlers all the way up to elementary ages.
- Crayola – Free printable coloring pages.
- Early Learning Ideas: DIY Egg Shakers – Looking for a fun craft for kids? Make egg shakers! Ideas to incorporate STEM, math, language, and movement are included in the directions.
Food & Cooking
- Delish’s Free Digital Cooking Classes – Delish’s editorial director, Joanna Saltz and her kids will be going live on Instagram every weekday at 12pm Central time to share cook-along videos for parents and their little ones. Visit Delish’s website at the beginning of each week to take a peek at the week’s schedule and make your shopping list. Each video will be available on Instagram for 24 hours.
- Taste of home – This popular cooking website has curated a collection of recipes kids can easily make all by themselves.
Health & Wellness
- Families at Home: Essential Daily Routines – Britannica Parenting offers some calm guidance on how to structure your day for health, play, and learning.
- How to Talk to Young Children about Coronavirus: from Britannica Parenting – Preschoolers and kindergartners are old enough to know that something scary is happening, but not yet old enough to understand why. Here’s what you can tell them about the coronavirus.
- How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) in Quarantine – As American schools close, parents are suddenly faced with the challenge of keeping their children occupied at home. The Atlantic magazine shares ideas for keeping kids busy and learning during the quarantine.
- Helping Children Cope – Disasters can leave children and teens feeling frightened, confused and insecure. Their responses can be quite varied. It’s important to not only recognize these reactions, but also help children cope with their emotions.
- Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 – The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides information for parents and caregivers about infectious disease outbreaks in your community. Knowing important information about the outbreak and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress and help calm likely anxieties.
- Countering COVID-19 (Coronvirus) Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers – The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers helpful advice on this difficult topic.
Tween & Teen Resources
- Teen Book Cloud – Grades 7-12 eBook database. Use the following username: tumble2020 and password: A3b5c6
- AIDEN TYLER, QUARAN-TEEN: A Webcast “Serial” with Author Rex Ogle – Rex is writing this creative new middle-grade offering in real-time, about our real-world predicament, and will be reading each week’s newest chapter aloud on this one-of-a-kind webcast “serial”. Tune in on Tuesdays at 11:00 am (CT) for this weekly webcast serial, starting Tuesday, March 24.
- Amazing Space – Amazing Space uses astronomical discoveries to inspire and educate about the wonders of our universe.
Adults & Seniors
- Romance Book Cloud by Tumblebooks – A huge collection of steamy Romance novels for the older crowd! Use the following username: tumble2020 and password: A3b5c6
- People’s Resource Center: The food pantry will be open for regular hours for DuPage County residents, with pick-up service in the parking lot. Grocery bags will be pre-packed and delivered outside to clients. Clients are asked to remain outside for service.
- York Township – York Township’s facility will be closed, but the Food Pantry operation will be open Monday to Friday, 9 am – 11 am with significant changes. They are asking that you come to the front entrance of the building where you will be greeted by a staff member. The staff member will give you two pre-filled bags of food, each client receiving the same amount of food.
Seniors & Vulnerable Populations
Many stores are reserving early morning shopping hours for Seniors and other vulnerable populations. See the COVID-19 Special Shopping Hours list published by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association for more information.