Online Book Clubs & Readers’ Advisory
ALA Book Club Central is an online one-stop-shop for book clubs, featuring everything from author interviews to book recommendations and reviews, as well as discussion questions and tips about how to start and moderate a book club.
What’s Next, Books in Series is maintained by the Kent District Library in Michigan. This site allows the user to easily search and print off lists for books in a series.
Good Reads is a site for readers and book recommendations, helping people find and share books they love.
20SomethingReads is targeted to people in their 20s.
Bookpage is all about the best new books.
FaithfulReader brings information and features about Christian fiction authors, books, series, and characters.
ReadingGroupGuides has over 4,000 guides available for book discussion groups.
The following sites are maintained by Badgerlink and may be accessed using your library card:
- NoveList provides access to information on fiction titles as well as feature content including author read-alikes, book discussion guides, reading lists and more.
- Literary Reference Center site is a resource for poems, short stories, essays, speeches, and plays as well as criticism on all forms of literature.
- TeachingBooks.net gives access to thousands of resources about fiction and nonfiction books used in the K-12 environment to encourage the integration of multimedia author and book materials into reading activies.
Virtual Field Trips
City Walks are virtual walks in more than a dozen cities around the world. You can experience the cities with or without sound. You can go for virtual walks in the daytime or at night. At the start of each walk you’ll see some quick facts about the city that might help you understand a little more about what you’re seeing during the walk.
OK360 allows everyone to go to Oklahoma and take a virtual hike. With 360 views and multiple videos of nature trails in OK, you can learn more about nature in the panhandle state.
360 Cities is a large collection of panoramic interactive photographs that allow you to virtually travel around the world.nctuaries.
Nature Works Everywhere allows everyone to take a field trip into nature. Nature Works Everywhere has 11 virtual field trips for multiple age ranges, alongside videos and lesson plans for parents and teachers.
Yellowstone National Park allows you to virtually tour some of the main attractions around the park. Included with each tour is additional information about visiting in person.
ASU Virtual Field Trips offers up virtual field trips for high school and college students, covering everything from the Mars rover to prehistoric times to the rain forests.
Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. Come and visit George Washington’s home virtually.
Buckingham Palace allows everyone to take a virtual tour of some of the rooms in the Buckingham Palace and learn more about the history surrounding the British Monarchy.
DiscoveryEducation allows everyone to take a field trip with Polar Bear researchers, blast off into space at the Johnson Space Center, go behind the scenes with the NFL or any number of behind the scene tours with Discovery Education. Includes teaching guides and curriculum for interested parents and adults.
Animal & Nature Live Streams
Explore.org – This site has multiple live streams covering everything from nature cameras to animal sanctuaries.
Atlanta Zoo has a live camera feed of pandas.
Houston Zoo has live camera feeds of chimps, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, leaf cutter ants and rhinos.
Kansas City Zoo has live camera feeds of giraffes, penguins and polar bears.
Maryland Zoo has live camera feeds of flamingos, giraffes, goats, lions and penguins.
National Zoo has live camera feeds of elephants, lions, naked mole rats and pandas..
San Diego Zoo has live camera feeds of apes, baboons, burrowing owls, condors, elephants, giraffes, koalas, penguins, polar bears and tigers.
Aquarium of the Pacific has live camera feeds of Jellyfish, penguins, sharks and large aquarium views.
Georgia Aquarium has live camera feeds of beluga whales, Jellyfish, penguins, piranhas, sea lions, sea otters and the Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef.
Monterrey Bay Aquarium has live camera feeds of aviary, coral reef, jellyfish, kelp forests, penguins, sea otters and sharks.
Virtual Museum Tours
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center features works of art dating from the eighth through the twenty-first century, showcased against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views of Los Angeles.
Uffizi Gallery was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo de’Medici to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany.
MASP (The Museu de Arte de São Paulo) is a private, nonprofit museum founded by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand, in 1947, as Brazil’s first modern museum.
Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world.
Louvre allows all to visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries thanks to the sponsorship of Shiseido.
Musée d’Orsay displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world with a collection that exemplifies the breadth, richness, and diversity of artistic expression, from prehistoric times to modern day.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy.
The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is modeled after a Venetian palazzo and houses one of the world’s most remarkable art collections.
National Museum of Computing is a British museum that talks about how computing came to be and what we are still using today.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the largest cultural institution in the region.
National Museum of Natural History is one of the Smithsonian Museums and allows visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device.
Canadian History Museum offers a virtual tour to learn more about the history of our neighbors up north.
Arizona State Museum allows a virtual tour of four different exhibits from their pottery vault to woven arts.
Google Arts and Culture partnered with over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to offer virtual tours of their spaces.
Music Live Streams
NPR Music offers up not only a large collection of music to listen to, but a large collection of live streamed and recorded jam sessions, concerts and events.
NPR’s List of Free Livestreamed Concerts is constantly updating this list of free live streamed concerts that are happening during the pandemic.
Berliner Philharmonic offers access to live streamed concerts and recordings for the next 30 days.
Grand Ole Opry House is streaming free, live virtual country music concerts each Saturday night from its stage. These shows can be viewed on Facebook Live and YouTube, and can also be accessed on-demand after the performance.
Göteborgs Symfoniker will be available to all music lovers on GSOplay. The concerts can be enjoyed for free for anyone on the web or through [their] app – wherever you are.
Wigmore Hall provides recordings and live streams of their performances at no cost year round.
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center provides recordings and live streams of their performances at no cost year round.
Metropolitan Opera will provide daily, for the duration of the Met’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series will be made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 20 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 3:30 p.m. the following day.
Transparent Language Online is a free interactive, online language program that is accessed with a MORE library card.
Rocket Languages is a free interactive, online language program that is accessed with an Ellsworth Public Library card. Choose from 15 languages including English courses designed for Spanish speakers!
- Language Lessons to help you speak naturally
- Culture Lessons so you can understand the people
- Hear It Say It!, Know It!, and Write It! self-testing technology, so you can test your new language skills
- Rocket Record voice comparison technology for every word and phrase used in the course
- My Vocab; a feature that lets you store words for future reference
- My Notes; a feature that lets you add notes and reminders to a lesson
- My Forum, the online space where you can interact with other learners and your Rocket Languages teachers
- The Rocket Languages iOS and Android apps so you can use your course wherever you are
I’m a Puzzle lets you upload a photo to make an online jigsaw puzzle. Make it harder for adults or easier for kids.
Top Coloring Pages has more than 2000 great quality, printable and completely free coloring pages for children and their parents.
#ColorourCollections was launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016. #ColorOurCollections is an annual coloring festival on social media during which libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections.The coloring books from 2020 and previous years remain accessible year-round for free download.
Just Color provides multiple themed coloring pages including Mandala & Art Therapy, Nature, Travels, Art History & Stories and Special Events for you to print off to color.
Free Crochet.com allows you to download free crochet patterns.
Genealogy & Historical Resources
HeritageQuest (provided by Badgerlink) is accessed with a valid library card.
Ancestry Library Edition is free to patrons with a valid library card on library computers only.
Family Search is one of the largest collections of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world, provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The National Archives has genealogy information aids, guides, and research tools.
National Obituary Archive is the world’s largest repository of obituaries and death records.
Wisconsin Genealogy Index has records of obituaries published before 1999; births, deaths and marriages before September, 1907.
Pierce County Historical Association collects and preserves archival materials, sponsors and supports various programs, events, and activities of historical interest, and educates the public about Pierce County History.
Rootsweb at Pierce County is a source for local history and resources for Pierce County, Wisconsin.
Recollection Wisconsin is an expanding digital collection featuring thousands of historic photos, postcards, maps, letters, diaries, books, artifacts, oral histories and other digital collections from dozens of Wisconsin libraries, archives, museums and historical societies.
Wisconsin State Historical Society is a great place to start searching for Wisconsin state history and records.
Dan Geister’s Area Voices is a blog from local historian Dan Geister focusing on Pierce County history.
UWRF University Archives and Area Research Center has access to historical materials, local government records, manuscripts, and special collections from four northwestern counties including Burnett, Polk, Pierce, and St. Croix.
Reading like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features a set of primary documents designed for groups of students with a range of reading skills.
Atlas of the Geography of the United States is a dynamic map of the United States showing not only how states have changed and grown, but also the growth of churches, population and much more have moved throughout the early days of our country. Take a glance at the introductory video before diving in.
American Panorama – Similar to the above atlas, but with a more diverse selection of maps encompassing everything from canal growth and use to the changes in our House of Representatives.
Helping Writers Become Authors is a blog style website created by a published author to help others on their writing journey. Contains helpful guides on how to tackle tough writers block and how to start writing on your own.
List of College Courses on Writing has put together a list of free online college courses on creative writing. They cover a variety of topics and will help walk you through the writing process.
Digital Libraries & Collections
NASA has an e-book collection available to the public for free. Their website also contains multiple educational resources to explore.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. Access old radio shows, early computer games, T.V. shows and over 23 million books.
Digital Public Library of America is a collection of digital copies of original materials from various university libraries around the US.
Library of Congress Digital Collections has multiple collections available online, consisting of over 2 million scans of historic books, photos and other materials. This includes a large selection of historic children’s books, Abraham Lincoln’s Papers and a collection of Folk songs from Michigan and Wisconsin.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Collections contains millions of images, books, maps, recordings, documents, and more from across the UW, Wisconsin and the world. Enjoy learning more about our state’s past by browsing this collection.
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. While many books on HathiTrust requires an institutional membership, reading online is free.
American Archive of Public Broadcasting allows viewing of historic programs of publicly funded radio and television across America.
Edx was founded by Harvard and MITand houses multiple college level courses available for free.
Coursera offers both free and paid courses online. Certificates are only available in paid courses, but you can still learn something new for free.
Khan Academy has trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covering math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It’s all free for learners and teachers.
Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. This site collects multiple free education resources for anyone to use for free.
Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.
OpenLearn courses are free to study. They offer nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas and are available to start right away.
Job Search and Skills
Job Center of Wisconsin, operated by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Job Center system, is a Wisconsin-centered employment exchange, linking employers in all parts of the state and in communities that border Wisconsin with anyone looking for a job. Visit your local Job Centerfor additional, in-person help!
Wisconsin Job Network is a compilation of Wisconsin job opportunities, created from Wisconsin LocalJob Network.
Department of Vocational Rehabilitation provides services to job-seekers who have disabilities.
Wisconsin WORKnet has information about careers with the most job growth and other statistical information that may be helpful to job seekers, along with some job listings.
Occupational Outlook Handbook is a guide to career information about hundreds of occupations.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is for job seeking in Minnesota.
Job Search Writing – Resumes & Cover Letters is from Purdue University. Learn how to craft resumes and cover letters.
Learning Express Career Center is available free to all Wisconsin residents through BadgerLink, and includes occupation exploration resources and prep for career exams.
Learning Express Adult Learning Center is available free to all Wisconsin residents through BadgerLink, and includes practice for GED exams and other skill-building resources.
Tech Skills Help is the Indianhead Federated Library System’s site to help connect you to libraries and other agencies that provide help with technology skills.
Goodwill Industries has a comprehensive, free online resource for learning software, typing and mouse skills.
Learning Express Popular Software Skills Center is available free to all Wisconsin residents through BadgerLink, and includes tutorials on the Microsoft Office suite and other tools.
Everyoneon is a part of a federal initiative that will allow you to get connected to Internet access at home, and find places to take classes or get help learning to use the Internet.
Northstar Digital Literacy Project has basic computer digital literacy standards and self-guided modules and assessments in six main areas: Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows, Mac, Email, and Word Processing.