Cyberlibraries: Digital Collections of Electronic Books, Journals, and Reference Works

A visit to the local library takes on new meaning in the digital age, thanks to the abundance of resources available on the Internet. Open 24/7, cyberlibraries provide electronic access to information about any topic imaginable.

  • The Internet Public Library Hosted by the University of Michigan's School of Information, the IPL boasts over 20,000 books from famous authors such as Chaucer, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jane Austen. All texts are available online, free of charge, and are searchable by title, author, and subject.
  • Librarians' Index to the Internet This searchable subject directory contains annotated descriptions of nearly 10,000 Internet resources. Before the Librarians' Index lists a site, staff librarians review it at least twice, so you can be sure there are no surprises when you pop in for a visit.
  • United States National Library of Medicine Good for what ails you, this site from the National Institutes of Health features numerous medical articles and databases. You can ask questions of the reference staff and read about current health news. Students interested in human anatomy can view 3-D representations of male and female bodies, complete with anatomical cross-section images.
  • LibrarySpot Winner of over 30 awards and honors, LibrarySpot offers links to numerous online libraries, reference materials, periodicals, and quotations. You'll also find a Reading Room with links to books, literary criticism, poetry, and speeches.
  • Great Books Online More than just an online source for free books, includes several information and reference tools. You can download dictionaries and thesauri and consult up-to-date editions of the Columbia Encyclopedia. Other site treasures include the complete 70-volume Harvard Classics collection and the works of William Shakespeare.
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Carol S. Holzberg, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, educational technology specialist, and computer journalist in Massachusetts.