ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
This tool for middle and high school students includes more than 7,000 encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and guides on topics from business to world history. Full-Text Articles
Academic OneFile Select (Gale)
Collection of scholarly journals and general interest titles that covers everything from art and literature to economics and the sciences.
AMA DoctorFinder – free website
This is a free web site provided by the American Medical Association. Includes more than 690,000 American doctors. Physicians can be searched by name or by specialty and location, and listings include such information as education, specialty, hospital affiliation, and type of practice. Full-Text Articles
Search almost 2,000 magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Full-Text Articles
Ancestry Library Edition
Find billions of records from around the world, including census and vital records, immigration and passport records, plus periodicals, books and photos. ** Not available from home. Ancestry must be accessed from computers within library branches. Full-Text Articles Only available within the library.
Archives Unbound (Gale Primary Sources)
Search primary source materials related to Maryland history, such as Maryland’s city and business directories from 1752-1929, letters and reports from the War of 1812, Confederate newspapers, and more. Full-Text Articles
Learn an instrument, vocal techniques, or art skills from award-winning teachers with these free self-paced online video classes. Classes include traditional instruments such as piano and guitar as well as less common ones such as mandolin and ukulele. Use the link provided to sign in on a computer browser or download the free Libby mobile app. Log in with your library card and scroll down to find ArtistWorks under “Extras.”
Detailed directory including contact information for residents and households, businesses and executives, and healthcare professionals. Also has a job search feature. Directory Listings
Baltimore Afro-American Archives (1893 – 1988)
Often called The Afro, this weekly newspaper was the most widely circulated African American paper on the Atlantic coast. It was the first black newspaper to have correspondents reporting on World War II as well as foreign correspondents and female sports correspondents.
An interactive brain training program built by Posit Science. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise and improve your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence, and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Each exercise automatically adapts to your unique skill level. Create an account on the brainHQ web site and then continue using the web site OR download the free brainHQ mobile app.
Business (Gale OneFile)
Full-text coverage of all business disciplines including accounting, economics, finance, marketing, management and strategy through nearly 4,000 leading business and trade publications, updated daily.
CAREAPP – free website
Led by Howard County Health Department, CAREAPP helps you find local services for food, health, housing, transportation, education, employment assistance, and more.
CareerOneStop – free website
This free website by the Department of Labor allows you to learn about new career paths, find training, search job ads, and includes helpful tips for job hunters. Full-Text Articles
Use the free cloudLibrary app to browse, check out, download and read eBooks or listen to eAudiobooks. Borrowing limit of 8 titles, loan period of 21 days.
Communications and Mass Media (Gale OneFile)
Academic journals and magazines focusing on all aspects of the communications field. Key subjects covered in the database include advertising and public relations, literature and writing, linguistics, and more.
Find reviews of products, such as appliances, electronics, home and garden items, kids’ items, and more. Full-Text Articles
Coronavirus Research Database by ProQuest
A collection of journal articles, preprints, conference proceedings, dissertations, and more info related to COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Includes comprehensive research background coverage of past pandemics and epidemics, like MERS and SARS, to give researchers, students, and medical workers context around the current global crisis. Full-Text Articles
Digital Maryland – free website
An electronic collection of historical and cultural documents, images, audio, and video held by notable Maryland institutions. Full-Text Articles
Educator’s Reference Complete (Gale OneFile)
Provides periodical and journal articles on multiple levels of education from preschool to college, and every educational specialty—such as technology, bilingual education, health education, testing, administration and more.
Elementary research (Gale In Context)
Authoritative, age-appropriate, curriculum-aligned digital content covering a broad range of educational topics including Animals, Arts, Geography Literature, Social Studies, Technology, and more.
Entrepreneurship (Gale OneFile)
Academic journals and magazines perfect for both business school students and entrepreneurs. The database offers content that includes insights, tips, strategies and success stories.
Foundation Directory Online
Research 110,000 funders and more than 1.3 million recent grants made to institutions. Directory Listings Only available inside the following branches:
Foundation Grants to Individuals
Search 6,200 foundation programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individuals. Directory Listings Only available inside the following branches:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – free website
This U.S. Department of Education free web site is an essential destination for the parents of college age students because filling out an FAFSA form is the first step when you apply for federal student grants, work-study aid, and loans. You may also use this form to apply for most state and some private aid. While print FAFSA forms are widely available, this web site allows you to fill out and deliver the form online. Also included on this site is the online equivalent of the print Federal School Code List.
More than 300 six-week online classes on a variety of topics, including business, technology, health care, personal development, the arts, and hobbies. Full-Text Articles
Gale eBooks [formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library]
This tool offers electronic access to encyclopedias, almanacs, and other research books that, in earlier days, were only available in print. Includes eBooks on a broad range of topics from arts to technology. Full-Text Articles
Maryland-specific legal forms for routine situations like name changes, power of attorney, lease agreements, wills, and business transactions. These forms are fill-in-the-blank, downloadable, and continuously updated to reflect the latest laws. Also includes definitions of common legal terms, legal Q&As, sample letters, and a law digest.
Genealogy Connect (Gale)
Features research and e-books on topics such as genealogy best practices, immigration, Atlantic states, the American Revolution, and much more. Full-Text Articles
Some overlap with Ancestry.com, but this tool has a strong collection of family and local history e-books, and is also accessible from your home computer. Full-Text Articles, Directory Listings
High School research (Gale In Context)
Resource for papers, projects, and presentations that empowers the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills with content aligned to national and state curriculum standards.
Home Improvement (Gale OneFile)
Offers more than 4.5 million articles from more than 200 home improvement-focused titles, covering topics including architectural techniques, tool and material selection, zoning requirements, and others.
Stream and temporarily download movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers. Follow the “Sign Up” instructions to begin and then “Sign In” on subsequent visits. No holds lists and borrowing limit of 10 titles per calendar month. Lending period depends on format.
Howard County Government – free website
The official web site of the Howard County Government. This free resource can be used to locate county agencies and information about county services. Full-Text Articles
Ebooks for high school and college students on careers, current issues, business, literature, math, science, the arts, and U.S. History. Most of these ebooks are about topics in literature. ** Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when accessing this resource. Full-Text Articles
This tool brings biology, chemistry, earth, and space science to life, letting users explore 3D models by zooming in, rotating, or pulling them apart. Currently not available for mobile devices. Full-Text Articles
Interlibrary Loan (Marina)
Marina is the interlibrary loan system for Maryland’s libraries. Use Marina to borrow books that are not owned by Howard County Library System. Directory Listings
Kelley Blue Book – free website
This free web site is a useful place to find pricing information for both new and used cars, motorcycles, jet skis, and snowmobiles. It also provides automotive reviews and ratings. A similar service is edmunds.com, though it seems to focus exclusively on automobiles. Local information on automobile pricing and availability can be found in the print and online automotive pages of the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. Directory Listings
Practice tests for AP exams, the GED, the SAT, grad school entrance exams, and various jobs. Also includes tutorials on math skills, writing skills, and citizenship requirements. Full-Text Articles
Life Magazine Archive (1936 – 2000)
Life was a popular photojournalism magazine featuring story-telling through documentary photographs and informative captions, providing subscribers with intimate views of real people and their real life situations. Full-Text Articles
LinkedIn Learning for Library [formerly lynda.com]
More than 16,000 on-demand streaming video classes taught by real-world experts on technical skills, creative techniques, and business strategies. Free mobile app available. When asked to enter library ID, please type hcls (all lowercase letters). You will then be prompted to enter your library card number and PIN. ** Please note that you must use the login link on this page. You cannot sign in from your personal LinkedIn profile.
Online training for adults in 45 different foreign languages. Also includes lessons for individuals in need of English as a second language training. You must create a free account to keep track of your learning progress.
Marina (Interlibrary Loan)
Marina is the interlibrary loan system for Maryland’s libraries. Use Marina to borrow books that are not owned by Howard County Library System. Directory Listings
Maryland Digital NewsBank
Read 45 local Maryland newspapers (including the Howard County Times and Columbia Flier) online. Text-only; no photographs or advertisements. Also includes text-only versions of 27 magazines such as Washington Family Magazine, National Review, and Slate, plus special reports on hot topics like world health. Full-Text Articles
Maryland.gov – free website
The official government web site of the Maryland, including information for residents, business, and visitors. Full-Text Articles
MedlinePlus – free website
This web site by the National Institutes of Health is a very thorough encyclopedia containing information about diseases, conditions, wellness issues, drugs, supplements, and more. Full-Text Articles
Middle School research (Gale In Context)
Created specifically for middle schoolers, this resource combines reference content with age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines, primary sources, and much more.
Morningstar’s Investing Center
Includes detailed information on stocks, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, and other investments. ** Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when accessing this resource. Full-Text Articles
Aimed at kids ages 6 and up, this service uses interactive lessons, stories, and songs to teach eight different foreign languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, and English).
MyHeritage Library Edition
One of the most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind with more than 6 billion historical records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. Includes exclusive family tree profiles from Geni. New collections added monthly.
National Geographic Kids
Includes National Geographic Kids magazine as well as videos, photos, and e-books on animals, the environment, history, places, science & tech, and people & cultures. Full-Text Articles
National Geographic Virtual Library
Includes National Geographic magazine from 1888 to the present as well as recent issues of National Geographic Traveler. Full-Text Articles
News (Gale OneFile)
Searchable access to more than 2,300 major U.S. regional, national, and local newspapers, as well as leading titles from around the world. It also includes thousands of images, radio, and TV broadcasts and transcripts.
Are you looking for books to read in your favorite genres? Sign up for our e-newsletters and get great book suggestions by e-mail.
Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers
Features full-text and images from urban and rural papers throughout America in the 1800s, with an emphasis on topics such as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history, Western migration, and Antebellum-era life. Full-Text Articles
NorthStar Digital Literacy – free website
Online, self-guided assessments measure mastery of basic and advanced computer skills. Build skills in key areas and demonstrate your knowledge by earning badges. Topics include: Basic Computer Skills, Internet Basics, Using Email, advanced skills like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Social Media and Using Technology in Daily Life.
Adults and teens can find books of interest by searching for favorite authors or genres. Read book reviews and see best-of lists. ** Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when accessing this resource. Full-Text Articles
Students in grades K-8 (and their teachers) can find book suggestions for their next great read. ** Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when accessing this resource. Full-Text Articles
Occupational Outlook Handbook – free website
This free website by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics includes information such as required training, wage levels, and growth outlook for almost any job imaginable. Full-Text Articles
OverDrive / Libby (Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium)
Download eBooks, eAudiobooks, or magazines to your computer, tablet, Kindle, or smartphone. Use OverDrive’s website to send eBooks to your Kindle, or use Libby, the free mobile app, to borrow and read instantly on your mobile device. Libby is available in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft. Borrowing limit of 10 titles at a time and place up to 10 holds at a time. Lending period up to 21 days.
OverDrive / Libby eMagazines
Find current & past issues of your favorite popular magazines. All magazine issues are instantly available -- no waiting lists. Also, eMag issues don't count towards your OverDrive checkout limit of 10 eBooks/eAudiobooks.
A collection of more than 40 ebooks from Oxford focusing on history and the arts. Full-Text Articles
People’s Law Library of Maryland – free website
This site, maintained by the state of Maryland, provides resources to help you evaluate your legal situation, research the law, file cases, prepare for court, appeal a decision, and more. Find info about consumer law, criminal law, domestic violence, family law, probate, and much more.
Peterson’s Test and Career Prep (Gale Presents)
Use the VisualCV resume creator tool, the cover letter editor, or the website editor to create attractive documents that promote your skills to employers. You can also research career overviews and take assessments to locate jobs that align with your values, personality, and interests. Find practice tests, courses, and test prep e-books for SAT, ACT, GED, and other major job tests, plus a scholarship and college search tool.
Read thousands of newspapers and magazines from around the world and instantly translate them from one language into another. Only includes last 90 days of news, no historic archives. Full-Text Articles
Rosetta Stone Online
Engage in the proven language immersion method that more than 22,000 schools and 12,000 businesses have trusted for over the last 20+ years. Select from 30 languages structured around core lessons in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Microphone required for speaking lessons. ** Important note: Only customers with library cards starting with 21267 can use Rosetta Stone. To get a 21267 card, please visit your nearest HCLS branch during business hours. Also, Rosetta Stone isn't licensed for classroom use. A+ student cards will not authenticate. For classroom use, please use Mango Languages instead.
Science (Gale OneFile)
Helps researchers to remain current with the latest scientific developments in particle physics, advanced mathematics, nanotechnology, geology, and hundreds of other areas.
Watch, read, and learn about science topics, including earth science, space science, life science, human health, physical science, and technology & engineering. Full-Text Articles
SIRS Issues Researcher
Includes articles exploring hot topics in society. The pro/con organization of this information is helpful for assignments on opposing viewpoints. Full-Text Articles
Teacher Reference Center (EBSCO)
Indexing and abstracts for nearly 300 peer-reviewed journals. Topics covered include Best Practices, Curriculum Development, Literacy Standards, Pedagogical Research, Instructional Media, Language Arts, Science & Mathematics, School Administration, and more.
Time Magazine Archive (1923 – 2000)
Each issue of this prominent weekly magazine was intended to be read in under an hour. Time featured current events, politics, sports, and entertainment news and is an important resource for researchers studying 20th-Century history. Full-Text Articles
U.S. History (Gale OneFile)
Provides periodical content covering events in U.S. history as well as scholarly work established in the field.
United States Government Manual – free website
The official government handbook, including profiles of every agency and information on quasi-official agencies; international organizations in which the United States participates; and boards, commissions, and committees. Full-Text Articles
USA.gov – free website
The U.S. government’s official web site. Find agency websites, government-produced reports and statistics, names of elected officials, and more. Full-Text Articles
Washington Consumers’ Checkbook
Find reviews of services (house cleaners, plumbers, auto repair shops, doctors, etc.) in the Washington metro area. Full-Text Articles Only available within the library.
World Factbook – free web site
This free web site is the online equivalent of a print title by the same name. Surveys each of the world’s countries, providing a map, a historical narrative, and fairly extensive statistical information on every nation. Produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Full-Text Articles
World History (Gale OneFile)
Provides balanced coverage of events in world history with relevant articles updated daily - both current thinking and established scholarly work
All HCLS branches are open Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.