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National Emergency Library

Gain access to over 4 million books online!

Mar 25, 2020

Internet Archive is a non-profit digital repository of ebooks, movies, podcasts, images, and other digital items that can be freely borrowed. It also is home to the WayBack Machine, which archives Internet sites back to 20 years. Internet Archive also includes Open Library, a digital library of over 4 million books, including fiction, nonfiction, classic books, and more. Typically, patrons can read books written before the 1920s online, and more modern books (1.4 million and growing) can be borrowed (downloaded) like physical books--one person per book at a time and loaned for up to two weeks. 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Internet Archive has created a new National Emergency Library (NEL) to help serve students and others nationwide with expanded access to the ebooks that have been available in Open Library.  Users can browse or search by keyword, title, or author name. During this time, one can borrow up to 10 books at a time for two weeks and then immediately check any of the books back out without going on a waitlist; after June 30, at the end of 14-day loan period, the normal procedure of readers going on waitlists to borrow the books again will resume.

According to a recent Internet Archive blog post, the organizsation is providing this expanded access so that "people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe." 

For more information about the National Emergency Library, visit the NEL FAQ For more information about Internet Archives, Open Library, and the National Emergency Library and how you can use these invaluable resources, visit the Internet Archive Help Center.