Virtual Library is Wherever and Whenever You Are

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Salem Public Main Library's memory tree is garnering many leaves as the library prepares to close for renovation February 3.

Salem Public Main Library's memory is garnering many leaves as the library prepares to close for renovation February 3.

Salem Public Main Library’s online services mean the library never sleeps, even when the buildings are closed.

While the Main Library will close starting February 3 for structural upgrades, and the temporary library at 1400 Broadway Street NE won’t open until February 18, you can enjoy a rich library world as close as your nearest computer any time. (Or head to the West Salem branch during its open hours.)

A little light reading at 3:00 a.m.? Looking for a DIY gift idea at 11:00 p.m.? Want to study for the SAT at 7:00 a.m.? Your Salem Public Library is available 24/7 online! 

For your reading and viewing pleasure

Downloadable audiobooks and eBooks are available from the Salem Public Library through two separate systems, cloudLibrary and Library2go (also known as “Libby” and powered by Overdrive). Libby is provided through a statewide consortium. Salem subscribes directly to cloudLibrary. Both systems are available to patrons within Salem city limits. Outside city limits, only Libby is available.

“They are different systems and have different books,” explains Sonja Somerville, senior librarian. “I have both apps for maximum access.”

Patrons can check out up to six titles on each platform. The library and state consortium purchase access to individual copies of each title, just like physical books, meaning downloads are not unlimited. 

Children have a virtual library all their own at TumbleBooks, where they can check out animated picture books.

Meanwhile, video fans can find streaming videos, online courses, including recently run mainstream movies, art house films, documentaries and the Criterion Collection at Kanopy.

How do I do that again?

Need to build a new financial plan? Find the best video camera for the buck? Research a health issue? Look up the biography of Theodore Roosevelt? The library’s subject-oriented e-resources are the place to go.

That’s all in addition to the CCRLS catalog, which can help you find the physical books you want, place them on hold, and have them delivered to the West Salem Branch and, after February 18, Salem Public Library at Broadway.

The Salem Public Library offers current online subscriptions for investment research from Morningstar and Value Line, consumer information from Consumer Reports, car repair from Chilton, Gale Health and Wellness Library, plus a wide range of other options.Another popular choice is Creativebug, which offers unlimited access to thousands of award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized design experts.

The library also has subscriptions to a variety of paid databases that provide up-to-the-minute articles. Some even bear publication dates that haven’t happened yet because the articles are obtained before the publication goes to print. The virtual library has a variety of online homework tools, including National Geographic Kids, Opposing Viewpoints and World Book Online.

“They’re an incredible resource to have. We have resources on history, biography, science and much more,” Sonja says. “These are services the library subscribes to, so you need your library card and PIN number to access them. And the most exciting thing I tell students is that they all have citation builders built in.”

This means the database will create a citation in APA, MLA, Chicago style, and other formats to meet the requirements of different schools.

Speaking of schools and students, the library offers a wide range of online learning solutions through LearningExpress Library to help students and professionals build academic skills, prepare for school and career certification tests, and more. Answerland lets library patrons live chat, email or text reference questions to actual library staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

“All you need is a library card and you can go there any time of the day or night,” Sonja says.

Contact us

Salem Public Library at Broadway
In the interest of public health, both Salem Public Library locations - Salem Public Library at Broadway and the West Salem Library Branch – are temporarily closed to the public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Limited contactless Curbside Service for hold pickup and return of checked out library materials is available by appointment only:

Virtual Library services are available 24/7. Learn more about how to download free ebooks, eaudiobooks, and movies, do research, find information, study, and live chat with librarians at:
1400 Broadway ST NE
Salem OR 97301
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