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Our librarians have put together a curated list of some of the wonderful online resources and activities you can do while APL is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All of these resources are free to use (at least while schools and businesses are closed for coronavirus). Have your library card handy, as you’ll need to input your library card number to access some of these sites.

If you don’t already have an APL card, and live in Albany or Rensselaer counties, you can get a temporary library card that will give you access to some online resources. Sign up for a temporary library card here

Continue social distancing and enjoy these cultural, entertainment, and education resources from the comfort of your own home!

(Updated April 22, 2020)



OverDrive — eBooks, eAudiobooks & eVideos (all ages)

Flipster — eMagazines

Hoopla — Stream and download digital movies, TV shows, music, graphic novels, books, and audiobooks. Create a free Hoopla account with your library card number.

#AlbanyReadsHarryPotter — Read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” with us! We have quizzes, audio recaps of each chapter, and more. Starts April 13 and ends April 29. The audio chapter recaps and quizzes will stay active, so you can still enjoy them if you read the book after we’re done!

AudioBookCloud — eAudiobooks (all ages)

Romance BookCloud — Romance eNovels (adults)

Project Gutenberg — eBooks featuring literature and older works

Planet eBook — Works of literature



U.S. National Parks — Virtual tours of America’s beautiful national parks

Library of Congress National Book Festival — Videos of famous and award-winning authors discussing their work

Live Nation — Live from Home concert series

Albany Institute of History & Art — Online collections & exhibitions

Internet Archive — Digital library of internet sites and cultural artifacts

Metropolitan Opera — Nightly opera stream

Concert Livestreams — List curated by Vulture

Metropolitan Museum of Art — New York, NY

National Museum of Natural History — Washington, DC

National Museum of American History — Washington, DC

National Museum of African American History & Culture — Washington, DC

National Air and Space Museum — Washington, DC

British Museum — London, England

Vatican Museum — Rome, Italy

Museo Del Prado — Madrid, Spain

National Archaeological Museum — Athens, Greece



Ancestry — Genealogy research

New York Heritage — State and local history research

NYS Archives — Access records from the NYS and colonial governments back to 1630 through the present

Databases — Newspapers, health information, encyclopedias, and more



National Zoo Webcams — Watch cheetah cubs, lions, giant pandas, elephants, and naked mole-rats on these webcams from the Smithsonian National Zoo

Find NY Culture — Find organizations (museums, science centers, zoos, planetariums, and more) that have learning resources for your family

“Write. Right. Rite.” Series — “Grab the Mic” video series, writing prompts, and activities from Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds (author of Miles Morales-Spiderman, All American Boys, Long Way Down, more)

America’s Test Kitchen Young Chefs’ Club — Food-related activities and recipes for kids to explore and make at  home

U.S. National Parks — Take virtual tours of America’s wonderful national parks

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County — 4-H Youth Family Fun at Home activities

NYS Museum — Facebook Live field trips for youth

Harry Potter at Home — Craft videos, articles, puzzles, games, and more

NASA at Home — Space and STEM activities for grades K-8

MiSci on the Move — Educational videos featuring MiSci educators

Common Sense Media — List of free online events & activities for kids

Tumble Book Library — Children’s eBooks for grades K-6

Tumble Math — Math eBooks for grades K-6

TeenBookCloud — eBooks for grades 7-12

“I’m Bored” Activity Books — Curated collection of eBooks focusing on hands-on activities

Audible — Stories for children

Lunch Doodles — With Mo Willems from The Kennedy Center

Authors Everywhere — With children’s book authors and illustrators on YouTube

Arcademics — Math and language skill building

FunBrain — Games, videos, and activities for grades K-8

Scholastic — Games, stories, videos for parents to do with younger children

StoryPlace — Stories with counting, colors, and animals for preschoolers

Smithsonian Distance Learning — Learning lab

Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari — Animal lessons and activities

Shedd Aquarium Sea Curious — Marine animal lessons