Free and Discounted E-Content Resources

Many vendors are offering free content, further discounts and flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • BiblioBoard Library: A robust collection of e-content, available to everyone in Illinois. No login or library card required, and all materials are available for immediate simultaneous access. There are two BiblioBoard Library sites:
    • BiblioBoard Library of Illinois instance provides access to all the content available in BiblioBoard. Along with the educational resources, this includes independently published adult and YA novels, OERs, PopUp Picks and more.
    • RAILS for Schools provides streamlined access to educational content appropriate for school-aged users. Many materials are available in English and in Spanish. Access to the main BiblioBoard instance is restricted.

Note: If you click on the BiblioBoard links and are confronted with a login page, click on either the RAILS for Schools or the BiblioBoard Library of Illinois button. Contact anna.behm@railslibraries.info with questions.

  • eRead Illinois: An affordable, popular materials e-content collection.
    • While RAILS would like to provide unrestricted access to the eRead Illinois Axis 360 collection, it's not currently a possibility. Right now access to materials in the eRead Illinois Axis 360 collection is limited by publisher restrictions. Each publisher requires us to lend e-books on a one-book-one-user basis. Purchasing additional copies to meet the demand that opening the collection would create is not feasible, as most library e-books cost anywhere from $20 to $65 a copy. Unless the publisher restrictions are temporarily lifted, we cannot provide free access to the platform. It would be unfair to eRead members who have already paid to access the service.
    • For our eRead Illinois member libraries, we are purchasing additional copies at as low a holds ratio possible to alleviate demand on popular titles. Libraries are welcome to join eRead Illinois - 100% of your member fee goes directly to the collection. Please note that it can take several weeks for Baker & Taylor to set up an Axis 360 site. More information on joining eRead here: https://ereadillinois.com/become-member-library
  • ​​​Audible: Free audiobooks and resources for students through April via Audible Stories.​
  • DigiLibraries: Free e-books in a variety of formats, including Chromebook compatible.
  • Follett: Find helpful video tutorials, forums and instructions for accessing Destiny Discover and other Follett products. Follett has waived the cost for Follett Classroom Ready Collections through June 30, 2020, to help ensure teachers and students have access to standards-based content from any location. Contact Follett at SalesGeneralLeads@follett.com for more information.
  • Librivox: Free public domain audiobooks.
  • Project Gutenberg: Free public domain e-books.​
  • RBDigital: In response to service disruptions caused by COVID-19, RBDigital is extending service contracts for existing digital services, beginning digital services early for new subscriptions, and offering broad discounts on audiobook purchases. Visit the RAILS Deals and Discount page for more information on discounted pricing or for more information email Meghan Haddad-Null, Account Manager, at mhaddad-null@recordedbooks.com.
  • TumbleBooks: A collection of animated talking picture books, read-alongs, ebooks, quizzes, lesson plans, and educational games.
    • Public libraries across North America can email info@tumblebooks.com with subject line Free TumbleBooks in order to receive free links to all three TumbleBook databases so they can be shared and accessed by their patrons from their home.
Article Type: