Staff ePicks

picks of the week: July 29, 2021

Staff Picks: Graphic Novels for Teens

From superheroes and sci-fi to historical fiction and compelling memoirs, the graphic novel medium is exploding with amazing stories across all genres. For teen readers, there’s never been a better time to dive into the wide array of storytelling and artwork available through graphic novels, manga and comics. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite digital titles for and about teens that are ready to be enjoyed on your tablet or computer, along with a comprehensive guide to manga and its most popular subgenres.

Hoopla: Teen Graphic Novels and Comics


Staff Reviews: Manga

Staff reviews

New to the world of manga? Teen librarian Keelia from Ashburn Library breaks down everything you need to know in this YouTube series.

Streaming music

Listen to Music from the Movies: Graphic Novels & Comic Books by Global Stage Orchestra on Freegal.


The EBSCO MasterFile Complete database is a powerful resource for deepening your knowledge of graphic novels and manga. With full access to academic journals, biographies, and articles from magazines and newspapers, it’s a great starting point for research or for parents to take a deeper dive on the genre.

picks of the week: July 22, 2021

Staff Picks: Learn American Sign Language

Thanks to modern technology, learning sign language is easier than ever. There are a number of ways to learn American Sign Language (ASL) outside the old classroom method, from free online lessons to video tutorials and eBooks. A world of possibilities awaits for those who wish to teach themselves this hands-on language — and the library is here to help. Whether you’re a beginner or you know some basic ASL, you’ll find online resources in this week’s Staff ePicks to take your skills to the next level.

Rocket Languages: American Sign Language

Online learning

Rocket Languages is one of the library’s best resources for learning languages, and the Rocket Sign Language course is just the thing to take you from total newbie to signing proficiently. This self-paced class works on all angles of language acquisition: Perfect your signing, your interpretation skills and your retention of what you learn. To get started, visit the website or download the app: Android | Apple

Streaming videos on Hoopla

American Sign Language Made Easy: Six episodes cover basic to advanced skills, proper ASL etiquette and conversational strategies for a variety of situations.

American Sign Language Everyday Words: Activities & Events: Learn over 250 vocabulary words in ASL about 21 major holidays, events and even about Election Day.

Idioms & Phrases in American Sign Language: This five-part series for advanced learners covers 50 idioms and phrases along with sentence examples for everyday situations.

American Sign Language for Kids & Adults: For leaners who already know some ASL, these videos combine signing with lessons about animals and zoo life.

eBooks: American Sign Language

eBooks on Hoopla

Learn American Sign Language: Get acquainted with more than 800 signs, including signs for school, the workplace and home, and discover tips for sentence structure and facial expressions.

American Sign Language: This quick study guide covers some basic signs and helps readers learn social and cultural cues that are expressed through sign language.

Time to Sign: Sign Language for Kids: A four-part eBook series helps children master everyday signs for home, around town and school, plus greetings, holidays, feelings and more.

Streaming videos on Kanopy

Sign Language: Language in Our Hands: Unveil many myths about sign language as you learn about its fascinating development and linguistic components. (Part of The Great CoursesLanguage and the Mind series)

Baby Talk, Sign Language, and Speech: Learn simple signs you can teach your baby, plus other tips for promoting language development. (Part of The Great CoursesScientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive series)

picks of the week: July 15, 2021

Staff Picks: Wild About Reading

We’ve reached the midpoint of LCPL’s annual Summer Reading Program and if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time to get in the game! It’s a chance for readers of all ages (and even pre-readers) to stay engaged by enjoying books and completing fun challenges for the shot at seriously cool prize packages. Since the program is entirely virtual this year, it seems appropriate to tip our hat to some online resources and eBooks celebrating our Wild About Reading theme.

Wild About Reading: eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

You’ll find plenty of titles for all ages in the Wild About Reading collection on OverDrive and the Libby app. Here are a few to get started.

Streaming music

Take a walk on the wild side with these streaming playlists on Freegal Music.

Wild About Reading: Kids Videos

Streaming movies and videos

  • The wild child in your life can explore all kinds of fun and educational videos about nature, camping and other wild things in our new Just for Kids Access Video database. This ad-free site is packed with TV shows, animated picture books and cool videos — all available on demand without waitlists or monthly limits.
  • Watch one of these “wild” movies on Kanopy.
    • Wild Strawberries: A professor is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults and make peace with the inevitability of his approaching death.
    • Wild Nights With Emily: Molly Shannon stars in this film about the life of Emily Dickinson and, in particular, her relationship with another woman.
    • The Wild Pear Tree: An aspiring writer returns to his parents' rural home and becomes increasingly disenchanted after spending time in the village.
    • The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: This documentary follows the ups-and-downs of a flock of urban parrots in San Francisco and the aging bohemian who befriends, feeds and names them.

picks of the week: July 8, 2021

Staff Picks: After The Queen's Gambit

It’s been a few months now since The Queen’s Gambit took Netflix by storm, garnering record views for the streaming platform with its adaptation of Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel about a young chess prodigy’s rise to fame. But, if like us, you’re still longing to slip back into the immersive world of Beth Harmon, take a look at this week’s Staff ePicks, which feature eBooks, audiobooks and streaming movies about prodigies, genius, obsession and triumph — and, of course, some resources to help you brush up on your chess skills.

Audiobooks on Hoopla

eBooks and audiobooks

Streaming movies on Kanopy

Streaming movies and videos

Kick back with a movie or documentary on Kanopy about chess and extraordinary people.

  • Make “check” and “mate” part of your everyday chess vocabulary, with help from an international master of the game, by watching the How to Play Chess series from The Great Courses.
  • 1:54 and A Brilliant Young Mind both feature stories of teenagers with innate abilities: one, a gifted runner grappling with a severe form of cyberbullying, and the other, a math prodigy encountering life challenges amid the International Mathematics Olympiad. In Search of Greatness is a documentary that probes the importance of nature versus nurture through the eyes of top athletes, including Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Pelé and Jerry Rice.


Read these mind-tingling publications on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia’s OverDrive collection.

picks of the week: July 1, 2021

Staff Picks: Kids' Graphic Novels

Want to get your kids hooked on reading? Try digital graphic novels! Comics and graphic novels are an awesome gateway to get kids closer to chapter books and boost their reading comprehension. Pair that with the technology they love and it’s truly an irresistible combination. This week's Staff ePicks feature some of our top graphic novels for children in the Hoopla and OverDrive apps, plus databases to learn more about favorite series and authors.

Kids' Graphic Novels on Hoopla


Graphic Novels for Kids: Research


picks of the week: June 24, 2021

Staff Picks: Science Fiction

It’s a big old world out there for science fiction fans, and whether you enjoy reading it, watching it, writing it or learning about it (…or all of the above!), chances are the library has something up your alley. This week’s Staff ePicks shines a light on out-of-this-world digital resources like spell-binding eBooks and audiobooks, digital comics, new and classic cinema, and college-level online classes.

OverDrive: Science Fiction

eBooks and eAudiobooks


Read the entire Blade Runner 2019 series plus lots of other comics in the sci-fi genre (like Sweet Tooth, Dune, Star Trek and Saga) on your tablet or computer through Hoopla. You can also find favorites from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and Image.


Whether you’re a sci-fi writer or just a fan, there’s a publication for you in the Library of Virginia’s digital magazine collection on OverDrive.


Kanopy: Science Fiction documentaries

Streaming movies and shows

Online learning

If you dig the “science” side of “science fiction,” it may be time to dive deeper into the mysteries of the cosmos. The Cosmology 101 course on Universal Class walks you through fascinating theories and concepts about our universe, from quantum mechanics and the formation of galaxies, to dark matter, time travel and beyond. This would be a great course for science-fiction writers.

picks of the week: June 17, 2021

Staff Picks: Grilling and BBQ

Summertime, and the grillin’s easy, especially if you have the right tools on hand. In this case, we’re talking about your library card, because it’s a one-way ticket to perfecting outdoor cooking. You can use it to borrow top-notch eCookbooks from masters of the grill and barbecue pit, discover new recipes in our eMagazine collection, take an online course in outdoor cooking led by The Culinary Institute of America, or research the best grills on Consumer Reports. So, before you light that fire, check out this week’s Staff ePicks and make the most of your cooking plans this season.

OverDrive: Grilling and BBQ eBooks


Ready to step up your game? Then it’s time to hit the books ... eCookbooks, that is! We have tons of great options to explore in our Fire Up the Grill eCookbook collection on OverDrive or the Libby app. You’ll find expert advice from the biggest names in barbecue and plenty of recipes for inspiration. Head over to Hoopla for even more barbecue and grilling eCookbooks. Best of all, these titles are available instantly without waitlists — perfect for that last-minute get-together.


The world’s best food and cooking magazines are at your fingertips! With the Library of Virginia’s digital magazine collection on OverDrive, you can read dozens of culinary publications right on your computer or mobile device.

More: Food and wine magazines

Grilling playlists on Freegal Music

Streaming music

Whether you’re working the grill or just playing DJ, your summer soundtracks are just a click away on Freegal.


If you’re in the market for a new grill, be sure to check the unbiased reviews on Consumer Reports before making the big purchase. Log in to Consumer Reports using your library card number and PIN (your six-digit birthdate in a MMDDYY format) to access complete ratings and recommendations for all kinds of grills: gas, charcoal, pellet, portable and kamado — plus information to help you decide which type is right for you.

Online learning

Take your grill skills to the next level with How to Master Outdoor Cooking, a 12-part class from The Culinary Institute of America available to stream on Kanopy.

picks of the week: June 10, 2021

Staff Picks: Icy Thrillers

Tired already of 90-degree forecasts, cicada swarms and sticky afternoons? Us too. That’s why we’re staying in with a cold glass of water and cooling off with some chilly eBooks and movies. This week’s Staff ePicks highlight our favorite thrillers featuring twisty-turny plots and settings so cold you’ll forget about the heat in no time. With a breeze on your neck and one of these stories on your tablet or TV, you’ll almost be able to taste the snow.

OverDrive: Icy thriller eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks


Stay inside and catch up with the latest editions of literary magazines on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia’s OverDrive collection.

Kanopy: Icy thriller movies

Streaming movies

Cool off with an under-the-radar film on Kanopy.

  • Arctic: A man (Mads Mikkelson) stranded in the Arctic must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown.
  • In Order of Disappearance: A mild-mannered snowplow driver (Stellan Skarsgard) ignites an underworld gang war when he seeks revenge for the murder of his son.
  • Transsiberian: A trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway becomes a ride of deception and murder. With Woody Harrelson, Kate Mara, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley.
  • Winter’s Bone: An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl (Jennifer Lawrence) hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Find something new

Looking for personalized book recommendations? Use NoveList Plus to discover your next great read. This database matches you with fiction and nonfiction titles based on your interests and is a great source information on authors and series.

picks of the week: June 3, 2021

Staff Picks: Summer Fun for Kids

The cicadas are buzzing, the days are getting longer and Memorial Day is in the rear view. There’s no denying it: Summer is coming. This week, our experts are highlighting some of our top digital resources to celebrate the joys of summer with your children. These eBooks and kid-friendly multimedia tools are filled with seasonal fun and information about summer holidays, swimming, camping and other outdoor activities. Speaking of summer, keep an eye out for details about LCPL's Summer Reading Program, which officially launches June 16!

OverDrive: Summer eBooks for Kids


  • You’ll find eBooks all about Summer Fun on OverDrive Kids. Nonfiction titles explore topics like the Olympics, gardening and warm-weather animals, while fiction highlights feature summertime adventures from series like The Berenstain Bears, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Magic Treehouse.
  • Hoopla has hundreds of on-demand eBooks for summer-loving kids. Check out nonfiction about the seasons, stories about camping and outdoor activities or find an audiobook for your next summer road trip.
  • Head to BookFlix to watch an animated version of the picture book Blackout, which follows a New York City family during a power outage. Then, read a nonfiction eBook about summer and play related games. You’ll find these and other book pairings under the “Animals and Nature” category.

Streaming music for kids

Streaming music

Your summer soundtrack is a click away with music like Sesame Street: Summer Collection and 100 Kids Songs for a Roadtrip on Hoopla or 50 Kids’ Songs for Summer on Freegal.


Streaming videos

Enjoy animated storybooks and videos on Kanopy Kids.

picks of the week: May 27, 2021

Staff Picks: Outdoor Entertaining

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and between the warmer weather and the easing of limits on social gatherings, it feels like the perfect time to invite a few friends over for a backyard get-together. We’ve mustered some of our top online resources to help add a little spice to your long-awaited summer soiree. Check out online classes for mastering the art of grilling or hosting a garden tea party, eCookbooks and magazines for menu-planning, and streaming music to set the perfect mood.

eCookbooks on OverDrive


If you need some new food and drink ideas, turn to the eCookbook collection on OverDrive or the Libby app. Choose from hundreds of titles, including summer friendly topics like grilling and barbecue. Here are a few of our favorites – both old and new – to get you started.

More: eCookbooks

Streaming videos

Take your grill skills to the next level with How to Master Outdoor Cooking, a 12-part video-based class from The Culinary Institute of America available to stream on Kanopy. Harness the power of your grill to produce a perfect steak, add smoky flavor to chicken, and enhance salads, sides, and a variety of meats beyond standard hamburgers and hot dogs.

Streaming music

Set the mood at your next gathering with the perfect music or playlist. On Hoopla you can explore options for a backyard BBQ, party compilations or search for your favorite genres or artists.

Cooking eMagazines


Food and cooking magazines are a great source for finding new recipes, especially ones that are timed to the season. With the Library of Virginia’s digital magazine collection on OverDrive, you can read dozens of the world’s best culinary publications right on your computer or mobile device without spending a dime.

More: Food and wine magazines

Online learning

You’ll be the host with the most after watching these self-paced courses on Universal Class.

  • Event Planning 101 is a 10-part course that covers the basics of professional event planning, but you can skip straight ahead to the lessons specifically about hosting events. You’ll get step-by-step tips and checklists to make sure your next party or celebration goes off without a hitch.
  • Tea Parties 101 is a three-hour course that provides an introduction to the many types of tea, the history of tea and tea parties, as well as tips for planning your own tea party. Get ideas for food suggestions, tea-pairings and tips for tailoring your event to your guest list and budget.

picks of the week: May 20, 2021

Staff Picks: USA Travel

As the weather warms up, many of us are longing to reclaim something we lost during the last year: a summer vacation. If you're itching to get out and about, take a look at this week's Staff ePicks for our favorite online resources to help plan a getaway, including downloadable guidebooks, travel photography courses and money-saving tips from Consumer Reports. 

Travel Guide eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

  • Head to Hoopla for on-demand travel guides to hundreds of U.S. regions and destinations. These eBooks are always available without waitlists or holds and can be downloaded to your phone or tablet for offline browsing, making for an ideal travel companion. You’ll find trusted guides from the likes of Fodor’s, Lonely Planet and Frommer’s, plus research for hiking and sightseeing throughout the country.
  • Our On the Road Again eBook and audiobook collection on OverDrive features some of our favorite titles about traveling in America. Explore handpicked guidebooks, travel memoirs, and fascinating nonfiction probing the depths of beloved regions and places. If you aren’t ready to hit the road yet, these eBooks might just deliver the escape you’ve been craving.

Online learning

So, you want to take a family vacation but can’t decide where to go? The Great Family Vacations course on Universal Class is here to save the day! This self-paced video course gives you an in-depth overview of popular options including theme parks, cruises, nature destinations, historical sites, beaches and cities to help plan the vacation of a lifetime. This could be fun to watch together as a family or just for “the planner” in your household.

Consumer Reports Travel Guide


From Consumer Reports comes a brand-new guide to navigating vacation and travel this summer. Check out tips for creating a COVID-19 travel toolkit, flying safely during the pandemicworking around the rental car shortage, or getting the best deal on airline and hotel reservations. You can also unlock full access to Consumer Report’s unbiased ratings and reviews for cars, luggage, bikes, cameras, sunscreen and other vacation essentials. Just log in here, enter your library card number and PIN (your default PIN is your six-digit birthdate in a MMDDYY format), and you’re all set!

Streaming videos

On Kanopy, enjoy access to college-level classes from The Great Courses such as these traveler-friendly series:

  • In The Fundamentals of Travel Photography, National Geographic photographer Bob Krist shares his insights through 24 lectures packed with the best photos from his career as a travel photographer.
  • Join best-selling travel writer Joe Yogerst for The Wonders of America’s State Parks — a virtual tour of over 100 state wilderness areas stretching from New England to the Hawaiian Islands. You’ll learn how these parks came into existence, what makes them a special part of America’s story, and how to get the most out of a visit.


picks of the week: May 13, 2021

Staff Picks: Jobs, careers and work

So much has changed in the last year, including — and in some cases especially — the way we work and what our job searches look like. If you’re one of the many people hunting for a new job, seeking ways to grow your skills or perhaps thinking of launching your own venture, then check out our roundup of library resources that you can access online to take your career to the next level. From resume-writing and interviewing help to online learning platforms and research tools, there’s something for every stage of the career journey.

Career and Business eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

Whether you’re reading to get ahead or just unwind, there are lots of great options on OverDrive and Hoopla. Here are a few we recommend.

Virtual library workshops

Streaming music

When you need a little motivation, these anthems are just a click away.

Business courses on LinkedIn Learning

Online learning

  • LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as, features on-demand, video-based courses in topics like online marketing training, professional development, soft skills, leadership management and training, and finance and accounting. Log in from your computer or download the app (iOS | Android) and use loudounlibrary as your library ID.
  • Universal Class is another option for self-paced online learning, with great beginner courses such as Resume Writing 101 and Interview Skills. You’ll find plenty of other topics under the Business and Career Training sections.
  • Peterson’s Career Prep offers a suite of tools to help you discover which careers suit you best, craft a polished resume and guide you through the job application process.
  • Reference Solutions let you search over 2 million job and internship postings plus data on millions of U.S. companies and households for business and consumer research. Check out the free monthly webinars to get the most out of this powerful tool.


Read the latest editions of business and finance magazines on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia’s OverDrive collection.

picks of the week: May 6, 2021

Staff Picks: Cooking with Kids

What’s the key to raising a healthy eater who ends up comfortable in the kitchen as an adult? Starting them young! From learning about nutrition to preparing recipes (supervised, of course), there’s a lot kids can do to take an active role with food. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’ve gathered some of our favorite online resources to help get kids cooking — like top-rated eCookbooks, streaming music, healthy-eating research tools and a great video for caregivers to make sure it all goes smoothly. 

eCookbooks on OverDrive Kids


  • Head to OverDrive Kids to explore a variety of eCookbooks and food stories for young chefs. This is a great starting point for finding recipes, edible experiments and learning about cultures through food.
  • You can discover even more recipe-filled eBooks on Hoopla, plus nonfiction about favorite foods and cuisines. Best of all, these titles are available without waitlists or holds!
  • On BookFlix, watch an animated version of the picture book Chato’s Kitchen, then read a nonfiction eBook about math in the kitchen and play related games. You’ll find this pair of books under the “Family and Community” category.


Kids Cooking Music

Streaming music

Your kid-friendly kitchen soundtrack is just a click away!


ChopChop Magazine is an award-winning publication for families that provides tools for building essential life skills through the lens of food and cooking. Read the current issue and catch up on past editions through the Library of Virginia’s eMagazine collection on OverDrive.

Streaming videos

  • From the makers of Highlights magazine come read-along videos Fun With Food and Food With Family, which each feature a collection of food stories. (Kanopy Kids)
  • Cooking and Children: A Learning Activity is a 24-minute video for parents highlighting safety and clean-up tips, plus easy jobs in the kitchen that teach children coordination, math and a love of healthy food. (Kanopy)

picks of the week: April 29, 2021

Staff Picks: Pets

May is National Pet Month and the perfect time to honor our fury and feathered friends. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’ve rounded up some of the library’s top pet-centric online resources. From heartwarming eBooks and practical care guides to online courses and streaming documentaries, there’s a little something for every animal lover. And, if you’re looking to add a new critter to your household, be sure to check out these adoptable pets from Loudoun County Animal Services or attend their Kitten Shower event on May 4.

eBooks about pets on OverDrive

eBooks and audiobooks

Just for kids

Pet Movies on Kanopy

Streaming movies

Watch animal documentaries on Kanopy.

  • Pets: Wild At Heart: This two-part series uses drones, night vision and miniature on-board cameras to get a first-hand look at the secret life of pets.
  • Dog Training 101: Delve into dog cognition, behavioral science and a variety of training techniques to give you a better understanding of your best friend.
  • The Story of Cats: Track the story of cats into the Americas, from battles with their age-old rivals, the dog family, to the rise of domestic cats.

Online learning

If you’re a new pet owner, you may wish to brush up on your knowledge of animal care. These free self-paced courses on Universal Class are perfect for mastering the basics of health, grooming, nutrition and first aid.


Read the latest editions of Pets, Horse & Rider and National Geographic Kids on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia’s eMagazine collection on OverDrive.

picks of the week: April 22, 2021

Staff Picks: Poetry

April is National Poetry Month and whether you enjoy writing it or reading it, the library can help you do both digitally. This week's Staff ePicks features poetry eBooks and audiobooks for all ages, a self-paced poetry writing course, streaming movies and documentaries, plus magazines for writers and literary enthusiasts. And don't forget LCPL's Rhyme On poetry contest, which is accepting entries through May 15. 

Poetry eBooks on OverDrive

eBooks and audiobooks

You’ll find a variety of new and classic poetry eBooks and audiobooks for all ages on OverDrive or the Libby app.

Online learning

Poetry Writing 101* is a 13-part self-paced course on Universal Class that can help deepen your appreciation for poetry and improve your craft. Packed with insight on the genre as well as innovative writing exercises, this course is designed to teach students everything they need to know about reading, interpreting and writing poetry.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.


Read the latest editions of writing magazines on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia's OverDrive collection.

You may also enjoy: The New YorkerThe Writer, Writing Magazine and Writer’s Digest

Poetry Movies on Kanopy

Streaming movies

  • Watch documentaries and indie films on Kanopy.
    • To Be Heard: The documentary chronicles four years in the lives of three Bronx teenagers who transform their lives through poetry.
    • A Quiet Passion: Cynthia Nixon personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of Emily Dickinson, whose genius only came to be recognized after her death.
    • Between the Lines: This documentary offers rare interviews with over 15 major Asian-Pacific American women poets.
    • SlamNation: Go behind the scenes of The National Poetry Slam – the Olympics of verse, in which spoken word artists (the adrenaline junkies of the literary world) compete fiercely in battle poetic.
  • Sit back with an animated storybook on Kanopy Kids:

Writing contest

Loudoun County Public Library’s Rhyme On poetry-writing contest for adults is underway! Submit your entry by May 15 in one of four categories: Love Poem, Poem About Loudoun, Funniest Poem or Free Verse. To the winner goes fame, glory and a $65 prize. Visit the Rhyme On website for complete submission details.

picks of the week: April 15, 2021

Staff Picks: Flower Gardening

Last spring saw a surge of interest in vegetable gardening, with millions eager to grow their own food amid the pandemic's onset. This year, however, flowers are turning that trend on its head, with sales of flower seeds reportedly outpacing vegetable- and fruit-seed purchases tenfold. If you’re among those ready to get growing, then take a look at our roundup of library resources that you can access online to help transform your outdoor space into a flower-filled oasis.

Flower Gardening eBooks on Hoopla

eBooks and audiobooks

Online learning

Introduction to Gardening* is an 11-part self-paced course on Universal Class that can help guide you step by step through the process of developing and tending to a garden. You’ll learn about the basics of plants, soil, site selection, maintenance and pest control, then dive deeper into lessons about growing flowers, vegetables and herbs. Choose which lessons you want to watch or complete the whole course!

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

picks of the week: April 8, 2021

Staff Picks: Homeschool

This academic year has been full of changes. Among those changes: An explosion in the number of students being homeschooled. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau found that homeschooling has doubled since last spring when the pandemic hit. With that in mind, we gathered some of the library’s digital resources to assist homeschool families and those who may be considering it. These eBooks and educational tools are just a few clicks away whenever you need inspiration or supplemental support.

Homeschool eBooks on OverDrive

eBooks and audiobooks


Homeschool Courses on Universal Class

Research and online learning

Streaming videos

Watch all sorts of educational videos on Kanopy Kids covering history, science and languages. Explore popular series like Little Pim, Science Max and Curiosity Quest, plus tons of content from PBS.

picks of the week: April 1, 2021

Staff Picks: Golf

A good golfer is always reading — reading greens, reading the wind, reading an opponent’s face. Sure, there’s plenty to read on the course, but there’s even more to enjoy off of it. From page-turning biographies about your favorite pros to self-help manuals and insightful sports journalism, there’s a book for every type of golf fan. To help you enjoy them wherever and whenever you like, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite eBooks and audiobooks for this week’s Staff ePicks, plus golfing eMagazines and skill-boosting videos.

Golfing eBooks on Hoopla

eBooks and audiobooks

Golfing eMagazines


Read the latest editions of golfing magazines on your computer or mobile device through the Library of Virginia's OverDrive collection.

Streaming videos

Discover secrets to polishing your performance with these instructional short films on Kanopy:

picks of the week: March 25, 2021

Staff Picks: Small Town Mystery

Picket fences, tidy yards, friendly neighbors. Sounds idyllic. But as any good mystery lover knows, it’s the smallest, most innocent, most mundane towns that have the darkest secrets. With settings rich in detail and drama, a small-town mystery novel or movie offers a bit of armchair travel while we’re all still spending more time at home. So, if a few hours puzzling over a local murder or missing youngster sounds like the perfect mental escape, check out these thrilling eBooks, audiobooks and streaming movies with small-town settings.

Small Town Mysteries: eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

Online learning

Mystery Writing 101* is a nine-hour self-paced course on Universal Class that can help you master the ins and outs of crafting your own novel. Packed with insight on the genre as well as innovative writing exercises, this course is designed to both inspire new writers and to help seasoned veterans expand their horizons.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Small Town Mysteries: Movies

Streaming movies

Discover indie thrillers and foreign films on Kanopy.

  • Gutland: This surrealist rural noir follows a German thief who flees to a small Luxembourg village only to discover that the locals have secrets of their own.
  • The Burning Plain: A romantic mystery about a woman on the edge who takes an emotional journey back to the defining moment of her life.
  • Dark Places: A woman investigates the murder of a family with the help of a secret society obsessed with solving crimes in this Gillian Flynn adaptation.
  • The Girl in the Fog: Detective Vogel is sent to a small mountain village in the Italian Alps to investigate the sudden disappearance of 16-year-old girl.
  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia: A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes, where a suspect has confessed to the crime, but claims not to remember the exact location of the corpse.​

Find something new

Looking for personalized book recommendations? Use NoveList Plus to find your next great read. This database helps you discover books in the LCPL catalog by browsing genres, authors, time periods and more.

picks of the week: March 18, 2021

Staff Picks: Cars

Spring is right around the corner and road-trip season isn’t far behind, as more people get vaccines to do so safely — that means it's time to show your car a little love after a year of neglect. With that in mind, we’re highlighting a few library resources to help you get road-ready or to simply revel in all things automotive. Use your library card to unlock free access to vehicle and tire reviews on Consumer Reports, stream documentaries about car legends, borrow auto-repair eBooks, study for a driving test or listen to the perfect driving soundtrack.

Consumer Reports: Cars


  • If you’re in the market for a new car or accessories, be sure to check the unbiased reviews on Consumer Reports before making a big purchase. Log in to Consumer Reports using your library card number and PIN (your six-digit birthdate in a MMDDYY format) to access complete ratings and recommendations for all kinds of vehicles, plus tires, wiper blades, batteries, jump starters and even car wax.
  • Searching online for a mechanic is like taking a shot in the dark. Stop scrolling and go straight to Consumers’ Checkbook, which offers independent ratings for auto services in our area. Log in to Consumers’ Checkbook using your library card number and get instant access to reviews for local repair shops, dealerships, car washes, glass repair, detailers, tire stores and more.

Online learning

New drivers can prepare to get behind the wheel with — a free resource that provides unlimited access to official state driver’s manuals, online practice tests and an exam simulator that mimics the experience of a real DMV test. There are also tests and manuals for motorcycle and commercial driver’s licenses.

Streaming music

No car trip is complete without a little music. Download the Freegal app (iOS | Android) and hit the road with our Roll On: Car Songs playlist.

Kanopy: Car Documentaries

Streaming movies

Kick back with a documentary about cars and the people who love them on Kanopy.


  • You’ll find a variety of car-related reading on Hoopla and OverDrive. Explore biographies about famous figures, automotive repair and maintenance, road travel, and more.
  • Car-loving kids will be thrilled to load up their eReader with all kinds of eBooks about stock-car racing, trucks and things that go fast. Check out the options on Hoopla and OverDrive Kids.


Instantly access the digital editions of popular automotive magazines like Car and Driver, Road & Track and BBC Top Gear Magazine on OverDrive. Serious gearheads will also appreciate dozens of niche and foreign publications.

picks of the week: March 11, 2021

Staff Picks: Biographies for Kids

A good biography goes beyond key details to make another person’s life feel, well, alive. This is especially true of biographies for children, which balance inspiring stories with context, spectacular illustrations, and just enough information. This week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite digital resources for exploring real-life legends. From eBook and audiobook biographies to age-appropriate research tools, these items are a click away the next time curiosity or a school project come calling.

eBooks: Biographies for Children


  • Hoopla has thousands of on-demand biographies, including options for Women’s History Month, books about the president and vice president, and more.
  • The Make A New Friend: Enjoy A Biography! eBook collection on OverDrive and the Libby app features a variety of nonfiction for elementary and middle school students.
  • BookFlix is a site that pairs animated storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks and educational games to build a love of reading and real-world knowledge. You’ll find these books about real-life figures under the “People and Places” category.
    • John, Paul, George and Ben
    • Johnny Appleseed
    • Abraham Lincoln
    • Jane Goodall
    • William and Kate

Streaming videos

Sit back with an animated storybook on Kanopy Kids:


Audiobooks: Biographies for Children


If you have an auditory learner at home or want to listen to something educational while you’re in the car, check out the American Biographies series on Freegal. Each audiobook is about one hour long and broken down into bite-sized segments: 



picks of the week: March 4, 2021

Staff Picks: Self-Care

Making time to take care of yourself may sound like an expendable luxury, but tending to your physical, mental and emotional health is something we could all use a little more of these days. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’re highlighting a few library resources focused on eating right, reducing stress, exercising regularly and taking a time-out when you need it. This roundup features a variety of reading materials, online classes, and streaming music and videos, all with the goal of helping promote self-care in your life.

eBooks: Self-Care

eBooks and audiobooks

When you need something to read at a moment’s notice, turn to Hoopla for on-demand eBooks about a variety of self-care topics. Or check out these audiobooks on meditation, mindfulness and personal growth.

You’ll find further reading on OverDrive and the Libby app, with hundreds of titles in the self-care field focused on health and fitness and psychology.

Online learning

Learning something new can be great for your psychological well-being — especially so when you’re learning about self-care for your mind and body, like these free, self-paced courses on Universal Class:

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

eMagazines: Health and Fitness


Catch up on the latest issues of popular health and fitness magazines right from your computer or mobile device.

More: Health and fitness magazines

Streaming video

Self-Care Fundamentals (part of The Great Courses’ How to Stay Fit as You Age series) offers practical tips for promoting self-care in your life. Watch it now on Kanopy.

Stress and the Mind-Body Connection (part of The Great Courses’ Science of Natural Healing series) takes a closer look at the physiological and psychological effects of stress. Watch it now on Kanopy.

Streaming music

Step away from the stress and switch on one of the soothing playlists available from Freegal.

picks of the week: February 25, 2021

Staff Picks: Regency Romances

The Regency era is enjoying its moment in the spotlight, thanks to Netflix’s adaptation of the Bridgerton series. Here at the library, we’ve heard from many a reader eager to get their hands on Julia Quinn’s novels. With this surge of interest, we figured it was high time to feature some other eBooks and audiobooks in the bodice-ripper genre to tide you over until your holds become available. This week’s Staff ePicks feature always-available stories to enjoy on your phone or eReader, an online class for writing your own romance novel and sources for learning more about the Regency era.

eBooks: Regency Romances


Explore hundreds of regency romance eBooks on OverDrive and the Libby app from favorite contemporary authors like Mary Balogh, Eloisa James and Grace Burrowes. And, for the ultimate in classic Regency, look no further than the OG herself, Jane Austen.

Online learning

If you’ve ever read a romance novel and thought to yourself, “Hey, I could do that,” here’s your chance to take the next step. Romance Writing* on the Universal Class platform is a self-paced, online course that covers all the basics of crafting a novel — from creating sizzling characters to formatting manuscripts for publishers.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Audiobooks: Regency Romances


Real-life passion may come and go, but audiobooks on Hoopla will never let you down. Choose from over 70 instantly downloadable regency romances that are available whenever you need them.


Deepen your knowledge of the Regency Period by using the EBSCO MasterFile Complete database. With full access to academic journals, biographies, and articles from magazines and newspapers, it’s a great starting point for research or to take a deeper dive on the genre.

Staff presentation

LCPL’s resident romance expert, Christyna Hunter from Lovettsville Library, recently produced an online presentation all about romance fiction. In this primer, Hunter covers the history of the genre, dispels myths, and shares library tools that you can use to find your next great read. Watch now on YouTube.

picks of the week: February 11, 2021

Staff Picks: eMagazines

LCPL's eMagazines are moving from RBdigital to OverDrive, thanks to a partnership with the Library of Virginia — and it comes with a huge upgrade. In addition to the roughly 100 magazines we offered on RBdigital, you have access to more than 3,000 publications from around the world. In fact, there’s so much to explore that we thought we’d devote this week’s Staff ePicks to a few of the highlights. You can start reading all these publications now through the Library of Virginia’s Find It Virginia collection on OverDrive. For details and step-by-step instructions, click here.

Fashion Magazines

For the fashionista

More: Fashion

For the health nut

More: Health and Fitness

For the kids

More: Kids and Teens

For the celebrity gossip lover

More: Celebrity and Gossip

picks of the week: February 4, 2021

Staff Picks: Travel

After a year of little-to-no travel for many of us, you may be itching to hit the road or hop on a plane again. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’re featuring digital resources to help inspire a post-pandemic getaway or to simply imagine the possibilities. There are movies and music for savoring the sights and sounds of faraway places, eBooks for practical planning and language-learning apps to prep for your journey to a new land.

Travel eBooks and audiobooks

eBooks and audiobooks

Streaming music

There’s nothing like a little world music to transport you to another country, and the library has thousands of albums and playlists to listen to on your computer or mobile device. Go to Hoopla for popular international favorites or enjoy unlimited 24/7 streaming from Freegal’s vast world music offerings.

Travel movies and shows

Streaming movies and shows

  • Head over to Kanopy to watch dozens of travel and tourism movies and videos — from award-wining documentaries about extraordinary adventures to informative films covering all continents.
  • Hoopla features even more on-demand movies and TV shows, including National Geographic programming, guides to America’s National Parks and international-travel features.

Language learning

While most of us probably aren’t headed overseas anytime soon, this is a great chance to learn a new language while you're waiting. The library has two apps to help you master essential words and phrases.

  • Mango Languages’ lessons cater to travelers by breaking down instruction into categories like salutations, places and directions, currency, food, and transportation. Visit the website or download the app to get started: Android | Apple
  • Rocket Languages teaches situational vocabulary and phrases that may be needed in a pinch. It’s perfect for a last-minute vocabulary refresher. Visit the website or download the app: Android | Apple

picks of the week: January 28, 2021

Staff Picks: Children's Series

A great series can turn even the most reluctant reader into a life-long book-o-phile. After all, what’s better than one book to love, but a whole slew of them? With that in mind, our experts have rounded up some of our favorite chapter books and children’s series that are available from the library in eBook and audiobook formats, plus kid-friendly research tools to learn more about them. For good measure, we’ve also included a few educational shows from our streaming video platform, Kanopy Kids, to serve up a little guilt-free binge-watching.

Children's Series eBooks


Explore some of our most popular eBook series for kids on OverDrive or the Libby app:

Head over to BookFlix to watch animated storybook adaptations of the How Do Dinosaurs… series. Each book is paired with a nonfiction eBook and related games to help reinforce learning. Login to BookFlix here, then select the “Family and Community” category and look for How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and others.


Use the Gale in Context: Elementary or Scholastic Go! databases to look up all kinds of age-appropriate facts about favorite series and authors, like The Boxcar Children or Harry Potter. Information is curated based on reading levels and includes easy source citations (perfect for that next book report).

Children's Series Audiobooks


These on-demand audiobooks are ready in an instant on Hoopla:

Streaming videos

The Little Pim video series makes language-learning fun and accessible for children 6 and younger, and through Kanopy Kids, you have dozens of lessons in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, Arabic, German, Italian and more at your fingertips.

Kanopy Kids is also home to beloved series from PBS and other educational programming, including: 

picks of the week: January 21, 2021

Staff Picks: The Joy of Horses

It’s easy for residents of eastern Loudoun to forget that we’re living next to the heart of Virginia’s horse country. But for many in the western part of our county, horses are a nearly omnipresent way of life. Whether or not you have access to them, there’s plenty of horse fandom to go around, and even simply reading about horses can serve as a soothing balm in these uncertain times. We’ve gathered some of our top eResources for celebrating our equine friends — from enlightening documentaries and nonfiction eBooks to the latest horse news.

Horse eBooks


The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation: Discover the dramatic and inspiring story of a man and his horse, an unlikely duo whose rise to stardom in the sport of show jumping captivated the nation. (OverDrive)

Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race: This is the extraordinary debut memoir of a young woman who traveled to Mongolia to compete in the world’s longest, toughest horse race, and emerged as its youngest and first-ever female winner. (OverDrive)

Half Broke: A top-ranked horse trainer’s gorgeous, life-affirming memoir offers profound insight into the fascinating ways both horses and humans seek relationships to survive. (OverDrive)

The Perfect Horse: A compelling true story for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike about the heroic rescue of priceless horses kidnapped by the Nazis. (OverDrive)

Get instant access to more than 160 equestrian eBooks on Hoopla, covering topics such as fascinating nonfiction (Blood Lines, Horses Never Lie, How to Think Like a Horse), training exercises, horse care and health, farriering, horse racing and much more.

Horse Documentaries

Streaming documentaries

Equus: Story of the Horse: This two-part documentary from PBS’s Nature series examines the evolutionary journey of the horse and how horses have shaped the human world for centuries. (Kanopy)

The Noble Horse: Discover the power, mystery, and romance of horses, one of nature's most magnificent creations, in this National Geographic film. (Hoopla)

Wild Horse, Wild Ride: Follow the annual Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, in which professional and amateur horsemen try to train wild horses in just 100 days. (Hoopla)

Unbranded: This documentary tracks four fresh-out-of-college buddies and 16 mustangs on an epic 3,000-mile journey from Mexico to Canada through the American West. (Hoopla)


Read the latest editions of Equus and Horse and Rider magazines right on your tablet or mobile device with RB Digital, plus back issues dating to 2013. They’re yours to read whenever you want, for as long as you like.

picks of the week: January 14, 2021

Staff Picks: Running and Jogging

After a year in which a lot of us spent more time on our couches than at the gym, many are using 2021 to jump start new fitness goals. If running or jogging are on your list, the library can help you stay on track. In this week's Staff ePicks, we gathered a variety of digital resources for both novice and experienced runners in search of motivation and expert advice. Whether you’re looking for heart-pumping music, insightful reading or the latest running news, these tools are all just a click away.

Running eBooks



Runner’s World magazine is known for delivering the latest running news, training advice and gear tips, and with your library card you have access to the latest digital edition on RB Digital — plus all issues dating back to 2013. They’re free to browse whenever you like, for as long as you like.

Consumer Reports


Treadmills can help you reach your cardio goals without leaving the house, but they often come with a pretty big price tag attached. Before taking the plunge, check the unbiased reviews on Consumer Reports to make sure equipment fits your budget and has the features you want. Log in to Consumer Reports using your library card number and PIN (your six-digit birthdate in a MMDDYY format) and you can browse complete ratings for 28 popular treadmills, plus buying guides and videos.

Streaming music

Aside from a good pair of shoes, music is one of those things many runners consider an essential. Freegal is here to help with a variety of workout playlists and albums for when you need a motivational push or pace-setting rhythm. (And if that isn’t your thing, use your running time to listen to an audiobook instead.)

picks of the week: January 7, 2021

Staff Picks: New Year

New Year’s resolutions are looking a little different in 2021. So if the whole “new year, new you” approach feels like a bit much, simply view this instead as a fresh start and a chance to try new things. With LCPL’s digital resources, it’s easy to have new experiences right from home. Commit to listening to new music or reading a debut author. Learn some phrases in a foreign language or finally get around to those guitar lessons. Whatever it is, we hope you find something inspiring.

Classics eBooks

Read more

  • Catching up on classic literature is a popular New Year’s resolution, and our always-available classic eBook collection makes it easier than ever to turn that goal into reality. Head to OverDrive or download the Libby app and you have over 300 titles instantly at your fingertips — from Shakespeare to War and Peace and much more.
  • New year, new authors? Seems like a perfect pairing! Browse our Dazzling Debuts eBook collection and get the best new books by first-time authors right on your mobile device through OverDrive or the Libby app.
  • Resolving to read more doesn’t have to be just about books. Why not try a new magazine? The library has over 100 popular eMagazines available on RB Digital that are free to browse whenever you like, for as long as you like.

Learn more

  • If you’re looking to get ahead at work or at school, interested in learning something new or brushing up on your existing skills, it’s time to give Universal Class a try. This online learning platform allows you to take courses at your own pace in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education credits.
  • Learning a foreign language is another popular resolution, and with the library’s free apps it’s an easily attainable goal. Choose from Mango Languages or Rocket Languages (or try them both), which feature instruction in dozens of languages with easy-to-use, self-paced systems.

Streaming movies

Watch more

Exercise more

Listen more

picks of the week: December 17, 2020

Staff Picks: Winter Fun for Children

With the season’s first snow on the ground, Loudoun County is officially looking like a winter wonderland. Luckily, you don’t have to put down your cocoa to enjoy free books, movies and music from the library’s digital collection — which is great news, especially for those with kids at home. We’ve gathered some of our top wintertime resources for children to explore the excitement of snow, arctic animals, fun holidays and winter sports. From educational databases and nonfiction eBooks to streaming videos and games, there’s plenty here to delight and inform even your youngest snow fans.

Winter Fun: eBooks

eBooks and audiobook

Streaming music

Dora the Explorer is here to get everyone in your family in the mood for the holidays with Dora’s Christmas soundtrack. Sixteen traditional tunes get a fun and fresh makeover with Latin grooves and fan-friendly lyrics in English and Spanish. Listen to it instantly on Freegal.

Winter Fun: Videos

Streaming videos

Enjoy winter-themed animated storybooks and TV shows on Kanopy Kids.

  • Snow Day: What exactly is snow and why does it snow? This episode of Earth to Luna encourages the gang to examine snowflakes up close to try and get some answers.
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell: In this animated picture book, animals are helped by Bear to get ready for winter. But will they be awake long enough for him to tell his story?


  • Explore articles and multimedia about all kinds of winter topics with the Gale in Context: Elementary database. Children can navigate age-appropriate resources on subjects such as winter, a sledding story and ice skating.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to discover all kinds of facts about the season. Start by searching for “winter holidays” or “snowboarding.”

picks of the week: December 10, 2020

Staff Picks: Relaxation and Mindfulness

With everything going on these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. During the pandemic, many people are turning to online mindfulness exercises and relaxation recordings to feel more centered. Whether you’re looking for help falling asleep or you want to start a long-term meditation practice, the library has you covered with a variety of digital resources. We’re particularly fond of streaming guided meditationsrelaxation music and self-hypnosis recordings that are available instantly on your phone, tablet or computer.

Guided meditations

Guided meditations

Close your eyes and listen to a guided meditation or deep-sleep hypnosis on Hoopla’s eAudiobook selection. This is a great place to start for beginners.

You’ll find more guided meditations and calming music, plus hypnosis audio for a variety of things (such as staying off junk food, fostering artistic creativity and even improving your golf game) on Hoopla’s music section.

Online learning

Follow along with professional instructors in self-paced courses on Universal Class.

Streaming music

Listen to hours of calming, ambient music on Freegal. It's just the thing to help you relax and unwind, whether you’re meditating, trying to fall asleep or just need some soothing background noise.

Relaxation and meditation: Movies

Streaming movies  and videos


Our mindfulness and relaxation collection on OverDrive or the Libby app includes bedtime-yoga guides, stress-reduction workbooks for kids and teens, and advice about living in the moment.


Catch up on the latest issues of Yoga JournalPlanet Mindful and popular health and fitness magazines right from your computer or mobile device.

picks of the week: December 3, 2020

Staff Picks: Holiday Movies and Music

There’s nothing like a familiar song or festive movie to put you in the holiday spirit. So, when you need a little Christmas (right this very minute), turn to the library! There’s a whole host of on-demand streaming music and films at your fingertips through Freegal (music), Hoopla (music and movies) and Kanopy (movies). On these free platforms, you’ll find your favorite soundtracks, new and classic albums, and a number of movies that veer from traditional fare.

Holiday music

Streaming music

Holiday movies

Streaming movies on Kanopy

Kick back and settle in for a festive film on Kanopy.
The Holly and the Ivy
The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

The History of Christmas & Santa Claus
Jingle Bell Rocks!
Road Trip for Ralphie

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Black Christmas

For kids
Max’s Christmas
Christmas Cracker
Too Many Tamales

Streaming movies on Hoopla

picks of the week: November 12, 2020

Staff Picks: Fall Fun for Kids

With the change in seasons comes the chance to explore new sights, sounds and experiences with your children. There’s so much to love about fall — from sweater weather and apple-picking to outdoor adventures and seasonal crafting. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’ve gathered some of our favorite library resources for celebrating autumn and all that it brings, including eBooks, audiobooks, research tools, streaming videos and librarian-led activities.

eBooks: Fall Fun

eBooks and audiobooks

  • Load up your tablet with chapter books for early readers and picture books the whole family can enjoy from the Fall Titles collection on OverDrive or the Libby app.
  • Thanksgiving may look a little different this year, but one thing you can count on are on-demand eBooks and audiobooks about Turkey Day from Hoopla Digital.
  • BookFlix is a site that pairs animated storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks and learning activities to build a love of reading and real-world knowledge. Explore book pairings about autumn, rainy days and Thanksgiving.

Streaming videos

Enjoy fall-themed animated storybooks and TV shows on Kanopy Kids.

Library programs: Fall Fun

Fall activities

Join your LCPL librarians on YouTube for seasonal stories and crafts.


  • When you need reliable information and primary-source documents, turn to Gale in Context: Elementary. Children can explore age-appropriate resources on topics such as autumn, Pilgrims and turkeys or read a biography about Squanto.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to discover all kinds of facts about the seasons. Start by searching for “Thanksgiving Day” or “apples.”


picks of the week: November 5, 2020

Staff Picks: Immigration

This month, readers across Loudoun County will be diving into LCPL’s 1book 1community pick, Front Desk — a novel that has the modern immigration experience at the center of its plot. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some other eBooks and library resources dedicated to immigration in America. Here you’ll find fiction and nonfiction for all ages as well as streaming movies and documentaries that represent multiple points of view. We also have self-paced online classes to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test or to better communicate with people from different cultures.

eBooks: Immigration


Explore a variety of eBooks for children, teens and adults about emigration and the immigrant experience on OverDrive (or the Libby app) and Hoopla. You’ll find first-hand accounts, picture books and plenty of nonfiction.

Online learning

  • U.S. Citizenship Test Preparation: This self-paced course on Universal Class* prepares applicants to take each section of the U.S. Citizenship Test and addresses topics such as Civics, the U.S. Government, History, Geography, Reading and Writing. You'll also get tips on how to study and prepare for the test.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication: Build awareness and mindfulness in intercultural interactions with this course on Universal Class*. Learn about culture-based values, barriers to successful intercultural communication, nonverbal communication, and conflict dispute and resolution.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Movies: Immigration

Streaming movies

These films on Kanopy explore what it's like to be an immigrant in America:

  • Reunification: This award-winning documentary gives an insider view on the contemporary Asian American immigrant experience, family psychology and personal filmmaking.
  • The Price: Seyi, a Nigerian-American working on Wall Street, must navigate complicated family expectations and a system of cultural complexities caused by class and race.
  • Maid in America: Three years in the making, this documentary takes an intimate and emotional look into the lives of three Latinas who work as nannies and housekeepers in Los Angeles.
  • Miles From the Border: Filmed in the late 1980s, siblings from Mexico share their stories of dislocation and their determination to succeed while living in California.

Virtual library event

Let’s Talk About Immigration: Monday, Nov. 9, 3 p.m. Join representatives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a live presentation focused on immigration, including permanent residency, visa applications and avoiding fraud. Use this link to access the program.

picks of the week: October 29, 2020

Staff Picks: Thanksgiving

Prepping for Thanksgiving dinner can be daunting — perhaps especially so in a year like no other. One way to get ahead of that stress is to start your meal-planning early so you can make the most of the holiday. With that in mind, we're serving up some of our favorite holiday eCookbooks to help pull your menu together: from foolproof sides and pies, to vegan mains and everything in between. It's also the time of year that cooking magazines put out their holiday issues. Library card-holders can download the digital editions for free — and keep them forever!



Cooking eMagazines


Save on clutter by downloading the holiday issues of your favorite magazines on RB Digital.

Online learning

Take your Thanksgiving desserts to the next level with Pie Baking 101*, a free self-paced class on Universal Course where you’ll learn how to master crust, fruit pies, holiday pies, nut pies, ice-cream pies and custard pies.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

picks of the week: October 22, 2020

Staff Picks: Woodworking

With winter right around the corner, it’s time to crank up the heat in your workshop and get started on some woodworking projects to improve your indoor spaces. Whether you’re a regular Bob Vila or a complete novice, there’s something for every skill level among the library’s eResources. When you need advice or project ideas, woodworking eBooks and eMagazines are just a click away. And when it comes to those inevitable purchases, ease your mind by consulting full ratings and reviews on Consumer Reports.

Woodworking eBooks


  • Get instant access to eBooks on Hoopla featuring woodworking plans and information on specific topics like furniture making, wood burning, whittling, cabinetry, flooring and tools.
  • Search for “woodworking” on the EBSCO database to access full-text PDFs of project-based books, including several geared toward kids.
  • You’ll find eBooks by Nick Offerman and Clint Harp among the woodworking selection on OverDrive or the Libby app.

Woodworking eMagazines


Download current and past issues of these magazines on RB Digital — they’re yours to keep forever!

Consumer Reports

Before purchasing a big-ticket item, check Consumer Reports. The library provides full access to unbiased reviews and buying guides for drills, wood stains and chainsaws, plus videos like How to Stain a Wood Deck.

picks of the week: October 15, 2020

Staff Picks: Discussing Democracy with Kids

Talking with children about the election may seem daunting, but a good book is the perfect way to open a conversation or explain the political system. With Loudoun County voters heading to the polls over the next few weeks, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite library resources for discussing voting, the Constitution, the Electoral College and more. For additional information, download our kids reading list or check out advice from Common Sense Media about guiding children through election season.

Democracy eBooks


  • Our Democracy for Kids eBook collection on OverDrive or the Libby app features a variety of nonfiction for elementary and middle school students. You’ll find eBooks filled with facts and colorful illustrations covering voting, historical figures and civics.
  • BookFlix is a site that pairs animated storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks to build a love of reading and real-world knowledge. You’ll find these books about the Founding Fathers under the “People and Places” category.
    • So You Want to Be President? +
      George Washington
    • John, Paul, George & Ben + Benjamin Franklin


  • When you just want the facts, turn to the Gale in Context: Elementary database. From the home page, click “Social Studies” and then “Government and Civics” or “U.S. Presidents” for articles, facts and candidate biographies, designed for Grades K-5.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to discover all kinds of information about elections. Search for topics like “democracy,” “voting” or “U.S. President.”

Democracy audiobooks


These accessible audiobooks are great starting points for learning about government. Listen to them instantly on Hoopla Digital.

Streaming videos

  • I Can Be President: A Kid’s-Eye View: This animated documentary features a diverse group of children who share candid, even profound thoughts on subjects such as ethics, civics, diversity, war, leadership and becoming an adult. Watch it on Kanopy Kids.
  • Grace for President: When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school's mock election. Watch it on Kanopy Kids.

picks of the week: October 8, 2020

Staff Picks: Language Learning

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language, and you have a variety of free tools at your fingertips through the library. Language learners looking for a Rosetta Stone type of experience can save tons of money by instead using Mango Languages or Rocket Languages. These are our top-recommended apps, featuring instruction in dozens of languages with easy-to-use, self-paced systems. Complement your learning by listening to an audiobook in the car or downloading a more traditional instructional eBook.

Language learning apps

Online learning

The library has two free language-learning platforms:

  • Mango Languages offers access to lessons and exercises for over 70 languages — including hard-to-find dialects like Urdu, Tamil and Javanese — at two levels. “Mango Basic” is designed to teach simple, practical and polite conversational skills for beginners. “Mango Complete” courses offer 100 lessons on each language for a more in-depth learning experience, as well as ESL classes. Visit the website or download the app: Android | Apple
  • Rocket Languages comes with podcast-type discussions or dialogues where hosts talk about a certain topic (e.g. preparing for a party). Rather than memorizing a list of expressions, you’re listening to interactions along with the text you’ll need to keep up with the conversations. Instruction is provided in 14 languages, including American Sign Language. Visit the website or download the app: Android | Apple

For English learners

Basic English Speaking Skills* is a self-paced online course through Universal Class that covers essential vocabulary and sentence development.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Language learning eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

You’ll find a variety of resources for language learners on our eBook and audiobook platforms. These are great for pairing with instruction on Mango Languages or Rocket Languages to reinforce your lessons.

Streaming documentaries

Sit back and enjoy these films on Kanopy.

  • Speaking In Tongues: The History of Language: This five-part series traces the history and evolution of language while evaluating the scope of linguistic diversity, the dissemination of language, the expansion of language into written form, and the life cycle of language.
  • Tongues of Heaven: Saving Native Languages: Set in Taiwan and Hawaii, territories where languages of the Austronesian family are spoken, this experimental documentary focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous peoples to learn the languages of their forebears.

picks of the week: October 1, 2020

Staff Picks: Etiquette

Knowing how to properly handle yourself in a variety of situations can pay great dividends. Sure, there's Zoom etiquette and COVID etiquette, but we're tipping our hat this week to the basics of polite conversation and good manners in our Staff ePicks. Whether you’re looking for a crash-course in business decorum, helpful eBooks for kids or adults, or a primer on Downton Abbey-esque traditions, there’s something for everyone among the library’s online resources.

Etiquette courses on Lynda

Online learning

  • Here’s your chance to master the unwritten rules of communication in the business world. In these two courses, you’ll learn to navigate common workplace situations with professionalism, including setting the right tone in emails and texts, handling conflict with grace and working with different personality types.
  • Etiquette 101* is a self-paced course on Universal Class that covers the rules of good behavior for everyday situations, including the common courtesies of life that many of us have forgotten or may not have learned. Get tips for being a polite guest, giving and receiving gifts, offering condolences, making small talk and more.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Etiquette eBooks


When questions about etiquette and proper behavior arise, turn to an eBook for a quick and reliable reference. In our collections, you’ll find advice about letter writing, proper speech, business conduct, manners guides for kids and much more.

Streaming videos

Polished protocol awaits with these shows on Kanopy.

  • The Manners of Downton Abbey: Enter the world of 1900s English etiquette with the historical advisor to the hit drama series.
  • Social Media Manners: This primer on online behavior contains valuable advice for all social media users about mastering the basics of courtesy.
  • Etiquette Hotline: Table Manners: Presented from a teen point of view, this program emphasizes avoiding embarrassing mistakes in social settings.

picks of the week: September 24, 2020

Staff Picks: Yoga

September is National Yoga Month and while there’s just one week left, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a good workout or two. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we rounded up some of our favorite digital resources for practicing yoga at home. Our collection of streaming videos and online courses are perfect for on-demand instruction covering a wide range of needs and experience levels. And if you aren’t ready to hit the mat just yet, there are many ways to read about yoga with eBooks, audiobooks and digital editions of Yoga Journal.

Yoga videos

Streaming videos

eBooks and audiobooks

Yoga music

Streaming music

You know that groovy, ambient music they play in yoga classes? You can stream hours and hours of it using Freegal Music through the library. It's just the thing to help you relax and focus (even if you aren’t doing yoga!). You can even find music pre-tailored to 30- or 60-minute workouts.

Online learning

Bring the yoga studio home with these self-paced courses on Universal Class.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.


Download current and past issues of Yoga Journal on RB Digital. They’re yours to keep forever!

picks of the week: September 17, 2020

Staff Picks: Dogs for Kids

A few weeks back, we featured some of our favorite cat-centric eResources for kids. So, it’s only fair that dogs should have their day! For new or reluctant readers, eBooks and audiobooks about dogs are a friendly and enticing way to develop a love of reading. We especially recommend read-alongs, like these PAW Patrol titles as well as interactive stories on BookFlix. Our kid-friendly databases Scholastic Go! and Gale In Context are also great for learning all about pets or service animals.

Dog eBooks


Dog Storytimes

Virtual storytimes

Join your LCPL librarians online for stories and songs all about dogs.

Streaming videos

  • Guide Dogs: This episode of Curiosity Quest takes viewers on an amazing journey to learn what it is like to depend on a guide dog. Watch it on Kanopy Kids.
  • Boy, A Dog, and A Frog: In this short adaptation of a classic book, a young boy and his dog spend an afternoon trying to capture a playful frog at a nearby pond. Watch it on Kanopy Kids.


  • Dog-curious kids will love exploring the Gale in Context: Elementary database (formerly Kids InfoBits). From the home page, click “Animals” and then “Pets and Farm Animals” for articles, facts and images of dogs, designed for Grades K-5.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to discover all kinds of information about our furry friends. Start by searching for “dogs” or “service dogs.”

picks of the week: September 10, 2020

Staff Picks: Cooking

Sure, the internet is full of recipes and cooking videos. But when you want something trustworthy, just pick up your library card. We have tons of resources for the home cook that are only a click away. One of our favorites: Free online courses from Universal Class. These self-paced lessons can help you master skills like bread baking, cake decorating and basic cooking techniques, all from your kitchen. And don’t forget about eCookbooks! They’re your chance to test-drive some of the most popular cookbooks on the market or to track down a coveted recipe.




Save on subscriptions and clutter by downloading current and past digital issues of these popular food and cooking magazines on RB Digital.

Online Cooking Classes

Online learning

Master a new kitchen skill with these free, self-paced courses on Universal Class:

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Streaming videos

Kick back and enjoy on-demand access to documentaries and PBS shows on Kanopy.

  • Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution: This episode of PBS’s American Masters series follows the famed chef through a year of seasonal shopping and cooking, revealing both the recipes and vision of an artist and an advocate.
  • Cooking Fundamentals: Success in the Kitchen: Chef Dave Christopherson demonstrates a variety of basic techniques, including baking, blanching, grilling, roasting, simmering, stir-frying and more as he prepares three simple meals.

picks of the week: September 3, 2020

Staff Picks: Canning and Preserving

With summer winding down, it’s time to start squirreling away the bounty from your garden or local farmers market. If you’re new to canning and preserving, the library has a host of eBooks to help get you started. Seasoned veterans seeking new recipe-inspiration will find plenty to enjoy here, too, as well as in eMagazines like Mother Earth News. For hands-on learners, the library also has a comprehensive online course through Universal Class that covers all kinds of preservation methods, including freezing, canning, drying, smoking and even preserving beverages.

Canning and Preserving eBooks


Canning and Preserving eMagazines


Browse and download current and back issues of Mother Earth News for great food preservation tips. Look for more inspiration in Cook’s Illustrated, VegNews and other food and cooking eMagazines on RB Digital.

Online learning

Go beyond pickles with How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Food*, a self-paced online course on Universal Class. You’ll discover how to make the most of your harvest through freezing, canning, drying, smoking and even preserving beverages!

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

picks of the week: August 27, 2020

Staff Picks: Sewing and Needlework

September is National Sewing Month and we couldn’t let this designation pass without sharing some of the library’s online resources for sewers. If you’re a newbie, we recommend starting with an online course on Universal Class, where you can cover all of the basics at your own pace. There’s also plenty of inspiration to be found among the pages of Beadwork and Piecework eMagazines – you can even download these publications and keep them forever! And lastly, we have dozens (and dozens) of eBooks for project ideas or learning new skills.

Sewing and Needlework eBooks


Crochet, mending, applique, quilt blocks, upholstery fixes – there’s an eBook for just about every interest on OverDrive or the Libby app. Browse these categories:

Dive into one of these eBook categories on Hoopla Digital and start planning your next project:

Sewing and Needlework eMagazines


Catch up on current and back issues of popular magazines on RBDigital.

Online learning

These free, self-paced courses on Universal Class will walk you through everything you need to know, from supplies and first stitches to step-by-step tutorials.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

picks of the week: August 20, 2020

Staff Picks: Cats for Kids

There’s just something about cats that children are drawn to. Whether they have one at home or see one in the pet store, kids are intrigued by the playful, bouncing nature of cats. For this week's Staff ePicks, we've put together a list of eBooks, databases and videos to delight and inform the feline-loving children in your life. From informational sites to beloved fictional characters, these kid-friendly digital library resources are just a click away.

Cats for Kids eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

Streaming shows

Catch up on PBS’s Nature Cat series or Earth To Luna’s sweet “A Cat’s Whiskers” episode on Kanopy Kids.

Cats for Kids: Storytime

Virtual storytime

Join Ms. Jennifer from Brambleton Library online for interactive songs and stories all about cats, including the classic “Three Little Kittens.” Watch now on YouTube. (See more storytimes with LCPL librarians!)


  • Cat-curious kids will love exploring the Gale in Context: Elementary database (formerly Kids InfoBits). From the home page, click “Animals” and then “Pets and Farm Animals” for articles, facts and images of cats, designed for Grades K-5.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to discover all kinds of information about our furry friends. Start by searching for “longhaired cats” or “shorthaired cats."

picks of the week: August 13, 2020

Staff Picks: Exploring the Natural World

It’s that time of year when we normally spend more time outdoors. But, for many, 2020 has been the year of staying at home. So when getting outside isn’t an option, how can you still enjoy a healthy dose of nature? Books, of course! And documentaries, too. In fact, research has shown that simply watching nature shows – for any amount of time – can boost positive emotions and lower stress. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some of our favorite ways to explore nature on page and screen … all without leaving your couch.

Nature Books

eBooks and audiobooks


Catch up on current and back issues of popular magazines through RBDigital.

Nature films

Streaming films and shows

Kick back and enjoy on-demand access to documentaries and PBS shows on Kanopy.

Online learning

Increase your understanding of the world around us and our relationship with it through free self-paced courses on Universal Class.*

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

picks of the week: August 6, 2020

Staff Picks: Digging Up Your Roots

The study of genealogy and family history is a great way to connect to the past. And your family history is at your fingertips through a variety of high-quality online genealogical resources. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’ve pulled together some of the library’s best tools for exploring your family's roots right from your home computer. If you’re looking research local history, don’t forget to check Thomas Balch Library’s rich array of Loudoun County materials.

Genealogy Research


  • Library Edition delivers billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos and more from countries all over the world. Recently added are over 750 million obituaries dating to the 1800s. Looking to jumpstart your research? Visit the Learning Center first.
  • You’ll also want to take a look at HeritageQuest Online, which includes hard-to-find resources such as the U.S. Indian Census Rolls and the Freedman’s Bank Record.
  • The ProQuest Civil War Era database allows you to search multiple historical newspapers for relatives who were involved in the war.

Genealogy eBooks


On Hoopla Digital, you’ll discover a variety of helpful eBooks in the genealogy and heraldry category: From the general (The Family Tree Toolkit) to the specific (The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada) and everything in between. Click to explore them all.

Online learning

picks of the week: July 30, 2020

Staff Picks: Drawing and Painting

Art is known to strengthen our brains and improve our moods – and the great news is you don’t have be Michelangelo to reap these rewards. Anyone (yes, even you!) can make and benefit from art. For this week’s Staff ePicks, we’ve compiled some of our top digital resources for learning the basics of drawing and painting. With your library card, you’re just a click away from free online classes in drawing and painting as well as eBooks to help tap into your inner artist.

Drawing and Painting online courses

Online learning

You don’t need to spend big bucks on in-person art classes or subscription services to learn the finer points of drawing and painting. With your library card, you can get the art-school experience right in your home, on your own time, with free online courses. There are a few different platforms to choose from, but they all offer expert instruction on technique and theory, plus hands-on tutorials. Explore these options and see which one works for you.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Drawing and Painting eBooks


  • The best way to learn about art is to do it. So, dive into one of these eBook categories on Hoopla Digital and get started creating.

Acrylic Painting | Calligraphy
Cartooning | Color
Drawing | Life Drawing
Oil Painting | Painting
Pastel Drawing | Pen & Ink Drawing
Pencil Drawing | Watercolor Painting

picks of the week: July 23, 2020

Staff Picks: Tech for Kids

We’ve hit the midpoint of summer and many parents are looking for ways to keep children entertained during these long, hot weeks. Tackling a technology topic can help your child beat boredom and teach them valuable skills. If your kid loves hands-on projects or if they just like to make a mess, there are a number of free tools and eBooks available online through the library that can help.

Technology eBooks for Kids


Technology for Kids


  • Great for K-5 school projects and curious kids in general, the Gale in Context: Elementary database (formerly Kids InfoBits) has tons of resources for research and learning. From the home page, click “Technology” and start exploring categories like Computers, Transportation, and Engineering and Invention. Each category is packed with articles, videos, images and primary source documents.
  • Use the Scholastic Go! database to research all kinds of topics – from computers and robots to spacecrafts and artificial intelligence.

Streaming videos

picks of the week: July 16, 2020

Staff Picks: Photography

Whether you’re just starting as a photographer or you’ve been following your creative passion for years, there’s never an excuse to stop learning. If you’re looking to harness the power of your DSLR camera or take your cellphone photos to the next level, the library has you covered with online photography courses, eBooks and streaming documentaries to inspire and inform.

Photography eBooks


Photography movies

Streaming movies

Sit back and take in a documentary about these famed photographers on Kanopy. (Find even more films in the "Photography" category under "Browse" => "The Arts.")

Online learning

Free self-paced, college-level courses are a click away with Universal Class.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.


Download current and back issues of photography magazines on RB Digital.

picks of the week: July 9, 2020

Staff Picks: Baseball

Major League Baseball is set to resume later this month, but the abbreviated season is already shaping up to be a strange one. While fans might not get the games of their dreams, there’s still plenty to look forward to. To help pass the time until Opening Day, we’ve devoted this week’s Staff ePicks to some of our favorite eBooks and other digital resources about baseball, whether you’re looking for a history lesson, documentaries or books for kids. Don’t forget to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and start reading your way toward a free Washington Nationals ticket!

Baseball eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

The Play Ball! collection on OverDrive and the Libby app features new biographies about Willie Mays and Yogi Berra as well as plenty of fiction, nonfiction and titles for sports-loving kids exploring the history, artistry and nuance of baseball.


Immerse yourself in America’s pastime with historical cartoons as well as illustrated adventures for kids on the Hoopla Digital platform.

Baseball movies

Streaming movies

These documentaries on Kanopy give a voice to little-known stories from baseball’s past.

Play Better Baseball features 70 minutes of instruction by former University of Arizona head coach Jerry Stitt.


ESPN The Magazine ceased publication in 2019, but you can catch up on every issue dating back to 2013 through the RB Digital platform.

picks of the week: July 2, 2020

Staff Picks: Minecraft Madness

If you have a Minecraft fan in your household, you know it’s more than a hobby: Minecraft is a passion. Luckily, there are tons of ways for Minecrafters to disappear into the imaginative world they love through the pages of a book, not just through a screen. We’ve pulled together some of our most popular game guides, coding eBooks and other digital resources that you can access from home with your library card. (Parents: If you don't know your creepers from your ghasts, you might want to check out some of these titles, too!)

Minecraft eBooks


Streaming movies

Take a deep dive into the creation and evolution of Minecraft with the documentary Minecraft: Through the Nether Portal on Kanopy.

Streaming music

Your gaming soundtrack is here! Listen to the Minecraft theme and other classic video-game tunes on Freegal.

Minecraft STEM eBooks

STEM eBooks

Turn your home into a coding classroom with these school-level textbooks.

picks of the week: June 25, 2020

Staff Picks: Space and the Stars

The universe through the eyes of an astronomer is a fascinating place, and a good book can give you a glimpse of that world without requiring years of study. Our librarians have rounded up some of their favorite eBooks and other digital resources about astronomy and space that you can access anywhere on the planet. BONUS: Tune in Thursday, June 25, at 3 p.m. for a live stream with Loudoun County Public Library’s own NASA ambassador!

Space and astronomy eBooks

eBooks and audiobooks

Virtual library event

Space News and Views: Join Loudoun County Public Library NASA Ambassador Amit Sircar live as he explains the latest happenings in the solar system and shares astronomical wonders that you can view from your own backyard. Thursday, June 25, 3 p.m.

Streaming music

Your stargazing soundtrack is a click away! Head to Freegal to hear music about and inspired by planets and the night sky.


picks of the week: June 18, 2020

It’s easy for workout routines to veer off-course when unexpected changes occur – as was the case this spring, when we found ourselves spending more time at home. If you’re looking to get back on track or you just need some new motivation, the library’s digital collection has you covered. Use your library card to access streaming workouts, sports magazines, cardio music playlists and, of course, tons of eBooks about health, fitness and local recreation.

Exercise eBooks

Streaming films and videos

Take a deeper dive into your favorite sports and activities with these films on Kanopy.

Follow along with popular workout series from Gaiam, Jillian Michaels and others on Hoopla.

Online courses

These Universal Class courses are like being at the gym – minus the fees and sweaty strangers.

* NEW USERS: Register here if you’re using Universal Class for the first time.

Exercise eBooks



Catch up on current and back issues of popular magazines on RBDigital.

Streaming music

Get your heart rate up by moving along with these playlists on Freegal.

picks of the week: June 11, 2020

Staff Picks: Video Games

Got gaming on the brain? You’re far from alone. New research from Nielsen found that 82% of global consumers played more video games amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, our staff is highlighting some of our favorite digital resources on playing, celebrating and even creating video games. From documentaries to online courses, you’ll find all of these tools right at your fingertips.

Video game documentaries

Streaming movies and shows

Playing video games

Stories about video games


Gaming tech books

Creating video games


Streaming music

picks of the week: June 4, 2020

Staff Picks: Racism in America

Through every challenge, your library remains an important resource for education and information. Reading provides a window to the past in order to understand the present, and to amplify and listen to the voices of those affected by racism. Our staff has brought together a wide range of antiracism resources that we hope you'll find helpful. Whether you're discussing current events with children or teens, or you're learning for yourself, these eBooks, articles, films and courses are here for you.

Guides to Racism


Streaming movies

Online learning

These courses from are designed to help foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace: 



eBooks for children

BookFlix: This site pairs animated storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks and learning activities to build a love of reading and real-world knowledge.


picks of the week: May 28, 2020

Coping for Children and Teens

Like adults, kids are struggling right now. Schools are closed, routines have changed and uncertainly seems to be part of everyday life. Now more than ever, it’s important to check in and make sure kids have all the resources they need to manage their physical and emotional well-being. 

Our children’s specialists have rounded up some of their top resources for helping kids and teens cope with the stress of life, from calming yoga sequences to teen-friendly mindfulness workbooks.

picks of the week: May 21, 2020

Staff Picks: Birding

Birding is gaining flocks of new followers amid the coronavirus pandemic, as more people take note of the fascinating world outside our windows. After all, when you can’t be with the ones you love, a feathered friend just may suffice.

If you’re looking to explore the delightfully passive hobby of birding, all you need are eyes, ears and curiosity – plus a few handpicked library resources that you can access anywhere.

Birding eBooks


Calling All Birders: Explore our top birding eBooks on OverDrive or the Libby app.


Is Your Backyard for the Birds? (Consumer Reports)
Includes links to a free bird identification poster and information on birdfeeders.


Let the birds handle pest-control in your garden!


picks of the week: May 14, 2020

As the weather warms up, many of us are looking to take our DIY projects outdoors. One yard task that’s gaining traction lately is gardening, with lots of homeowners looking to grow more of their own food.

If you’re thinking about brushing up on your gardening skills, then take a look at our roundup of library resources that you can access online to help transform your outdoor space into a thriving source of veggies. If you need to turn your black thumb into a green one or just find some inspiration, the library has you covered.

picks of the week: May 11, 2020

These days, we're spending way more time inside, and if you're tired of your surroundings by now, there are plenty of small tweaks and projects that can reinvigorate your space, and hopefully, your spirit.

Here are a few library resources you can access from home to help guide you through spring cleaning, organization, redecorating and other spruce-ups.