• By Amber McClure
  • Posted Sunday, March 29, 2020

Hidden Gems: Databases that Bring the World Into Your Home

These databases are here to keep you informed with up to date reports, help you explore different parts of the world and discover incredible stories from incredible people. And they are all free to access with your library card.

The HistoryMakers


Discover fascinating stories from those who lived them in the nation’s largest African American Video Oral history collection. Over 148,163 stories are assembled here from life oral history interviews with 2,691 historical significant African Americans. This number will continue to grow as more and more participate in today’s current events.

This database offers Featured Mixtapes, which are sub-collections that share common themes and topics between the interviewees.

You can also create your own playlist of interviews to watch and listen.

All interviews have also been transcribed.

Access Videos on Demand


Watch full length award winning documentaries with Access Videos on Demand.

New titles have been added to our Films on Demand collection, and you have free access with your library card. In addition to the incredible documentaries and series in our collection, you now have full access to:

"India on Film"
"Stitch People"
"TeaLee's Teahouse"
"Modern Makers"
... and more!

Check out our full collection, which includes films from PBS, BBC, HBO, National Geographic and much more, visit our Films on Demand video database.

Check out the latest issues of your favorite magazines with RBdigital.


Congressional Quarterly Researcher and CQ Weekly


For reliable information and in-depth reports on today’s current issues, use CQ Researcher and CQ Weekly. You can browse “Hot Topics” like climate change, health care, higher education and more. New reports are given in real-time. It’s a great way to stay up to date on current events and issues, as well as a great resource for research projects and papers.



No need to travel. Bring the world into your home. CultureGrams is a great tool to learn about any known country in the world. You can discover amazing stories and notes on the culture and heritage of these countries. Learn about the different holidays that exist around the world, the languages spoken, fun facts and tidbits. There are even recipes listed for each country that you can try at home for yourself. It’s a great time to try something new.

You can also watch videos, interviews, listen to local music and view photos from these countries.

And if you are interested in learning more about the government, economy, lifestyle and more in these different places, there are many charts, graphs, statistics and reports you can view for free.

NoveList Plus


Need reading recommendations? NoveList Plus offers high quality results based on your preferences for both fiction and non-fiction. While you can search based on genre, you can take it even further and find results based on the mood, tone, pace, storyline, character and more.

Are you in the mood for something that is “leisurely paced and haunting”? Or how about “nostalgic and compelling”? Or perhaps you want something a little more “amusing and engaging.” You can mix it up with NoveList’s Appeal Mixer and find book recommendations tailored to your specific tastes.

SIRS Issues Researcher


SIRS Issues Researcher offers reliable and up-to-date information on all kinds of topics related to current events, debates and reports. Controversial, evolving and new topics of discussion are included in this database.

To give an example, one SIRS report asks “Should student-athletes in college be compensated?” There are two viewpoints given: College sports are a lucrative business and the athletes deserve a share of the revenue they bring their programs. (Yes, they should) Most student-athletes already receive a free education. (No, they should not) The report then asks critical questions centered on this topic, gives sources for factual information, peer-reviewed research articles and ideas for further research into the topic.

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