Library Tools We Can't Live Without

(Add your own indispensable tools to this list.)

Free Resources


60 Second Recap get the gist of major literary works in 60 seconds
Academic Earth online courses from various leading universities
Owl and Mouse educational quizzes and games
Sheppard Software activities, games and quizzes

Headlines and Periodicals

Context 10x10 words and pictures that define the times
Library Of Congress Newspaper Collection easy to search collection of historical U. S. newspapers
Politifact Truth-o-Meter How honest are politicians, really? fun tool for government students
Vintage Ad Browser find old advertisements
Worldcat online catalog connecting to most libraries in the world

Media (Copyright Friendly, Public Domain or Creative Commons Licensed)

Copyright Friendly Portal collection of links to free, public domain, creative commons material
The Public Domain Review focuses on strange and surprising, yet beautiful, materials that fall into public domain
Creative Commons Search

Free Music links to copyright free music. Most of the sites offer free music to download but check the individual sites for citation information.
Freesound Creative Commons licensed sounds archive perfect for media projects.
IncompeTech royalty free music for use in any sort of project as long as you give an attribution.
Internet Tip: Royalty Free music offers links to Creative Commons music and advice on how to get permission from professional artists to use their music
Liveplasma music recommendation service: type in an artist and find others you might like.
SoundTransit – Ambient sounds
TrackTour Music

Baen Free Library mostly sci-fi and fantasy titles from the Baen catalog
Books Should Be Free public domain audiobooks and ebooks
Bookyards external web links, news & blogs links, videos and access to hundreds of online libraries
CHM E-books computer and programming books
Free Science a collection of science e-books
Great Books and Classics a collection of classic literature, much written in Latin
International Children's Digital Library full e-books for children up to 13 years old
LibriVox public domain audio books contains about 17,000 books
Metropolitan Museum Publications nearly 400 books about fine art
MobiPocket children's books, English, American and Germanic Literature (associated with Amazon)
Next Reads Bookseer get book suggestions based on what you've already read
Penn Digital Library University of Pennsylvania
Perseus Digital Library huge collection of classic (Greek, Roman, etc.) texts
Poetry Foundation vast collection of poetry (not all public domain!) on the web
Project Gutenberg vast collection of ebooks operated on voluntary donations
Rare Book Room photographs and scans of great and rare books from libraries around the world
Sacred Texts religion and spirituality
Tech Books computer and technology books
Yale Avalon Project e-books and documents on law and history

Albumarium creative commons licensed photographs
Animal Photos large collection of CC animal photos, particularly birds
Burst CC0 pics geared toward product promotion
Car Pictures photos of cars organized by make and model
Clker royalty-free images including clip art and photos
ClipArt ETC gorgeous Victorian-style line drawings
Creativity103 interesting collection of mostly abstract images
EduPic collection of images sorted by educational subject area
EveryStockPhoto search engine for photos that are public domain or licensed for free use
Flickr Commons mostly historical pictures that are public domain or Creative Commons licensed
FreeImages large collection of royalty free pictures
Freestocks a slick collection of free images
Getty Open Content makes images of some of its collection available through this search interface
Gratisography free high-resolution photographs
IM Creator free themed photos
Kaboom free CC0 pictures
LifeOfPix free photos with no copyright restrictions
Metropolitan Museum of Art collections contain a lot of images scanned in high resolution
Morguefile pictures can be used and remixed, even in commercial applications, with no attribution requirement
Museum of New Zealand offers images from its collection for re-use
NARA has an online collection for almost anything in U.S. history
NASA is the go to place for astronomical and space exploration images
National Maritime Sanctuaries media library of protected marine areas
Negative Space free CC0 photos
New Old Stock like the name says, scans of antique magazine and newspaper advertisements and photos
New York Public Library public domain digital collection
NOAA Photo Library is a great place to look for pictures of weather and the sky
Noun Project universal icons
PDPics gorgeous high resolution, public domain images
PicJumbo totally free photographs copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students
Pixabay deep collection of high quality images
Public Domain Archive 10 new PD images every week
Reusable Art vintage public domain images
SplitShire free CC0 images free CC0 images
Superfamous Studios offer a changing collection of high resolution photos under Creative Commons
UnSplash amazing high resolution photos, be sure to check their archive for more
USDA is a great place to look for pictures of animals and other agricultural images
Visible Earth NASA images of Earth from space
Wellcome Images has collections in art, history and science
Wikimedia Commons copy, use and modify these files as long as the source and the authors are credited

Internet Archive
Library of Congress: American Memory Collection
NASA Video

Tubechop link to a specific segment of a Youtube video rather than playing the whole thing

Notekeeping and Scheduling

EverNote keep your thoughts in the cloud and access them across multiple devices
Google Drive free word processing and spreadsheet software that includes cloud storage
Sign Up Genius easy way to sign people up for things
Trello multi-platform, flexible organizer and planner that allows you to collaborate with other users

Utilities and Tools

Audacity free software for recording and editing sounds
AutoDesk 123D Tools free tools from AutoDesk for 3D modeling
Creately diagramming software that allows online collaboration
Cube Creator for those occasions when students need to make a cube
Desmos Graphing Calculator
Easelly free infographic creator
EZVid video editor, screen capture, speech synthesis, slideshow maker and more
FotoFlexer online photo editor
GIMP Gnu Image Manipulation Program free photo editing software
Google Cultural Institute hosts the world's best art galleries, highly detailed special exhibits and 3-D views of historic locations
HelloSign a Chrome extension that allows you to sign documents in your browser
IFakeTxt create faux screenshots of smartphone text conversations
JumperCut app-based collaborative online video sequencer
Kahoot! replace your old Jeopardy PowerPoint games with this online game-based learning system
Khan Academy world-class educational videos and tutorials on nearly any subject
Loopster online video editing tool
Our Timelines create timelines from a 5 to 140 year span
Piktochart free infographic creator
Pixlr free online image editor that is very similar to an old version of Photoshop
Popcorn Maker blend video, audio, still pictures and add annotations Pop-Up-Video-style
Quizlet make flashcards, spelling drills, pre-tests and other study prep, or search the database for other users' materials
Scratch extremely simple programming environment for making interactive videos, stories, games and more
Scribblar online collaborative whiteboard
Showbie iOS and web-based online assignment distribution and collection system
Skype free voice and video calling through the Internet
Survey Monkey free survey generator
Tackk super-simple web page creator that doesn't even require a login
Tagxedo a word cloud generator (similar to Wordle) that allows customization of fonts and cloud shapes
Time Toast create timelines (has ads on free version)
TodaysMeet backchannel discussion (like Twitter) for your classroom
Twine a really neat way to construct online, non-linear, interactive stories (try the Cat Petting Simulator for an example)
Youtube Slideshow tutorial on creating slideshows with audio and annotations in Youtube
Zamzar - online file converter

Website and Blog Creation

Blogger free blog creation and hosting
Edmodo class websitecreation and more
Moodle tailored for course management


Bibme bibliography and citation tools
Citation Machine citation generator
Purdue OWL – Writing, research and grammar guides

Social Networking

Pinterest promote your library by posting images of new books, share creative projects and keep track of ideas

iOS Only

Appolicious searchable app directory for iOS and Android that includes descriptions, cost and ratings
DrawIn3D an app that makes 3D drawing intuitive
Fax Burner receive 25 faxes or send 5 faxes for free using your iOS device and your email address
Haiku Deck iPad app for slide presentations
iTunesU free access to educational content and courses
Slideshark Powerpoint viewer that more closely approximates native Powerpoint

Android Only

SketchBook Express free sketching app designed for Android tablets.

Sites with Links to Additional Free Resources

Education Apps Review
Free Software Directory - Education Category
Free Technology for Teachers Richard Byrne's blog
Mashup Dashboard lists mashups that combine different web services such as plotting natural disaster reports on Google maps

Subscription-Based Resources (not free)

A great way to organize resources and share information with the ability to embed database widgets. (MISBO offers a subscription discount.) Some users find it handy to co-create LibGuides with teachers and then let them take control of their own research guides.
LibGuides Signup
Searchable LibGuides Community

Noodle Tools
Use it for bibliographies and note taking. (About $200/year.)