Our Virtual Resource Guide

Welcome to CPL’s Virtual Resource Guide! The purpose of this guide is to provide a compilation of free educational online resources aimed towards students of all ages, parents, and educators.


We are living in a unique time where most circumstances are well beyond anyone’s control thanks to COVID-19. For almost every student, this means that school has been moved to distance learning for the remainder of the school year. For parents, it means trying to balance working from home (or having to go to work if they are considered essential personnel) and, at the same time, working with their kids to ensure they are completing their assigned school work. It can be incredibly challenging for parents to balance all of this right now! And for educators, this change means having to adapt to teaching students via distance learning from home.

Libraries are repositories of information; therefore, it is our mission to make resources available to everyone. We hope that you will find our ever-evolving guide to be useful, educational, and fun, and we encourage feedback and comments on our posts.

Virtual Science Programs

Here are some fantastic science programs for families. Each site lists various programs for age groups.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk:


This aquarium has created marine science lessons; some are for kids of all ages while others target specific grades.

USGS Science Explorer:


Find loads of science lessons in this topical directory by the US Geological Survey.

Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration:


This site offers daily free, interactive, live-streamed programs for kids in grades K-6. Programs come from universities, zoos, aquariums, museums, authors, and more!

Virtual Museum Tours

Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC


British Museum, London


Museum of Natural History, New York


National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Italy


Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT


Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT


Free eBooks and eAudiobooks

There are currently many websites and publishers allowing free access to eBooks and eAudiobooks (aside from CPL’s RB Digital platform, but you can only access this with a Canterbury Public Library card and not a library card from a different town). We’ve compiled the following list for you:

Junior Library Guild’s Free Digital Online Reading Platform:

Access several Junior Library Guild digital books: https://www.juniorlibraryguild.com/jlgdigital-free

Project Gutenberg’s Children’s Bookshelf:

There are a lot of free classic children’s books available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Children%27s_Bookshelf

International Children’s Digital Library:

There is a large collection of digital children’s books available in many different languages: http://en.childrenslibrary.org

Gateway to the Classics:

You can access a large collection of children’s classic literature here: http://www.gatewaytotheclassics.com/home.php


Amazon offers several free eBook versions of children’s stories, but a Kindle and Amazon account are required to download and access these:

Oxford Owl:

While this website requires you to register for an account to access its eBooks, it is free and the collection is aimed at ages 3-11 years: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/pages/library-page


This is a huge, searchable database of free eAudiobooks with classic titles ranging from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale Collection: https://librivox.org/search

Spotify Playlist of Various eBook Chapters:

You can find dozens of recorded chapters from Juvenile and YA books:

Virtual Escape Rooms

Check out some of these fun virtual escape rooms including:

This creative escape room for Going on a Bear Hunt by Elaine at Deep River Public Library

This fairytale-themed escape room called “Cinderella Escapes” created by Stefanie Reed, Youth Services Supervisor at Henika District Library

This Harry Potter escape room was created by Peters Township Public Library:

Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room

These two-player puzzles, part of Enchambered’s online escape room

This nursery rhyme-themed escape room called “Books Alive! Escape the Rhyme” created by Bay County Library

Distance Learning and Students with Disabilities: Resources for Parents and Educators

Please view the following links to articles and websites on suggestions for helping students with disabilities with distance learning.

How to Help Students with a Hearing Impairment: https://theconversation.com/how-to-help-students-with-a-hearing-impairment-as-courses-move-online-134582

5 Accessibility Actions You Can Take When You’re Moving Your Conference or Classes Online: https://www.afb.org/blog/entry/accessibility-online-conferences-classes