Virtual Library Guide

Welcome to the Virtual Library Guide

Brief Overview:

Does your library have a virtual space that has blossomed during the pandemic and is now even more important as we invent a new normal for patrons? To help in this effort, sixty graduate students in the School of Information at San Jose State University have just published an expanded version of the Virtual Library Guide targeted at all types of libraries and librarians. This website includes many theoretical, practical ideas and practices, major free digital collections, tutorials, and connections to the best practices out there. We invite all librarians to examine, use, and encourage others to reach out to every possible patron group. You can find this site at:

Expanded Overview:

The rude awakening of the world pandemic in early 2020 caused libraries to close their physical library spaces. Suddenly, patron access was only available via online virtual resources. Many librarians suddenly realized that virtual access left much to be desired. Now in the pandemic world,  the virtual library is as important as ever in reaching out to both regular and unserved patron groups.

Using the design thinking process, sixty graduate students in the School of Information at San Jose State University have created this guide to curate, create, and propose many novel ideas for reinventing how librarians can build a community of patrons both during and after the pandemic. Our design challenges the librarians of any type of library -- from public, academic, school, and special -- to reach out beyond just delivering resources virtually, and construct a two-way collaborative community.

Together, patrons and librarians build not only physical collections, but virtual connections. This is a sort of learning commons; a cousin idea to Wikipedia. Everyone is not only using resources but creating them as well, for the benefit of all. We have created and curated many ideas here but also invite librarians to add to this collection.

So, read, sample, enjoy and, if you would like, contribute. Below is how you can contribute an article, a website, a major digital library, a vlog, or other useful tip for creating a virtual library.

What can be found in this Guide?

Articles and resources on using the collection mapping technique to build your collection and connection development. Inspired by Collection Development using the Collection Mapping Technique: a Guide for Librarians. 3rd ed. by David V. Loertscher and Marc Crompton. Hi Willow Research and Publishing, 2018. 

Database of digital library collections, arranged by topic. Includes subjects like art, geography, history, music, science, and more.

Resources of interest sorted by type of library - Academic, Public, School, and Special.

Resources for librarians, educators, students, parents and guardians on how to use a variety of tools for digital learning, ensuring mental wellness, preparing for college and more. This page is an excellent place to look for ideas and tips to use in your own libraries or personal development.

Articles, websites, and other information about issues in expanding and increasing community engagement in all types of libraries.

Articles, websites, and other information about incorporating DEIA into all types of libraries through collection development.

Articles, websites, and other information about mental health, mental health programs, and mental health services within the library.