FAQ

What is the Vermont Online Library?

The Vermont Online Library (VOL) is a curated collection of online information resources covering a broad range of subjects – made available to Vermont citizens and students by the Vermont Department of Libraries. The information resources are produced by known and trusted publishers, with content of interest to both generalists and specialists. The Vermont Online Library is available to Vermont citizens and students at no cost.

  1. Resources available to ALL VERMONTERS with a local public library card:
    Vermonters of all ages have free access (via their public library card barcode) to two products: HeritageQuest genealogy and local history resources, and Universal Class, offering over 500 online classes. Contact your local library to learn how to get started!
  2. Resources available via the Vermont school, public and academic libraries:
    Libraries offer their users a rich selection of comprehensive information products from Gale Cengage, including searchable full-text magazine and newspaper articles, foreign language learning, car repair information, homework help, and resources focusing on science, history, business, health and wellness, and much more. Vermonters can access these resources at no cost. Contact your library to find out how you can use these resources the Internet from anywhere in the world!

All VOL resources are available 24-hours-a-day from your library, home, office or school -- anywhere Internet access is available.

What kinds of Information can I find in the Vermont Online Library?

You have a world of information at your fingertips.

The Gale Cengage products offer access to thousands of publications. Read newspapers from around the world, watch a car repair video, get tips on writing a resume, find the latest information on health and medicine, listen to podcasts – and take advantage of the “text-to-speech” options. Start by browsing the list of resources from Gale Cengage.

Use HeritageQuest to research genealogy through U.S. Census records 1790-1940, maps, city directories, Revolutionary War records, and much more.

In Universal Class, create your own personal account to take online classes on topics ranging from bookkeeping to photography. Prepare to be an engaged learner!

How does VOL recognize that I am a Vermonter?

For access to HeritageQuest and Universal Class, you will need a library card from your local public library. Use your borrower barcode to access these products from your local library’s website, or from the Vermont Online Library Portal.

The Gale Cengage databases allow the users to share their location directly through their browser or they use a technology called Geo-IP that figures out if the IP address of the computer, tablet, or other device is an IP address know to originate within Vermont. If you share your location or once your IP address is identified as originating within Vermont, you will be ready to start using the Gale Cengage databases accessible to the VOL library member that is closest to you. In the event your local library is not identified when you share your location or by Geo-IP, you will be able to find a listing for your home library.

I am a Vermonter, but I am traveling outside of Vermont. Can I still access the VOL resources?

Yes. Follow the directions above, but because you are located outside the state you will be asked to provide identifying information like a library card barcode from your hometown public library or a password from your school library. Contact your local library for assistance. Once you know your means of identifying yourself (e.g. library card barcode or password), you will be able to use that each time you use the Gale Cengage resources in the VOL. You will only be prompted to enter this once per session.

Can I get a library card online from VOL?

No. Contact your local public, school or academic library for information on obtaining a library card. Library cards are free – and the best bargain in town!

If I need help searching the resources in the Vermont Online Library, where should I go for assistance?

Who decides what resources get included in the VOL?

The Vermont Department of Libraries works with a committee of librarians from Vermont public, school and academic libraries to select the Gale Cengage databases included in the Vermont Online Library.

The Department also purchases annual subscriptions to HeritageQuest and Universal Class for all Vermont public libraries, using a combination of state and federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds. All 183 Vermont public libraries are able to offer them free to their cardholders.

Do you have a question? Want to give us feedback about the Vermont Online Library? Call your local library, or use the “Ask a Librarian” link to contact the Vermont Department of Libraries.

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