Online Resources

SCPL provides a diverse range of online databases to support individual research, schoolwork, and reading.  An SCPL library card is required to access most of the databases; most can be accessed anywhere while a few are only available in library locations.  

Try a New Hobby

Craft & Hobby

Craft & Hobby is a collection of short instructional videos and lessons about more than 20 different crafts, hobbies, and interests. They include knitting, crochet, painting, woodworking, quilting, outdoor photography, fitness among others. In addition to the videos, bonus materials provide recipes, craft templates, and written instructions in downloadable PDFs. After clicking on the link above, enter your library card number with no spaces to access the materials. This link is customized for SCPL so patrons can only access the database from this link. The database is available over any internet connection.

Find Something to Read

Booklist Reader

Booklist Reader is provided by Booklist magazine. Booklist Reader provides “readers’ advisory recommendations for readers and listeners of all ages, along with content from LibraryReads.” If you are looking for something new to read and don’t know where to look, whether is an adult book, audiobook, or youth book – start here! Booklist Reader also includes author interviews and articles on all sorts of item relevant to books.

Family Research is a free database for genealogy research provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Basic services are available to anyone via the website; additional features are available at over 5,000 local family history centers, including the Smyth County Public Library.  Patrons can create a family tree and search other family trees in the database.  Patrons can search books, images, census records, birth records, marriage records, and much more.  Information dates from pre-1700 to the present.  There are over 500,000 free genealogy books, family histories, maps, yearbooks in the Family Digital Library.  The full database is available only in SCPL locations.  

Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest online is a genealogy database available over the internet with a SCPL library card.  Patrons can search census records, a Family and Local Histories Book Collection, wills and probates, city directories, military records, immigration records, and more.  There is a section for research tips and tricks, and a map section that show the changes over the years in each state. Library Edition

This database is available only at library locations.  This database offers message boards, a learning center section, charts and forms, and numerous collections.  A few of the collections available include Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills; Stories, Memories and Histories; Pictures, and Newspaper Obituaries. Members can also make their family trees publicly searchable if they wish.

Newspapers and Magazines

U.S. Major Dailies

U.S. Major Dailies is a collection of national newspapers including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. Just click on the link above to enter the database. After entering your SCPL library card number (located on the back of your card), you will enter the main search page. At the top of the screen, click on “publications” from the list of search options. On the left navigation pane of the next screen, choose newspapers. A list of 23 available publications will appear. Choose the publication you wish to read. Clicking on the title of a newspaper will take you to a list of articles from the most recent edition of the publication. The database includes full text of all articles in each newspaper dating back to at least 1987 (and earlier for several). It does not include photographs or other illustrations.


NewsBank provides a comprehensive collection of more than 12,000 local U.S. newspapers covering a wide range of topics and issues.  Within NewsBank, SCPL also offers patrons access to America’s News Magazines and to back issues of the Smyth County News & Messenger.  The database can be accessed from anywhere with an SCPL library card.


In addition to e-books and e-audiobooks, you can also read more than 10,000 magazine titles through the Libby app. Titles include TV Guide, People, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Country Living, Car and Driver, Family Handyman, HGTV, House and Garden and thousands more. In the Libby app, scroll to the middle of the page and look for the green Magazines tile and click on it to open the list of available magazines. There are no holds or waiting for magazines.

Magzter Digital Magazines

Desktop users:

App users:

Magzter provides a wide selection of digital magazines that can be accessed on mobile devices and tablets as well as on computers. Magazines are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Arabic. Android and iOS users can download the Magzter Library app from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store (please select the Magzter Library app, not the standard Magzter app). Magzter can also be accessed in your browser. To access Magzter in any format, enter an email address, receive an OTP code, select Smyth County Public Library from the list of libraries, and enter your library card number.

Consumer Reports Annual Buying Guide

The Consumer Reports Annual Buying Guide is now available only online. Click here for the 2023 Annual Guide.

Legal Information

Gale Legal Forms

Find downloadable, fillable forms for basic legal transactions, current to Virginia code. Leases, sales contracts, powers of attorney, and more. Legal Forms, its publisher, Gale Cengage, the Library of Virginia, Virginia public libraries, and their funding bodies assume no liability for actions resulting from the use of these forms.

Virginia Legal Information

The Virginia Association of Law Libraries Access to Justice Committee compiled this list of legal information
resources covering topics as varied as incorporating a business, contesting a traffic ticket, researching health law, obtaining social security, renting a dwelling, buying a house, and writing a will.

Find It Virginia

Find It Virginia is a collection of databases (all listed below) provided by the Library of Virginia to all public libraries in the state.  A library card from any Virginia public library is required to access these resources.  Simply click on any of the links below from any internet connection and start exploring! 


Explora Public Libraries

EBSCO’s Explora is a user-friendly search tool that supports both research and instruction. Explora searches across the following resources.

  • MasterFILE Complete – A comprehensive collection of full-text general interest articles from periodicals, newspapers, and books. This authoritative general information database is the best place to start your research project.
  • Read It!– Research while practicing reading skills. Read It! helps students who have a basic foundation in English grammar and reading but need level-appropriate reading material. Read It! is also a great tool for English Language Learners.

Explora Students

Explora supports both student research and classroom instruction with age-appropriate content for middle and high school learners with an easy-to-use interface and great accessibility tools, including translation and text to sound.

Gale in Context: Elementary

Gale In Context: Elementary meets the research needs of students in Kindergarten through grade 5, with age-appropriate content from magazines, newspapers, and reference materials, covering current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, and more.


Novelist Plus

Can’t decide what to read next? Need a recommendation for a child, student, or family member? Use NoveList to discover your next favorite author, series, or title!

Novelist Plus K-8

Looking for your next great read for your child? Use NoveList K-8 to discover your new authors, series, or titles!

Dial a Story

Call 833-690-0646 (toll free) to hear a story read in both English and Spanish.  Each Wednesday, a new story will be available to listeners around the state. 

Life & Career


Explore a unique business library, featuring videos, book summaries, and articles on professional development, leadership theory, and business best practices. Create an individual account to keep track of your reading materials and progress. Or, login as a guest using the link in the heading with these credentials:

  • Username:
  • Password: V1rgin1a! (note the numeral 1 in place of both “i”s)

Access Video: Just for Kids

Enjoy TV shows like Arthur, Sesame Street, Odd Squad, SciGirls, and much more, including: read-along storybooks and learning videos to explore topics like reading, writing, math, arts and science.

DayByDay VA

A family activity calendar with new suggestions every day for stories, songs, activities, and games! En Espanol!

Homework HelpNow

Connect LIVE with a certified tutor, seven days a week between 2 and 11 pm, for assistance with assignments, research and writing. Also find practice tests, study plans, and more. Tutoring is available in English and Spanish.


Connect LIVE with a certified career coach, seven days a week between 2 and 11 pm, for help with résumé writing, applications, searches, and skill development needs. Also find unemployment assistance, résumé templates, career assessments, and more. 

Transparent Language

Transparent Language Online provides a fun, effective, and engaging experience for learners of all levels looking to build their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a foreign language.  

Combining robust courses, supplemental vocabulary, and grammar resources, Transparent Language Online is the most complete language-learning system. With over 110 languages to choose from, including English for speakers of over 30 languages, there is something for every learner. Best of all, with mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, learners can enjoy the freedom to learn at home, in the library, or on the go.

Technology Instruction

  • Digital Learn
    • If you are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed.
  • Northstar Digital Literacy
    • Test your computer skills, build skills in key areas, and demonstrate your knowledge by earning certificates and badges. Prepare for your future now!

Universal Class

From photography to physics and computers to calligraphy choose from over 500 online classes. Learn something new or update your existing skills. Access classes from the link above.


Connect LIVE with a military benefits navigator, seven days a week between 2 and 11 pm, for help with eligibility questions, connecting with veteran’s benefits and community resources, and more.

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