Free Online Libraries You Should Know About

6 minute read
Free Online Libraries

“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life” as said by Henry Ward Beecher, an American Congregationalist. If a library facility is free and accessible everywhere then it is surely a luxury. Since childhood, we have been taught about the benefits of reading. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher terms ‘reading’ as an ornament of a man while Nabokov, a Russian novelist calls it a pleasure to have a book to read before going to bed. For a bibliophile, there is perhaps nothing more life-changing than reading a good book. There are more than 158,464,880 books in the world. Isn’t that a huge number? In this blog, we are going to discuss various free online libraries available for readers across the world.

Also Read: Essay on Library

Also Read: Essay on My Favourite Book

From Shelves to Folders

When we think of a library, an image of dusty books on the wooden shelves of a large room with an old librarian in a tweed coat immediately comes to our mind. Hold on! We are in the age of the Internet, where technology is ahead of us. There are thousands of books that we can carry in our mobile phones. Reading and accessing information has never been this easy. Whether at home or anywhere in the world, you can enjoy the luxury of reading as soon as you have access to the Internet.

Courtesy: Gifer

Let’s have a look at the list of free online libraries that together comprise millions of books available for everyone across the world.

List of Free Online Libraries

  1. National Digital Library of India 
  2. Open Library
  3. Project Gutenberg
  4. The Online Books Page
  5. Read Print
  6. Questia
  7. ScienceOpen
  8. California Digital Library
  9. Internet Archive
  10. World Digital Library
  11. Authorama
  12. The Literature Network
  13. LUMS Library
  14. Public Literature
  15. Universal Digital Library
  16. Wikisource
  17. Scribd
  18. Planet Book
  19. HathiTrust Digital Library 
  20. Smithsonian Library
  21. Librivox
  22. Bartleby
  23. Bibliomania
  24. International Children’s Digital Library
  25. ManyBooks.net
  26. Europeana
  27. New York Public Library
  28. Google Books
  29. Amazon Books
  30. Biodiversity Heritage Library
  31. JSTOR
  32. KOBO.com
  33. Electronic Literature Foundation
  34. Oregon Digital Library Consortium 
  35. Directory of Open Access Journals
  36. Social Science Research Network
  37. OpenDOAR
  38. JURN
  39. Elsevier
  40. Wiley Online Library
  41. PDF Books World
  42. Libby
  43. Scopus
  44. PubMed
  45. Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books 
  46. OverDrive
  47. iBiblio
  48. Classic Reader
  49. MyPustak.com
  50. ERIC

National Digital Library of India 

National Digital Library of India is an online repository of educational resources, books, journals, data sets, audiobooks, lectures, video lectures, presentations, notes, question papers, and solutions in subject areas like Law, Medicine, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, Literature and Management. The content is available in all Indian languages and the material is compiled from Indian Education and Research institutions.

Open Library

Created in 2008, Open Library holds more than 20 million records. It is a project funded by the California State Library and the Kahle-Austin Foundation. Giving open and free access to the books available on the website, Open Library is the destination for book lovers who are looking for free online libraries.

Project Gutenberg

Its web portal has more than 60,000 free ebooks to read making it one of the most visited sites for free online books. Project Gutenberg has the greatest literature available online. As the website runs on donations, content is freely available to the public. A reader can download books on mobile phones, laptops and Kindle e-readers.

The Online Books Page

Online Books Page is an online library managed by the University of Pennsylvania and is a great destination for book lovers wanting to read for free. There are more than 30,000 titles available to read for free on smart devices.

Read Print

Another from the list of free online libraries is Read Print, which is known to be one of Time Magazine’s 50 best websites. It is an online portal offering thousands of books for free and also gives recommendations for new books to read. Moreover, there are a lot of book clubs and discussion forums for the reader to join.


Questia gives the reader access to around 5,000 books available for the public domain. Besides books, it also has journals and magazines on its website. However, to use the premium research tools on the website membership is required.

California Digital Library

For those who love to enjoy the feel of paper while reading, this is exactly the place for them. California Digital Library uses high-resolution scanned pages of hardcovers and uses an interface to allow users to flip the pages which gives the reader the feel of reading a hardcover.

Internet Archive

Students looking for a library that has it all – books, software, music, movies, websites and more for free, Internet Archive is the place. Housing millions of books and content for free makes it an ideal choice for knowledge seekers. Its online portal claims to have 330 billion web pages and 20 million books by now.

World Digital Library

Some of us who are fond of historic and intercultural texts can check out World Digital Library, a project by the U.S. Library of Congress. It has texts from over 193 countries between 800 BCE and 2000.


Offering a vast number of books from famous authors around the globe, Authorama is amongst the top free online libraries for those who love scouring fictional novels! It has a plethora of books in the public domain and these are also in XHTML format thus preserving their texts and illustrations.

The Literature Network

Another renowned name amongst our best picks for free online libraries, the Literature Network has thousands of poems, short stories, novellas and novels on offer! It also features reviews from readers around the world and organises quizzes to make it an engaging reading experience for everyone!

Free Online Libraries for Research

Here is a list of libraries that students, PhD scholars and academicians can use for college research, dissertation writing or publishing journals for peer review.

  • National Digital Library of India 
  • Open Library
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Public Domain Books
  • HathiTrust Digital Library 
  • CORE
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • ScienceOpen
  • Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Social Science Research Network
  • OpenDOAR
  • Elsevier
  • Wiley Online Library
  • PDF Books World
  • The Online Books Page
  • Scopus
  • PubMed
  • ERIC

Free Online Libraries for College Students & Children

Here is a list of free online libraries that college students, children and adults who love to read that use for school, college or enjoyment!

  • Book Depository
  • Smithsonian Library
  • Librivox
  • Bartleby
  • Bibliomania
  • International Children’s Digital Library
  • Google Books
  • Amazon Books
  • Project Gutenberg
  • KOBO.com
  • Electronic Literature Foundation
  • Oregon Digital Library Consortium 
  • Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books 
  • OverDrive
  • Classic Reader
  • MyPustak.com
  • Libby

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What is the best free online library?

Here is a list of the best free online libraries for students, children or researchers-
National Digital Library of India
Open Library
Project Gutenberg
The Online Books Page
Read Print
California Digital Library

How do I access Free Library online?

To get access to free online libraries, one has to create an account on the website and then can get access to unlimited e-books, journals, classics and academic books.

What online libraries are free?

Internet Archives, Project Gutenberg, National Digital Library of India, Open Library, MyPustak.com, and Hathi Digital Libray are some free libraries.

Does Google have libraries?

Yes, Google has Google Books with access to more than 10 million free books available for users to download and browse online.

Where can I borrow books online for free?

Yes, there are some online libraries where you can borrow for free such as Open Library, JSTOR, OverDrive, Google Books, Amazon Books, Scribd etc.

Acquiring information is a part of our daily routine. Reading has become more prominent with tons of free information available online. Whether you’re passionate about reading or preparing for higher studies, free online libraries are the ultimate reading destinations for you. For more information on such informative topics for your school, visit our school education page and follow Leverage Edu.

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    1. Hi!

      Yes, we are also happy that there are resources of education for children free of cost. Thank you for your feedback!

  1. wow!!! this is osm post.
    I am very impressed I liked your writing very much.you explained well .thanks you for sharing.

  2. Special thanks to Team Leverage Edu for sharing such helpful and informative articles with us. I really enjoy reading these kinds of articles because they really help us to enhance our knowledge. Please keep sharing.