The Covid-19 pandemic is at least temporarily changing the way many people around the world live, work and entertain themselves. Social-distancing and self-isolation measures across the globe have certainly limited access to many real-world resources.
Many schools, universities and public spaces such as libraries have been forced to temporarily close their doors, for example, leaving countless people without access to educational materials, and kids without their favorite stories.
But there’s some encouraging positivity coming out during this time of uncertainty, too, with a number of organizations opening up free access to what were previously paid resources.
On this page, we’re going to maintain a continuously updated list of all of those – alongside any other useful ones we discover.
With schools closed in some parts of the world and parents choosing to keep their kids at home in many others, Amazon’s Audible has launched Audible Stories, a new service providing free audiobooks to kids and teenagers everywhere. Its collection of audiobook titles include young children’s storybooks to literary classics, and will be made available to stream in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.
JSTOR is a digital library of academic resources, and part of its database has been accessible to the public for some time. They have more than 6,000 ebooks and 150 journals available, and the organization has stated they are currently working with publishers to make a larger set of content freely available to institutions where students no longer have access to educational resources. We’ll be keeping an eye on their progress, and update you here if more is made available.
As teachers, researchers and students are increasingly finding themselves having to teach and learn from home, Cambridge University Press (CUP) has made its collection of academic textbooks available online for free until the end of May. CUP has since made an announcement that due to unprecedented demand (and potential misuse of the offer), it has experienced performance issues and has had to temporarily remove free access to its range of textbooks while they work to address the issue. A number of open access journals are still available though. We’ll be monitoring their website and will update this page when free textbook access is again available to the public.