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Betsie Valley District Library

eShelf, Online Resources, Research

Use library tools and resources to discover new books and materials or do research online.
  • eShelf & Research

    Use library tools and resources to discover new books and materials or do research online.

    Michigan Electronic Library MeL is the Michigan eLibrary, a 24/7 online library for Michigan residents. MeL Databases allow you instant access to full-text articles from tens of thousands of magazines and newspapers. Databases are available for kids, adults, and on specialized topics such as car repair and practice tests.

    Good Reads Interested in the latest news headlines? Looking for something new to read? We'll get you pointed in the right direction.

    Selected Sites This collection of recommended Web sites will makes it easy to find good information on the Internet on a wide variety of topics. Browse or search.

  • Online Resources

    Online resources for: Automotive and Engines, Business and Finance, Digital Downloads, Employment and Jobs, Genealogy, Government, Health, Languages, Libraries and Catalogs, Literature and Reading, Local Interest, Newspapers, Periodicals and Magazines, Schools, and Taxes. The sites at the top of this list are for Michigan residents only. However, the sites listed further down the page are accessible to everyone!

    Michigan residents or Michigan library or school access only.

    Family History

    • MyHeritage Library Edition - Family history resource including more than 6 billion historical ?records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. Includes the full USA federal census (1790-1940); census of England and Wales (1841-1901); U.S. World War II Army Enlistment as well as records of Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers. Over 2 billion family trees.

    Journals & Newspapers

    • Consumer Reports - Provides clear reviews of commonly purchased products. Consumer Reports uses careful research, consumer insights, journalism, and policy expertise to help you inform purchase decisions. Also works to improve the products and services that businesses deliver, and drive regulatory and fair competitive practices.
    • Newspaper Source Plus - Includes millions of articles from newspapers, newswires, and news magazines. Offers television and radio transcripts and ongoing daily updates from popular news sources. Primary full coverage newspapers are The Washington Post and USA Today.

    Life Skills

    • Auto Repair Service - Repair information and schedules, diagrams, parts and labor estimates, service alerts, and recalls. Covers thousands of domestic and imported vehicles.
    • LearningExpress Library - Includes a resume builder you can save, edit, and print. Over 700 courses, practice tests, tutorials, eBooks, and flashcards. Practice tests include ACT, SAT, PSAT and TOEFL, as well as trade certification, civil service, math and reading tests, and U.S. citizenship.
    • Small Engine Repair Reference Center - Repair guides for small engines and routine maintenance (tune-ups, brake service, etc.). Also includes guides on extensive repairs such as engine and transmission disassembly. Coverage includes lawn mowers, motorcycles, tractors, and snowmobiles. More than 450 full text reference books with photos and illustrations, information on more than 25 years of engine models, and coverage of more than 90,000 repairs. 


    • AtoZ DatabasesDetailed information on 30 million businesses and executives and 2 million new businesses. Includes data on over 200 million residents as well as new movers/homeowners. Special features include a background and criminal history search. Information provided on U. S. healthcare professionals. Includes a jobs database and email marketing.
    • MasterFILE CompleteBroad collection of popular full-text magazines and reference books. Covers subjects including: business, health, education, fitness, sports and leisure, personal finance, general science, multicultural issues, DIY, and fashion. Also includes photos, maps, and flags.


    • eBooks (public library collection) - Collection of over 44,000 reference books featuring titles for both adults and kids. Covers a wide variety of topics from self-help and fitness to cooking and personal finance. You may access the full text of these eBooks from your computer, or download titles to most popular portable devices.
    • MeLCat - More than 400 libraries participate in sharing their books and other resources. Use your local library card to order materials from other libraries in Michigan.
    • NoveListContains information on over 260,000 fiction and readable nonfiction titles. Features lists of award-winning books, book discussion guides, Read-a-Like recommendations, and complete series information. Also includes reader ratings and reviews. Create your own reading wish list. 

    Online Resources for everyone:

    Fantastic Fiction

    New York Times Best Sellers

    NPR Books

    Reading Group Choices

    *Community Links

    Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (BACN)

    Benzie County Area Website Directory

    Benzie County Central Schools

    Benzie County Chamber of Commerce

    Benzie Senior Resources - Gathering Place Senior Center

    Benzie County Government Center

    Benzie County Visitors Bureau

    Grow Benzie

    Manistee County Council on Aging

    Michigan Department of Human Services, Benzie County

    Offices by State (


    *Digital Downloads
    Up North Digital Collection
    Ebooks and Audiobooks available through OverDrive. Download these titles to your home computer for enjoyment, or transfer them to a portable device (eReader, Nook, mp3 player, etc.).

    Download classic titles and borrow modern titles for free from Open Library. You can borrow up to 5 titles for 2 weeks each, either in-browser or as a PDF or ePub.

    Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device.

    Book Share
    An accessible online library for people with print disabilities.

    Transparent Languages
    Transparent Language Online (TLO) is a language learning resource provided by the Mid-Michigan Library League.

    Learn a new language!

    • 110+ languages (and growing!): Whether it's Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, or English, if they want it, we've (probably) got it. See available languages.
    • Customized learning path: Placements tests let learners see recommended courses and lessons for their level, or they choose their own content.
    • Focus on a specific skill: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all part of the language puzzle. Learners can pick any skills-based learning activity, select their desired vocabulary, and instantly launch a custom lesson.
    • Learn on the go: At the library, at home, and everywhere in between, access to lessons is possible on almost any device, including full-feature mobile apps for iOS and Android™ tablets and phones.

    If you are a previous RBdigital user that had accessed Transparent Language Online through RBdigital, you will need to perform a password reset in order to gain access to your account and your learning history. This is a one-time password reset and when you come back to the Transparent Language Online login page, you will be able to access Transparent Language Online with your username and new password.

    More information about performing a password reset can be found here:

    You can also reach out to us at for assistance.

    Talking Book Library

    Betsie Valley District Library has applications for this wonderful service offered by TADL (Traverse Area District Library). You do not need to be legally blind to use the services. If standard print has become difficult to read for you, a friend, or family member, please call 1-877-931-8558.

    The Traverse Area District Library has a branch known as The Talking Book Library which represents a free federal program for blind and handicapped persons. This library covers eight counties in northern Michigan, and Benzie County is one of them. The service includes a specific player, which a patron may use for as long as he/she wishes. Books are digitally recorded on cartridges or printed in Braille and mailed to patrons’ homes through the regular U. S. postal service. Best of all, this service is FREE -  there is no charge to mail materials to or from the library.

    In order an active patron, one book or magazine is required to be checked out per year. The other request is that patrons return a book within 4 – 6 weeks. If a book is needed longer, there is a renewal process just like other libraries. As always, it’s best to return a book as soon as finished for others to read, and for the patron to receive more as well. Pick up an application at the Betsie Valley District Library.
    Visit TADL Talking Book Library website at


    Michigan Works
    A workforce development association serving employers and job seekers throughout Michigan.

    Pure Michigan Talent Connect
    The official website for job hunters seeking new careers and employers looking to post jobs and hire employees in Michigan.

    Unemployment Insurance Agency
    Manages unemployment taxes and insurance.

    Veterans Employment Services
    Provides detailed information regarding Michigan jobs, careers and employment assistance for veterans.

    Michigan Rehabilitation Services
    Works in partnership with individuals with disabilities to prepare for and obtain employment, and helps employers find and retain qualified workers with disabilities.

    Benzie Area Christian Neighbors
    BACN offers a Computer Lab that is open daily to the public for resume building, education needs and job searches. A skilled aide is available during open hours to lend a hand to users with their needs and questions. Visit the link above to find current operating hours.

    For more than a decade, the program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free.

      *Genealogy and Local History
    The Benzie Area Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Society, collects and preserves artifacts, photos, and stories about our past. The Museum is housed in an 1887 Congregational Church building and is on the Michigan State Register of Historic Sites. Visit their website at
    There is also Benzie Michigan Genealogy Resources which furthers interest in genealogy through speakers, educational materials, and member interactions. BAGS meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of the month, April thru November, at the Benzie Area Historical Museum. As a courtesy, the Museum includes the BAGS programs on the Museum Events page at Genealogy Events.

    The 1950's Census can be found at
    The 1940's Census can be found at

    Benzie County Cemetery Index and Tombstone Project

    Benzie County USGEnWeb Archive
    Marriage Records, Obituaries, Cemetery Indexes and more.

    Benzie Area Genealogical Society (BAGS)

    Benzie Area Genealogical Society Facebook

    Benzie Area Historical Society and Museum

    Benzie County Historic newspapers—Digitized courtesy of The Benzie Shores District Library

    Benzie County Newspaper Index - MI Gen Web Archives

    Ellis Island Passenger Records Search

    Find A Grave

    Traverse City Record Eagle—Obituaries


    Village of Thompsonville
    Village of Copemish
    Cleon Township
    Colfax Township
    Springdale Township
    Weldon Township

    Benzie County
    Manistee County

    United States Government
    Benzie County Census Information
    Social Security Administration


    Munson Community Health Library Online Trusted Resources
    Munson's health information professionals recommend all of the resources on this page. Here you will find current, trusted information. strives to make information about recalls and safety-related news about drugs, medical devices, food, and consumer products accessible to everyone in a transparent, easily understandable way.

    DuoLingo Free online language learning. Learn a new language with the world’s most downloaded education app! Duolingo is the fun, free app for learning 35+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons. Practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing to build your vocabulary and grammar skills.


    We are proud to announce that the Mid-Michigan Library League is providing the following digital resource to all member libraries: RB Digital Transparent Languages Online! With your library card, you may sign up for an account to access this resource at any time via computer or mobile device.

    Transparent Languages Online offers the most comprehensive language-learning solution for libraries. With this flexible program, you can quickly and easily learn new languages using our wide variety of courses and activities.

    To sign up, go to the website. In the upper right corner, select “Create New Account,” enter your patron barcode (call the Betsie Valley District Library to get your number) and follow the prompts to set up an account.
    Chose from over 100 languages. There is also an extensive language program with paired English materials for speakers of 30+ languages, intermediate- and advanced-level courses, an American Citizenship Test Prep course, and more.

    *Libraries and Catalogs
    Betsie Valley District Library online catalog

    MeLCat Order books, audiobooks, and other materials from libraries all around the state to be delivered to the Betsie Valley District Library. Search for items in libraries around the world.


    *Local Interest
    The Benzie County Calendar is a shared community calendar, providing events for multiple organizations.
    Benzie Chamber of Commerce

    Frankfort-Elberta Chamber of Commerce

    Seeking Michigan
    A comprehensive website where you can find links to guides and indexes to Michigan; online collections which feature a treasure trove of records, photographs, and maps. Visit this section for death records, state census records, and much more; and Michigan history!

    *Newspapers, Periodicals, and Magazines
    The Benzie Shores District Library's Benzie County Newspaper Archive
    This database is a digital archive of many Benzie County newspapers (including the Benzie Record, Record Patriot, and Benzie Banner) from 1888-2012.

    The Betsie Current

    The Record Patriot

    Manistee News Advocate

    Traverse City Record Eagle

    Chicago Tribune

    Detroit Free Press Detroit News

    Lansing State Journal

    New York Times

    Full-text editions of many newspapers are available at MeL (Michigan Electronic Library)

    Benzie County Area Schools

    Frankfort-Elberta County Central Schools 


    Federal Taxes The IRS website contains printable tax forms and tax information for your federal income taxes.

    State Taxes The Michigan Department of Treasury website contains printable tax forms and tax information for your Michigan state income taxes.

    U.S. Department of Affairs, online resources for veterans and their families, including health, benefits, resources, and VA facilities.

    Benzie County Veterans Services The Benzie County Veterans Office is located at the Government Center, 448 Court Plaza, Beulah, MI.

  • Thompsonville News and Informational CDs

    We have several years of the Thompsonville News available in an Adobe format on CDROM. We are very grateful to Harold and Linda Saffron for creating The Thompsonville News Tidbits CD-ROMs, which contain miscellaneous information about the residents of Benzie County, the towns and cities in the county and surrounding areas, new and current business announcements, topics of special interest, and under the Genealogy file; an alphabetical list of names.

    The Betsie Valley District Library has a collection of local historical newspapers that give us a peek into our past and can provide links into our ancestry. Our library is in possession of several newspapers from the early 1900s through 1947, but because of their fragile condition, they have been preserved in CD-ROM format to be accessed through computers. Years of the paper that the library has on DVD are 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1913, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1943, 1945, and 1947 (there are some years that we have several papers, other years only a few). These are in an Adobe format and aren’t word searchable. Consequently, we have champion volunteers in Harold and Linda Saffron!!! Mr. and Mrs. Saffron have taken it upon themselves to archive the papers, and have broken them down by year into names, places, and specific topics to make searches a lot easier for our patrons.

     Also, with sincere thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Saffron for their diligence and dedication to the preservation of the Thompsonville News, and for their generosity, we are pleased to announce that the Betsie Valley District Library has been gifted updated digital copies of these historical local newspapers. The interactive CD-ROMs contain issues from the early 1900s to the 1930s, and a farewell notice from the Benzie Banner in 1949.

    The Thompsonville News CD-ROMs contains digital copies of the actual newspaper. The years available are 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1913, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1943, 1945, and 1947. Not all years are complete. Pages can be zoom in on for easier reading. Because of the particular nature of the print, some words may be hard to distinguish, but for the most part, is readable.

    The Thompsonville News Tidbits CD-ROMs contains miscellaneous information about the residents of Benzie County, the towns and cities in the county and surrounding areas, new and current business announcements, topics of special interest, and under the Genealogy file; an alphabetical list of names. The available years are 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1913, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1943, 1945, and 1947. Mr. and Mrs. Saffron are continuing to work on The Thompsonville News Tidbits CD-ROMs to add additional information to the CD-ROMs. The Library and community are very grateful for Harold and Linda Saffron for volunteering to do this for not only the Library, but our entire community! Patrons are welcome to come to the library and view the CD-ROMs on our computers. They are not available for checkout, but prints can be made for a modest charge.


  • Caregivers' Resource Library

    Benzie Senior Resources received a grant award to help fund a “Caregivers’ Resource Library” in collaboration with area libraries. The "library" is in the form of a large catalog of educational material on taking care of people suffering from dementia, including self care and stress management for caretakers. The library contains a catalog of books and videos designed by Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist with 40 years of clinical practice experience. She is one of the world’s leading educators on dementia and the care that accompanies it. In 2005, she founded Positive Approach® to Care (PAC), a company that provides dementia care training, services and products around the world.

    The collection can be found at Benzie Shores District Library in Frankfort, Benzonia Public Library, Betsie Valley District Library of Thompsonville and Darcy Library in Beulah.

    Lack of formal training is a critical challenge for caregivers. Less than one in 10 family caregivers receives training to assist older adults with disabilities, according to a U.S. study.

    The catalog includes:


    Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease

    The Dementia Handbook: How to Provide Dementia Care at Home

    Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions

    Dementia Caregiver Guide: Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care techniques for caregiving, Alzheimer's, and other forms of dementia

    Passages in Caregiving; Learning to speak Alzheimer’s

    When reasoning no longer works

    The 36 Hour Day; Stages for Senior Care

    The Dementia Handbook; Chicken Soup for the Soul-Living with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, 101 Stories of Caregiving, Coping and Compassion

    The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

    Surviving Alzheimer’s

    Activities to do with your parent who has Alzheimer’s/Dementia

    Creating Moments of Joy-Along the Alzheimer’s Journey & Dementia Caregiver Guide

    For children:
    A Heart Full of Gems


    Late Stage Dementia Care Bundle –
    Advanced Care Skills in Late Stage Dementia
    The Inevitable Hospital State -How to Advocate for your loved one with Dementia
    End of Life Care and Letting Go

    Specialty Dementia’s Bundle –
    Understanding Vascular Dementia
    Understanding Frontotemporal Dementia
    Lewy Body Dementia “What everyone needs to know.”
    Practical Tips for Better Living with Parkinson’s Disease

    Mid-State Dementia-Family Care Partner Bundle - 
    In Home Dementia Care-Tips & Techniques
    Improving Communication in Dementia Care
    Challenging Behaviors in Dementia Care-Recognizing & Meeting Unmet Needs

    Seeing It from the Other Side Bundle Series:

    Part 1 – Caregiver Stress and Dementia Coping & Strategies
    Part 2 – The Condition of Dementia
    Part 3 – Becoming Dementia Knowledgeable

    Single DVDs:

    Designing a Supportive Dementia Care Environment
    The Art of Caregiving; Progression of Dementia
    The Journey of Dementia
    Progression of Dementia
    It's All in Your Approach

    Caregivers Resources Books and DVDS infographic

  • Reminiscence Therapy Library Kits

    The Betsie Valley District Library is now offering Reminiscence Therapy Library Packs, (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring), each kit includes a DVD and Photo/Activity Cards for loved ones with Dementia and also for their caregivers.

    The Betsie Valley District Library is now offering Reminiscence Therapy Library Packs, (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring), each kit includes a DVD and Photo/Activity Cards.

    This new collection of materials is oriented specifically toward dementia patients. These four unique Memory Care Kits are designed to trigger special memories of life experiences and encourage interaction between patients and caregivers.

    Each of the kits, contains a DVD, Photo cards and activity cards. Each kit has a different theme, including Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
    The kits can be checked out for two weeks.

    See the available Memory Care Kits and their contents below:

    DVD includes segments on Flowers, Butterflies and Moths, Birds, Animal Babies, and Bonus Video: Easter.
    32 Double-sided Photo cards with the Flowers, Butterflies and Moths, Birds, Animal Babies Themes.
    8 Double-sided Spring Reminiscence Activity Cards.

    DVD includes segments on A Day at the Beach, Boats, Classic Cars, Fishing, and Fruits and Vegetables.
    32 Double-sided Photo cards with the A Day at the Beach, Boats,
    Classic Cars, Fishing, and Fruits and Vegetables Themes.
    8 Double-sided Summer Reminiscence Activity Cards.

    DVD includes segments on Harvest, Fall Colors, Back to School and Preserving, and Autumn Mix.
    32 Double-sided Photo cards with the Harvest, Fall Colors, Back to School and Preserving Themes
    8 Double-sided Summer Reminiscence Activity Cards.

    DVD includes segments on Fun With Snow, In the Kitchen, Winter Wonderland, Home for the Holidays, and Winter Mix.
    32 Double-sided Photo cards with the Fun With Snow, In the Kitchen, Winter Wonderland, Home for the Holidays Themes.
    8 Double-sided Winter Reminiscence Activity Cards

    Click on our catalog link on our website: and type in "Memory Kits" in the subject search field to read about the kits and to reserve your kit, or call the Library at 231-378-2716.
    You can view them directly by clicking on the this direct link:

    Woman Librarian standing by a display of plastic containers, photo cards, and a DVD case

  • Ebooks

    On this page you will find information on Up North Digital, Up North Digital eMagazines, and ebook resources from the Michigan eLibrary.

    E-books, E-Audios and more

    Up North Digital

    Up North Digital Icon showing an illustration of a pine tree and the state of Michigan in white

    You may check out the Up North Digital content by following the link.

    NEW:  Up North Digital Magazines.  You will need to log into your account before you can search the magazines.  To search magazine click on the collections button at the top.  You can then see all magazines or different categories.
    Please call the Library or stop in for help in downloading to your digital device.

    Q: How do I return a book early?

    A: Kindle:  On your Amazon account go to "Manage Your Content and Devices".  You will see a list of books that you own and are borrowed from the library.  You will need to go to the ACTION button on the left hand side of the screen from the book that you wish to return.  Click Return from the drop down menu.

    If you have questions feel free to call 231-378-2716.
    Need some help with downloading?
    Check out this website  Up North Digital Quick start guide

    PDF of how to download to a mobile device.
    PDF of how to Download to Kindle and also for returning books via Kindle.

    Reciprocal Borrowing with Libby

    Want to add more libraries to your Libby account? The Up North Digital Consortium now has a reciprocal lending agreement with other Michigan consortia to share our digital catalogs! You can watch this video that shows you how to add other libraries to your Libby account.
    Borrow titles from any of these collections:

    • Great Lakes Digital Libraries
    • Download Destination
    • Midwest Collaborative for Library Services
    • Lakeland Digital Libraries
    • Suburban Library Cooperative
    • White Pine Library Cooperative
    • Metro Net Library Consortium
    • Up North Digital Collection (the BVDL belongs to the UP North Digital Collection)
    • Woodlands Downloadable Library

    These Library consortia will let you add your Betsie Valley District Library account number (Library card number) to their Libby items. Check it out or see the information desk for more information.

    Borrow free video, music, and audiobooks with your library card.  Enjoy on your PC, tablet, or phone.

    To add your card for a partner library:
    1. go to MENU (the icon with the three lines in the center bottom of the app)> Add Library
    2. Search for the partner library and open it.
    3. Tap Sign In With My Card.
    4. Under "Partner Libraries," choose Betsie Valley District Library from the list  and sign in.

    MeL Books and Reading Sources

    eBook Collection  (You will need to be in the library to access this database)


    Michigan Authors and Illustrators

    What's Next? from the Kent District Library

  • Upcoming Events
    Cat in the Hat Reading Challenge at the BVDL! Apr 21, 2024 10:00 PM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
    Betsie Valley District Library Board meetings May 14, 2024 10:00 AM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
    Busy Bee Book Club at the BVDL! May 16, 2024 01:00 PM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
    Betsie Valley District Library Board meetings Jun 11, 2024 10:00 AM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
    Busy Bee Book Club at the BVDL! Jun 20, 2024 01:00 PM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
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