Comprehensive Digital Resources Collection

We at the Portage Public Library recognize more than ever the value of accessible and accurate digital resources. This list may evolve as we move forward; we hope our patrons find the following links and digital resources useful. We are committed to keep our staff and community healthy, safe, and informed! If a link is out-of-date or needs to be updated, please contact Chris at so he can fix whatever is needed!

Columbia County Resources:

The Columbia County Health and Human Service's Resource Page is an excellent place to visit for information regarding benefits, needs, and assistance options of all types. There is both a comprehensive and condensed resource guide available at the top of the page.

Columbia County HHS Resources

Good Information vs. Bad Information:

Want to ensure that you are prepared to spot "good information" vs. "bad information? Check out the following link, courtesy of the World Health Organization, for some useful tips:

World Health Organization: Let's Flatten the Infodemic Curve

Free Public Wi-Fi:

Free internet accessibility is a fundamental need for the public. Our patrons can access our free wi-fi by parking close to or standing nearby our building. Our wi-fi is named Library_Wireless, and there is no password required. Beyond our library, patrons can click the following link to be taken to an interactive map which illustrates other locations where public Wi-Fi can be accessed across the state:

∙ Click here to view the statewide public Wi-Fi map

Borrowing Digital Collection Materials:

It's a better time than ever to take advantage of the thousands of digital e-books and audiobooks one can borrow for free with their library card by using Libby! You can download the application on your phone or tablet. 

∙ Click here to learn more!

The Digital Public Library of America has launched a brand new web catalog that allows anyone to browse and directly download any of the more than 6,300 eBook titles available on DPLA’s Open Bookshelf. Read classic novels, children’s books, textbooks and non-English titles, all for free, with no login or library card needed. These books are also available to read for free via the SimplyE app. Just download the SimplyE app on iOS or Android (from the App or Play store) and choose “Digital Public Library of America” as your library.

∙ Click here to access the DPLA's web catalog!

Education at Home:

Many people are using Zoom as a platform to host and join virtual meetings while at home. We've found two helpful videos to walk interested individuals through both joining and hosting a Zoom meeting as a first-timer. Thanks and credit to the Creative Life Center YouTube channel for putting these videos together and making them publicly available.

How to JOIN a Zoom Meeting for the First Time

How to HOST a Zoom Meeting for the First Time


Click here to create a free account with Transparent Online

Learn a language from home with Transparent online! All Portage Public Library patrons can use this resource to work on learning a new language from your computer, phone, or tablet. You'll need your library card number to create an account. Don't have one? Call the library at 608-742-4959.

Resources for Seeking Assistance:

WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program:

Wisconsinites should not fear being evicted, having their utilities shut off, or being without a place to live because their budgets have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ​​​The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) is partnering with members of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association, as well as Energy Services, Inc., to assist eligible renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and need help with their rent, utilities, and/or other housing stability.

∙ Click here to learn more about the WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program!

Need help with unemployment? Department of workforce Development's Unemployment Covid-19 Public Information:

∙ Click here to be taken to their Frequently Asked Questions

∙ Desempleo COVID-19 Información Pública: En Español

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Interested parties could also check out these resources from the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin:

∙ Resources for Laid Off Workers

∙ Job Seeker Registration Assistance Video - Job Center of Wisconsin

Experiencing financial hardship? UW Extension's Financial Resources to Help Get Through Covid-19:

∙ Click here to be taken to their Frequently Asked Questions

Recursos financieros que le pueden ayudar durante la pandemia de COVID-19: En Español

Health, Healthcare, and Wellness:

- Click here for information about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Columbia County!

Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine? Check out this list that includes questions, concerns, and information to help clear things up (credit to Deborah Clark of the Maine State Library for putting this list together):

  • Harvard Health Letter: General consumer article on vaccine mis- and disinformation

  • Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC): Understanding herd immunity and the COVID vaccine

  • World Health Organization: Myths and misconceptions about vaccines

  • National Library Medicine’s Medlineplus: Continues to update consumer-level info on COVID vaccines as it becomes available. (NOTE: Medlineplus also has articles and tutorials on evaluating health information found on the internet)

We've also compiled a list of informational resources below which patrons may find helpful in addressing other healthcare questions and needs:


This site directs you, based on your state of residence, to purchase insurance through either the appropriate state or federal health insurance marketplace.

∙ CDC Healthy Living site 

The Centers for Disease Control's (CDC's) healthy living site covers specific health conditions, health at different life stages, and health considerations for specific populations.

∙ Medicare

Medicare is a health insurance program for people aged 65 and over who have paid into the system through payroll taxes on their wages. In order to receive benefits, you need to enroll. This page, getting started with Medicare, gives more information about setting up Medicare.

∙ Medicaid

Provides information on health care coverage for financially-needy parents with children, children, people with disabilities, elderly people, and pregnant women in Wisconsin.

Public Health Education Career

Click the link above to learn more about seeking a career in Public Health Education!

∙ The Crucial Role of Nurses during Public Health Emergencies

Information about the history and importance of nurses, especially during public health emergencies. Also contains information about how to pursue a career in nursing for interested individuals.

Are you, or is someone you know, dealing with addiction/substance abuse troubles? Consider checking out for some guidance. From their website: "Our mission is to provide support for people who are dealing with substance abuse and addiction. We do this through our comprehensive resources and guides, and connecting people with the right treatment programs.

Questions about Taxes:

In consideration of Covid-19, the IRS has launched a resources page to help taxpayers better understand adjustments they've made regarding tax filing:

∙ Click here to be taken to the IRS' Coronavirus Tax Relief page

Financial Relief and Business Owner Resources:

Here is a list of links that could apply to individuals' seeking guidance for their business, or for information regarding financial Relief:

∙ Click here to be taken to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page

∙ Click here to be taken to CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

∙ Click here to be taken to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Recommendations on how to Protect Yourself

En Español: Proteja sus finanzas del impacto del coronavirus

Stay Up-to-date on Library Information:

Checking our website is always a great way to stay current on library updates, but we also recommend following our three Facebook pages:

Portage Public Library Main Facebook Page

Portage Public Library Children's Department Facebook Page

Portage Public Library Teen Facebook Page

If you have department-specific questions, please feel free reach out to the respective member of Library Leadership!

 Library Leadership Team contact information