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About This Page

Parents and families can find out about what Michigan eLibrary (MeL) resources are available for students, and how to best use them. Plus, access some important links for Michigan K-12 students and their families.

About Subscription Databases

Just what is a “subscription database”? Well, it is usually a searchable online resource that requires payment for access.  The content of these databases are published by many different companies and contain information that usually is not available doing a basic free internet search.  The information contained in these databases is quality, vetted, and reliable. The Michigan eLibrary (mostly funded by the Institute of Library and Museum Services - IMLS), purchases over $3 million worth of subscription databases, and provides free access to all Michigan residents.  You can access the databases either by visiting or through your local public library.

Types of content in the databases MeL offers include:

  • Full text articles from e-journals, newspapers, etc.
  • Abstracts
  • Citation information
  • eBooks
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Curriculum materials and lesson plans
  • Interactive activities

Keep in mind, the Michigan eLibrary is for ALL Michigan residents, not just students.  MeL offers a wide variety of databases, so be sure to check out our complete list to see what might be of interest to you!  

MeL Parent Page

Check out the MeL Parent Page for some great links to help your child succeed in school.

MeL College Bound

MeL's College Bound center can help families select and prepare for college.  You can locate the best pre-planning college guides, practice exams, and scholarships.

MeL Kids

Specifically for our youngest users, MeL Kids focuses on resources appropriate from basically birth to 5th grade.  On the landing page, users are immediately greeted by our Kids Mascot, Brookie, and his frog pal, Read-It.  Be sure to click on Read-It to get access to a MeL coloring page!

There are four centers within MeL Kids:

  • Homework Helpers
    • Homework Helpers is the place to go to access all of the MeL pre-paid subscription databases appropriate for this age group. As long as your IP address is located in Michigan, you have free access.  No logins are required!
    • Be sure to print off this handy guide to the pre-paid databases found in MeL Kids.
  • Storytime
    • In addition to finding access to some of our pre-paid subscription databases related to reading, there are many great web links including Giggle Poetry, Kidsreads, Reading Rockets, and Storyline Online just to name a few.
  • Games and Activities
    • Just like with the other centers, find access to some of MeL’s pre-paid subscription databases, this time with an interactive game and activity focus.  External web links include CIA Kids’ Zone, DLTK’s Crafts for Kids, and Mr. R’s World of Math and Science.
  • About Michigan
    • Who doesn’t want to learn more about this great state in which we live? We created this center specifically with elementary educators in mind since Michigan history is taught in the early grades. Here, users can click on external links that will let them explore and learn about things like Fish Identification, Birds, Bugs and Insects, and Snakes from Michigan.  Also, there is a video about the Legend of Sleeping Bear and a great digital collection from around Michigan found in Michigana.

MeL Teens

For students in Middle and High School, MeL Teens focuses on resources appropriate for grade 6 through junior college. In addition to the pre-paid subscription databases found in the Homework Help section, students have access to information for college and even social issues.

There are four centers within MeL Teens:

  • Homework Help
    • Homework Help is the place to go to access all of the MeL pre-paid subscription databases appropriate for this age group. As long on your IP address is located in Michigan, you have free access.  No log-ins are required!
    • Some helpful homework links are located at the top of the Homework Help center page.  There are four purple buttons, one for each of the core subject areas: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies/History.  These contain links to websites that can be helpful when completing school assignments.
    • Be sure to print off this handy guide to the pre-paid databases found in MeL Teens.
  • Life Happens
    • Students can access web links related to Health, Social Issues, and Vocations/Jobs. Be sure to check out the links available!
  • Reading Zone​
    • Again, find access to some of MeL’s pre-paid subscription databases, this time with a focus on reading.  External web links include Audio and eBooks, Comics and Anime, and Zines.
  • College Bound
    • Select and prepare for college. Locate the best pre-planning college guides, practice exams, and scholarships here. High School Students, Parents and School Counselor must explore this center. A favorite link is to eCampus Tours, where students can virtually visit college campuses.

Parent Dashboard for School Transparency

  • How well is your school helping students achieve state standards?
  • How many instructional staff per student does your school employ? 
  • How many high school students graduate within 4, 5, and 6 years?
  • What is the attendance rate for students at your school?

Parents and other caregivers of a school-aged child now can easily find answers to these questions and many more through one user-friendly online tool. Michigan’s new Parent Dashboard for School Transparency (or “Parent Dashboard”) makes it easier for parents to see many types of information about any public school in Michigan, including public school academies (charter schools).

The new dashboard is designed especially for parents and other caregivers. It will report on more than 20 different factors—or measures—that parents and other stakeholders have said are important to them when evaluating the quality of a school. Families and others can use the dashboard to get a more complete picture of how their child’s school is serving students. They also can use the dashboard to compare a school’s performance with the average performance of other similar Michigan schools.

See the dashboard in action at

Personal Finance

This is a free online personal finance course that covers income, expenses, saving and investing, credit and insurance.  It is geared toward Middle School, High School, and College.

How to Use the Databases - Training

The databases are not hard to learn how to use.  You can watch some videos or look at some how-to slide decks that are linked in the MeL Teachers' Training Toolkit Center or on the MeL YouTube Channel.  You can even get help from your local public library.