$5,500+ in Free Resources Through Military One Source Library

Military members have access to an incredible resource through the website www.militaryonesource.mil.  There are many valuable resources that I’ll dive into over time but today I’d like to focus on the MWR library and highlight some of the more valuable and useful resources available there.  If you were to purchase an annual subscription to just the services offered to individuals it would cost you over $5,500 per year. This doesn’t include the cost of the institutional subscriptions (EBSCO, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc) which cost schools and libraries thousands of dollars per year- most of these are available through your public library as well.  I’ve gone through each resource and wrote a quick review along-side the official descriptions below. I’ll dive deeper into the more valuable ones and write detailed posts in the future. My personal favorites are: Consumer reports, Gale Chilton Automotive Maintenance library, Gale Legal forms, and Universal class.    

Ancestry Library
Unlock the story of your family with billions of U.S. and international records from Ancestry Library Edition.
Pretty self explanatory, save yourself $99 if you’re interested in researching your family history.

This library from Scholastic pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction titles to reinforce early reading skills and develop real-world knowledge. This cultivates key reading skills, supports reluctant readers and ELL students, and builds fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
I didn’t dive deeper into this one – I don’t have children but could be very useful if you do, especially if you home school children.

BrainHQ is an online brain-training system that offers 29 exercises specialized to work out your attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation and intelligence. Whether you decide to design your own program (choosing exercises and workouts that meet your personal interests, mood and schedule), or use the personalized trainer feature, BrainHQ will provide personal workouts that adapt in difficulty so that you’ll always be training at your optimum level. Once registered, be sure to download the BrainHQ app to your mobile device in order to access these personalized brain-training exercises from anywhere.
I didn’t take the time to set up an account here – while I enjoy these exercises I feel I get plenty of mental workout through other venues.

Britannica Academic
Enjoy fast and easy access to thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images and websites. Includes ImageQuest with more than three million images, all rights-cleared for educational, non-commercial use.
Britannica Annals of American History
This valuable online chronicle provides the original words of more than 1,500 authors who made and analyzed American history through their speeches, writings, memoirs, poems, and interviews.
Britannica Library
Provides three sites in one—Children, Young Adults, and the Reference Center—where you can conduct research, complete school assignments, work on special projects or explore their unique interests. You can even store your research in your personal My Britannica account.
I haven’t had to write a school paper in many years and all other information is more quickly gotten from google so I don’t see myself using this ever. The Annals of American History is interesting – my first glance into led me to the article “The Way to Wealth” by Benjamin Franklin. I may reference that for future article research.

Consumer Reports
Looking to make a purchase? Use this online library to access 1,000+ ratings, reviews, expert buying advice, product comparisons, consumer user reviews and product video clips.
Ahh heck yes! This is my most used resource on this website. Although I avoid buying things in general, sometime you just have to replace your washing machine. I like to know I’m getting the best value when I do.

EBSCO Audiobook Collection
EBSCO Audiobooks has more than 2,000 audiobooks in different subjects and categories available for download.
Good collection of audio books – most are probably also available through public library so I may only consider searching here if library has long line for a book I’m looking for.
EBSCO eBook Collection
This library offers more than 3,000 titles in the areas of fiction, history, health & medicine, self-help, business, economics, law, and more.
I searched for a few popular titles that are in my public library queue but didn’t come up with any available. Mostly obscure books. Maybe valuable if you’re doing research for a college paper?
EBSCO Learning Express
EBSCO’s LearningExpress DoD Test Prep is designed specifically for current and retired service members and their families. This eResource provides access to: military test prep (ASTB-E, ASVAB, Military Flight Aptitude Test, Officer Candidate Tests, etc.); CLEP, DSST, TOEFL iBT, IELTS, SAT prep; resources for military transition to civilian careers; career certification exam prep for a wide range of occupations including air traffic controller, firefighter, electrician, border patrol, etc.; learning resources for elementary, middle school, high school, and college students; GED, HiSET, and TASC prep; job search and workplace skills improvement; popular software programs tutorials (i.e., Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop); and much, much, more.
Good resource if you’re planning to take any major test to include SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT etc. Wish I would have known about this before spending money on GMAT and AFOQT prep books a few years ago. There are also courses on Microsoft office products and other courses such as: discovering the internet and using email- just in case you’re 105 and just getting into the military.
EBSCO Small Engine Repair Reference Center
This library contains more than 400 reference books with original photos and illustrations for small engine repair assistance.
This one is pretty exciting. Great links to a variety of small engines. I oddly don’t own any at the moment but I found the motorcycle I had in my youth as well as my parents 4 wheeler. Generally I find most answers to engine repair on youtube but this is a great additional resource to reference for any small engines you own.
Explora Primary
Want to learn more about animals, arts, music, health, history, people and places, science, math and sports? Explora Primary can help. Grades K-5.
I like to think I’m beyond the needs of a 5th grader in my education, but if you have children this looks like a pretty handy tool to help with school projects.

Fold3 Library Edition
Access US military records, including the stories, photos and personal documents of those who served from the Revolutionary War onward.
I looked up myself and my grandfather (WW2 Vet) but only found basic info such as enlistment date. I would really have liked to see what unit he was in, where stationed etc. So pretty worthless from that perspective.

This digital literacy resource brings history to life by capturing the dramatic and defining moments in American history. It features dynamic e-books of the Children’s Press best-selling Cornerstones of Freedom series that include embedded popup features such as maps, timelines, virtual tour clips, primary source videos and audio clips.
Definitely not your Ken Burns versions. Very short, surface level videos on a variety of topics, unless you’re a teacher looking to fill some time you can skip this one.

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Explore this vast reference library for full articles about thousands of topics.
Like Britannica I’d stick to google for the most efficient answer to questions. Reference this site if you’re writing a research paper.

Gale Academic OneFile
This premier periodical resource provides millions of articles from scholarly journals and other authoritative sources with extensive coverage in key subject areas, such as biology, chemistry, criminal justice, economics, environmental science, history, marketing, political science, and psychology.
Seemingly pretty good resource if you’re writing a paper, or just like to read scholarly articles. I’d start with a search on scholar.google.com then go here to access the full article for free.
Gale Business Plan Builder
Gale Business: Plan Builder helps patrons interested in planning and optimizing their businesses or nonprofits. Built for aspiring entrepreneurs and those with existing small businesses, it provides a step-by-step process supported by a rich variety of recognized tools that enable users to produce complete business plans and other documents essential for gaining access to capital and growing their enterprise.
A good resource if you’re planning to start your own business. I’m not so I’m not going to spend time investigating further but definitely worth checking out.
Gale Career Transitions
This resource provides job seekers with multi-faceted job searching and related activities for creating resumes and cover letters, as well as applying and preparing for interviews. Users can also explore careers by discovering interests, identifying new opportunities based on work or military experience, exploring growing career paths (including green and new economy jobs), and finding education and training.
Worth checking out if you are transitioning out of the military or are struggling to find a job. Some good resources but nothing earth-shattering.
Gale Chilton Automotive Maintenance Library
This library represents the most authoritative automotive repair information available to car owners. There are thousands of year, make and model combinations covering the most popular vehicles of the past 30 years, plus additional coverage of specialty models. ChiltonLibrary.com gives you the confidence to service or repair virtually any system on your vehicle.
My other favorite site next to consumer reports. A must if you own a car. You can get your maintenance schedules and guides so you can take care of minor maintenance yourself- saving hundreds of dollars. You can also get work time estimates for a variety of repairs so when you do have to take your car to a shop you can get a good idea if you are being charged fairly.
Gale eBooks
Gale eBooks is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.
You can skip this one.
Gale Entrepreneurship
Search Gale Business: Entrepreneurship to learn how to plan, fund, start or manage your small business. Resources include; sample business plans, how to guides, articles, and websites.
A fine resource if you’re starting your own business. Looks like it answers mostly basic questions.
Gale Health and Wellness
This library offers access to thousands of full-text medical journals, magazines, reference works, multimedia, and more. Perfect for researchers at all levels, this comprehensive consumer health resource provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices, and more.
Only if you’re doing a health related research paper.
Gale In Context: Middle School
This library combines the best of Gale’s reference content with age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines, primary sources, and much more. Students will find outstanding support to complete assignments in core subjects including literature, science, social studies, and history.
I’ve been long out of middle school so I’m skipping this one. Look at if you have a middle schooler.
Gale In Context: Science
Gale In Context: Science is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on hundreds of today’s most significant science topics. The solution merges Gale’s authoritative and continuously updated reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, experiments, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience.
Pretty useful resource. I’m interested in learning more about the possible dangers of 5G networks and a quick search showed hundreds of articles (not many about the danger sadly).
Gale Interactive Science
This resource gives users the ability to manipulate and explore 3D interactive models, allowing students to visualize and understand concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science. Reference and periodical content provide additional context for further understanding.
Probably interesting for students. Neat feature is STL files for printing your own 3D models of select options.
Gale Legal Forms
Explore a wide selection of state-specific (and multi-state) legal forms across the most popular legal areas. Includes real estate contracts, wills, pre-marital agreements, bankruptcy, divorce, landlord tenant and many others. Also included is a comprehensive attorney state directory and a dictionary of legal definitions explained in laymen’s language.
Another very handy website. Hundreds of templates available for free. I recently used for a template for a notice to vacate property for a rental property.
Gale Military and Intelligence
Military personnel can access scholarly journals, magazines, and reports covering all aspects of the past and present military affairs. Updated annually, this library resource contains hand-selected content supporting key subject areas such as, governmental policies, the socioeconomic effects of war, the structure of the armed forces, and more.
A fine resource if you’re writing a military related paper or just want to learn more about anything military. I searched up M1 Abram tanks (I used to be a tanker back in the day) and got sucked down a rabbit hole of what has been going on since I last crawled inside one 15 years ago.
Gale Online Resources
This library features 160 million full-text articles from leading books, journals, magazines, newspapers and primary sources, multimedia assets including videos, podcasts, tutorials and images, daily updates of new content. Resources available through Gale include Global Issues in Context, Health Reference Center, Interactive Science, National Geographic Virtual Library, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and much more.
This is a collection for all of the other Gale sites combined. So probably start here if you’re in the paper writing world.
This online library contains well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact on the environment.
A resource for environment related scholarly articles.

Image Quest (from Encyclopedia Britannica) brings lesson plans, assignments and projects to life with over three million rights-cleared images from 62 leading collections.
A good resource for images if you need to make that blog pop.

Select from more than 30,000 thousand award-winning films and documentaries available from Kanopy. Access classic films, world cinema, popular movies, plus a whole lot more educational and entertainment films from anywhere, anytime, with any device.
A pretty good resource for documentaries and international films. Some “popular” films as well.

Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts
Access references on librarianship, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management, and more.
Good if you’re a librarian I guess? But maybe not, there wasn’t even any information on the dewey decimal system when I searched.

Mango Languages
Check out this digital language learning program for learners of all levels, with courses in more than 70 different foreign languages, 21 English language courses, and 44 specialty courses. Mango’s language-learning methodology is designed to simulate the way people learn a foreign language when actually immersed in everyday, practical conversation. Mango Languages also offers more than 40 streaming international movies via their Mango Premier feature.
I traditionally have just used and enjoyed duolingo. I’ve also used rosetta stone back when it was free for military. I guess this seems fine. Perhaps useful if you want to learn a more obscure language. I couldn’t find any of the alleged movies in other languages.

Morningstar Investment Research Center
Find information and advice on mutual funds, stocks, exchange-traded funds, and market returns. Track investments, access daily market news and commentary, view snapshots on investments, and interact on the research center forums.
Morningstar is a great resource if you want to learn more about VTSAX (why would you want to look at any other stocks?!)

National Geographic Virtual Library
This library includes every article of National Geographic magazine from the mid-1990s through current issues. Search the vivid photographs and historic articles as well as engaging videos and detailed maps.
Maybe it’s just me, but it only gives me magazines up to 1994 and nothing later.

NoveList K-8 Plus
NoveList K-8 Plus provides a trusted source of information curated specifically for younger readers. It helps kids find books that are just right for their reading level and interests.
Not a young reader. Didn’t look into further.
NoveList Plus
NoveList Plus helps readers discover books they want to read and connects them to library collections. Currently, the NoveList Plus database contains information on 500,000+ popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles for all ages.
We only have a finite number of books we’ll get to read in this lifetime. I’d stick to using good reads for personally curated recommendations or get recommendations from people you know and trust.

O’Reilly Learning Online
O’Reilly online learning is where you can get the answers you need to solve problems and drive productivity. Those answers are found in their books, videos, live online training courses, interactive coding tutorials, learning paths, and more—all created by industry experts who are out there making it work. So you can get smarter about AI, operations, data, UX design, leadership, and beyond. And get back to work, fast.
This looks like a great resource for computer sciences – really deep stuff. If you’re into Agile, Python, AI, Java, or a handful of other computer things I don’t know what they are then check this out. I’m planning to get more into data science in the future so I’ll check this out and report back at a later date.

ProQuest PressReader
Enjoy unlimited digital access to more than 7,000 newspapers from 120 countries in more than 60 different languages. These newspapers are provided in full-color, full-page format, and appear on your screen exactly as they appear on the news stand, many providing instant translation and audio.
Need the Maldives business travel guide or Urkrainian farmer weekly? Well, this is your spot to get them.

RBdigital provides a wide selection of eBooks, unabridged audiobooks, comic books and online courses for checkout and download to a computer or portable device (requires software download; check for device compatibility). Download the RBdigital app to access all RBdigital eBooks and Audiobooks and RBdigital Magazines content in one place.
Good availability of audio books. But I prefer to keep my life simple and not have to manage another software program for books, so I’d only consider if I was really looking for a particular audio book and couldn’t find it at the library. Or during free audible trial.

RBdigital Magazines
This library allows you to read or download a large assortment of popular news and special interest digital magazines on your PC, smartphone, or laptop.
If you can’t find a specific item in one of the other free magazine sites listed here you could check this one as well.

Offering more than 50 complete units of study with over 6500 science-related assets in a variety of media, ScienceFlix (from Scholastic) provides students with a better understanding of science concepts and ideas through hands-on projects, videos, multiple text types, interactive features, and more.
Another scholastic product aimed at children. So if you’re a teacher or home school your children then probably worth checking out.

Stingray Qello Concerts
Enjoy more than 1,700 live moments in music history with the world’s largest collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries streamed on-demand to just about any digital device. From the 1920s to today’s hottest artists, Qello Concerts spans more than 30 genres, from classical to rock, reggae to country.
I’m not one who truly appreciates music so I don’t imagine myself ever wanting to watch a concert on TV, but if you are this seems like a great resources. I wonder how many of these you could just find on you tube though?

This library offers printable activities for any pre-K to 6th grade subject: math, science, reading comprehension, STEM, writing and beyond. Download printable lesson plans, reading passages, games and puzzles, clip art, bulletin board ideas, teacher supports, and skills sheets. Access more than 25,000 teacher-created, vetted printables to support your instruction.
I found most of these too easy for me.

Teacher Reference Center
Access indexing and abstracts for more than 270 of the most popular teacher and administrator journals and magazines.
I’m not a teacher, but if you are- go wild.

Offering dozens of units to supplement social studies and science core curricula learning, TrueFlix (from Scholastic) helps students improve literacy skills, build content-area knowledge, and cultivate the critical skills necessary for academic success and college and career readiness.
If you want a 1 minute video about Mark Zuckerberg you can get it here!

Tutor.com for military children gives kids access to online tutoring and homework help from live, expert tutors in more than 16 subjects. Tutors can help with tonight’s homework or catch your child up on missed concepts and lessons, all for free.
I don’t plan on trying this but it seems like a fantastic free resource if you (it seems they have tutors for college students) or your children could use some tutoring.

Universal Class
Universal Class offers more than 500 online courses on a wide range of subjects/levels. Courses are available 24/7, are instructor led, and self-paced. Some courses offer CEUs. Subject areas include: Computers and Technology, Personal Finance, Crafts and Hobbies, Homeschooling, Professional Development and many more.
This looks like a great resource for valuable classes. I took a class on preparing your home for sale (I’ll be selling a house soon). It took about 2 hours and was somewhat general but provided some good information and resources (links and word documents). I’ll try a few more classes and do a dedicated post in the future.

US Major Dailies
This digital library provides full-text, same day publication access to five major U.S. newspapers: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. New content available by 8 a.m. U.S. Eastern time each day.
More of a search of the newspapers, I couldn’t find a way to just read the papers, although you can get today’s paper and read the headlines and then open the articles. I recommend sticking to a low information diet though.

Weiss Financial Ratings
Enjoy access to financial literacy tools on retirement planning, home and mortgage, insurance strategies, and saving for your child’s education.
The description for this one had me excited but it’s a bunch of shallow gobbledygook.

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