Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
April 11, 2018

County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

New K–12 Online Content for Schools

I am pleased to inform you that the California State Library, with help from the California Department of Education, has made available three online databases for every K–12 school in the state beginning this fall. There is no cost for this service to your school district.

Online content from Encyclopedia Britannica, ProQuest, and will be available at school, at home, in libraries, and on mobile devices for students, teachers, and administrators. This service provides a massive digital library of books, scientific research, newspaper articles, photos, videos, and more—all aligned with the curriculum that California has created for its schools.

You can preview these resources now with the following information:

  • ProQuest: Teachers, students, and administrators can get acquainted with the new ProQuest resources from April 15 through June 15. Go to (NOTE: This resource is no longer available) to set up a 60-day trial.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Schools and libraries can get started by visiting these Web sites:

    Britannica School (in English):
    Britannica Escolar (in Spanish):

    Username: csl2018
    Password: preview

  • Educators, librarians, and other professionals may freely start using by entering their work e-mail address at

We estimate that roughly half of California’s 1,000 school districts do not provide library databases and other online content for their students. Those districts that do have subscriptions pay for them out of their own operating budgets.

Starting with the 2018–19 school year, all school districts in California are welcome to use these online resources with the contract costs paid at the state level. School library programs and their staff are essential. These online resources will strengthen the excellent work that they do.

Please note that the preview feature is temporary, and we need all schools to officially authenticate with the vendors to get set for next year. Please forward this information to your technical department right away for timely set-up for the next school year and ask them to start the process of providing these resources to your students for 2018–19 by filling out the form at

The California State Library will provide updates about this project, other K–12 online educational resources, and opportunities for technical support. Interested teachers, staff, librarians, parents, and others are invited to join the State Library’s mailing list for K–12 education by visiting

General questions about these new online resources can be directed to Mary Beth Barber, Special Projects and Assistant to the State Librarian, at 916-323-9758 or Questions about the individual resources should be directed to the library database vendors, and their contact information is available in the State Library’s press release at


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Friday, October 25, 2019

Recently Posted in Editorials & Letters