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What is a Virtual Library? How can it benefit schools & educators?

What is a Virtual Library? How can it benefit schools & educators?

In today's world, where technology plays a significant role in many aspects of our lives, virtual libraries have become a popular way to share and access educational resources, books, journals, videos, and other forms of media. In the last few years, the world has seen a quick digitalization. This process accelerated with the occurrence of the pandemic. Therefore the virtual library has some advantages over traditional libraries. In this post, we'll discuss what virtual libraries are, their benefits, their Role in the education space, and the challenges that librarians have to overcome.

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What is a Virtual Library?

Virtual Libraries are platforms in which librarians, teachers, and users can share and access a wide range of materials, such as books, articles, journals, videos, and all other forms of media. These resources are available from anywhere, anytime, on any device.

The Benefits of Virtual Libraries

A virtual library has some advantages over traditional libraries. Read below to discover some of the benefits of virtual libraries.


In contrast to traditional libraries, virtual libraries are always open. The virtual library can assist you whether you are a night owl or an early bird. Next, the virtual library is also accessible from anywhere, which is especially useful for people who live in more remote areas.


Wandering through a library is one of the more romantic things in life. However, finding the correct information in a traditional library can take time and effort. Finding the right information at a glance is one of the essential features of a library, which is much easier in a virtual library to search titles, descriptions, and even body texts. Furthermore, virtual libraries can access rare copies of books, articles, out-of-print materials, or journals that are always accessible.


There is less money required to support the library. Virtual libraries have no physical space, no books to maintain, and no need to clean the place.


A virtual library is also more sustainable than traditional libraries. Virtual libraries use less paper or other physical resources, which makes them a more sustainable option to share and access while reducing the environmental impact.

The Role of Virtual Libraries within the education space

Eventually, everything that we learn has been researched and verified by researchers, scientists, and scholars. Therefore, all we know is a result of people writing their findings down. A library is, therefore, the critical source of knowledge in education.

Providing access to information

A library, whether it is a traditional or a virtual one, provides students access to knowledge that they need to grow. It offers students much information in books, papers, articles, journals, and other multimedia resources.

Read more on adding videos, and online documents to your library:
➡️ Uploading Documents and videos to Symbaloo

Enhancing learning

Virtual libraries can enhance learning for students too. Sometimes topics can be challenging for students to understand. A video in the virtual library in which topics can be explained more visually can help a student understand more complex concepts or even engage with these concepts in a meaningful way.

Encouraging independent learning

By exploring more in-depth topics in the virtual library, students can gain essential independent learning skills they need in their future careers. By writing papers, and doing projects about in-depth topics, they must search for the correct information, decide which information is helpful to them, and draw the correct conclusions.

Read more on Project-Based Learning:
➡️ What is Project-Based Learning

Supporting research

Virtual libraries are vital sources for researchers, scientists, and scholars. It offers many scholarly articles, papers, and journals that may be outside of a traditional library. Students, teachers, and researchers can stay current on the latest professional developments.

Facilitating collaboration

Virtual libraries are not only collections of resources. Students, researchers, and scholars can also connect them. The virtual library allows users to share their ideas and thoughts with the community by linking to forums and collaborating on specific topics.

Challenges within Virtual Library Environments

Although there are a lot of advantages to virtual libraries, librarians considering creating a virtual library also have some challenges they should overcome. 

Digital Divide

Libraries should be available to everyone. Therefore, librarians should ask themselves if everyone needing access to your virtual library also has access to an internet connection, whether at school or home. 

Information overload

The amount of information stored in virtual libraries can be unlimited, which could overwhelm some library users. They may need help finding the resources or help evaluating the relevance and quality of the resource. 


With the significant number of resources available in your virtual library, some of them have some copyrights attached. These restrictions could limit the usefulness of your library.

User training

When librarians have completed their virtual library, they cannot sit back and relax. Eventually, the most essential part of the virtual library is that students, researchers, and scholars are using it. Before they can use the library, librarians must train them to use it effectively. 

Data & Privacy

Finally, virtual libraries should be a safe place to visit. Virtual libraries should protect the data and privacy of the users and keep people out who should not have access to the library's resources. 


When a librarian has overcome the challenges of creating a virtual library, it has many advantages. Virtual library users have quick access to many resources, which they can access at any moment from anywhere. Next to this, the library is more cost-effective than a traditional library and is more sustainable due to the absence of paper. 

In the last couple of years, virtual libraries have established their position in the educational space. They have enhanced learning by giving students access to resources in which more complex concepts can be explained easily, encouraging independent learning. Furthermore, virtual libraries provide a platform for students to connect and work collectively on specific topics. 

Virtual libraries are the present and the future of libraries. Therefore, every librarian should consider creating if they still need to. Consider Symbaloo Webspaces as a platform, when implementing a virtual library. They have the perfect platform to save, organize, and share resources throughout your school. 

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