The County purchases annual subscriptions to a variety of commercial online databases that can be accessed via the Internet. These databases provide remote access to the full-text of hundreds of newspapers, periodicals and reference books and can be used by an unlimited number of people simultaneously. The databases cover a wide spectrum of subject areas from current events to history, and from science to literature. Free access is provided to the library patrons of all member libraries.
Currently, the County has subscriptions with seventeen different databases:
The subscriptions are chosen in consultation with the Chief Librarians' Committee and are selected to ensure that they do not duplicate products purchased by local library boards. These subscriptions are quite expensive, but the County and municipal library partners have achieved economies of scale by centralizing their purchase. Moreover, they allow small libraries to provide enhanced reference service at no direct cost to their operating budget.