About the Online Library


Reference and other library services are provided by the university's professional librarians during day, evening, and weekend hours via email, phone, chat, and the website.

After hours, the library participates in a chat-based reference service provided by a consortium of academic librarians. When Empire State University librarians are unavailable to chat, librarians from the consortium will respond to questions from Empire State University users.

Faculty and staff members wishing to request librarian presence at a university function, please submit this Librarian Outreach & Engagement Form.

Collections and Services

The online library provides access to a vast collection of online resources and services for research and study, including:

  • Databases containing:
    • Full-text journal articles and newspaper articles
    • Ebooks and reference ebooks
    • Digital images
    • Streaming videos
    • Audio recordings
  • Subject guides containing the best research tools and information resources for each subject area
  • Ask a Librarian service to answer reference questions
  • Library workshops
  • Library and research tutorials 
  • Support and help accessing materials through other libraries

Alumni have free, lifelong access to the alumni library, which is a separate subset of the university's online library.


In 1971, Empire State College was chartered within the SUNY system as a distance learning college for adult and nontraditional students. Until 1997, our students relied on other SUNY libraries for research and learning support. In 1997, the online library and learning resource center was established and has continued to grow. On March 22, 2023, Empire State College became Empire State University following the growth of our programs in graduate studies.

We now have five full-time librarians and a well-rounded collection of e-books, online journals, reference resources, and databases of images and videos. Our collections are entirely online and our services are delivered to our users wherever they are, online, or by phone.