Official State of Iowa Website

Online Resources for Libraries Renewed for FY23

Jul 19, 2022

The State Library renewed several online resources and tools offered to public libraries for FY23. An update on the contract status of the resources is included at the end. The below resources and tools are provided by the State Library to public libraries at no cost.

Brainfuse HelpNow, JobNow, and VetNow

The State Library contracts with Brainfuse to offer Iowa libraries access to three resources:

  • HelpNow is a homework assistance and live tutoring service for patrons of all ages.
  • JobNow offers one-of-a-kind career assistance that covers all major aspects of job hunting.
  • VetNow helps veterans and their families understand and apply for eligible benefits.

Foundation Directory Online

Foundation Directory Online is a research tool to help libraries and nonprofits find the grant makers most likely to fund their projects. Public libraries have access to the Essential plan for in-library use only.

Bold 360 Chat

Bold 360 Chat deploys a button on a library's website to allow patrons to chat with librarians. This solution allows library staff to help customers find information, reserve books, or learn about upcoming programs without in-person engagement.


WhoFi offers a wi-fi usage counter and calendar tool for Iowa public libraries. WhoFi tracks wireless usage statistics and delivers easy-to-read reports. WhoFi Community Calendar allows libraries to schedule, manage, and count attendance at library programs and events. Data from Who-Fi feeds directly into the Public Library Annual Survey.

OCLC Services

The State Library contracts with OCLC for a few different services.

  • FirstSearch is an information resource which includes the full text of magazines, newspapers and reference tools.
  • Any interlibrary loan requests for out of state materials are facilitated by OCLC WorldShare.
  • The CatExpress Consortium is a buying group managed by the State Library for Iowa libraries to purchase full MARC records from OCLC.

Contract Status

FY23 is the final year of contract for the OCLC services, and it will be necessary to go through the state’s RFP and contracting process to continue those services. The State Library plans on initiating that process in the third quarter of FY23.

With the exception of OCLC, all of the other contracts are in optional one-year renewal periods. Future renewals may depend on a demonstrated need and usage of the resources. Library Directors should check out these resources, offer them in the library, and encourage patrons to use them.

More information on the resources and tools, as well as instructions on how to deploy, use and promote the resources at your library are available at the link below. You can also reach out to your District LRT with any questions.

Online Resources & Tools for Iowa Libraries