TEL: Tennessee Electronic Library


The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is a collection of 70 databases with just about every type of material available at your fingertips!  Resources include reference materials, e-books, magazine and newspaper articles, podcasts, videos, academic and civil service practice tests, and more. These resources cover nearly every subject and topic imaginable, including health, business, literature, technology, genealogy, and even resume building and job skills courses.

TEL is provided FREE to every Tennessean and library serving the state. The best part is that TEL is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Access the TEL databases at

TEL is administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, a division of the Tennessee Department of State. The Tennessee Electronic Library is made possible through funding provided by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Additional funding for TEL was made possible by Tenn-Share member libraries that  pooled money to purchase Literature Resource Center for statewide access (now accessible through Gale Literary Sources). True resource sharing at its best.

The TEL Administrator works at the State Library and Archives. You may email for help with registration, getting training on TEL or if you need help using any of the TEL databases.

TEL History

The Tennessee Electronic Library began as a Tenn-Share concept in 1992. Our vision for TEL was that it would provide convenient and equitable access to library and information resources for all citizens of Tennessee to enhance the quality of their everyday lives, the depth of their educational experience, and the economic prosperity of their communities.

In 1999, TEL became a reality when Rep. Matt Kisber, D of Jackson, and Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D of Chattanooga, sponsored the bills in the House and Senate respectively, creating TEL. Through the cooperation of Tenn-Share, TLA, FOTL, as well as the entire library community, and through the continued support of the Tennessee State Library and the state of Tennessee, TEL has been able to thrive for over almost 20 years!

Read more about the History of TEL.

If your library is a member of Tenn-Share, then you, too, share in the TEL success story.

What can YOU do for TEL?

If you are a citizen of Tennessee, please contact your state legislators to thank them for the funding to expand the Tennessee Electronic Library.

Or tell Tenn-Share your TEL success story!

If you are part of a Tenn-Share Member library, check out the Get Involved page to see how you can thank Tenn-Share, TSLA, and the state of Tennessee by donating your time or talents to helping make TEL better!

TEL Reports to the Tenn-Share Board of Directors

Other Resources