LIBRARIES are wonderful resources and most of them have ONLINE CATALOGS these days. That means you can check out their holdings-books, old newspapers, histories, etc. from afar. If the library is not close enough to visit, it's possible to get interlibrary loans if you find a record you want to examine. Most university libraries usually have a SPECIAL COLLECTIONS section that houses valuable historical information for the genealogist. Everyone also has an LDS FHC-FAMILY HISTORY CENTER near them worldwide with trained volunteers who will assist patrons in searching for their ancestors and in ordering microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to search. Open to people of all faiths. Check for the addresses and hours of a FHC near you at www.familysearch.org.
Many regional or COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETIES have their own libraries dedicated to preserving local history. GOOGLE search for one in your area of interest. I've had great experiences with librarians I've contacted over the Internet who did research in their facility and sent me copies of what they found for a small donation. Visiting the area you are researching is the best thing to locate information, old homesteads and cemeteries but finding a local person who will assist you in researching can save on travel expenses. There are even several websites that will do free lookups for you or film a cemetery headstone. Try looking a ragk.org or Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness or findagrave. Have fun!