Online resources for finding books, articles, useful websites, and helpful information.
These sites are directories of websites which have been selected and recommended by librarians. They are excellent starting points when you need good information about almost anything.
- Internet Public Library: Searchable directory run by a group of library schools.
Find product and auto reviews, shopping tips, information about recalls, and consumer-protection agencies.
Buying Guides & General Advice
- Consumer Reports: A lot of free and useful information is available, but a paid subscription is required for product reviews and ratings.
- ConsumerSearch: “Reviewing the reviews.” Compiles and analyzes product reviews from magazines and websites. Great starting point.
- Epinions.com: Products rated by people who bought them.
Cars & Trucks
- Edmunds.com: Reviews, comparisons, price and value information, and tips for buying new or used vehicles.
- The Truth About Cars: Detailed reviews, written with a sense of humor.
Consumer Protection & Complaints
- AnnualCreditReport.com: The place to get a no-obligation, free copy of your credit report from all three major reporting companies.
- Better Business Bureau: Includes complaints against companies, fraud alerts, and general tips.
- Consumer Protection Division: Part of the Illinois Attorney General’s office.
- Recalls.gov: Product recalls and safety information from the federal government.
Reputable sources for information about health and medicine are found below. (Items marked with ** require your library card number and catalog PIN for access from home.)
- MedlinePlus: A medical super-site from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Includes extensive information and links on hundreds of conditions and health issues, drug descriptions, a medical encyclopedia, surgery videos, and more.
- CDC Centers for Disease and Prevention
Library Catalogs & Libraries
If you have a Library Card we’ll borrow items from other libraries for you! Delivery from most Illinois libraries is free.
(Items marked with ** require your library card number and catalog PIN for access from home.)
- PrairieCat: Catalog for approximately 200 libraries in northern Illinois and eastern Iowa.
- WorldCat.org: An alternate way to search most of the WorldCat catalog with no login required.
- Open-Access Text Archive: Thousands of public-domain books and other free books for online viewing or downloading in plain text or scanned formats. Part of the Internet Archive site.
- Library of Congress Digital Collections: A large number of pamphlets, letters, historic documents, pictures, early films and recordings, and other items are available online.
Illinois & Local History
Online documents, photos, articles, and other information about the history of Illinois and the local area.
- Illinois Digital Archives: A portal to online exhibits and collections from libraries and museums across the state. A project of the Illinois State Library. Additional online collections are searchable through the Digital Illinois catalog.
- Illinois State Historical Society: Dozens of links, compiled by the Illinois State Historical Society.
- Cyndi’s List – Illinois: Directory of genealogy and history websites. Also includes links for specific Illinois localities.
Find Facts Fast
Encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, statistics, and other sites for quickly looking up facts.