Online Library

Online resources for finding books, articles, useful websites, and helpful information.

Genealogy  Over 58,000 links to genealogical material on the Internet.  Access online at no charge to 35 million names on Ancestral File and over 600 million names in the International Genealogical Index

Website Guides

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.

Consumer Help

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.
  • Products rated by people who bought them.

Cars & Trucks

  • Car & Driver: Includes the magazine’s road tests and reviews, interactive vehicle comparisons, and Kelley Blue Book values.
  • 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

Health Information

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.)

  • MEDLINE via FirstSearch **: Archive and index of articles from medical journals. Subjects include: clinical medicine, nutrition, dentistry, pathology,education, psychiatry, experimental medicine, toxicology, health services administration, veterinary medicine, and nursing.
  • 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.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ guide to health information.
  • NIH SeniorHealth: Information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Illinois Health & Wellness: Official guide to state government programs and resources.

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 via FirstSearch **: A catalog of more than a billion items in libraries worldwide.
  • An alternate way to search most of the WorldCat catalog with no login required.
  • Every Library in ILLINET (ELI): Directory of hundreds of Illinois libraries with links to many libraries’ websites and catalogs.
  • 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.

Find Facts Fast

Encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, statistics, and other sites for quickly looking up facts.

(Items marked with ** require your library card number and catalog PIN for access from home.)

  • WorldAlmanac via FirstSearch **: Includes Funk & Wagnall’s New Encylopedia, the World Almanac and Book of Facts, the World Almanac of the U.S.A., the World Almanac of U.S. Politics, and the World Almanac for Kids.
  • Information Please Almanac, atlases, and more.
  • Wikipedia: “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
  • OneLook Dictionary Search: Look up words in almost 1000 online dictionaries at the same time.
  • World Factbook: The CIA’s book of country profiles.