Research & Learn

Our resources can help you write a paper, learn a language, fix a car, plan a vacation, and a whole lot more. Almost all resources are available anytime, anywhere.

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A to Z USA

  • State profiles detailing demographics, crime, cuisine, economy, education, places of interest
  • Historical information and photos

Use it for: Preparing for travel, printing photographs, school reports [Now available to use at home!]

  • Award winning site designed to help children 2-7 build a strong foundation for academic success
  • More than 4,000 interactive books, educational games, puzzles, and other learning activities
  • Parents can create profiles for each child using one household account
  • A robust assessment center, that can create customized lesson plans for each child
  • Access from a library computer here

Use it For: A fun and safe place for young children to learn reading, math, science and more


  • Find people by name or phone number
  • Detailed information on U.S. businesses and consumers
  • 7 million job and internship postings
  • Resume & cover letter templates, interviewing tips, videos, and more

Use it for: Finding a job, compiling a list of businesses in a geographical area  market research, competitive analysis

Auto Repair Source

  • Instructions and diagrams for vehicle repairs and maintenance
  • Maintenance schedules and estimated labor times for the most commonly performed operations in a repair shop
  • Technical service bulletins and recall notices
  • Easily magnify and print diagrams and images

Use it for: Vehicle repair and maintenance

Chicago Consumers' Checkbook

  • Easily find ratings, reviews and undercover price research on Chicagoland services and retailers, including doctors, auto repair shops, plumbers, veterinarians, tax preparers and more.
  • Advice on more than 150 topics such as finance, home maintenance, healthcare, and travel.
  • Chicago Consumer Checkbook is nonprofit, independent, and provides unbiased information.

Use it for: Researching the best local services for your home, finances, and healthcare.

Consumer Health Complete

  • Designed to help users gain an overall understanding of key topics across the health and wellness spectrum — from mainstream medicine to complementary, holistic and integrated medicine.
  • 483 full-text journals and magazines
  • 348 health-reference books and encyclopedias
  • 2,628 full-text, evidence-based health reports
  • Consumer health pamphlets and leaflets from the CDC, FDA, NIH and others

Use it for: Basic health research, school work, accessing government health publications

Consumer Reports

  • Reviews, ratings and recommendations on appliances, automobiles, babies and kids products, food, and money/personal finance
  • Money-saving advice and tips
  • Reliable information on new and used cars
  • Consumer news

Use it for: Researching products before buying, finding the best healthcare, cell phone and credit card plans


  • Topic overviews that provide a starting point for research
  • Search full text reference books, journal articles, and primary source documents
  • Subjects include Arts & Literature, Biography, Business & Careers, Current Events, Geography & Culture, Health, History, Science, and Math

Use it for: Homework and research projects, developing school curriculum, satisfy curiosity

Explore More Illinois

  • A cultural pass program that provides discounts at museums, historical societies, zoos, arts centers, recreational facilities, and more around the stats.
  • Locations added often.

Fiero Code

  • Geared towards kids 8 -18
  • Learn computer programming skills through self-paced tutorials and projects
  • Build websites, video games, phone apps, animations, and more 
  • Offers courses on HTML, Javascript, Python, SQL, and more

Use it for: Learning computer programing and building critical thinking skills

Freegal Music

  • Download or stream great music without ads or subscription fees
  • Download 5 songs a week - from Sony's entire catalog
  • Stream up to 5 hours a day, every day
  • use your computer or download the app for your mobile device

Got Resume Builder

  • Customizable resume templates, with a step by step resume writing guide
  • Manage multiple resumes to tailor each one to a specific job
  • Download your resume in PDF, Word, or HTML.  Send your resume by email or share online.

Use it for: Creating a resume, polishing an existing resume, sharing your resume online

Heritage Quest

  • Genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries
  • U.S. Census data from 1790-1940
  • Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application files
  • Freedman’s Bank records (1861-1875)

Use it for: Genealogy research

  • A suite of resources supporting local authors
  • Design and export your own e-book using Pressbooks software
  • Submit your e-book for inclusion in Indie Illinois, Indie Author Project Select, or the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project
  • Read and discover e-books from idependently published authors
  • Open to all Illinois residents and sponsored by Reading Across Illinois Library System


  • Stream critically-acclaimed movies, classic cinema, inspiring documentaries, foreign films, and a collection just for kids.
  • Watch unlimited films in the Kanopy Kids collection.
  • Stream on your computer, TV, phone, or tablet.

Use it for: Movie night or learning about something new

Legal Information Reference Center

  • User-friendly interface designed to assist consumers and small businesses in general legal matters
  • Full-text legal reference books from Nolo, the nation's oldest and most respected provider of legal information
  • Thousands of federal, state-specific, and multi-state legal forms.

Use it for: Getting How-To instructions for legal issues and copies of legal forms

LinkedIn Learning

  • Premiere provider of instructional video tutorials taught by industry professionals
  • Wide variety of topics including business, software, technology, and creative skills
  • Learn at your own pace and easily add your certificate of completions to your Linkedin profile

Use it for: Learning new software, digital photography, and business skills

MasterFILE Complete

  • Contains full text for more than 1,000 reference books and over 164,400 primary source documents, as well as an Image Collection of over 502,000 photos, maps & flags
  • Covers an extensive range of subject areas including business, health, education, fitness, sports and leisure, personal finance, general science, multicultural issues, DIY and fashion.

Use it for: Any research project

Museum Adventure Pass

  • Free or discounted admission to Chicagoland museums, zoos, and cultural institutions.
  • Available for checkout at the Adult and youth Reference Desks.


  • Current and archived issues of Chicagoland newspapers
  • Image editions of the Daily Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, Lake County News-Sun and more
  • Full-text articles, color images, and content only published online

Use it for: Staying up-to-date with the latest news, genealogy research, and general research

NoveList K-8

  • Book reviews and suggested reading lists for students Kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Lexile scores for books

Use it for: Book reports, finding a book to read

NuWav Legal Documents

  • Easily compose documents in categories like Divorce, Wills, Power of Attorney, Lease Agreements, Bankruptcy, Landlord/Tenant disputes and more
  • Option to edit documents, print a blank version if you are on the go, or enter the required information

Did you know? The library provides free notary services. Check out the services page for more details.

  • No cost,1-to-1 tutoring for grade school - adult
  • Job seekers can connect with a job search coach for help with resumes/cover letters, practice interviewing skills and much more
  • Available anytime noon - midnight, no appointments needed

Use it for: Extra help with assignments, proofreading essays, test prep, and applying for a job

U.S. Newsstream

  • Full text of premium newspapers from 1980 to present day; includes Wall Street JournalNew York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and Washington Post
  • Daily papers are added at 8am each morning.

Use it for: Locating a specific article or obituary, general research, reading current local, national, and world news

Weiss Financial Ratings

  • Independent, unbiased financial strength ratings of banks, credit unions & insurance companies
  • Conservative buy-hold-sell ratings of thousands of stocks, mutual funds & exchange traded funds
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance - which plan to choose, how much it will cost, compare rates & plan benefits

Use it for: Researching the best Medicare supplement insurance, picking the best investments, and learning about personal finance.


  • Find items we don't have at LVDL Get books and journal articles from other US libraries and AV material from other Illinois libraries

Use it for: Finding unique, academic, and out of print materials