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A-Z Resources

Academic resources are available to all local residents by obtaining a free courtesy library card and using the online databases available on-site at NIU Founders Memorial Library. Please view NIU’s list of available resources.

Obtain your courtesy card by requesting an application at Founders Memorial Library or by filling out the online application. All applications must be turned in to the Circulation Desk at Founders Memorial Library. For more information, contact Founders Memorial Library at (815) 753-1995.

Library Databases

ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse is an effective learning tool that will guide your little ones through ten levels of learning, from Pre-K through 2nd grade.  Subjects span the regular school curriculum and include reading, math, science, and art.  This tool is self-guided as children are led down a rewards path that keeps them engaged and focused as they learn while having fun.  

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition provides in-depth genealogical research tools. Their databases are worldwide and cover censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, court and legal documents, military records from the colonial to the Vietnam era; directories, photos, maps, and more. Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed from within the library building. Search results can be sent to your home email.


ArchiveGrid includes over 7 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,400 archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps patrons looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.

Search for a variety of federal benefits, including grants, loans, and financial assistance.


Biblioboard offers a wide variety of eBooks, from the hard-to-find historical works to classics to independently published works. You can read Biblioboard books on any device, and you can check out titles from the comfort of your home or at the library. You do not need to create an account to use Biblioboard. However, if you choose to create a profile, you can use bookmarks, add notes, and download content onto your devices. Without the profile, you can access and read materials, but you will not be able to save your progress. Instead of choosing a library from the dropdown menu, click on “biblioboard open access,” “BiblioBoard Library of Illinois,” or “RAILS for Schools.”

Cambridge Dictionary

Look up spelling and definition of words, as well as translating to a variety of different languages. A grammar guide and thesaurus are included.

Census Profiles

View in-depth census data on a federal and state level.

Census QuickFacts

View census statistics at the federal, state, and local levels (for cities and towns with a population of 5000 or more). Maps and charts of data are available.

City of DeKalb

The city’s website has a variety of resources for residents, visitors, and those interested in moving to the area. Learn more about city government, community services and events, and local resources.

Access the Global Climate Dashboard for up-to-date statistics on the climate in the United States. Also available are news and maps related to our climate.

Learn more about federal bills, view legislative activities via streaming video, and find contact information for your federal legislators.

Congressional Bills

Congressional bills are legislative proposals from the House of Representatives and Senate within the United States Congress. The website is updated by 6 a.m. EST daily when bills are published and approved for release.

Learn how to better manage your money, how to get and maintain a good credit score, and stay away from scams and identity theft.

Consumer Reports

Doing research takes time. Choosing the wrong product wastes money. Provide trusted information for making the smart choice. Enable thorough product comparisons with Consumer Reports’s comprehensive archive of expert, unbiased product reviews.  Please click the link then click “” to access the site.

Creativebug has more than 1,000 award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. After logging in with your library card number and PIN, you will need to create your own account with an email address.

DeKalb County

Access county records, view property data and maps, pay property taxes, and learn more about DeKalb County government.

Digital Public Library of America

DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format. The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions.

EBSCOhost Research Databases

Search or browse one or all of our research databases for up-to-date, factual information on a variety of topics. Databases include Business Source Premier, Current Biography Illustrated, EBSCOhost eBook Collection, MasterFILE Premier, MasterFILE Reference e-Book Collection, and Regional Business News.


Search publications for information on education at every level. Full-text is available for some publications.

FirstSearch Databases

FirstSearch is a group of thirteen databases, some of which are available in full-text with images. The most popular of these is WorldCat, used for searching library materials worldwide. Searchable among some of the other databases are scholarly journals and Latin American journals in science and the humanities, government documents, papers and dissertations from worldwide conferences and the educational articles of ERIC.


Fold3 provides convenient access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. The records at Fold3 help you discover and share stories about these everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them.

Google Scholar

Search for academic articles on a wide variety of topics. Full text is available for some publications.

Learn more about food and nutrition, physical activity, health literacy, and health care quality.

Health Reference Center

Funded by Northwestern Medicine.
Health Reference Center is a Facts on File database that allows you to search by subject information on things like body systems, diseases and disorders, drug abuse and addiction, mental health and developmental disorders, nutrition and wellness, or even by medical test. There are specific health centers with health information specific to teen’s, women’s, men’s, children’s and senior’s health.

Heritage Quest Online 

Heritage Quest records include: city directories from 1821-1989; U.S. censuses; Freedman Bank records, an important African American genealogy resource; Revolutionary War records; the U.S. Congressional Serial Set with all House and Senate reports and documents published since 1817; and PERSI, a comprehensive index of local history and genealogy periodicals articles. Search results can be sent to your email.

Historical Illinois Plat Maps

View digitized historical maps of Illinois counties.

Historical Maps

The Historical Maps Online collection contains images of maps charting the last 400 years of historical development in Illinois and the Northwest Territory, including historic topographic maps of Illinois. The collection also contains early large-scale topographic quadrangles published by the United States Geological Survey in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Hoopla is a groundbreaking digital media service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. We have hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, with more being added daily. hoopla is like having your public library at your fingertips. Anytime. Anywhere.

You can stream titles instantly through your desktop browser or our mobile app. If you use our mobile app, you can also download titles to your device for offline playback later, where Wi-Fi may be unavailable. Titles are automatically returned and removed from your device at the end of the lending period.

Illinois Authors Directory

Browse or search the Illinois Authors Directory for information about published authors, poets, photographers, and illustrators who have lived in Illinois or created content about Illinois.

Illinois Digital Archives

The Illinois Digital Archives is a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois. It contains historical photographs, slides, glass negatives, oral histories, manuscripts, letters, federal government documents, postcards, posters, videos, newspapers, and maps.

The website for the state of Illinois contains information and resources about all state agencies, and services managed by the state. Apply for unemployment, renew your driver’s license, register a business, and much more.

Illinois Lawyer Finder

Those who need legal help can use this directory to search for a lawyer as well as to set up a 30-minute consultation by a lawyer who is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Illinois Legal Aid Online is for Illinois residents who need help in solving their legal problems. The site offers forms, videos, and all sorts of different resources to help residents with their legal questions

Illinois Newspaper Project

The Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) identifies, preserves, and digitizes historical Illinois newspapers. They also help patrons locate the Illinois newspapers they need. Some papers are available in digital form.

Illinois Report Card

The Illinois Report Card is an annual report released by the Illinois State Board of Education that shows how the state, and each school and district are progressing on a wide range of educational goals. The Report Card offers a complete picture of student and school performance in order to inform and empower families and communities as they support their local schools.

Illinois Statutes

View all current Illinois statutes.

Illinois State Parks and Recreation

Discover state parks throughout Illinois and learn more about state park recreational activities and programs.


A large selection of popular fiction and nonfiction eBooks and eAudiobooks. Check out up to five items at a time and read them on your computer, cell phone, tablet, or Kindle (some restrictions apply).

Library of Congress Digital Collections

View digital documents, art, audio recordings, videos, and maps collected on a wide variety of topics.

Mango Languages

Reach conversational proficiency in 72 languages, including English as a Second Language, good for tourists or beginners. You can either use Mango Languages as a guest or create your own free account to track your progress. Free app for iOS and Android available.

Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Search for lawyers with a wide variety of legal specialties throughout the United States. Many lawyer listings include reviews by their peers as well as by their former clients.

Merck Manual

Free information and publications about thousands of topics in the medical field. Features photos, videos, animations, and more. is the largest online newspaper archive consisting of 514 million+ pages of historical newspapers from 12,100+ newspapers from around the United States and beyond. Newspapers provide a unique view of the past and can help us understand and connect with the people, events and attitudes of an earlier time.


NoveList is the premier database of reading recommendations. It provides intuitive book suggestions that inspire adult and young readers’ love of the written word.

NoveList K-8

NoveList K-8 gives intuitive book suggestions specifically for readers in the elementary and middle grades. is a USDA-sponsored website that offers credible information to help you make healthful eating choices. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Research any occupation. Discover the most recent median pay, what kind of education is necessary, the path towards landing a job in that occupation, and the outlook for the occupation in the future.

Poisson Rouge

This site is unlike anything you have ever experienced before… a site where kids can safely explore a world that is sometime bizarre, absolutely adorable, and always interesting and enriching.  From Queen Victoria declaring the famous, “I am not amused”, to adjustable Andy Warhol paintings, to learning basic vocabulary in multiple languages, this site is a nearly endless expanse of learning opportunity.  We are quite sure your little ones will love it!  

Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low-income persons and those age 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems and need legal help to solve them. There are 11 office locations serving 36 counties in northern Illinois.


PressReader provides full text, full color access to over 4000 newspapers and magazines from 100 countries in 60 languages. The issues are current and archived for one to two weeks. The collection includes the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and USA Today. Managed by ProQuest.

Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA)

Reference USA is an online database that provides data for 24 million U.S. businesses searched by company name or custom searched by specific criteria. Reference USA includes additional databases for searching U.S. jobs and internships, U.S. healthcare professionals, and white pages for locating over 89 million U.S. residents. searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites to provide users with access to more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information including research and development results.

TumbleBook Library

TumbleBook Library is a curated database of children’s e-books, available by subscription to Elementary Schools and Public Libraries around the world.

Over 1100 titles for grades K-6, including unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, graphic novels, math stories, national geographic videos, non-fiction books, playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French.


eBooks and educator resources for middle schoolers and high schoolers.

A one-stop-shop for U.S. government services and information. Topics include, but are not limited to, benefits, grants, and loans, disability services, education, health, housing, jobs and unemployment, travel and immigration, and voting.

Value Line Database

Value Line specializes in financial data for over 6,000 stocks, 18,000 mutual funds, 200,000 options and other securities. Search by company name or ticker symbol for an interactive, customized report including a link to the traditional Value Line print edition report as a PDF.