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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.


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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.


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 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.

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

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. 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.

OMNI Overdrive (Libby)

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).

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!  


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.

Scholastic Teachables

Teach students in Pre-K through 6th grade using teacher provided lesson plans, mini-books, and more!

Scholastic Teachables, for Pre-K – 6th Grade, offers printable activities for a variety of subjects: math, science, reading comprehension, STEM, writing, and more.  You can download printable lesson plans, reading passages, games and puzzles, clip art, bulletin board ideas, teacher supports, and skills and activity sheets.  Over 25,000 teacher-created, vetted printables are available to support instruction.

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.

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.