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Our Favorite Databases


Who hasn’t been guilty of playing favorites? Librarians are no different. We have favorite subject areas, authors, genres, and even databases. Online products that we use time and again to help our patrons, to expand our knowledge or just satisfy our curiosity. They might have unique content or special tools that appeal to us. When asked which were their favorites, here are a few of the databases our Reference staff mentioned, all of which are available from home with your Park Ridge library card here:

ancestry_LE_logoAncestry Library Edition: Ancestry contains thousands of collections of records to help uncover the forgotten histories of families. As one of the best resources for genealogy research online you can spend hours researching without noticing time has passed. For those who love history, searching Ancestry's card catalog can produce unexpected gems. I recently uncovered the digitized Sears Catalog from 1896 to 1993! Ancestry Library Edition is a database with a wealth of information waiting to be explored. -- Amber, Local History Librarian (Available from home until the end of August)

Ancestry Library Edition: Ancestry, no doubt! Not only is it a boon to genealogical searches, but it's helped me in tracking down people for patrons.--Larry, Reference Librarian

atozmapsonline-logo_230x90AtoZ Maps Online: I love maps. Fictional ones in novels, historical ones, and even online ones like Google Maps. So it’s no surprise that I love AtoZ Maps Online. This database has a collection of royalty-free downloadable maps for students, teachers, library patrons, and businesses. Whether you need a map for school reports, lesson plans, personal research projects, or business reports, you should be able to find something in the tens of thousands of maps here. It even has flags from around the world and crossword puzzles! -- Brandee, Digital Services Librarian

consumer_reportsConsumer Reports: We all want to be smart shoppers, and this database gives you up-to-date reviews on a wide range of products from something as small as frozen pizza or as large as a mattress. The same information found in the magazine is available in your home. Read through the ratings or just click on their recommended choices to get an objective evaluation on so many products. It even includes their popular car rating feature!--Grace, Reference Librarian

gale_eBooks_logoGale eBooks: This is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for all kinds of research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7. Spend less time searching for credible information, and more time diving into it. --Larry, Reference Librarian

icon-hnp-chicagotribuneHistorical Chicago Tribune: This database covers 1849-1996 and is a good source for seeing coverage of past events. Good for students to see public opinion during the actual time period. Helpful for finding obituaries for those interested in family history. Do you want to see the headline on the day you were born? Go to the Historical Tribune, in "advanced search" choose "on this date" "front page" and "page view" and get a glimpse into the past and a fun keepsake.--Grace, Reference Librarian

novelistNovelist Plus: I think most librarians I know love lists. That’s one reason I love Novelist Plus (and it’s companion database Novelist K-8 Plus for kids!). This database helps you find other books to read based on favorite authors, titles, genres, settings. All kinds of criteria! They also have ready-made recommendations for adults, teens, and kids. You can even create your own login and save these lists to your own folder. Think it’s not going to help you if you don’t read fiction? They have a nonfiction section, too! This database might not be as great as our Book Match program, but it sure is fun to wander around in! -- Brandee, Digital Services Librarian

logo_RBdigital_horzRBDigital: RBdigital is one of my favorite databases because I can read many of my favorite magazines all in one place. I don't have to worry about returning the magazine on time because there are no due dates. I also don't have to worry about missing an issue because I sign up for automatic checkouts when a new issue comes out. RBdigital makes it convenient for me to read magazines like Chicago, Marie Claire, and Victoria whenever and wherever I want.--Lori, Business Services Librarian

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