Useful Websites

Thomas Ford Librarians have selected these online reference sources to help you answer your reference questions.

Abbreviations & Acronyms Charity Accountability Quotations
Almanacs Computer/Technology Info Reading Advice
Atlases, Maps, and Gazetteers Dictionaries Recycling Information
Biography Encyclopedias Senior Web Resources
Book Reviews General Statistics & Demographics
Calculators and Converters Health & Medical Style Sheets
Calendars Job Resources Telephone Directories
Car Prices Magazine Articles


Abbreviations & Acronyms
Acronym Finder


Information Please Almanac
The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Atlases, Maps, and Gazetteers

Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names
Old Maps Online
Perry-Castaneda Library of Map Collection


Biography in Context
Encyclopedia of World Biography
Biographical Memoirs of National Academy of Sciences
Nobel Prize Winners

Book Reviews

Chicago Tribune Books
Kirkus Reviews
NPR Books
New York Review of Books
New York Times Book Reviews

Calculators and Converters

Martindale’s Calculators On-Line Center
Measurements Converter


10,000 Year Calendar
Calendar Converter

Car Prices

National Automobile Dealers Association
Kelley Blue Book

Charity Accountability

Charity Navigator

Computer/Technology Information and Tips

PC Magazine


American Heritage Dictionary
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus


Encyclopedia Britannica (Away from Library)
Encyclopedia Britannica (Inside Library)
Gale Virtual Reference – Search many specialized encyclopedias simultaneously to find

authoritative articles for many topics. Use your library card to log in from home.

General – Over 500 experts give advice on wide-ranging topics on this popular website. – Search a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and other tools from a single box. – A collection of online reference books.

Illinois Clicks – Research links vetted by over 100 Illinois librarians.

Internet Public Library – Many useful links for students and researchers.

MeL Reference Desk – Links to hundreds of free reference sources. – Links to almanacs, atlases, dictionaries, directories, and other tools.

Health and Medical Resources

Choose My Plate – Nutrition and health advice.
Dietary Supplements Labels Database – Data from the National Library of Medicine. – Easy to use website with basic health information.
Human Body Maps
Mayo Clinic – Information on a variety of diseases and conditions, medical tests and drugs.
MedlinePlus – Health infomation from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. In addition to articles on 750 diseases, conditions, and wellness, there are medical dictionaries, drug profiles, and health alerts.

Job Resources

Careerbuilder – Search for jobs by keyword, category and/or location. – Browse or search for jobs, post your resume, and save your searches. – Searches listings from job websites, newspapers, associations and company career pages.
Linkedin – Network and make important connections, research companies or search for jobs.
USA Jobs – The federal government’s official job list.
Craigslist: Jobs – Job listings for the Chicago area from
Village of Western Springs – Look for local jobs right here in town!

Magazine Articles

Flipster – Read 28 popular magazines online or download them to a tablet. Current and back issues available.
MasterFILE Premier – General magazine articles. You will need a library card number if outside the library.


Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
Respectfully Quoted

Reading Advice and Literary Criticism

Fantastic Fiction
NoveList Plus (EBSCO) – You will need your library card number if outside the library.

Recycling Information List of resources for recycling electronics Find nearby recycling centers
Dell Reconnect: Computer recycling program in conjunction with Goodwill
Go Green at Home! For Kids & Adults Links to useful recycling information

Senior Web Resources

Administration on Aging
Benefits Check Up
Eldercare Locator
Family Caregiver Alliance
Meals on Wheels
National Council on Aging
Senior & Assisted Living Map

Statistics & Demographics

2010 U.S. Census
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Census Bureau: Economic Indicators
Compare 50: State Economic Comparisons
Pew Social and Demographic Trends
State of the World Population
Statistical Abstract of the United States
STATS: We Check the Numbers Behind the News
World Bank Open Knowledge Repository

Style Sheets

APA Style Guide
Citation Style for Research Papers
MLA Style Guide
Turabian Citation Guide

Telephone Directories
Area Code Locator
Toll-Free Directory