Digital Reference

Welcome to the library’s digital reference page! You can access these reference materials any time, day or night, with the links below. Some services may require your Villa Park library card number when you access their sites.

View Reference Collections: By Category | A-Z List

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  • Academic Search Premier

    Full-text articles to support research in science, engineering, physics, technology, religion, and philosophy. Includes access to video from the Associated Press (AP).

  • America’s Historical Newspapers

    Explore early American history to support genealogical and local history research, school homework assignments and more. Features more than 1,100 historical newspapers from all 50 states. Also available remotely 24/7 on any device.

  • Auto Repair Source

    Offers a wealth of information to help you diagnose, repair, and maintain cars and vehicles. Includes service and repair procedures, diagrams, recall information, specifications, labor estimates, and parts pricing.

  • Beanstack

    This is a fun, free, easy-to-use online program, also available as an app for iOS or Android devices. Get ready to start tracking reading and activities, collecting badges, and earning drawing tickets. All are welcome to join, from babies to seniors, and enjoy our reading challenges!

  • Booklist Online

    Read book reviews, create lists of titles you want to read, discover blogs about reading and book groups, and more, with this online version of the American Library Association's trade journal, Booklist.

  • Business Source Premier

    Full-text articles to support research in accounting, finance, economics, marketing, management, and operations management. Includes access to video from the Associated Press (AP).

  • Chicago Community Coverage

    Explore and stay informed on Chicago area topics, people and events in areas such as business, health, education, jobs and careers, political and social issues and more.

  • Chicago Sun-Times

    Explore Chicago history through local news, events and people with the Chicago Sun-Times Collection. Search current and archived issues with full-text articles and content only published online. Also available remotely 24/7 on any device. Date Range: (1/1/1986 - Current)

  • Chicago Tribune

    Date Range: (1985 - current)

  • Chicago Tribune Historical Archive

    Included are:

    • Obituaries and Death Notices (2.5 million) - very unique data covering 1860-1984, including front-page obituaries for notables from Chicago and worldwide.
    • Chicago Tribune Morgue clippings file (nearly 3 million) - major stories covering events and issues clipped and indexed by the Chicago Tribune staff at time of publication. Coverage is from the 1920's through 1984.
    • Front pages (16,614 pages containing over 155,000 articles) - image of entire front page as it appeared when published from the early 1900 through 1984.

  • Consumer Health Complete

    Full-text articles to support research in aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, fitness, and nutrition. Includes teen health topics for teens and parents.

  • Consumer Reports

    Buying advice, product ratings, reviews, recommendations, money-saving advice and tips, and videos for products including appliances, electronics, food, and more.

  • Creativebug has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

  • Daily Herald

    Explore Chicago suburban area history through local news, events and people with the Daily Herald Collection.  Search current and archived issues with, full-text articles and content only published online. Available remotely 24/7 on any device. Date Range: (1/1/1995 - Current)

  • Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly Reference USA)

    Data Axle Reference Solutions offers the most in-depth & up to date information for US businesses and residents. Mapping & Data Visualization allows users to gain in-depth insights into content. Also includes databases: Job Seekers, Healthcare, New Businesses, New Movers/Homeowners, Historical Businesses, Canadian Business, and Canadian White Pages. View video tutorial

  • Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos

    Una herramienta ideal de referencia en español para los que estan aprendiendo español y para estudiantes de ELL. Las funciones de exploración proporcionan indicaciones visuales y las opciones bilingües permiten a los estudiantes alternar entre el texto en español y en inglés. El sitio ofrece el excelente contenido editorial de World Book con artículos, videos, mapas, actividades y más.

    An ideal Spanish-language reference tool for those learning Spanish and for ELL students. Browse features provide visual prompts, and bilingual options allow students to toggle between Spanish and English text. The site offers World Book’s excellent editorial content with articles, videos, maps, activities, and more.

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Britannica Library is an encyclopedic resource with content for learners of all ages, making it easy to find authoritative, age-appropriate reference materials.

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica for Kids

    Encyclopaedia Britannica For Kids is an essential homework helper. Find relevant encyclopedia articles, learning activities, games and videos for grades 1 through 9. Subjects covered include Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and the Arts.

  • Explora Primary: for Elementary School (Grades K-5)

    Designed to meet the needs of Kindergarten through 5th grade students and educators, Explora Primary School Edition supports both student research and classroom instruction with rich, reliable content and easy-to-use functionality. It offers an alternative to unvetted websites and open-web search engines, enabling the youngest learners to explore in a guided environment. Including reliable, age-appropriate content from the world’s leading magazines and reference books, elementary students can get started with research and explore many subject areas.

  • Explora Public Libraries

    Whether you are conducting research for a school project or just looking to satisfy curiosity about a topic of interest, Explora Public Library Edition can help you achieve your goals. It offers reliable information on thousands of topics covering a wide range of subjects including: art and music, literature, language arts, geography, history, social studies, world cultures and languages, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health, and sports.

  • Explora Secondary: for Middle + High School (Grades 6-12)

    Explora Secondary School Edition offers middle and high school students a single search box for easy access to articles, e-books, news, videos, and more. Browse to quickly see popular topics by category for ideas. Research tips show how to cite sources properly and avoid plagiarism; a citation tool helps to build a list of references/works cited. Explora Secondary is an alternative to unvetted websites and open-web search engines which includes reliable, age-appropriate content from the world’s leading magazines and reference books. Further, Explora Secondary supports both student research and classroom instruction.

  • Financial Ratings Series

    Offers online financial strength ratings and financial planning tools covering banks, credit unions, and insurance companies. Provided by Weiss Ratings and The Street Ratings.

  • FirstSearch (OCLC)

    Several separate databases covering fulltext magazine articles, Medline, ERIC educational resources, conference proceedings, and a very large database of library holdings in the United States.

  • Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

    A general interest database that integrates a variety of reference sources in one easy-to-use interface.

  • Gale LegalForms – Illinois

    Gale LegalForms provides professionally written legal documents used by attorneys and law firms. You’ll find downloadable forms covering real estate, wills, power of attorney, bankruptcy, small business—practically any area of law—alongside helpful tools like a Law Digest and Attorney Directory.

  • HeritageHub

    HeritageHub is the largest and most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices. Extensive editorial review of all newspaper sections ensures thorough selection of obituaries for easy access. An easy-to-use interface allows searching by name, date range, or text such as institutional name, social affiliation(s), geographic location(s), philanthropic activities, etc.   View video tutorial  

  • HeritageQuest Online

    Combines digital, searchable images of U.S. federal census records with the digitized version of the popular UMI Genealogy and Local History collection. This online database is an essential collection of unique material for both genealogical hobbyists and professionals.

  • History Reference Center

    Full-text articles to support research in history and genealogy and lesson plans to support student learning.

  • Home Improvement Reference Center

    Detailed, user-friendly how-to information covering a variety of home improvement and repair projects.

  • Morningstar Investment Research Center

    Includes stock and mutual fund reports and screeners to help find investments by particular criteria. Offers an extensive Online Investing Classroom. The Portfolio X-ray feature enables investors to analyze holdings diversity.

  • My Suburban Life and Villa Park Suburban Life

    Search web-only content on local news, issues, events, people and more for My Suburban Life (2021-present) and archived issues of Villa Park Suburban Life (2009-2020).   Also available remotely 24/7 on any device.

  • Learning Express Library: Recursos para hispanohablantes

    Desde mejorar su lectura, escritura y habilidades matematicas hasta la preparacion del examen GED, los recursos que encontrará aqui lo ayudaran a lograr sus metas. (Se necesita un usuario y codigo para ingresar al sitio)

  • LearningExpress Library

    Based on official tests, provides online practice examinations for the SAT, ACT, ASVAB, GED, and Civil Service careers, along with Adult Basic Skills quizzes covering reading, grammar, and math. Tests are scored immediately and evaluations highlight strengths and weaknesses.

  • Literary Reference Center

    Novels, short stories, poems, plot summaries and synopses, and literary criticism. Research guides, lesson plans, and citation tools support student learning.

  • MasterFILE Premier

    A good place to start for research and homework. Includes full-text articles, reference books, primary source documents, photos, maps, and flags.

  • Medigap Buyer’s Guide

    Use this tool from Weiss Rating & Grey House Publishing to find out if you are paying too much for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Download a customized buyer's guide to examine Medigap plans, find insurers, and compare supplement insurance plan prices.

  • Middle Search Plus

    Resources to support middle school students, including biographies, magazines, primary source documents, photos, maps, and flags. Includes Sports Illustrated Kids, Scholastic News, National Geographic and dozens more. Articles include reading level indicators (Lexile).

  • The New York Times Online

    Full, unlimited access to news content on the New York Times website, including digital articles and archives dating back to 1851. Patrons must have or create an account with NYT Online and redeem a code using the link below to activate a 24-hour subscription if using remotely. When the subscription expires, patrons can come back to this page for a new code. Patrons within the library can simply log in to their NYT Online account for access.

    To use The New York Times Online in the library, click here.
    To use The New York Times Online remotely with your VPPL card, click here.

  • Newspapers (Newsbank)

    Search multiple newspaper and magazine products through Newsbank.  Includes Chicago-area newspapers, Springfield State Journal-Register, historical newspapers, America's News Magazines, and more.

  • Niche Academy

    Niche Academy provides tutorials and online learning tools for common digital materials including eBooks, research databases, and language learning tools.

  • NoveList K-8 Plus

    Novelist K-8 assists young fiction readers in finding new authors and titles. This resource is filled with recommended reading lists. Check here for lexile levels for most titles.

  • NoveList Plus

    Electronic readers' advisory resource which assists fiction readers of all ages in finding new authors and titles.

  • Points of View Reference Center

    Resources for students to understand issues, develop critical thinking skills, and develop persuasive arguments. Includes essays, overviews, articles, and transcripts on, citizens' rights, earth and environmental issues, global issues, health and medicine, and media and communications.

  • Press Reader

    Read current and back issues of popular newspapers and magazines!

  • Primary Search

    Resources to support elementary school students, including encyclopedias specifically for kids, articles from children's magazines including Highlights and Junior Scholastic, and a large image collection.

  • Record Information Services

    Scroll through Chicagoland's public records. Real estate transactions, mortgages, foreclosures, and more. Keep an eye on housing values in your community and help safeguard your biggest investment - your home. Sort by name, city, zip code, and more. Record Information Services is a 17 year old data compiler of public records serving the Chicagoland area.

  • Scholastic Teachables

    Teachables has 30,000+ printable, ready-to-use educational materials directly from Scholastic, a trusted name in education. These teacher-developed resources for Pre-K—Grade 6 include activity sheets, lesson plans, and more, covering all subjects and themes.

  • Science Reference Center

    Full-text articles to support research in applied sciences, biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and energy. Includes the Science Image Collection, a database of high-quality science images from National Geographic, UPI, Getty, NASA, and Nature Picture Library.

  • Small Business Reference Center

    Full-text for many top consumer small business reference books, as well as tools to address many small business topics. Includes business videos, a help and advice section, and details on how to create business plans.

  • Small Engine Repair Reference Center

    Detailed yet user-friendly repair guides for all manner of small engines.

  • Spanish Resource Center Britannica

    Este portal le ofrece recursos de referencia en español para todas las edades en dos interfaces exclusivos - cada uno con una enciclopedia adaptada al lector: Enciclopedia Universal en Español para High School (edad de 14+) y la Enciclopedia Juvenil para edades de 6-12 años.

  • Transparent Language

    Transparent Language Online offers the most comprehensive language-learning solution for libraries. With this flexible program, you can quickly and easily learn new languages using our wide variety of courses and activities.

  • TumbleBook Library

    TumbleBook Library is a curated database of children’s eBooks, with over 1100 titles for grades K-6. It includes animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, Graphic Novels, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, and playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French. There are no check-out times or wait lists: books are always available to everyone with a VPPL card! TumbleBook Library is also available as an app for iOS and Android devices.

  • TumbleMath

    TumbleMath is the most comprehensive collection of math stories available anywhere--all in the TumbleBook format with animation, narration, and sound that creates a compelling book for students of all ages. Every book is accompanied by supplementary materials such as lesson plans and educational games, plus quizzes in order to test and track progress.

  • Value Line Investment Survey

    Whether you’re a beginning investor or a veteran looking for high-impact ideas, Value Line can position you for financial success quickly and easily. The uncontested authority in reliable, unbiased information, Value Line puts you in the driver’s seat with accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies. From the latest data, sophisticated tools and proven ranks to expert analysis and guidance, Value Line gives you the power to evaluate investments with confidence. Make smarter, more profitable decisions with Value Line.

  • Vocational & Career Collection

    Full-text coverage for trade and industry-related periodicals for high schools, community colleges, trade institutions. and the general public.

  • World Book Discover

    Discover offers content on a variety of topics in a format ideal for reluctant readers, ELL, ESL, and adult literacy students as well as those reading below grade level because of learning difficulties. It includes a collection of unique videos, featuring expert answers to often-asked questions, and a visual dictionary to make content more accessible for readers of all levels.

    Discover ofrece contenido sobre una variedad de temas en un formato ideal para lectores reacios, ELL, ESL y estudiantes de alfabetización adulta, también para los que leen por debajo del nivel de grado debido a dificultades de aprendizaje. Incluye una colección de videos únicos, con respuestas expertas, preguntas frecuentes, y un diccionario visual para hacer que el contenido sea más accesible para lectores de todos los niveles.

  • World Book Online – Single Site

    World Book Online includes a suite of four resources designed to captivate users of all ages and levels: Discover, Student, Timelines, and Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos.

  • World Book Student

    World Book’s beloved encyclopedia comes to life in a digital format, perfect for elementary and middle school learners. Tailored for students, it includes all articles from the print versions of the World Book Encyclopedia, plus thousands of additional articles, learning resources, and research tools.  It also includes translations to 100+ languages, a Biography Center, current events, research guides, and seamless integrations with Google Classroom and Microsoft OneDrive.

  • World Book Timelines

    Search more than 650 pre-generated timelines and 14,000 events in a highly interactive and customizable database covering historical periods and public figures. Create your own timeline from scratch as you choose events and descriptions, then save and share easily.

  • WorldCat

    WorldCat is the closest thing there is to a nationwide online library catalog. If we cannot find an item for you locally, we can extend the search throughout the State of Illinois, and even beyond Illinois to the entire United States. Note: Some InterLibrary Loans may come with a postage charge, depending on the location of the lending library.