Skokie Public Library's Guide to...
ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA is an online directory of address and telephone listings from more than 13 million United States businesses and 120 million residences.  For businesses, ReferenceUSA provides basic contact information as well as estimates of sales and number of employees, and allows searching by size, location and industry.  Residential listings include United States Census data such as median household income, median home value, latitude/longitude and percentage of owner-occupied housing in the area, as well as phone and address information.

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Why use ReferenceUSA?

ReferenceUSA is useful for finding both people and businesses by name, address, city, state, phone number.  This database can also be used to compile brief business mailing lists using business size, number of employees, location, and industry as criteria. The following are examples of the types of questions that could be answered by searching ReferenceUSA:

  • I'm organizing a class reunion and I want to track down my old friends from school.
  • I'm looking for someone who lives in Virginia, but I don't know which town.
  • I'm looking for the names of all of the businesses in a particular office building.
  • I'd like to find the name of the person whose phone number is on my caller ID.
  • I've just opened a new business and would like to send out a promotional mailing to local residents.
  • I'm looking for businesses located in the Midwest that specialize in plastic molding, and maps to those addresses.
  • For a school assignment, I'd like to find the latitude and longitude of Skokie.

Searching Business Listings

ReferenceUSA gathers business information from many sources, including telephone directories, annual reports;  federal, state, and municipal government data; Chamber of Commerce information; leading business magazines, trade publications, newsletters, major newspapers, industry and specialty directories; and postal service information, including U.S. change of address updates.  This information is verified twice a year through direct contact with companies that employ more than 100 employees.  Smaller businesses are confirmed annually.


Quick and Custom Searching

To search for company listings by business name, city and state, or telephone, use the Quick search image option.  Select Custom search image to find companies using a variety of criteria such as: Yellow Page heading, SIC, address, zip code, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), city, county, state, area code, phone number, number of employees, sales volume, whether the listing is for a headquarter or branch location, a government office, and if the company is publicly-traded.


Searching Tips

  • To view a map of a business location, click on "Map" at the bottom of a detailed listing screen. A map will be generated by MapQuest®.
  • To search for companies with similar names or plural forms of a name, use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character, such as Micro* for: Applied Microsystems, Microsoft, Microtechnologies, Micro Bakery, etc.
  • Companies with headquarters or subsidiary listings in ReferenceUSA will be indicated with an up or down arrow. Click on link to headquarters icon to link to the headquarters and link to subsidiary icon to the subsidiary listing.
  • For further information on searching for business listings in ReferenceUSA, use the database's own Business data help guide found under the Help link on the yellow bar at the top of the screen.
  • For more information, view the brief video tutorial on custom searches and mailing lists at the Skokie Business Portal.

Searching Residential Listings

Residential information is compiled from telephone directories and does not include: unlisted phone numbers, Direct Marketing Association suppression files, or state-regulated mail and telephone suppression files.  Information is available 2 to 3 months after it appears in the phone book and U.S. Postal Service change of address information is added monthly.  If you are looking for the current listing for someone you know has moved within the last two months, it is best to call the telephone information directory in the town or city in which he or she currently lives.


Quick and Custom Searching

Use the "Quick Search" option to find people by last name and/or first name, telephone number, city, or state. Select "Custom Search" to find residential listings using a variety of additional criteria such as: street address, zip code, area code, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), or county. 


Searching Tips

  • ReferenceUSA will not automatically search for variations of names and nicknames, such as Bill for William or Bob for Robert.  If you are not finding what you want, try using variations of the person's name.
  • Remember to double check the spelling of last names.  Some names can be spelled several different ways, such as: Seigle, Seigel, or Seigal.
  • If you have difficulty finding the right listing, search the database by last name and geographic area.
  • To search for variations at the end of a name, use an asterisk (*) at the end of a name as a wildcard character. For example, searching for Reeve* will find listings for Reeve and Reeves, as well as Reevesman and Reevey.
  • For further information on searching for residential listings in ReferenceUSA, use the database's own Residential data help guide found under the Help link on the yellow bar at the top of the screen.

Handling Your Results

Printing 

To print an individual listing from ReferenceUSA, select "Print" from the File menu or select the printer icon on the top menu bar.

To print multiple listings, first select the individual listings using the checkboxes to the left of the listings before you select the Print icon button from the top or bottom of the screen. You may only select 25 listings to print at a time.  If you would like to print more than this, print the first 25, return to your results, deselect the 25 previously checked listings, select the next 25, print them, and so on.  If you would like to order extensive or lengthy mailing lists, InfoUSA, the company that produces this database, will create lists to your specifications for a fee.  For information, see InfoUSA's website.

Once you have selected the listings you would like to print, you have the option of printing Summary or Detailed information about the listings. To include zip codes when printing residential listings, you must select Detailed in the Level of Detail box.

  • Summary business information includes: Company name, address, city, state, zip code, and phone number.
  • Summary residential information includes: Person's first name and last name, address, city, state, and phone number. Zip codes are not included in the summary residential listings.
  • Detailed business information includes: Company name, address, city, state, zip code, zip+4, contact name and title, county, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), phone and fax numbers, Fortune 1000 ranking (if applicable), foreign parent company name, number of employees, estimated sales, credit rating code, ABI number, public or private company indication, ticker symbol, toll free number (if available), Web address, lines of business (SIC codes), ad size (if listing taken from the Yellow Pages), and year the listing first appeared in ReferenceUSA.
  • Detailed residential information includes: Person's first, last, and middle names, address, city, state, zip code, zip+4, phone number, median household income, median home value, latitude and longitude, and percentage of owner occupied housing in the area.

Downloading

To download multiple listings, first select the individual listings using the checkboxes to the left of the listings before you select the Download icon button from the top or bottom of the screen.  You may only select 25 listings to download at a time.  If you would like to save more than this, save the first 25, return to your results, deselect the 25 previously checked listings, select the next 25, save them, and so on.

You have several options for saving directory listings to disk.  Using a table of choices similar to the one shown below, you must select a particular file format, computer platform, and level of detail.  The comma-delimited format is specifically for use in Microsoft Excel, which is what most people will use.  Both the tab-delimited and comma-delimited formats can be opened directly into word-processing software such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect for use in creating mail merge files.

File Format Platform
Comma Delimited
Fixed Length
Tab Delimited
Windows
UNIX
Macintosh
Level of Detail
Summary
Detailed
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  • Summary business information includes: company name, address, city, state, zip code, and phone number.
  • Summary residential information includes: person's first and last name, phone number, address, city, and state. Zip codes are not included in the summary residential listings.
  • Detailed business information includes: company name, address, city, state, zip code, zip+4, county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), phone and fax numbers, toll-free number, number of employees, sales, headquarters or subsidiary indication, contact names, titles, and genders, credit rating, ABI number, hold status (holdings company or not), ticker symbol, Fortune 1000 ranking (if applicable), Web address (if available), and lines of business (up to 10).
  • Detailed residential information includes: person's first, last, and middle names, address, city, state, zip code and zip+4, county name and code, phone number, median household income, median home value, latitude and longitude, and percentage of owner occupied housing in the area.

Other Resources

Business Directories

  • Hoover's Online includes contact information on over twelve million companies, with detailed reports for over 40,000 of them.  Industry and competitor information is also available.
  • CorporateAffiliations.com provides corporate hierarchies, directory, financial, and personnel information on thousands of prominent companies and their affiliates, subsidiaries, and divisions.
  • The Blue Book of Building and Construction includes regional, categorized construction information with over 800,000 company listings.
  • Thomas Register Online lists thousands of manufacturers and their products, and is searchable by name and category.  A free registration is required.
  • Skokie Public Library has an extensive collection of business reference materials in print.  Please contact the Reference Desk in person, at 847.673.3733, or via email for more information.

Librarians at Skokie Public Library have also compiled a list of useful business directories online.


Residential Directories

Skokie Public Library keeps a collection of current telephone directories in print from several local cities and some international cities.  Please ask about these at the Reference Desk.

Librarians at Skokie Public Library have compiled a list of useful websites for locating telephone and address listings.  If you need help with any of these resources, please contact the Reference Desk by phone at 847.673.3733 or via .