Skokie Public Library's Guide to...

eLibrary provides easy access to a vast array of general information resources. More than 1,500 magazines, newpapers, reference books, and transcripts are included, and there are thousands of maps, pictures, web links, and audio and video clips. Coverage is from 1981 to the present.

[space]Available everywhere with your
Skokie Public Library card

Why Use eLibrary?

eLibrary is all full text. This means that when you retrieve a list of results from a search, the full content of each item will be available by selecting the item.

eLibrary provides unique resources. Pictures, maps, news transcripts, and book chapters are often hard to find in other databases or on the Internet.  The following are examples of the kinds of questions that can be answered using eLibrary:

  • How far is the earth from the sun?
  • How do I clean my granite countertops?
  • I need information on the Reagan revolution.
  • I’m writing a report on smoking and public policy and need information on smoking bans across the country.
  • I need a picture of a polar bear.
  • Can I get the transcript of a radio program that I heard last week?


There are several ways to search in eLibrary.  The easiest way is to use the Natural Language Search. Enter a phrase or a few words pertinent to your topic, or simply type in your search as if you were asking a question.  If you find that your results are not what you expected, try rephrasing your search using different words.

If the list of results is too large, try using Boolean Search. Enter multiple key words or phrases to more precisely target your search. Use AND, OR, and NOT to connect your search terms.

Advanced Search will narrow any search by allowing you to specify publication date, article title, publisher, author, or reading level. Use the Advanced Search features just underneath the Source Toolbar.

Special Features

Source Toolbar

Any search can be refined using the Source Toolbar. For instance, if you are looking specifically for a picture or a news transcript, you can select those sources and eliminate the others.

To Best Part

Click the Best part image button to jump to the part of the article with the highest concentration of words that closely match your search terms.


eLibrary includes a Topics feature. The editors at eLibrary choose topics of particular interest and compile a selection of materials on those topics. This is a great way to get ideas for research papers. Use the Topics tab at the top of the page.


eLibrary indexes about 190 encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries. This Reference section can be accessed two ways. You can highlight a word or phrase anywhere in eLibrary, then click on the Reference tab at the top of the page for results. You can also click on the Reference tab and then enter search terms; this type of search only searches the Reference collection.

Handling Results

Articles may be printed, downloaded to a disk, or emailed to your account from eLibrary. You may select the articles that you wish to retrieve by clicking the Add to list image Add To My List button; when your list is compiled, you may print or email the entire list. Alternatively, you may print, download, or email articles one at a time. The options to print or email are at the beginning of each document. The “Save As” feature of your browser can be used to download content to a disk.

Other Resources

There are numerous other resources that will provide you with up-to-date general information on current events, politics, lifestyle issues, consumer updates, science, and medicine.

  • General Reference Center is an online index of popular periodicals, many of which are full text. With a straightforward search interface, this database is often the best place to start a periodical search.
  • Chicago Tribune via NewsBank contains the full text of articles from the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Coverage begins in 1985 and continues to the present.
  • CQ Researcher covers current and controversial issues of the day with complete summaries, insight into all sides of an issue, and more.
  • Factiva is an extensive database that includes the full text of articles from thousands of newspapers and business periodicals.
  • ArticleFirst is an index of tables of contents from more than 12,000 journals science, technology, medicine, social science, business, the humanities and popular culture.
  • WilsonSelect Plus is an index of more than 1,600 full text journal articles from a variety of popular interest magazines.

Also, librarians at Skokie Public Library have selected and compiled the most useful databases and websites for magazine, newspaper, and journal articles. Please check the Articles from Magazines & Newspapers category of our Research section for more resources.