Access Literary Criticism & Literature Resources


The Readers’ Services Department houses many reference and circulating books of literary criticism in addition to all fiction and literature.  There are also many databases to help readers find book reviews, literary criticism, and CliffsNotes-style book summaries.  These resources are great for students, book clubs, or curious readers. Contents range from book summaries to scholarly criticism.

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General Literary Criticism Sites

Web resourceLiterary Criticism from The Internet Public Library

This site is an excellent starting point for finding high quality literary criticism on the Internet.  It contains links to thousands of free, full text articles originally published in scholarly journals.

Web resourceLiterary Research 101 from Skokie Public Library

This helpful guide explains how to use Skokie Public Library print and online resources to find criticism on a literary work or biographical information on a writer, locate a summary of a literary work, find the text of a literary work, and cite literary criticism in a research paper.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardLiterature Criticism Online — Something About the Author

Find information on authors and criticism of their works by cross-searching these two literature archives. These award-winning and long-standing literature series are delivered in an easy-to-use 24/7 online format that matches the exact look and feel of the print originals.

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardLiterature Resources from Gale

Research authors and their works, literary movements, and genres. Search across several major literature databases to find the full text of literary works, journal articles, literature criticism, reviews, biographical information, and overviews.
Skokie Public Library's guide to this database

Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardMagillOnLiterature

MagillOnLiterature is an online source for critical analyses and brief plot summaries of hundreds of the most studied works in the history of literature as well as classic works of nonfiction and philosophy. The information in this database includes the contents of Masterplots, the Cyclopedia of World Authors, the Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, as well as Magill's Literary Annuals and Magill Book Reviews.

Skokie Public Library's guide to this database

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Web resourceDramatists Play Service, Inc.

Search this website for summaries of thousands of plays which you can purchase or license for performance.

Web resourceInterplay

This index to plays held within printed works will enable site users to find anthologies containing a copy of a specific play.  Please note: The call numbers provided are not for Skokie Public Library.

Web resourceMr. William Shakespeare and the Internet

This site aims to be a complete annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespearean resources available on Internet and to present new Shakespeare material unavailable elsewhere on the Internet. It contains not only the complete works of Shakespeare but also biographical information, critical material, and a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre.

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Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardThe Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

This index to over 90,000 poems in anthologies includes the full text of 8,500 classic poems and quotations from 1,500 additional poems. This index is searchable by full text, author, title, first line, and subject.

Web resourceIllinois Poet Laureate

Kevin Stein, the Poet Laureate of Illinois, has created this website to promote the art of poetry. You can read and even listen to poetry written by Stein, previous Poets Laureates, and other Illinois poets including young people from Skokie in the Youth Poetry Archive.

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