Research & Learn

Research a Topic

Use our wide variety of print and online resources to do research—stop at the Reference Desk if you need suggestions for sources to use or help getting started.

Most of our databases are available to use outside the Library when you log in using your Lake Forest Library card number. Some databases, such as Ancestry, are for in-library use only.


Most of our databases are available to use outside the Library when you log in using your Lake Forest Library card number. All databases are available to any patron using the Library's public computers.

Access Science

Articles, videos, pictures, biographies, and definitions covering all major scientific disciplines.

America's News Magazines Logo

Articles from 27 popular magazines in recent years, including titles like National Review, The New Yorker, and Popular Science.

Ancestry Library Edition

In Library use only

Search family histories with these census, marriage, death, birth, and military records from the U.S. and U.K.

Business Source Elite

Search over 1,000 business and economics journals, and read profiles for the world's 10,000 largest companies.

Chicago Tribune 1985-Present

Full text articles (excluding images) from 1985 to the present. Search historical articles from 1849-1989 in the Historical Chicago Tribune database.

Chicago Tribune 1849-1989

Chicago Tribune articles (including images) from 1849–1989, including obituaries and marriage and birth announcements.

Cloud Library logo


Borrow FREE eBooks and eAudiobooks. A great source for new and recently published items.


Getting Started with cloudLibrary


5 checkouts at a time


  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android devices


Yes, search for "cloudlibrary" in your app store

Consumer Reports logo

Expert ratings from Consumer Reports magazine, evaluating hundreds of products from appliances to cars to electronics.

Chicago Consumers' Checkbook Logo

Consumer ratings, comments, and advice on repair services, finance, home care, and more in the greater Chicago area.

In the Library: click here.

From Anywhere: click here.

Creativebug logo

Choose from more than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. 


Cultural information on other countries in the world and states within the U.S., including videos, recipes, customs, and lifestyles.


Allows for simultaneous searching of any combination of EBSCO databases including: BIR Entertainment, Book Index with Reviews, Business Source Elite, Health Source (Academic and Consumer editions), Masterfile Premier, Regional Business News, Fiction Core Collection, and AHFS Consumer Medication Information.

ECO Basic Search

Online Scholarly journal articles from 1995 to present.

First Search

Popular and scholarly full text articles from 13 different databases including ERIC and MedLine. Search simultaneously or individually.

Freegal Music

Download up to three Sony Music songs each week to your device or computer. For instructions on how to get started, see our user guide.

Gale Encyclopedia of Science

Comprehensive overview of all major areas of science, engineering, technology, math and health science.

Gale Literary Sources

Discover literary works, authors and criticisms.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Browse and search digital reference sources. Topics covered: Business, Education, and Science. 

The Great Courses and Hoopla logos

The Great Courses are engaging, immersive learning experiences. These college-level courses are presented by exceptional professors chosen for their ability to teach. Hoopla has dozens of TGC eAudiobooks.

The Great Courses and Kanopy logos

The Great Courses are engaging, immersive learning experiences. These college-level courses are presented by exceptional professors chosen for their ability to teach. Kanopy has dozens of TGC videos.

Health Source: Consumer Edition

Search consumer health magazines, pamphlets, reference books, and reports.

Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition

Search over 500 full text scholarly medical journals.

Heritage Quest

Genealogical database searching census, military, immigration records and more.

Hoopla Digital


Borrow FREE movies, music, eBooks, eAudiobooks, comics, and TV shows.


Getting Started with Hoopla


10 per month


  • Computer
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android devices
  • Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Roku


Yes, search for "hoopla" in your app store

Illinois Digital Archives

Historical articles and photographs related to Lake Forest.

Investor's Business Daily

Daily stock market and business news, quotes, mutual fund performance and market analysis.

Kanopy Video

On-demand streaming video service. Kanopy offers a wide range of titles including selections from the Criterion Collection, foreign films, classic cinema, documentaries and more. Stream video through the available smartphone or tablet app, or watch in your computer's browser. 

Kanopy Kids logo

Free streaming videos ... Just for kids! Kanopy Kids uses Common Sense Media ratings, making it wasy for you to decide what's best for your family.

Lake Forester 1995-Present

Searchable Lake Forester from 1995 to present. See historical editions from 1899–1940 in the Historical Lake Forester database.

Lake Forester 1899-1940

Searchable Lake Forester issues from 1899–1940.


Company and investment information, legal cases, and news stories from hundreds of foreign and domestic sources. Legal Case information available only in the Library.

In the Library: Click here.

Outside the Library: Click here.



Download FREE audiobooks read by volunteers from around the world.


LibriVox help page




  • Download audio files and listen on your Computer or Mobile device
  • Add audio files to iTunes


Yes, search for "librivox" in your app store

Video tutorials from the industry leader in technology training on subjects ranging from coding to photography to graphic design.

If you have trouble logging in to Lynda, please call 1.888.33.LYNDA.

Mango Language

Mango Languages is an online language-learning resource teaching actual conversation skills for a wide variety of languages. Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Also available as an app for your tablet or smartphone. 

EBSCO Masterfile Premier

Full text and abstracts of magazine and journal articles, as well as reference books and primary source documents.

MedLine Plus Logo

Information on health topics, drugs, and supplements from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.


Investment analysis tool including information on mutual funds, stocks, ETFs and screening tools.


Language learning for children. Courses available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

New York Times 1980-Present

Full text articles (excluding images) from 1980–present. Search historical articles from 1851–2009 in the Historical New York Times database.

New York Times 1851-2009

New York Times articles (including images) from 1851–2009, including obituaries and marriage and birth announcements.


Sign up for email reading lists in 20 different subjects and genres. ​​​​​​

Novelist logo

Find fiction and nonfiction recommendations based on your interests and preferences.


Access millions of records from over 2,000 organizations, including books, articles, audio, video, and images.

Online Book Clubs

Sign up to sample a new book from the genre of your choice every week. You'll get an email Monday through Friday with excerpts from the same new book, then you can pick up where you left off with the real book if you liked it.

My Media Mall/Overdrive/Libby Logos


A vast collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks available to download through the Libby or Overdrive apps or onto your computer.


Getting Started with the Libby app


5 checkouts at a time


  • Computer
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android device
  • Kindle


Yes, search for "libby" or "overdrive" in your app store

Project Gutenberg


Download FREE eBooks including the world's great literature, especially older works for which copyright has expired.


Project Gutenberg mobile device how-to




  • Read in your Computer or Mobile browser
  • Download EPUB or MOBI files for your mobile device


Yes, search for "project gutenberg" in your app store

RB Digital

Download over 60 magazines to read on your device or computer, including titles like Forbes, Harper's Bazaar, and Martha Stewart Living. For instructions on getting started, see our user guide.

Record Information Services

Search public record information such as bankruptcies, foreclosures and auctions, and real estate transactions in Lake and Chicago area counties.

Reference USA

Business directory, residential listings, demographics, and health care listings.

Regional Business News

Search business journals, newspapers, and news-wires across the U.S.

Something about the Author

Examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators of children's and young adult books.

Sorkin's Directory of Business & Government

Profiles of companies and organizations in the Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas.

S&P Global Logo

Find business and investment information, including a daily stock price record and printable industry surveys.

In the Library: click here.

For use outside of the Library: click here

Statistical Abstract of the United States

Statistical reference information covering social, political and economic conditions of the U.S. from the 1950s to present.

Live one-on-one online tutor help for K–12 students in math, science, English, social studies and writing available daily from 2:00–11:00 pm. Adults can receive one-on-one career help, GED prep, and citizenship test prep.

Value Line

Investment research information including online versions of the Value Line Investment surveys, the mutual fund survey, and more.

In the Library: click here.

Outside the Library: click here.

Wall Street Journal

Articles from 1984 to present (1984–2006 excluding images).

World Book Online

Kids, Student, Advanced, Timelines and Discover versions of World Book Encyclopedias. French and Spanish versions available.