globe General & Multi-Subject Sites Databases


South Plainfield seal South Plainfield Outreach and Referral Resources - Phone numbers for local, county & state resources such as emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, employment, unemployment, and more. See also South Plainfield Social Services - Welfare Department (Borough of South Plainfield) and Community & Social Services brochures & resources.

Need help? Start here: call 211 Call 2-1-1 when you need to find state or local resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns. 2-1-1 is free, confidential, multi-lingual, confidential, TTY accessible, and available 24/7. NOTE: 2-1-1 calls are generally toll-free; however, if you are calling 2-1-1 from your cell phone, please check with your cell phone service provider first to find out whether you will be charged for the call. You can also reach 2-1-1 by dialing 877-652-1148. (United Way, in partnership with the State of New Jersey)

[Not all calls are toll-free - check with your phone company]:

211: Community & Social Services

311: New York City Government Information & Services (From outside NYC: 212-NEW-YORK)
[NOTE: Some other cities may also have 311 services.]

411: Directory Assistance (check with your provider)

511: Road & Traffic conditions

611: Cell phone customer service (most major providers)

711: Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for hearing- or speech-impaired

811: Call before you dig

911: Fire / Police / Medical emergencies

Reference: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc.

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia [Login with your library card barcode] - Over 25,000 encyclopedic entries covering a variety of subject areas (EBSCOHost). EBSCOHost's Explora databases also include articles from Funk & Wagnalls. See also Encyclopædia Britannica Online, below.

Facts on FileFacts on File Reference Databases [Login with your library card barcode] - A diverse collection of reference databases on American History, American Women's History, African-American History, American Indian History, Modern World History, Ancient & Medieval History, World Geography & Culture, Science, Health Reference Center, Blooms Literary Reference, Fergusons Career Guidance Center, Curriculum Resource Centers.(Facts on File / Infobase)

World Almanac for KidsWorld Almanac for Kids [Login with your library card barcode] - Online reference on a wide range of topics, including the arts, biography, geography, health, language, math & science, social studies, and sports; written for students in 4th - 8th grade. (Facts on File / Infobase)

Acronym Finder - Need to know what acronyms like GPS or VDT stand for? Acronym Finder searchable database of more than abbreviations and acronyms about computers, technology, telecommunications, and the military.

Ask a Librarian - Before you use the Library of Congress's 'Ask a Librarian' service to get answers to your research and reference questions, first consult a librarian at the South Plainfield Public Library - we will often be able to respond more quickly, and are better able to identify and respond to your specific and ongoing needs. Once you have exhausted local resources, however, try the 'Ask A Librarian' service; you will generally receive a response within 5 business days. You can also chat online with subject specialists at certain hours. When using the 'Ask A Librarian' service, your message should explain what resources you have already consulted. See also N.J. State Library Information Center: Ask a Librarian.

Blue Letter Bible - An online Bible searchable by keyword, phrase, or chapter/verse. An alternate Bible site is Bible Gateway.

Calculators & Converters: Online Conversion - 'Convert just about anything to anything else. Over 5,000 units, and 50,000 conversions. Over 5,000 units, and 50,000 conversions.' (By Robert Fogt, a website/software developer). Martindale's Calculators Online offers links to many additional online calculators and converters (currency, weights & measures, time zones, etc.) (by Jim Martindale).

Data: Free Public Data UPDATED LINK! - Explores the best free data sources covering business, politics, government contracts, charities, environment, health, education, and crime (2020, Poynter Institute, journalism school). Google Public Data Explorer provides access to state, national, and international data on a wide range of topics, including economy, health, environment, technology, and more. Data Universe NJ [Paid subscription required] is a portal to public government data, with links to property records & taxes, government payrolls, school performance report cards, crime reports, and more (Asbury Park Press / Home News Tribune / Courier News). For more US data, see U.S. Census Bureau, below.

DICTIONARIES: Farlex Free Dictionary AUDIO [CAUTION: This site includes links to Wikipedia articles] - 'English, Medical, Legal, Financial, and Computer Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms Encyclopedia, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine all in one.' Provides definitions from a variety of standard references including the American Heritage, Collins, and Random House dictionaries. Use the OneLook® Dictionary Search to search dozens of web-based dictionaries from one site. See also Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary & Thesaurus AUDIO & Visual Dictionary AUDIO, Lexico: Oxford English Dictionary &, and Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. Roget's Thesaurus is a searchable thesaurus with links to synonyms and other related words for each entry. Your Dictionary AUDIO offers a quick English dictionary & thesaurus lookup with audio pronunciation for each word, plus a directory of online reference sources, including foreign language dictionaries, and specialty / technical dictionaries covering over 100 subjects. (All the above sites include advertisements)

Encyclopædia Britannica Online VIDEO [Full access available only to paid subscribers] - Free access to articles on featured topics. EB also offers a free trial period for full access. provides 'reference entries from credible, published sources like Oxford University Press and Columbia Encyclopedia.' See also Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, Facts on File Databases, and World Almanac for Kids, above.

Internet Archive AUDIO VIDEO - 'A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.' You can also search the site for obsolete web pages; many otherwise vanished web pages and similar 'born-digital' materials (or older versions of them) are still available at the Internet Archive.

NEWS: AP Fact Check UPDATED LINK! - Associated Press items which examine the statements of public figures for accuracy, plus a weekly roundup of untrue headlines that have been shared widely on social media (Associated Press is an independent, non-profit news cooperative owned by its U.S. member newspapers). See also Fact Check & Fake News links.

Quotation Finder [NOTE: Please be aware that online quotation sources are often inaccurate, or attributed to the wrong author. See Quote Investigator® for details.] - 'Attempts to collect the largest sources of quotations and related items (proverbs, sayings, maxims, amorphisms, slogans, clichés, etc.).' From this page you can search many quotation databases, but you still have to search them one at a time (personal site; by Michael Fagan).

Shakespeare: Open Source Shakespeare - Use this site to find passages from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. For more resources on Shakespeare, see our Shakespeare links.

Telephone Area Code / Country Code finder - A list of telephone area codes, mostly for the US and Canada; first part of the list gives codes in numerical order, the second part is arranged by state (personal site; by Bennet Yee). See also Area Code Maps (North American Numbering Plan Administrator [NANPA]). You can search the Real Yellow Pages (formerly Dex Pages) for U.S. residential and business phone numbers (white pages and yellow pages), or view entire phone directories in electronic format; now covers most states; replaces Verizon Telephone Directories; also provides a link if you want to Customize or Opt-Out of Directory Delivery (Thryv, Inc.). International White and Yellow Pages provides links to directories of business and residential listings worldwide (Wayp Internet Group; based in Norway). See also International Long Distance Calling Made Simple (FCC), International Calling Codes (International Telecommunication Union) and AT&T Access Codes.

Time of Day - The official time in all U.S. time zones. For a link to synchronize your computer clock via the Internet, go to NIST Internet Time Servers (National Institute of Standards and Technology). See also Daylight Saving Time Rules & FAQ (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Time and Date provides times for cities around the world, plus dialing codes and related information.

TRANSLATORS: Bing Translator and Google Translate - Type words or a website URL in the space provided, use the dropdown menu to choose from among dozens of 'from and to' languages, and these translators will translate for you - but not with perfect accuracy.

U.S. Census Bureau - Official source of statistics on population and demographics, as well as economic data. The Census Bureau's American FactFinder was retired in 2020; use to access Census Bureau data. For statistics related to noteworthy events such as holidays, see the Facts for Features homepage. Fast Facts: U.S. History provides a historical portrait of the United States, highlighting census-related statistics, innovations, events, and icons for each decade from 1790 - 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau). See also Data links, above. - Online guide to government information and services on all topics, including benefits, grants & loans, disasters, environment, health, housing, jobs, money, travel, immigration, laws, military & veteran services, and voting & elections, as well as Government Agencies and Elected Officials, which provides contact information for federal, state, and local government agencies & elected officials (, official U.S. government website). See America's Founding Documents and related links for online texts of key documents such as the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and more. See also Federal Government links.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings - Rankings for topics in education, health, money, travel, and autos. See also Time Magazine Best & Worst Lists UPDATED!.

U.S. Postal Service - The Customer's Guide to Mailing explains postal rates and fees, different shipping options, and other services. You can also buy stamps, track packages, and arrange for shipping with carrier pickup. Includes a chart of current prices and a postage price calculator for domestic and international shipping. The U.S. Postal Service FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) answers common questions about postal services, including an annual list of Postal Holidays. Enter an address or zip code in the Post Office Locator [Click on the post office name to bring up more details about that post office, including the ***LOCAL PHONE NUMBER***] to search for addresses, phone numbers, hours, and maps for individual post offices. You can also use the Locator to find collection boxes, self-service kiosks, passport locations, and more. Use Zip code+4 look-up to find 9-digit zips, or look up a zip code to find out what town(s) it covers (Official site, U.S. Postal Service).

Vital Records: Replace Your Vital Documents - Information on how to replace lost or stolen documents, including birth, marriage, or death certificates, immigration papers, driver's licenses, passports, tax returns, social security/Medicare cards, and even damaged money (2020; See also Overseas Records and Authentications (U.S. State Department) and Where to Write for Foreign Vital Records (2015, expect broken links; CDC/National Center for Health Statistics).

World Almanac - See World Almanac for Kids, above.

How-To Sites


Universal Class Universal Class UPDATED LINK! - Free online non-credit courses for your personal enrichment. Courses are accessible 24/7 via the Internet, and are offered in a wide variety of subjects, including business, computers, cooking, crafts & hobbies, do-it-yourself, health, history, home & garden, office skills, parenting & family, personal care, psychology, real estate, self-help, religious & spiritual studies, web development, writing, and more. You will have up to 6 months to finish each course, and each course has a real instructor you can communicate with by email! (From Recorded Books) NOTE: Once you have registered on the site, you can go directly to the Login page.

Learning Express Library Learning Express Library™ Computer Skills Center UPDATED LINK! - The Computer Skills Center offers tutorials on the most popular computer software, including Microsoft Office programs, Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, and Windows (XP through 10) operating systems, as well as video courses to help beginners learn to use a computer and the internet. Also includes Job & Career Accelerator, where you can explore occupational information, search up-to-the-minute local & national job postings, create professional resumes & cover letters, practice interviewing skills, get invaluable tips & advice every step of the way, and conveniently organize & track your job-search progress all in one place! (From LearningExpress, LLC.)

Rosetta Stone Language Learning Rosetta Stone Language Learning UPDATED LINK! - The proven immersion method of language learning that more than 20,000 schools have trusted for over 20 years. The award-winning interactive approach has been used by millions of learners around the world and now is accessible in the library - or anywhere, anytime. Includes courses in American English as well as British English!

Testing & Education Reference Center Testing & Education Reference Center: Taking a college entrance or licensing exam? Looking for a college or graduate school? Need help finding scholarships? Use this database to search thousands of college and graduate school entries, identify scholarships, take practice tests, and use test prep eBooks. From Gale.

Proquest Heritage Quest Genealogy Resources UPDATED LINK! - Links to Heritage Quest Online and Ancestry Library Edition databases as well as other selected resources for discovering your ancestry. PLEASE NOTE: Ancestry Library Edition is available only inside the library building! Outside the library, please use Heritage Quest Online. Heritage Quest Online offers access to over 20,000 family and local histories, U.S. Federal Census records, 1790-1930, thousands of genealogy and local history periodicals, bank records, and more, plus research aids with tips & tricks to get your research moving.

Due to lack of use and increased cost, Method Test Prep has been discontinued. Please use Testing & Education Reference Center instead.

GCF Learnfree GCF Learn Free VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Free tutorials, articles, and other learning materials aimed at helping you improve the technology, literacy, and math skills needed for success in both work and life. Over 750 free lessons and 250 videos, covering a wide range of subjects from operating ATMs and reading subway maps to using office software and running a home-based business. Free registration required. (Non-profit organization: Goodwill Community Foundation)

Business - See our Useful Websites: BUSINESS RESOURCES page.

Computers & Internet - See our Useful Websites: COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY page. - A collection of websites offering expert content on a wide range of subjects, including health, money, style, technology, travel, and more. Health information labelled ''Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician'' is reviewed by a Medical Review Board. (Part of IAC/InterActiveCorp) VIDEO - The home page from the publisher of the popular 'For Dummies®' books offers a selection of how-to articles, videos, and step-by-step features on technology, money, lifestyle, careers, health, travel, hobbies, and more. 'For Dummies' videos are hosted on YouTube.

Etiquette Advice - Advice on correct behavior when dealing with friends & family, special occasions, and work & business (Emily Post Institute). The Spruce: Etiquette and Advice is another collection of etiquette tips for your home, family, friends and work life (part of The Perfect Apology offers suggestions on 'the most effective and creative ways to apologize' in a variety of personal and business situations (authors unknown). For additional tips on correct behavior, see Friends with Disabilities & related links, and Technology Etiquette & related links.

Evaluating Web Pages - See Evaluating Websites & related links.

Health & Fitness - See our Useful Websites: HEALTH & FITNESS page.

iFixit - 'A wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything. Anyone can create a repair manual for a device, and anyone can also edit the existing set of manuals to improve them.'

Instructables [Some features are available only to members] - Illustrated, step-by-step, user-contributed instructions for a wide range of projects in crafts, technology, food, home & garden, outdoor recreation, and more. 'Instructables is a place that lets you explore, document, and share your DIY creations.' See also WikiHow, below.

Job Hunting - See our Useful Websites: JOBS & CAREERS page.

Life Kit - A podcast and newsletter offering practical information & advice on health, money, parenting, and life skills. (NPR)

Online Security - See our Useful Websites: COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY page.

Parenting - See our Useful Websites: PARENTING & FAMILY RESOURCES page (includes Grandparents/Elder Care and Pet Care).

Research Beyond Google [Archived page; expect some broken links] - A guide to searching the 'invisible web' to find authoritative information sources on a variety of subjects. See also 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives [Archived page; expect some broken links] (2013 - 2018, Online Education Database).

WikiHow NEW! features 90,000 academically researched articles and 1000+ expert co-authors across 50,000 articles, covering a wide range how-to topics. See also Instructables, above.


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