Below is a list of online databases available for research/instruction. If you have questions about what is available, please contact the Library at director@rochesterlibrary.org. Please note some databases are accessible only at the Rochester Library.

Reader's Advisory

Are you looking for your next book? Why not try one of these book recommendation sites to find your next favorite read?

Goodreads is a multi-purpose social media network designed for readers that lets you connect to your favorite authors and other readers who share your taste in books. Use it to keep track of the books you’ve read and those you’d like to read, to get recommendations based on the books you already like, and even enter giveaways to win free books! (Did you know you can go straight to our card catalog to request books you find through Goodreads? Find out how here!)

WhichBook is a fun book recommendation tool that lets you search for books that have certain qualities. Use the sliders on the website to select how much of the characteristic you would like (EX: a book that’s very sad vs a book that’s only slightly sad). You can also customize your search to find books set in specific locations and/or that have specific character types.

Stop, You’re Killing Me! is a massive online database designed for readers who love mysteries, thrillers, and other types of suspense novels.  Use it to find award-winning mystery books, search for books set in particular time periods, or to find a particular genre of suspense books (like paranormal, humorous mysteries, or mysteries inspired by Sherlock Holmes).

HistoricalNovels is an online database of over 5,000 historical fiction titles organized by period, region, and author. Also includes a separate section dedicated to YA historical fiction.

FantasticFiction organizes their books by author. Each series an author publishes is listed in order, making it easy to find which books are next. An account allows the user to track which books they have read by placing a check mark next to the title. At the bottom of many author pages, there is a recommended reading list. The site also lists new books by popularity and publication date, allowing users to find new books before they are actually released.

Modern Mrs. Darcy is a blog dedicated to helping readers find “bookish delight.” The author has a podcast for all things book and posts recommendations regularly. She also hosts an online book club.

Book Recommendation Lists

The Guardian “Top 10 Books about…”

Time Magazine’s “100 Best Books of All TIME”

List Challenges’ “50 Books to Read Before You Die”

Genealogical and Historical Resources

Our Genealogical Resource Guide assists patrons interested in doing genealogical research. Rochester Library has created a guide to different local history and genealogy resources in the Springfield area. The guide also contains information on free online genealogy databases. Please contact the Library if you have any questions.

HistoryPin is a digital archive of historical photos and other content. Through HistoryPin, users can see old photos that have been “pinned” to Google Maps and do side-by-side comparisons of historical photos and their present-day locations. The Library’s HistoryPin collection showcases Rochester history, and we encourage patrons to contribute to the project.

Family Search is a free website that uses many of the same databases as Ancestry.com. It is less comprehensive, but you can still access Census data, build a family tree, and do many other things to research your family’s story. Below is a link to a tutorial that will help you learn how to use it.

NARA has an online database the size of which is mind-boggling. We have linked to the genealogy page as a good place to start. There are photographs, historical records and other information as well. Researching the location and historical period can give additional clues to the details of a person’s life.

Government, Business, and Education Resources

Digital Learn helps users who are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher. Digital Learn has the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed.

DMV Practice Tests


IRS Tax GuideForm 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (PDF)
Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals (PDF)
Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents (PDF)

MyTax Illinois

My Social Security

Resources for:

Job Seeking offered through the Illinois Department of Job Security. Another employment resource is Indeed.com, which lets users post resumes, search for jobs, and post jobs available to be filled. An indeed.com tutorial is available below.

Employment and Small Business Skill-Building offered through the Springfield SCORE Association

Professional Certification offered through Illinois workNet

Business development offered through LLCC’s Business Training Center

Online career testing offered through the Sangamon County Department of Community Resources