Skokie Public Library's Guide to...
Credo Reference

Credo Reference is a virtual reference library that provides access to hundreds of reference books in one easy interface. 

Credo Reference includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, quotation books, and subject-specific reference books on every topic from business to literature to technology.

Why Use Credo Reference?

Credo Reference allows you to search hundreds of reputable reference books at once.  It includes not only articles from reference books, but also images, interactive maps, customizable, exportable data tables, audio pronunciation files, a citation formatter, and more. The following are examples of the kinds of questions that can be answered using Credo Reference:

  • What was George Sand's real name?
  • When was Coca Cola invented?
  • Where was Denzel Washington born?
  • I'm writing a report on life expectancy and need a good introduction and some statistics.
  • What is mascarpone?  How do you pronounce it?


There are several ways to search in Credo Reference.  The easiest way is to use the box near the top of every page. Enter a phrase or a few words pertinent to your topic, and browse the result list for a likely entry.  Your results will be ranked by relevancy: entries judged closest to your search will be at the top of the list.  Change the order of your results (to prefer longer results, results with images, or results with audio) by selecting another option just above your list.

Choose "Browse Topics" to search or browse a single reference title.  When you choose a topic name, a list of reference books that cover that topic will appear.  Select a title and then either search or browse the book alphabetically.

Use the "Advanced Search" option, just below the box to broaden or narrow your search or to specify which topic should be searched.

Special Features

Concept Map

The Concept Map displays your search results in a visual format.  It allows you to see how the information you are seeking is related to other information available in the database.  This can allow you to expand your knowledge of a given area without repeating searches.

Crossword Solver

The Crossword Solver will make suggestions to help you when you're stumped while doing a crossword puzzle.  Use question marks in place of unknown letters (e.g. pu??le) or enter all the letters to solve an anagram.


xreferences are cross-references available on the left side of every entry page.  Like the Concept Map, xreferences can help you expand your knowledge of your chosen topic.


Conversions, available as a topic at the top of each page, is a quick, easy way to convert distance, speed, weight, temperature, and so on.


Credo Reference offers excellent help on all features of the database, available from the Help link at the top of every page.

Handling Results

Articles may be printed, downloaded to a disk, or emailed to your account from Credo Reference.  The options to print or email are at the beginning of each document, on the left-hand side. The "Save As" feature of your browser can be used to download content to a disk.

Other Resources

Skokie Public Library has an extensive reference collection both in print and online.  Many reference sources that were once only in print are now also available online.  These are just a few examples.

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library provides access to every article in the following reference books:  American Decades, Cities of the World, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Geo-Mark: The World Geographical Encyclopedia, and Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations.
  • eLibrary allows you to search dozens of reference books on many subjects, as well as magazines, newspapers, and television and radio transcripts.
  • Literature Resource Center from Gale contains biographical and critical information on authors and literature, and is based on several respected and useful series of literary reference books.
  • MagillOnLiterature contains plot summaries and literary criticism from reference books such as Masterplots, Cyclopedia of World Authors, the Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, as well as Magill's Literary Annuals and Magill Book Reviews.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary Online allows you to search all twenty volumes of the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, all three volumes of the Additions Series, as well as draft entries from the as yet unpublished third edition.

To access Skokie Public Library's print reference collection, or for help using any of our online sources, please visit the Skokie Public Library's Reference Department in person, call us at 847.673.3733, or .