Google and Wikipedia are useful starting points for an information search, but they only go so far. There are vast resources available for those who want to spend a little time and effort to get reliable, authoritative material on any subject. The key to this storehouse is your public library card.
Tools and Materials
To perform most of the actions in this Instructable, you only need:
-A library card
-The ability to ask questions
For some of the more advanced steps, you may need a little bit of money to cover printing and photocopy costs, and possibly Interlibrary Loan fees, but we’ll get to that later.
Be aware that this Instructable is biased toward the way libraries operate in the U.S. Depending on where in the world you live, your access may be easier or more difficult.

Step 1: Find Your Library and Get a Card

In most U.S. municipalities, you can find a library using the telephone book, but phone books are not as accurate as they once were. One of the most useful online tools is WorldCat, which has a library finder on its website. Notice that you will get results for lots of different kinds of libraries, including those in schools, colleges and universities, and even private businesses. You want a public library, so you might want to narrow down using the links on the right.
Once you’ve found your library, you’ll need to get a card. At most public libraries, you are entitled to a free card simply by virtue of living in their service area. In some cases, there are other ways you can qualify, such as working, attending school, or owning property there.
Any suggestions from anyone about family history and birth certificates and death certificates for free anywhere??? (They don't have to be authentic and stamped) I just want to print them and have the information. I'm going crazy!!!! Every site costs money. I have papers from 2006 that say "worlds largest free.... Bla bla bla" now it all costs money. :(. Any help would be awesome!!!!
Most libraries work closely with genealogists and can help you get started. Also, look for genealogical societies in your area. <br> <br>Official copies of birth and death certificates are still going to cost you money, but libraries can help you find the actual vital records office rather than going through a broker, which it sounds like you're finding.
. Very nice. The WorldCat link alone is well worth the price of admission.<br> .&nbsp; gasp! No mention of <a href="http://www.loc.gov/index.html" rel="nofollow">LoC</a>?!?&nbsp; :)
Well, not until you did. :-) Maybe I should add a new step that addresses government documents, depository libraries, and the LoC.
Besides cookbooks, movies, and magazines, I use the databases the most. Many of the articles I find through googling want you to pay for the article. I look to see if the article is carried in the databases and print it out for free.
That's what we like to hear! :-)
lol i walk by that &quot;library&quot; every day its in Seattle... well Ballard but nobody knows where Ballard really is so... but yeah i got a crate full of electronics books from some guy on craigslist all from the navy... military books rock.
If your in the Military you also have access to a crap load of information including repair manuals for most vehicles, free books on tape (mp3), magazine articles (including Army times and military times)-all on line through AKO <br /> <br /> its under &quot;my libraries&quot; tab under self service.<br />
Oh, heck yeah!&nbsp; The US&nbsp;military has a great library service.<br /> <br /> Thanks for contributing, Matt.

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Bio: I feel like Instructables tapped a vein of creativity I never knew I had. Both of my grandfathers were great tinkerers and makers of all ... More »
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