The handsome binding on the matched set of two dozen encyclopedia volumes makes it easy to spot from across the room. You scan the letters inscribed on the spines to find the correct volume, then pull it off the shelf and set it on a table to save your wrists from fatigue. Paging through, you let your attention wander, pausing every so often to inspect eye-catching images and charts. Finally, with the help of the thumb index, you find the article you were seeking and settle in to read.
If you have fond memories like these, you’ll be glad to hear that the Lincolnwood Public Library still carries a print copy of the World Book that you can use to relive them (or share them with the next generation). However, you won’t find the Encyclopedia Britannica in our building—nor in any other physical library—because the print version was discontinued in 2012.
What you will find, both in our building and (with your Lincolnwood library card) on any computer or mobile device, is the Encyclopedia Britannica Online. This online format has some obvious advantages over the print version. Thousands of articles are enhanced by multimedia content, and other reference tools (a world atlas, a dictionary) are embedded within the site. Articles are updated continuously by professional editors, with input from the public. And while it no longer involves flipping pages or juggling volumes, browsing—by subject in Articles or Media; by era, nationality/cultural association, or activity in Biographies; or by using a map in the World Atlas—is alive and well.
You’ll find a link to the Encyclopedia Britannica on every page of our website, in the drop-down menu under Research. If you are outside the library, enter your library card number to access the site. Need some guidance? Stop by and ask a librarian, or set up a one-on-one appointment for more detailed instruction. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (847) 677-5277.