You want a list of potential customers for your new business. Or you want to find an address for your aunt in Toledo. Or you want to find a list of orthodontists in Fort Wayne.
We have an online resource that specializes in those types of searches: AtoZdatabases. You can access this database from any of our public computers. You can also access this database from home -- you'll just need to provide your ACPL card number, beginning with 21833 to login.
Click on the Research
tab at the top of ACPL's home page and then again on Research Tools
from the drop down list. Scroll down and click on Business and Finance
. When you see the next drop down list, choose AtoZdatabases
. You will be asked to type in your library card number (unless you are using a computer at the library.) Then you hit the jackpot.
You can see three main options near the top of the page. One lets you search for a specific business anywhere in the country. The second provides job listings in your community. The third option lets you search for individuals by name -- or, if you activate the Search by Phone button -- you can search for who has a certain telephone number (although in the cell phone age, there's often no result available).
Things get even more interesting in the middle of the main page, where you can generate lists of businesses or people. For instance, you can put together a list of businesses of a certain size and certain type in all of Indiana. Or, you can generate a list of all married people in New Haven who live in houses valued between $75,000 and $125,000.
Much of the data in AtoZ is estimates, and sometimes the addresses and phone numbers are out of date, but it's a far better resource than what you will find for free on the Internet, especially for creating lists. There are some limits on how long the lists can be, but once you have a list, you can print it or save it to a file.
If you are comfortable playing around with databases, I encourage you to spend a half hour with AtoZ. The service is, of course, free for ACPL card holders who live in Allen County. If you would like guidance on using it, stop by the Business, Science & Technology Desk at the Main Library or give us a call at 260-421-1215. We'll be glad to help you with your personal or professional project.
Evan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.