Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Secrets of the UFL Librarians—Finding folks

We librarians are frequently asked to provide current addresses and/or phone numbers for your friends or family members who have moved.

We all have our favorite methods for finding people. Here are some web sites we try when you call us.

Scroll down and select Reference USA from the page links. Our library subscribes to Reference USA for both business and residential addresses and phone numbers. To access this source from home, type in your 14-digit Urbana Free Library card number.

AT&T Yellow Pages, published by R.H. Donnelly
You can access online the most recent phone directories for Champaign-Urbana, Peoria, Springfield, Chicago Consumer & Chicago Business-to-Business. The name is a little misleading, as it includes both full-text white and yellow pages.

Google provides publicly listed U.S. phone numbers and addresses. Try typing in the first name, last name, city, and state postal code. Here are some search combinations Google suggests for doing their phone search.

This source can be disconcerting to the user, just because of the type of supposedly private information it can provide--former & current addresses, plus phone numbers, ages, birthdates, and links to names of other people who might be related to the persons you’re searching for.

AnyWho and the at&t Directory Assistance sites both search AT&T phone subscribers.

Some sites, such as InfoSpace, even provide reverse telephone number searches.

Sometime we can’t locate people because they’ve passed away. Visiting the Social Security Death Index can confirm this suspicion. The SSDI is available to search for free from a number of sites on the Internet. Here’s the SSDI site on Rootsweb and the SSDI site on Ancestry.com.

If we can’t find your missing person quickly with these searches, we may suggest looking in sources such as Classmates.com or Pipl. Pipl is a fairly recent people search that claims to search the “Deep Web”, utilizing a variety of sources.

Finding folks is getting harder & harder, as more people decide to replace their traditional telephone service with cell phones or choose to maintain unlisted numbers. We hope this list will make the search easier for you, but call us if you need further help!

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