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Nonfiction eBooks in Gale Virtual Reference Library

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Are you looking for nonfiction titles in eBook format? Do you have a project due and you have to have some books as part of your resources? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is the right database for you! GVRL contains over 3,500 full-text, nonfiction and reference eBooks. They cover a wide range of topics, including: biography, business, education, history, medicine, and technology. Take a look below for a brief overview of how to access GVRL, how to find content, and for a peek at some other helpful features.


Accessing GVRL


To access GVRL, go to the research page on our website. The list of databases will be in alphabetical order, so scroll down to the ones that start with "G" and then click on "Gale Virtual Reference Library." At this point, if you are doing this from home you will be asked to provide your library card number. Then you will be taken to the GVRL homepage.

Research page at


How to use GVRL


Now that we're on the GVRL homepage, there are a couple of different ways that we can find information. There is a list of categories on the far right side on the screen that you can click on to start browsing titles. There is also a basic search bar at the top of the screen. You can type in titles, topics, authors, and more. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library hompage


There is also an advanced search which can be found by clicking on the "Advanced" button next to the basic search bar. You can do a more thorough search this way by putting in more than one piece of information to search. For example, you can put in a title AND an author, and that will narrow your results down even more. There are also some additional options you can use to narrow your results even further besides that, such as target audience, content level (basic, intermediate, or advanced), and publication language.

Advanced search button on GVRL

Advance search screen on GVRL


When you perform a search and get your results, there will be additional options you can play around with to hone in on exactly what you are looking for.

Search options on  GVRL


Special Features


Clicking on an item in your results will take you to the text and will lead you to some other special features.

Tools menu on GVRL

Here is a breakdown of the features shown above:

  • Citation Tools: generates a citation for the text you are viewing. There are 3 formats available for the citations: MLA, APA, and Chicago. You can copy and paste it, download it, or export it to a variety of platforms, such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Email: email the article/chapter/section that you are viewing either as text in the body of the message or as a PDF file that you can download.
  • Download: directly download a copy of the article/chapter/section you are viewing.
  • Print: print a copy of the article/chapter/section you are viewing.
  • Highlights and Notes: when you're looking at text, you can select text by dragging your mouse across. This give you the option to highlight the selected text with a virtual highlighter and you can also add your own notes that will be attached to whatever you highlighted. This is where you can see all of your highlights and notes.
  • Save: save the article/chapter/section you are viewing to a folder on the GVRL website. Everything you save will stay in the folder until you close out of your session (see image below).
  • Download MP3: GVRL has a text-to-speech feature and this option lets you download an mp3 file of the speech.

GVRL my folder screen

You can also translate the article/chapter/section you're looking at to a variety of different languages.


Gale Virtual Reference Library is an extremely useful database that is available for free for FRVPLD card holders. It can be accessed in the library and at home as well. Have questions, want more information, or want help using Gale Virtual Reference Library? Please stop by the Information Desk, call 847-428-3661, option 3, or send an email at and we’d be happy to help you!