Skip Tracing Tools – Searching Private Books and Public Libraries

February 3, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Library User Group,Sarah Denson


Even though you don’t have access to your personal computer or the internet, a local library in your area is a perfect spot to carry out your research when looking for that missing friend of yours from your senior high school days.


Chances are that the public library already has computers that are hooked up to the Internet. Not only will the public library have computers as learning resource tools for the private investigator, it also offers reference books that are highly valuable resources.


For skip tracing purposes, the two main resources a private investigator uses at a local library will be the crisscross directory also known as directory or a city directory.


The primary branch of your local library has phone books not only for the city where you live, but also for major metropolitan areas around the country. It also consists of phone books for other towns within the state where you reside.


If you have a telephone number or street address in a city outside your own, you can contact a library in that city and ask for the reference desk. If possible, the attendant at the reference desk will look up the address, name, or contact number you give them in the neighborhood crisscross directory and give you the info.


Some local libraries will keep a collection of telephone directories spanning the previous ten years for your respective town or city. When skip tracing a person whose address you have is no more valid, you can look through the library’s old telephone books and determine when, give a year or so, your subject moved. The next step is to look at the crisscross directory and identify the neighbors who resided there during the same time your subject did. Then, use the existing crisscross to see if some of those neighbors are still living there, and talk with them to see what they know. It’s possible that they may know your subject and might be able to tell you where he/she relocated to. They could even know the name of your subject’s workplace.


With the Internet, many libraries today now have access to pay databases that you can gain access to from your home by typing in your library card number. Bet you didn’t know that right? Databases such as crisscross directories, Thompson-Gale and so many more are available to the general public with a library card. If you can’t access these databases from your home computer using your library card number, you might have to access these databases from the library’s personal computers.


By using the public library’s resources in assisting you in skip trace, you can save a dollar or two.


Sarah Denson

Library User Group

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