Looking Up Phone Numbers

Here at the library, we get a lot of calls for phone numbers. So we’ve had a lot of practice at tracking down that elusive phone number.

Our first stop is ReferenceUSA, which is accessible from our Database Page.

First, choose one of two available databases: U.S. Business (for business, companies, hospitals, etc.) or U.S Residential (for home phone numbers).

Next, type in the Company Name or the Person’s Last Name, First Name (if known), City (if known) and State. Then click on Search Now.

Don’t be discouraged if you get a “No records found matching criteria!” Databases are often unforgiving. You may need to try the name with different spellings and configurations.

If you don’t know how to spell the person’s first name, you can leave it blank. However, be aware that this may result in a long list if the name is common. For example, the last name Smith results in 1,590 records on 64 pages just for Baton Rouge.

Remember that some listings only use a first initial, so John Smith might be listed as J Smith. 

If you are unsure of spelling, you can try truncating the name using an asterisk (*). In ReferenceUSA you must have three letters before you can truncate. So if you don’t know if the listing is under Harry or Harold, you can type HAR*, which will give you all Harry, Harold, as well as Harley, Harmon, Hardy, and Harvey. This method works for last names too.

You can leave out the city if you are unsure of the city. This results in a statewide search.

ReferenceUSA does not include unlisted numbers, and cell phones are often unlisted.

Here is a list of useful online Directories and Phone Books.

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