Answered By: Nancy Alzo
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2014     Views: 45

The book collection on the main floor in Crumb Library adjacent to the computers is our Reference collection.  In this library, it is an area but in other libraries it may be a specific room.

The collection is comprised mainly of books you "refer" to in order to find background or specific factual information and are for use in the library only.  Examples of reference books are dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies and statistical compilations. 

The collection is in organized by subject according to the Library of Congress classification, just as books in the stacks are.

All the books in this collection can be found by searching title or subject in our catalog, BearCat.

A subset of reference material - print indexes - are now located on the second floor at the beginning of the stacks shelving.

We also have two databases of reference books available electronically -- Credo Reference which is primarily subject-specific dictionaries of brief background and factual information and the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) which is comprised of longer, multi-volume subject encyclopedias.  You can easily search across either of these collections to find information in our reference ebooks.

Check out our Starting Research tutorial to see how reference sources can be used effectively when you are working on an assignment.

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