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Spanish 521 Latin American Perspectives : Reference Sources Plus

This guide is designed to support Ms. Munoz-Fernandez's Spanish 521 course.

Reference Books vs. Circulating Books

Reference books should only be used for an overview, and not as one of your major sources.  Because reference book articles are short, you are not going to find the level of detail required to write a successful paper.

Circulating books offers more specific information on one major subject with lots of details in its further subdivision.  You may also find lots of supporting materials via facts, personal experience or survey as well as possible some statistics.  It takes you to a deeper level of research.

Garver Reference Room

Garver Reference Room

The Garver Room houses the library’s main reference collection. Other reference books are housed in the S2 stacks.

Use reference materials, such as almanacs, fact books, dictionaries and encyclopedias to get an overview of key terms and concepts related to your topics as a way to begin the research process.

Where can I find them?

  • Reference books are located in the Garver Room (silent study room).
  • Reference books CANNOT be checked out or leave the library.
  • Please return reference books to the Garver Room when you're done using them.
  • All reference books will have the prefix REF before the call number.

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  • Circulating books are located in the stacks. 
  • Please use the Stack Directory in the Main Help Desk area or ask librarians.
  • If you don't find a circulating book in the stack, you may check 1) Books around the slot where it should be; 2) The shelves with "To be shelved" in the stacks; 3) Ask the librarian at the Circulation Desk to see if it is just returned.
  • Librarians can help you to get a copy via an Interlibrary Loan service.

Electronic Reference Sources

Reference sources are also available in database form through the library.  These sources are available 24/7!

  • Credo Reference is a broad-based reference tool that can be limited to search for literature resources.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica is useful for finding broad overviews.
  • The Literary Encyclopedia is good for author overviews; it also includes some information on literary works and movements.
  • Reference Universe shows you what is inside each book, searching deeply into the indexes of more than 20,000 electronic and print reference works.
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online Search Oxford's authoritative bilingual dictionaries to get accurate, up-to-date translations you can rely on.

Questions & Answers

Q. Dear librarian, After I searched the NOBLE Catalog system, I found one of the items I like to read having a call number like this:         S 863 G16F,  what does it mean and where I can find it?

A. This prefix S means this item is in Spanish language. You need to go downstairs to the basement for the Spanish materials section.  Also, 863 means it is a book about Latin American Literature.

~ Ms. Pei