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.
The Garver Room houses the library’s main reference collection.
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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Library Catalog
Can't find what you are looking for at your home library? Please check out the Commonwealth Catalog.
With access to millions of titles, the Commonwealth Catalog extends your library’s reach to all participating libraries throughout Massachusetts, with convenient pick-up at your local library.
Reference sources are also available in database form through the library. These sources are available 24/7!
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