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.
Reference books are located in the Garver Room (silent study room).
Circulating books are located in the stacks.