Reference books are starting points for research
The display pictured on the right says that a reference book "is a summary source providing general information within a subject area." For this reason, reference books are good starting places for your research.
Our print reference collection has ~3,400 books, and our e-reference collection likely has an even larger number. The print collection is located on the 2nd floor in the blue compact shelves. These shelves can easily be moved to the right or left by means of a hand crank. Our e-reference collection features books from publishers Gale, Oxford, and Sage, primarily. Lately, we've been purchasing more ebooks than print for this collection.
The display also compares Wikipedia to reference books. The main thing to remember is that reference books go through a fairly long and rigorous publication process before they are ready for publication. Wikipedia articles are crowd-sourced and are often written by non-experts.
We have a short tutorial that will help you become more familiar with our e-reference books, titled "How to Get Started with Online Encyclopedias." Ask any librarian if you'd like to learn more about this special collection.