Reference resources help you choose, explore and develop your topic! Reference sources such as encyclopedias and dictionaries contain overviews and background information. They sometimes contain statistics, definitions and lists of resources for further study. When you have a better understanding of your topic, it will be easier to come up with the search terms you'll use to find the books and articles you need.
Wikipedia is a reference source because it is an encyclopedia. You can use it to discover ideas and links to additional resources -- but never cite it as a source in your papers! This rule exists because Wikipedia entries can be edited at any time, by anyone, and so its accuracy can never be relied upon at any given moment.
Search these online reference databases using basic keywords. For example, if you are starting to research sustainability, input that word into the database and review the results for topic overviews and terms to know.
Books in the Reference collection are available in the library building only. They cannot be checked out. You can scan or copy pages as needed. Any other books or materials can be checked out or viewed online using the link.
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