Need to know something? Want to look up something quickly?
Maybe it’s for school or perhaps is something you have a
personal interest in.
Yes, there are many great Websites to quickly find
information. There are also helpful books. Sometimes, it is
easier to look something up by grabbing a handy book that is
organized to answer questions.
Most libraries have a special collection of books that are
written to help you quickly find information. These books are
kept in the library.
They are not usually checked out (always ask if you have a
special need for a book, librarians want to help you and will
try to find ways to get you books you need).
Reference books are kept in the library so that we can
quickly “refer” to information. By not checking these books out,
people know they can come to the library anytime with their
Many libraries have copies these books in their DEWEY
collections too – the same book, but ready for you to check out.
Some common reference books include (and remember, there are
- Almanacs. These are annual publications that
contain calendars, facts, statistics, and other information.
An example is the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
- Interesting Facts & Figures. These books are like
dictionaries of information – things that are fun to know. An
example is the Guinness World Book of Records.
- Atlases. These are collections of maps, bound into
book form. They also often tell us about the maps, perhaps
including information about geographic features and political
boundaries, social, religious and economic data.
- Dictionaries. These contain alphabetical list of
words, pronunciations, and definitions. A common example is
Webster’s Dictionary. There are a variety of specialty
dictionaries too, like Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary.
- Encyclopedias. These are usually sets of
books, though sometimes specialty topic-specific encyclopedias
are just one book. They contain general information
about people, places, and things.
- Thesaurus. These are books about words with the
same meaning (synonyms) and books with opposite meanings
(antonyms). An example is Roger’s Thesaurus.
Encyclopedias. These are books, organized alphabetically,
that give general information about topics. The provide
overviews to help people get started with research or learning.
There are general encyclopedias (like World Book) and specialty
encyclopedias like Science Encyclopedia.