• Familiarize themselves with the different reference materials available in the Library
  • Develop the basic information-seeking skills
  • Perform effective and efficient access and retrieval of information.

    • Sources of information (databases, abstracts, journals, books, etc) which are used for answering inquiries in a library.
    • Such items are not normally lent, but consulted only on the premises.



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  • book containing a selection of words of a language or of some special subjects, arranged alphabetically with explanations about them.
  • a book containing the words of a language, or the terms of a subject, arranged in some definite order, usually alphabetic, with explanations of their meaning and use.

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  • a work containing information on all subjects, or limited to a special field or subject, arranged in systematic (usually alphabetical), order.
  • Categories of Encyclopedia:
    1. By Format – some sets cover from 4-32 volumes e.g. World Book and small works range from 1,2,3 vols. e.g. New Columbia Encyclopedia.
    2. By Scope – The division is either General e.g. World Book, Britannica, Americana or Subject e.g. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.
    3. By Audience – The general work maybe for a teenager or a lay person.

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    Ready Reference Source

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  • Almanacs and Yearbooks
    • Almanac - a publication, usually an annual, containing a variety of useful facts of miscellaneous nature, and statistical information. It was originally a projection of the coming year by days, months, holidays, etc. (Harrod)- a compendium of useful data and statistics relating to countries, personalities, events, subjects, etc., (Katz)
    • Yearbook - a volume often called an annual, containing current information of a variable nature, in brief descriptive and/or statistical form, which is published once a year. (Harrod)- annual compendium of the data and statistics of a given year. (Katz)
  • Handbooks / Manuals
    • Handbook - a treatise on a specific subject; often nowadays a simple but all-embracing treatment, containing concise information, and being small enough to be held in the hand; but strictly, it is a book written primarily for practitioners and serving for constant revision or reference.
    • Categories of Encyclopedia:
      1. Curiosities – questions ranging from customs, traditions, events, superstition to science and the arts. These are mostly answerable by this type of handbook
      2. Literary – this deals with allusions, identification of plots, characters, incidents, quotations.
      3. Statistics – this covers statistical information on population, finance, education, business and industry.
      4. Documentary – this gives exact wording of rules, regulations, laws, decisions, and documents.
      5. Parliamentary and debate – information regarding questions about conducting meetings, supporting arguments, participation in debates are included here.
      6. Specific subject – facts relating to subject areas like government, education, history, geography, sports, science and technology.

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  • list of persons or orgnizations in alphabetical or classified arrangement. These include addresses and affiliations for individuals and officers and other data for organizations and business firms. (Gates)
    • Local directories
    • Telephone books
    • City directories
    • examples: under these are directories of local schools, garden clubs, department stores, theaters and social groups.

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  • Government directories These include guide to government offices and agencies.
  • Institutional directories We find here lists of schools, foundations, libraries, hospitals, museums, galleries, etc,
  • Types of Categories Directory
    • Investment service directory very much related to trade and business directories, give detailed reports on public and private corporations and companies.
    • Professionals directories these are directories of professional organizations e.g. librarianship, pharmacy, medicine, law etc.
    • Trade and business directories included are manufacturer’s information about companies, industries and services.

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    Biographical Sources

  • Biography – life history of a person.
  • Autobiography – life history of a person written by himself.
  • Genealogy – the making of a human pedigree through the linkage of basic biological data found in records, with names, dates and places. (Katz)
  • Pathography – method employed in biographical writings which concentrates on disaster, sickness, failed marriages, failed careers, alcoholism, breakdowns, outrageous conduct, etc. Its theme is failed promise and tragedy.
  • Biographical dictionaries – universally used reference works which are essentially a directory of notable persons, usually arranged alphabetically by surnames with biographical identification that range form brief to extended narrative.

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    Geographical Sources

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  • Map – a plane representation of the earth’s surface, or a part of some, indicating physical feature, political boundaries, etc. (Harrod)
  • Atlas – a collection of maps or plates or other exhibits bound in a volume. (Shores)
  • Gazetteer – alphabetic list of place names including such information for each place as pronunciation, location, description, and statistics. (Shores)
  • Geographical dictionaries- dictionaries usually of place names. (Katz)
  • Guidebook – book of direction and information, especially one for travelers, tourist, etc. (Webster)
  • Globe – a spherical model of the earth. (Webster)

  • Most Common Maps in Atlases:

  • Physical maps – which show the various features of the land, from the rivers and valleys to the mountains and hills.
  • Political maps – trace the limits of political boundaries.
  • Physiological maps, topographical, and geological maps - refer to the various aspects of the physical features of the land.
  • Economic map - among other group of maps that can be considered here is referred to as thematic. This has to do with historical, economic, political and other related subjects. e.g. The Times Atlas of the World.

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    Government Documents

  • Publication funded or published with the government’s authority.
  • Classification – in terms of use, government documents are classified as:
    • Records of government administration.
    • Research documents for specialists.
    • Popular sources of information.

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  • Forms of Government Documents
    • Books
    • Pamphlets
    • Magazines
    • Microform
    • Others (almost any media)


    Questions are classed according to the following

    • Subject - This type of classification groups the questions as to the class number it may have following any scheme of classification.
    • Type - This involves questions requesting answers with the use of directories. It may also include fact-finding materials which call for the use of almanacs, Reader’s Guide, etc. A library user might have his own personal choice of any material to suit his purpose. Subject specialized questions can also be considered under this category.
    • Purpose and Inquirer – To enhance student learning, school assignments, term papers, reports, etc. are assigned to students. Other purposes may have something to do with vocational concerns which have to do with subjects like advertising, teaching, etc.
    • Sources consulted

    Summary According to Sources Consulted

    Class of Questions: Language
    Sample Types: Definition, spelling, symbols, foreign terms, usage
    Representative Sources: Dictionary

    Class of Questions: Background
    Sample Types: History, general information, self education
    Representative Sources: Encyclopedia

    Class of Questions: Trend
    Sample Types: Current events, past year’s development, recent happenings
    Representative Sources: Yearbook, Serials/Almanac

    Class of Questions: People
    Sample Types: Notables, specialists, socialists, etc.
    Representative Sources: Biographical Dictionary, Directories

    Class of Questions: Places
    Sample Types: Locations, descriptions, distances, population, etc., area measurement
    Gazetteer, atlas, map, guidebooks, globes

    Class of Questions: Organizations
    Sample Types: Addresses, purposes
    Representative Sources: Dictionary

    Class of Questions: Facts
    Sample Types: Curiosities, statistics, events, formulas, allusions
    Representative Sources: Handbook

    Class of Questions: Activities
    Sample Types: “How to do”, “How to make”
    Representative Sources: Manual

    Class of Questions: Bibliography
    Sample Types: Review, best books, subject literature
    Representative Sources: National, trade, subject bibliography

    Class of Questions: Illustrations
    Sample Types: Pictures, cartoons, slides, films, recordings
    Representative Sources: Audio-Visual Material

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  • Cambridge Dictionaries Online
    • This web site features the favorite learner dictionaries such as Cambridge Dictionaries of the Advanced Learners, Learners, American English, Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, Spanish/ English, Klett Compact French-English and many others.
  • Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary
    • Search more than 160,000 entries in one of the web's most up-to-date dictionary and thesaurus.
  • The New English-German Dictionary
    • A web-based English-German Dictionary of over 95,000 words.
  • OneLook Dictionaries
    • Allows you to search for multiple definitions of a word from a variety of online dictionaries.


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    • Allows you to search thesauri or to browse thesauri by headword and category.

    Fact Books

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      Guinness World Records

    Acronyms and Abbreviations

      Acronym Finder
    • The World Wide Web Acronym & Abbreviation Server


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    • 50 States and Capitals
    • Information Please
    • The Old Farmer’s Almanac


    • Distinguished Women of Past and Present
    • Nobel Prize Internet Archive
    • Presidents of the United States (POTUS)

    Weights and Measures
    • The website provides online conversions for different kind of metrics such as length, weight, temperature, area, volume, speed, frequency, light, cooking, currency and many more with pictures to allow easy access the menu items and some explanations.