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Research & Instruction Department: Collections

Reference Collections

The Research & Instruction Department strives to maintain a quality reference collection consisting of books and electronic products.  Subject librarians select materials in their respective subject areas. It is the collective responsibility of the subject selectors to maintain an authoritative, current, and comprehensive reference collection that serves the university community effectively and adequately. The basic subject areas that are collected are those that support the instructional and research activities of the university community.

Print Reference Collection - Reference books are located in the rear of the first floor of Buley Library. Reference books have "Ref" before the call number and are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification. Click here to search for Library of Congress subject headings. 

Materials in this collection are limited to almanacs, dictionaries, (English language, foreign language and subject dictionaries), general encyclopedias, specific subject encyclopedias, handbooks, guidebooks, bibliographies (standard bibliographies, general bibliographies and specialized subject bibliographies), basic texts with high reference value, statistical/table compilations, biographical sources, manuals, yearbooks, atlases, loose-leaf services, indexes and guides to research.

The Reference Collection is a non-circulating collection.

Ready Reference Collection - The ready reference collection is located at the Research & Information Desk. Materials in this collection include those reference sources that are used frequently to answer reference/information questions. Most of these materials are basic reference books such as almanacs, desk reference sources, dictionaries, directories, statistical sources, style guides, resume/job sources, thesaurus, etc.

Patrons are requested to return these materials to the Research & Information Desk after use.

Map Collection - The goal for the SCSU Map Collection is to acquire, house, organize, and maintain maps and related materials needed to support the teaching and research programs of the University. All maps are kept in map cabinets in an alcove at the rear of the main floor near the restrooms. US topographic maps, US Geological Survey Maps, all state series and park series maps as well as maps from the US Defense Mapping Agency belong in this collection. Access to specific maps is provided via continually updated index grid sheets. Other maps which can be acquired free of charge are also in this collection. Please go to the Research & Information desk for assistance.

A representative collection of general and specialized atlases are available. The latest editions of most major atlases are purchased. Gazetteers and other atlases are in the Reference collection. Atlas display tables are located nearby.

Portrait File - A collection of portraits (8 1/2" x 11") is filed in the cabinets near the Reference area. These portraits are arranged in alphabetical order by the person's last name.

Electronic Reference Collection - Electronic resources include on-line databases, e-books, and Internet sites.

The list of databases is subject to change as products are added or deleted. Any member of the Southern community may recommend the acquisition of new electronic products. All requests, however, will be evaluated by the reference librarians before purchase.

Guides on searching specific databases can be found on the library home page under Research Guides. Print copies of some guides are available on the "Info to Go" rack near the Research & Information Desk.