Reference vs. Stacks
books in a library's collection are shelved either in reference
or the stacks. So what's the difference, and which collection
should you use??
of the books in your own home, which can probably be divided
into the same two categories. For example, an
owner's manual for a home appliance, a telephone book,
or a cookbook would be considered
reference books. You
refer to these for specific information. Reference books
can be used to great advantage when researching a paper.
encyclopedias and other reference sources
the other hand, the books that you spend time with, novels
and biographies, for example, are comparable to the library books
shelved in the stacks. These books provide a full, detailed
treatment of a topic or, put another way, they flesh out the information
provided in an encyclopedia.
researching a paper you might need to check both kinds of