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Library Services Overview: Reference Books

How to find information about authors and works of literature, and also literary criticism.

Use Reference Books for Basic Information

Reference Books have their own section of the Library.  A typical reference book in literature is  composed of short entries perfect for quickly identifying basic information on a topic.  Reference Books range from general author biographies to compilations of literary criticism. Reference Books are not allowed to leave the library but can be photocopied or scanned.  They are clearly marked "Ref" near the call number label. 

Here are examples of reference books:

Contemporary Literary Criticism

The set of 158 volumes of consists of compilations of criticism on individual works of literature.  An index leads to the volumes and pages related to a given piece of literature.

Classic Poetry Anthologies

Some anthologies try to collect the most important poems by the most significant authors.  Some of these books are kept in the Reference collection where the poems are readily available for photocopying.

Examples of Reference Books

Reference books on literature range from descriptions of genres such as poetry or fantasy literature to books on individual authors or compilations of criticism on many authors or individual works.