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How to find reference resources at Seattle Academy.


The Print Reference section is on the 2nd Floor of the Vanderbilt Building on the outside wall of College Advising. 

Reference books are included in our library catalog. To search for reference books combine the word Reference with your subject search.  Here are some examples:

  • China Reference
  • Christopher Columbus Reference
  • Supreme Court Cases  Reference

Reference call numbers (on spine of book) will look like this:

  • R 951 ENC 
  • R 909 ROB 

‚ÄčHere are three great resources from other Institutions. (Why re-invent the wheel?)

When searching the web for statistics it is good to include one of these terms:

  • charts
  • forms
  • statistics
  • data
  • numbers
  • trends
  • polling
  • figures
  • tables


What is reference? Think for a moment about how you use Wikipedia. That is modern-day internet-enabled reference. Asking Google or Siri a question on your tablet or phone, that is also reference. And obviously, web searching could be considered consulting reference. If you think about it, you are consulting reference sources all the time. You just never called it reference. There may be some Librarians who do not agree with this philosophy but I maintain that its important to acknowledge the massive change in information environments and realize that quick reference has become the domain of the everyday person with a cell phone.

Before the internet, only Librarians and library super-users had access to convenient reference - mostly as print resources. The reference section of our library consists of the following kinds of information:

  • background information
  • brief overviews of topics
  • commonly used keywords and subject terms
  • important people, places, events, and dates
  • short bibliographies of related books and articles on the topic
  • quick facts

...and includes the following types of books:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Almanacs
  • Fact Books
  • Specialized Encyclopedias
  • Biography
  • Statistics
  • Atlases
  • Thesaurii

Traditional reference still can be very helpful as well as an authoritative source of information. Ask your librarian for help.  

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