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Reference Books   Tags: how do i find, research assistance  

Last Updated: Oct 2, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Using Call Numbers to find books

The call number, found on the spine of the book, acts as the book's address on the shelf.

spine labels

To locate a book in the library that you have located through the library catalog, write down the call number.

For example, if the book:

  •  World Factbook is found in the catalog,

The call number of the book is

  • Ref. JA51 .N3 

Use this chart to guide you to the right floor of the library to find the books you are looking for based on the call number:

Entry Level Stacks:  REF A-Z 

Intermediate Level Stacks: A - E183  (as well as some Oversize books.)

Upper Level Stacks: E183 - HV 9104

Upper Level Main: HV 9104 - ZA  and  Education Curriculum Collection & Juvenile Literature Collection

Similar subject areas have similar call numbers and are grouped together on the shelf. 


Almanacs, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and other reference works

Almanacs, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and other reference books are books used for looking up facts, definitions, or other information. Many of these are in the library and are just used in the library and can't be taken out.  Some of these are available online. 

The following suggestions may prove helpful when you are working on a term paper or a class assignment.  Start by consulting reference materials, as outlined below:

  • dictionary - For definitions of unfamiliar words
  • encyclopedia - To obtain an overview of the subject
  •  To find pertinent facts, terms or statistics look at almanacs, handbooks, directories, indexes, atlases, etc.
  • Find books on your topic in the Library by using the Library Catalog.
  • For journal (magazine/periodical) articles search in a commercial database or paper index for citations. Access commercial databases from links on our home page.
  • Search the Internet for information on your subject, using various search engines or going to particular sites. Remember to evaluate the information you find on the Internet for authoritativeness and timeliness.   


Online access to Reference Books

CREDO REFERENCE is an online library of  full text reference books. Provides background information on a wide variety of topics. This database includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, census information, images, biographies and more.

  • Available 24/7 from any Internet terminal. Enter your UNH user ID and password when requested
  • Publications Included

Diane Spinato

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Diane Spinato-Sr. Info. Literacy Librarian
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