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Reference Collection

The Reference Department houses the general reference collection for the Alvin Sherman Library. The collection is located on the second floor on the north and south sides of the reference desk. Currently numbering 13,700 print volumes and over 200 separate electronic resources, the reference collection covers a wide range of subjects. Print and CD-ROM reference materials may only be used in the Alvin Sherman Library. The reference collection consists of:

  • Reference books
  • Ready reference materials
  • Microforms
  • Foundations and Grants Collection
  • Electronic online resources
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Reference Books

The print reference collection is arranged by the Library of Congress classification system. The collection includes general and specialized encyclopedias, English and foreign language dictionaries, concordances, directories, style manuals, biographical sources, numerous current and retrospective bibliographies, atlases, thesauri, almanacs, and indices. Note that many of the indices have been replaced by or are now maintained in the online databases found in the Electronic Resources section of our Website.

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The Reference Department oversees the microforms collection which is located in the southwest corner (near the photocopy room) and northwest corner (near Lab A) of the second floor of the Alvin Sherman Library. The microforms collection includes the complete microfiche collection of ERIC documents, select newspapers and journals on microfilm or microfiche, and Roth's Corefiche Literature Collection. In addition, there are several special collections on microfiche. There are also microfilm and microfiche readers/printers near the microforms collection.

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Foundations & Grants Collection

The Reference Department also houses a cooperating collection of the national Foundation Center. This collection, known as the Foundations and Grants Collection, includes the Foundation Directory Online database, a core collection of Foundation Center publications, and a variety of supplemental materials including information on scholarships. It also houses a small circulating collection donated by the Association of Fundraising Professionals to assist its members in becoming certified. As part of the University's commitment to the Foundation Center, Reference staff provides training both in groups and one-on-one for this collection. Learn more about the Foundations & Grants Collection.

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Electronic Online Resources

Many electronic resources, including databases and citation indices, are available on computers in the library as well as remotely. Forty public workstations are located next to the Reference Desk where reference librarians can assist patrons with these databases.

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Last update: 12/27/11