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Types of Library Materials: Consider Types of Sources

This guide will help you distinguish between different types of library materials including books, reference books, eBooks, magazines, and journals.

Source Overview

Understanding what types of information are published in each type of resource will help you choose resources that are most suitable to your research needs at each stage of your research. 

Reference Works

Background or Reference Works: 
 The best resource to find a concise overview or summary of a topic, written by a topic specialist. Often lists additional references.  We have both print and electronic reference works.

Example of a print reference source:   

   Encyclopedia of addictions and addictive behaviors

   Haselwood Library - Bremerton   Reference - 1st Floor   

  Call number 362.2903 Gw995e  



The best resource to find more in-depth analysis of a subject although it may not be as broad a view as a reference work.  Not as current as periodical articles.  We have both print and electronic books.

Example of a print book:

  Join the Club: how peer pressure can change the world

   Haselwood Library - Bremerton   Main Collection - 2nd Floor

‚Äč   Call number 303.327 Ro723j  


Periodical Articles

Periodical Articles: 
The best source for small segments of a topic, current articles on a topic, analysis of current events, and/or targeted research studies.  Can be newspapers, trade journals, popular magazines, or scholarly journals.  We have both print and electronic periodicals.

    Example of a scholarly article:

Park, Eunhee. 2017.Youth Empowerment: Teens Create Smoking Prevention Videos. Nursing Outlook, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 134–135.