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Types of Library Materials

This guide will help you distinguish between different types of library materials, including reference sources, books, and eBooks, trade publications, and scholarly journal articles

What are Reference Sources?

Reference books are a great place to start your research.  They will give you concise, factual information on a particular topic intended to educate, not persuade. Appropriate college-level reference materials include items like specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries.

The print and electronic reference sources we provide are all free to Olympic College students and employees to use because the subscription is provided by Olympic College Library. 

Few, if any, of these eBook reference sources can be obtained free from Google searches.  They are part of what is called the "Invisible Web".  They are written, edited, and reviewed by experts and therefore qualify as academic sources for college-level research and writing.

Selected Reference Databases