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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

Books and eBooks

Often the most in-depth analysis of a topic will be available in a book. While reference sources introduce a topic more broadly, the material in books will be more focused. Books may be intended for the general public or for an academic or scholarly audience. Here is a chart to help differentiate between scholarly and popular books.

Popular vs. Scholarly Books
criteria Scholarly books & eBooks Popular books & eBooks
author Scholar, researcher, professor Journalist, political pundit, professional writer
publisher University press or academic publisher Popular press such as Random House, or Hachette
language Discipline-specific vernacular Understandable without discipline expertise, approachable
audience Scholars and students in a specific discipline General public
purpose/use Advance research/ contribute to a discipline Entertain or inform, sell product, promote a perspective
evidence/sources Index, footnotes or bibliography, extensive use of primary evidence May or may not include references, which may or may not be primary evidence


Search the Library Catalog for books, videos, course reserves, & sound recordings

The Library Catalog scope will display physical items located in the Haselwood Library (Bremerton), as well as Poulsbo and Shelton, as well as electronic resources. For more help with search for ebooks, check out our eResources Guide.

Use the "Resource Type" filter in the left sidebar to limit your results to only books & eBooks, to eliminate videos, etc.

You browse through the New Books in the library, and you can also search eBook databases: