Facts by Subject | Southwestern Illinois College

What is a Reference Book?

A reference book contains useful facts or specially organized information, like an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, directory, handbook, etc. It is consulted for information about a specific fact rather than read from beginning to end. Hard copy reference books are housed together in the library’s Reference Collection. They can be used inside the library but cannot be checked out.

Two ways to search for Reference Books at SWIC Library:

Visit the Library! SWIC Library has a Reference Collection filled with Reference Books at each campus library. Librarians can help you find reference books on your topic.
Search our online Reference Collection in CredoReference. Type your keyword and it will search for facts about your topic in over 800 online reference books. Citations are provided.

Can I just skip coming to the library and find every encyclopedia online in CredoReference?

No. The online reference books and the reference books at the library are completely different. For example, The Encyclopedia of Religion is not online. It is located at the library. The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters is only online. Ask a librarian to help you find the best reference book for you!