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Reference BooksThe PBTS library has books that are used to find specific information such as general facts, statistics and terms. These resources are known as reference books.
These books are referred to but not read straight through or in their entirety. This information can be read quickly and should always be available when needed. Reference books do not normally circulate outside the library. They are usually marked with : Ref above the call number on the book spine and in the card catalog. They are shelved in a special location in the library known as the reference section. This collection is strictly for library and classroom use only.
In general, reference books fall into two categories:
1. Those treating many subjects, such as general encyclopedias, almanacs and yearbooks.
2. Other types deal with specific subjects such as an encyclopedia of religion, a dictionary of theology and a directory of educational institutions.
Some of the useful types of reference books that can be found in our library are the following:
An encyclopedia is a systematic summary of significant knowledge; a summary of knowledge of particular subject. The reliable set can be kept up-to-date by means of yearbooks or supplements.
A dictionary is an alphabetically arranged publication containing information about words, meanings, derivations, spelling, pronunciation, syllabication, and usage. It is a word or term book. If the main language is English, a good unabridged dictionary will not only give definitions, origins and word use, but also abbreviations and illustrative quotations.
Maps and Atlases:
A map is flat, pictorial representation usually of the earth’s surface or a section of it. An atlas is a collection of maps.
Handbooks and Almanacs:
Handbook and Almanacs, such as the World Almanac, contain many miscellaneous facts and current statistics.
Biographical works give personal information about specific people.
Specific Reference Books
Specific reference books in the fields of art, science, literature, and the Bible are helpful additions for reference collections.
Indexes to periodical articles
These tools are necessary for locating information in periodicals. The Christian Periodical Index, for example, covers over 60 journals of interest to theological schools, Christian Colleges and seminaries.
Other types of books
Many other types of books such as directories, histories, annuals and bibliographies are useful in finding specific kinds of information. Style manuals are helpful in executing the proper form in writing research papers.