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Reference and Research: Reference Resources

Online Reference Resources - Quick Facts

During most reference interactions you'll end up following the patron's lead and finding the resource that fits their need. But there are times when knowing where to go for the quick fact comes in handy! Here are a few sites that will serve you well:

  • Census Data: visit this site for a wealth of population data gathered by our federal government. It's easiest to search for a specific city, village, town, county, or state. Once the results are shown you can access the stats by clicking on the dark blue profile box on the right side of the screen to explore the data.
  • Goodreads: a social cataloging website that allows users to search for books and reviews. This a great place to find information on series numbers or what real readers are thinking about specific books.
  • access movie and TV show ratings, reviews, content, cast lists, and more!
  • Wikipedia: a free encyclopedia. Understand that anyone can update this website at any time, whether their information is factual or not! However, if you have no idea what your patron is asking about, this is a good place to start. You can almost always get a basic understanding of the topic at hand.
  • World Factbook: this is a resource produced by the CIA containing quick facts about countries of the world.

Online Reference Resources - NCLS Virtual Branch

Image titled Online Resources. NCLS has provided for staff and patrons a list of super helpful resources on their website. These can be used whenever needed and, depending on the resource, may require a library card and the creation of an account. 

Print Reference Resources

When you're first starting any library position, always familiarize yourself with the physical resources that are around you. This will help you get comfortable right off the bat! Next, make sure you know the general locations of other collections in your building so that you can direct patrons as they ask questions.

When searching for items always start within our library system. Consider this level 1 of searching.

Searching for Items: Leap

In Leap, open the Find tool. In most cases you'll find that you need to do a little digging to find the right title or author if the patron provides you with one. Choose the following search options to make your initial search as smooth as possible:

  • Item Record > Basic Search > All keyword fields > Keyword (All)
    Pro tip - the words Item Record, Basic Search, All keyword fields, and Keyword all change if you click on them.

Pro tip - if you find yourself at a loss after some initial searching, jump over to Amazon to find the correct title or author! Sometimes you'll hit on the right one if you're off by a word or two.

You also have the ability to configure more options to narrow down your search results should you choose by clicking on the filter (hint - it's next to the star). However, be aware that once you finish your search and the patron walks away, these options will still be applied to future searches unless you close the Find tool completely.

Searching for Items: Beyond NCLS

There are other levels of searching and borrowing that you can access! DueNorth and OCLC are ILL (interlibrary loan) systems that connect you with libraries throughout New York and the world to access resources for your patrons. For searching and borrowing instructions, reach out to NCLS.