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Reference collection

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A distinct part of a library's holdings, a reference collection consists of reference books such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other factual works and secondary sources which are shelved together in a special location and may not be checked out because they are needed by reference librarians to find authoritative information on demand.

Materials in the reference collection often do not circulate, but you probably wouldn't want to check them out anyway.

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See also the Wikipedia article on:
Reference work

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