A comprehensive definition and example of each library resources


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There are a wide variety of types of library resources to use.  Each one serves a specific purpose.  When you know the purpose, you can select the right type of resource to find the type of data you seek. The popular library resource types are: General Circulating Books, Reference Books, e.g.  Encyclopedias and Almanacs, Databases, Journals, Magazines and, Newspapers, Websites.

Reference books such as encyclopedias and almanacs contain lots of data.  Encyclopedias consist of facts with some elaboration.  Almanacs give only the facts. Databases may or may not be full text.  Therefore, the information may or may not be immediately accessible.       

Graphics that substantiate facts may be copied and pasted into a research paper. Journals, Magazines and Newspapers provide current information.  The journal articles are well researched and verified.  Magazine articles are broad in scope and not scholarly.  Various newspapers contain information about local, regional, national and international topics.  The topics are of current interest to its readers. Websites have information that is quickly accessible; but it may be difficult to verify.

1.         Electronic Library Resources

An electronic resource is defined as a resource which require computer access or any electronic product that delivers a collection of data, be it text referring to full text bases, electronic journals, image collections, other multimedia products and numerical, graphical or time based, as a commercially available title that has been published with an aim to being marketed. These may be delivered on CD ROM, on tape, via internet and so on.

According to AACR2, 2005 Update, an electronic resource is: “Material (data and/or program(s)) encoded for manipulation by a computerized device. This material may require the use of a peripheral directly connected to a computerized device (e.g., CD-ROM drive) or a connection to a computer network (e.g., the Internet).” This definition does not include electronic resources that do not require the use of a computer, for example, music compact discs and videodiscs.

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According to Library and Information Technology Glossary “Term used to describe all of the information products that a library provides through a computer network… ..”  According to Wikipedia, Electronic Resources means “Information (usually a file) which can be stored in the form of electrical signals, usually on a computer; Information available on the Internet”.  According to Gradman glossary, “A publication in digital format which must be stored and read on a computer device. There are two types: Direct access: these are physical objects such as CD-ROMs, diskettes, computer tapes, and computer cards, containing text, image, software etc.

2.         Printed Resources

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In most libraries, printed resources are divided into two basic categories: “reference books” and “circulating books.” Circulating books are books that can be checked out. They are shelved in the main shelving area of the library, often called the “stacks.” Circulating books cover all subject areas and can range from broad overviews of a general topic to very detailed studies of a very limited, specific topic. Books usually provide more depth and details on a topic than do encyclopedia articles, and they include a much broader range of information than that covered in a magazine, journal or newspaper article.

Reference books are special types of books, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, that you usually just “refer” to for specific pieces of information rather than reading all or large parts of the books. Reference books are usually shelved in a special section of the library–the reference section–and can be used in the library but cannot be checked out. Reference books are good sources to refer to for general overviews of a topic and to become familiar with specialized or technical terms peculiar to a field or subject.

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The following is a list of different reference books:

Dictionaries -The most familiar and frequently used reference source. There are general and specialized dictionaries just like encyclopedias. We consult general dictionaries to find the meaning and origin of words. But there are also historical dictionaries, subject dictionaries, e.g., medical dictionaries, science dictionaries, foreign language dictionaries.

Almanacs & Yearbooks -Wonderful resources of a wide variety of information. These reference books are published yearly and contain factual information pertinent to a specific span of time. Medical, governmental, industrial, and vital statistics are some examples of statistical information that can be found in these resources.

Encyclopedias -The first place to look when beginning research on a subject. In addition to providing a general overview of your topic, encyclopedias help define your topic. Articles include bibliographies leading you to additional information. There are two types of encyclopedias – general and subject or special encyclopedias. General encyclopedias provide information on a wide range of subjects. The World Book Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica are examples of general encyclopedias. A comprehensive definition and example of each library resources

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