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Note: Your favorite library probably has access to Ex Libris Primo or a similar system.



General Reference, Foundations


Portal, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Glossary, Encyclopedia, Introduction, Outline, Search


Locating Fair and Balanced Sources (Internet Public Library)

These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



Library of Congress Research and Reference Services
Library of Congress Reference Shelf
Library of Congress Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites

Refdesk Reference Shelves on the Net
Refdesk Essential Reference Tools
Refdesk Quick Reference
Refdesk Indispensable Links

Wolfram Alpha

Project Gutenberg

Wikipedia’s Reference Desk
Wikipedia’s Reference Works Category
Wikipedia’s General Reference Portal


reference : something (as a sign or indication) that refers a reader or consulter to another source of information (as a book or passage) — Webster See also OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Reference work A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference.Reference work. — Wikipedia

Ready reference are reference materials used in answering reference questions that can be answered by a reference librarian in one or two minutes by providing a fact or piece of information found in a single source shelved for convenience in a separate location near the reference desk rather than in the reference stacks Reference work. — Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science



WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library



Great Sites for Kids (ALA)


OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


Reference Librarian (US Occupational Outlook Handbook)


General Reference Works (David Nordloh, American Literary Scholarship)
Google Scholar




Library of Congress Research and Reference Services
Library of Congress Reference Shelf
Library of Congress Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites




Reference Librarianship in Star Wars
Jedi Master ‘Madame’ Jocasta Nu



Latest News - Recent Updates Latest News - Recent Updates

  • Gettysburg Address: LIVE Presentation &...
    on November 14, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    The Library of Congress will mark the 155th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address with a discussion of the speech and a #LettersToLincoln transcribe-a-thon for volunteers on and offsite.  Tune in Monday, November 19 at 10 a.m. ET for this special event. Read more information on this special event. Watch LIVE on YouTub […]

  • Twitter Takeover #SerendipityRun Nov 8
    on November 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Ever wanted to explore the Library’s collections but didn't know where to start? Join us and Library of Congress Innovator-in-Residence Jer Thorp in a Twitter takeover as he takes a #SerendipityRun through the collections on our Twitter account from 1-4 PM ET, Thursday, November 8. What’s a #SerendipityRun? Click here to find out – and join us this Thursday! […]

  • NEWS: Jorie Graham Wins Poetry Prize
    on November 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The Library of Congress will award the 2018 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry to Jorie Graham for her 2017 book “Fast.” Graham will receive the award and read selections from her work at the Library on 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6. Click here for more information. […]

  • WATCH LIVE on HALLOWEEN: Frankenreads
    on October 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” and to acknowledge this milestone, the Library of Congress hosts “Frankenreads,” a live, day-long reading of the novel in its entirety by Library staff, friends and some very special guests. The program will be streamed LIVE on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET: Watch LIVE on YouTub […]

  • Latest News: New Crowdsourcing Venture
    on October 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    The Library of Congress today launched, a crowdsourcing program that will connect the Library with virtual volunteers to transcribe text in digitized images from the Library’s historic collections. This project enables anyone with access to a computer to experience first-hand accounts in history while contributing to the Library’s ability to make these treasures more searchable and readable. Click here for more information. […]