Reference books are not intended to be read cover to cover. They're to be consulted for background, context, definition and outline, and they usually include brief but excellent bibliographies that point you to further research on the subject.
They're a great place to get quick info, or to get a basic grounding in something with which you may not be overly familiar.
We have many print reference books, but increasingly we're acquiring reference e-books that you can use from whereever you have internet connections.
NOTE: Most of Bethel's print reference books may be checked out for short periods.
This free online encyclopedia allows users to view, edit, or create entire articles. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not, but it's rarely the same thing twice. Credibility varies wildly.
Alternatives to Wikipedia:
These are just a few examples of many print volumes we have in our library.Some of these are on the main floor of the library in our reference collection ("Ref" will precede the call number), and some are in the main collection, with our usual checkout period of 6 weeks.