What is a reference source? Dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, manuals, directories, phone books, almanacs, etc., books you'd use to look up some background information, facts, the spelling of a word or its meaning, and so forth. The Oboler Library has a large reference collection in print, located on the 1st floor of the building. You also have access to a great many of these kinds of sources electronically, by using our library catalog <insert>, OneSearch <insert>, or through one of the reference "packages" like Oxford Reference Online <insert> or Gale Virtual Reference Library <insert>.
Why not just "Google it" or use Wikipedia? Because college-level research requires that we use scholarly, reliable, accurate, and current information to support our claims, arguments, and opinions, and not many free web resources can promise that the information they provide is as accurate as an encyclopedia edited and written by experts and published by Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, etc.