|ETL501 module 2: Print and electronic information resources|
Reference materials: an outdated concept?
Given the above definitions and the above discussion, should we abandon the idea of reference material altogether? Or should the term be kept only for non-borrowable print resources in the library?
The “reference section” as a whole is not dead, just in need of tweaking.
From my experience in a primary library, the kids LOVE atlases and dictionaries but skip over the encyclopedias unless given a specific task to use them.
The problem with many of the resources in the reference section is that they are so quickly outdated in comparison to much of the information found on the web. The bonus of static reference material is that it can easily be veted, it’s quality information aimed at children and very easy to access. These factors are not to be underestimated when a student just needs a basic understanding of a topic. They can then be guided to more relevant and up to date information online.