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Reference Sources

This page contains information on useful reference tools for research projects. This is not a comprehensive list. Ask a librarian for additional sources.

Welcome to the WSU Libraries' Reference Collection!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines reference books as "a book containing comprehensive information about a subject or range of subjects, esp. one intended for research or consultation on specific matters rather than continuous reading." (Find the OED ebook under General Reference on the Dictionaries subpage.)

Wichita State University Libraries has many reference books, ebooks and other reference sources listed on this library guide. Except for the Print Reference Collection page, this library guide is not intended to be a comprehensive list. New books are added to our collections every week! If you don't find what you need on these pages, please ask a librarian for help.

Some of these reference books are in the Reference Stacks in Ablah Library, while other books are located elsewhere in Ablah Library, one of our satellite libraries, or available electronically. Our satellite libraries are the Chemistry Library, located in 127 McKinley Hall and Thurlow Lieurance Memorial Music Library located in 313 Jardine Hall. Click here for a campus map and click here for a floor guide to Ablah Library.

A few reference books may be checked out, but most of the books listed on these pages must be used in the building in which they are housed. But we have quite a few e-books, too! You must be a WSU student, faculty or staff member to read an e-book when off-campus.

This library guide is all about our e-book collections:

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! Librarians are available to help you get started on research, to help you access ebooks and articles, or to assist you with anything else you're having trouble with. Contact a librarian using any of the methods listed below or contact the librarian listed in the left column of this page.

  • Instant Message: Use the chat box on this page to send us a message
  • Call: (316) 978-3584
  • Text: (316) 453-6911
  • Email:
  • Research Consultations: You can get in touch with the liaison librarian for your subject area to set up an individualized research consultation.  Research consultations can be done by email, over the phone, or even by Skype.
  • Tech Help: Having trouble with Blackboard or your myWSU account? Call the Help Desk at (316) 978-4357.

LIBRARIANS Please note that if the book record indicates the book is located in "REF" that the book record is probably duplicated from the Reference Books in Print tab. The Print Reference Collection page has the original record.

Angie maintains the General Reference subpages. She will also maintain the landing pages for each subject area, if you like. (Be sure to let her know if you intend to make changes to your landing page.) Subject librarians are responsible for their own subject pages on the Reference Sources guide.

Ask A Librarian

Come talk to a librarian in person at the Reference Desk on the first floor of Ablah Library. 

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What are some reasons to contact a librarian?

‚Äč      To find the best resources for your topic
      To discuss strategies and develop skills for searching article databases and the library catalog
      To identify and locate primary source materials


If a librarian is not available, you may also seek assistance from other library staff during library hours who will refer you to the appropriate librarian or department as necessary. 

See the full schedule of library hours including Reference Desk, presession, intersession, and holiday hours for the main library (Ablah) and for the Chemistry and Music branch libraries. Ablah Library hours are also available on an automated phone line: 316-978-3581.

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Chat with us or request a Zoom session via the adjacent chat box. Our chat service is staffed during Reference Desk hours
If chat is not available, send us a question via e-mail.

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   Reference Desk (Ablah Library)  316-978-3584

  Circulation Desk (Ablah Library) 316-978-3582

  Music Library  316-978-3029

  Interlibrary Loan  316-978-3167

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         Email a librarian with your question
         or fill out this form.




Subject Librarians are available to help students, faculty, and staff with their research and library instruction needs. Use the left-hand navigation tabs to find the librarian assigned to a particular subject or college. Contact your subject librarian for assistance or to schedule an appointment for a research consultation.

Wichita State University Libraries, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0068 | Phone: (316) 978-3481 | Comments/Suggestions | Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Channel Federal Depository Library Program HathiTrust Digital Library Patent and Trademark Resources Centers