Monday, February 7, 2011

Credo Reference: A Virtual Reference Shelf You Can Access Online

Do you have a question, and need to find a more reliable answer than whatever pops up on Google? Perhaps you have a paper to write, and you need to cite reliable sources by trusted authors and publishers. Wikipedia is fine for starters, but your teacher won't accept it as a source. Maybe you would just like to have a whole wall full of reference books you can access from home? This week’s featured database, Credo Reference, may make your wishes come true. All you need is a library card and an internet connection.

Credo Reference is an electronic collection of full-text articles from over 500 classic reference books. The content is the same as you would find on the library’s reference shelves, but even more convenient, because Credo Reference is like a search engine for reference books. You can search for keywords, get a list of relevant articles, and read them instantly. While reference books can only be used inside the library, Credo Reference can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection, whether the library is open or not.

Credo Reference also has ready-made Topic Pages for a wide variety of commonly researched topics. In the topic page on pirates shown below, the page has an overview article, images, definitions, suggestions for further reading, web links, and even suggestions for articles in other databases!

You can also use Credo to search for images. Credo has over 200,000 keyword-searchable images. How about audio files? If you need a sound clip of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, you can find it in Credo reference. Credo also allows you to explore links between topics by exploring interactive Concept Maps.

If you need fast access to reliable information, Credo Reference is a great place to start your search. Just go to the library's database page, look under "All Purpose Databases and Encyclopedias", and the search is on!

-Ross Mays
Reference Librarian

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