The reference section in my library is unfortunately the most unused section.
Although most material that is found in this section has now gone online, I
believe there are still legitimate reasons to keep it for the time being.
The idea that all students have access to a computer is wrong. I still know
of many students who unfortunately don’t have access to a computer at home or
the community for a variety of reasons and find our school library the only way
to easily access information for their schooling needs. Given many students
don’t know how to use the encyclopaedias, atlas, etc any more, when they are
shown many have commented on how ‘good’ they are as a resource.
I also have
had many students find that they don’t understand much of the information that
can be found online as it is targeted to adults. These students find it easier
to search for information suitable to their needs and age in print based
Many students have also found that, as they are not able to use
Wikipedia as a resource, they feel lost as to where they should start looking
I know reference materials are on the decline but I don’t
think they are gone just yet. I think before we abandon reference material
altogether we should try to make these materials more easily accessible.