Reference materials (i.e. subject encyclopedias, specialty dictionaries, subject handbooks, etc.) help people get started in the research process.
Often, such resources lead the researcher to other sources that are the best for you to use or consider on a particular subject.
Think of the reference room in the library and the Credo Reference database as the scholarly and appropriate version of Wikipedia. You will be able to get an overview of your topic from these library resources, but you can rest assured that you are using appropriate and acceptable resources, as well.
This is just a sampling of the reference books that can help you get started on your topic. Use the "Credo Reference" link to the right or click the "Find Books" tab to access the library catalog and Ebsco eBooks to find more books like these!