Why reference books? Reference books provide you with background information on a topic, important dates, individuals and terms. In other words, after reading one of these entries, you should have a better idea of where to focus your research and the important topics/concepts/persons that you want to research further. If you don't have a topic, these resources can provide a good starting point because you can browse them for potential topics.
Google books works with libraries and publishers to provide information about books. Depending on the texts and permissions that have been granted, you may be able to read excerpts or even the whole book online. You will also be able to search within the book to see how often and where your topic is mentioned and learn how to find the book. Google Books also now includes many magazines. Click here to view a short video that covers the basic Google books features.
If you don't find what you need in MSJC's collections, you can search the catalogs of other libraries and request that those titles be sent to your preferred MSJC campus through our interlibrary loan service. Typically there is no cost to you for this service, but please be aware that some libraries charge interlibrary loan fees. We will contact you for approval of any borrowing fees before requesting the items for you. It can take up to two weeks for items to be delivered, so be sure you give yourself enough time.
Requesting a book to be delivered from the MVC or SJC Library. If you find a book in the catalog that is not at the campus you use, you can request that it be sent over to either San Jacinto or Menifee using the steps below. You will need to have a MSJC library account. If you don't have an account, click here to see how to get your account set up.