About the Reference Department

The Reference Department at Thomas Cooper Library is the primary information center for the Thomas Cooper Library and is located on the main level, across from the circulation desk. 

The reference librarians provide information, instruction and general reference services to our users as well as referrals to other departments of the library. The reference librarians' primary function is to empower the library user to make the most effective use of the resources of the library. If you have questions about how to find information or materials, please ask at the reference desk.

The Reference Department area on the main level includes the reference desk, the reference workstations, the library catalog terminals, and the reference print collection. The print collection includes general encyclopedias, subject encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, newspaper and periodical indexes, almanacs, biographical dictionaries, atlases, bibliographies, and other reference tools related primarily to the humanities and social sciences. The electronic reference resources are available at http://www.sc.edu/library/er and consist of periodical indexes, online encyclopedias and dictionaries as well as many full-text databases.

The staff of the Reference Department includes ten full-time reference librarians, two full-time technical assistants, part-time reference librarians, graduate assistants and undergraduate shelvers. Librarians from other departments often assist with reference desk duties. The Science Reference Librarians with offices on level four of the Thomas Cooper Library serve the USC science community with their specialized knowledge of science reference resources. The science online collection is supplemented by a print science reference collection.

If you have any questions about Reference Department services, please send an e-mail message to Sharon Verba, Interim Head of Reference, at sharonv@mailbox.sc.edu.



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