The Reference Collection is a non-circulating selection of reference materials, chosen with an emphasis on providing ready access to information on disciplines taught at UUM. The collection includes sources that index or summarize information usually contained in the general circulating collection.
Usefulness to reference librarians and to members of the University community is the principal criterion for inclusion of materials in the Reference collection. As a whole the collection provides the reference underpinnings for comprehensive research in all subject fields and most extensively in the social sciences and the humanities. In order to provide accurate and current information, reference sources are continuously withdrawn and updated.
It is located at the 5th floor of PSB Main Building which comprised of more than 35,000 items.
- Almanacs, Annuals, and Yearbooks - Generally only the latest year is placed in the Reference collection. Foreign country almanacs are designated "latest issue in Reference." Earlier issues are sent to the general stacks of the University Library. Exceptions are made for backfiles of encyclopedic yearbooks and some annual review publications of a bibliographic nature.
- Bibliographies - Bibliographies that are general in nature and cover broad topics are housed in Reference. Single-author bibliographies and others that are narrow in scope are housed in the circulating stacks. Exception will be made for those bibliographies on topics in great demand or those of major literary figures, such as Management, Business, Accounting etc.
- Biographical Sources - Major international works, major national works and current biographical works (Who's Who) of every country from which they are available are retained in the Reference collection. Specialized dictionaries are considered on their individual merits and degree of use. Usually the most recent editions of biographical dictionaries are maintained in the Reference collection.
- Dictionaries - Most uni lingual, bilingual and polyglot dictionaries for major languages are placed in Reference. Some local and regional language dictionaries are only housed in the general collection and are usually designated premise only. Historical dictionaries and specialized dictionaries, such as dictionaries of slang and subject dictionaries, may also be included in the Reference collection depending on their degree of use.
- Directories - The Reference collection contains the latest edition of various types of directories which support UUM's academic programs and meet general information needs. Directories are acquired selectively. Older editions of some directories are shelved in the stack collection.
- Encyclopedias - Major foreign language encyclopedias and the latest significantly revised editions of all major English and Malay-language encyclopedias, both single-volume and multi-volume, are housed in the Reference collection. Selected earlier editions of some foreign language encyclopedias are housed in the general collection. An attempt is made to update the general encyclopedias on a yearly rotating basis. The latest editions of frequently-consulted, single-subject, encyclopedias are maintained in Reference. If an older edition is considered to have significant value, it may be retained in the Reference collection beyond its period of currency.
- Geographical Sources - A representative collection of major comprehensive atlases, gazetteers, and bound maps are included in the Reference collection including historical atlases, sources on major countries of the world and those sources which meet state and local information needs. Highly specialized sources will not ordinarily be included. Superseded editions of some atlases are housed in the stack collection.
- Handbooks, Manuals and Guides - A selection of up-to-date handbooks, manuals, and guides which meet general information needs or relate to the University's academic disciplines are retained in Reference. Amount of use is a key consideration in determining which titles are placed in the Reference collection and which are placed in the general collection.
- Indexes and Abstracts - The Reference collection includes indexing and abstracting services relevant to the teaching, research, and general information needs of the University community. Many of these are provided in electronic format.
- Telephone Books - Selected current telephone books are maintained in the Reference Collection including a large collection for Malaysian's state directories are provided in printed format.
- College/University Catalogs - The collection includes a select hard copy collection of local and regional college catalogs.
- Ready Reference - A small number of materials within the Reference collection have the special designation, "Ready Reference," because they receive such frequent use and it is convenient to have them near the Information Desk. Some titles are duplicated.