Student Reference Materials

An Evaluation of Print & Electronic Reference Sources at SHS

Library Background

Sharyland High School’s library holds a vast array of reference materials in print and electronically accessible. In spite of having gone through a recent weeding process for print sources and renovation, the library’s collection still holds very valuable pieces of information to use as references by students.

An Inside Look With Librarian, Nicole Cruz

Librarian Nicole Cruz was very helpful and insightful when providing information about the library’s print sources. “Although fewer and fewer students are requesting print sources,” she shares, “the library still holds an adequate number of print resources should the students ever need to use it.” Mrs. Cruz also shared that the library is gradually moving into the digital age. This is where the library offers numerous resources. From Gale to MackIn Via, to SAT, ACT, and even GRE study resources, the library is well stocked with a variety of digital references. Mrs. Cruz shared that students are requesting digital and mobile access to more and more resources. “This is where MackIn Via, database access from home, and eBooks have really benefited the students,” she affirms. “I have also moved some former reference books into the non-fiction section of the library for check out,” she adds. Since reference resources are not available for check out, but the demand is still there, students have been allowed access to a limited amount of reference materials formerly a part of this collection. Mrs. Cruz has revamped and adapted her collection to meet the demand of the students, her patrons.

Online Reference Materials

After the weeding procedures and the library's renovation, the print reference collection is still in flux. Nevertheless, Mrs. Cruz devotes herself to making sure the library has the reference sources students need and mostly request. Students are able to access online sources because Mrs. Cruz gives numerous presentations and orientations throughout the year. She offers freshmen orientation in September and January. Also, she assists in research projects and supplying various website trainings as resources to students as well.


This library is definitely rich in resources and information for students. It is obvious that the library is moving more toward digital resources as opposed to print. I was able to observe students in the library as well; I saw that many of them were more responsive to the online method of information. I was also taken aback by the wealth of information online. The amount of online resources can be quite overwhelming for students if no direction is given. It can also be said that the librarian must be well informed of every single database and reference source that is offered. And with this wealth of information, it can be said that the librarian is a valuable asset on campus as well.

Wenndy Pray

Wenndy Pray is a first year Library Science student at Sam Houston State University.