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Here's a summary of what reference tools should be used when asked by the following class of questions:

Class of Questions
Sample Types
Representative Sources
1. Language
Definition, spelling, symbols, foreign
terms, usage
2. Background
History, general information, self education
3. Trend
Current events, past year's development recent happenings
Yearbook, serial/ almanac
5. Places
Locations, descriptions, distances, population, etc., area measurement
Gazetteer,atlast, map, guidebooks, globes
6. Organizations
addresses, purposes
7. Facts
curiosities, statistics, events, formulas,
8. Activities
"How to Do", "How to Make"
9. Bibliography
Reviews, best books, literature subject,
National, trade
subject, bibliography
10. Illustrations
Pictures, cartoons, slides, films, recordings
Audio-visual material

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