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• Annotated entries for 16,000+ essential print and web reference resources
• Browse and search to pinpoint the resources you need
• Create collection development and reading lists and notes
• Establish a user profile to print, email, and save your search results
• Discover our list of categories with Editor's Guides
• Connect from Guide to Reference through WorldCat’s Find in a Library service

To request subscription prices, please email So that we may determine the pricing for your particular situation, please let us know what kind of institution/library you are: academic, public, or school. Our customer service representative will contact you soon.

• For academic libraries, please give us your Carnegie classification, if you know it   (highest level of degree you offer).
• For public libraries, please tell us the size of your library service area.
• For school libraries, please tell us the size of your school.

If you are interested in subscription pricing for consortia or other centralized purchasing groups, email with "Consortium" or "Group purchase" in the subject line and provide some basic information about your group. The more answers to these questions you can include, the more efficiently we will be able to serve you.

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If you are in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, India, or Indonesia, please subscribe through the iGroup agency.

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Here's what others are saying about Guide to Reference:

"Our subscription to the Guide to Reference has been immensely helpful in surveying the scope of materials available. It's easily navigable through subject trees and the reviews provide the information needed to gauge the suitability of particular works for meeting reference needs. More importantly, the broad range of materials covered in the Guide alerts the user to resources, both paper and digital, otherwise overlooked without exhaustive monitoring of multiple other sources—a real time-saver."

Paul Donovan
State Law Librarian
Vermont Dept. of Libraries

"Access for our students is now just a click away from anywhere! . . . I am pleased to showcase the Guide to Reference and demonstrate its use in identifying sources for reference question assignments and collection development. . . . This new edition has much more to offer 21st-century LIS students and future professional librarians than its predecessors. . . . A monument has been renovated, and we all benefit!"

Linda Watkins
GSLIS Librarian
Simmons College

"Guide to Reference is easy to navigate and the ability to browse categories and search keywords and classification demonstrates an informed design process meant to assist LIS students learning new resources, reference librarians searching for answers, and librarians developing a collection. Essential for large public and academic libraries as well as libraries supporting LIS programs."

Stephen Fadel
University of Maine
(Booklist Starred Review)

"A core resource in the field of librarianship, no scholarly librarian can provide effective research service without ALA's Guide to Reference . . . a brilliant, well-organized and invaluable work."

Jenny Mendelsohn
University of Toronto Libraries

"Essential [for] all research libraries."

J.E. Sheets
Baylor University
(Choice Review)

"The 2009 online Guide to Reference is a magnificent successor to the previous print editions and reminds all of us how much reference has been changing via online resources. The three searches I did to track down information for projects I'm currently completing (documenting and proposing best practices in e-learning for libraries; exploring library and information science resources; and exploring digitization practices for libraries and museums) each led to first-rate, up-to-date resources I hadn't previously encountered; helped, through links to WorldCat, to identify local libraries with copies of those works; and led to a variety of online resources I would probably not have otherwise found (including an Italian-language PowerPoint presentation on Open Access resources). I've already written to my local library in the hope that colleagues there will add the Guide to Reference to its resources. Thanks a million for giving me this opportunity to try it out. I hope to remain a frequent user of the Guide."

Paul Signorelli
Writer, trainer, and consultant to libraries and nonprofit organizations
Paul Signorelli & Associates

"ALA's online Guide to Reference unlocks a hundred years of reference scholarship devoted to identifying, describing, and organizing the best sources for finding authoritative information on any subject. It blends traditional print reference tools with timely Internet resources and makes them available to any subscriber, anywhere at any time."

Peter Z. McKay
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida

"Guide to Reference is a valuable resource for us as we embark on a project of assessing our entire reference collection. Each librarian has assumed responsibility for comparing our holdings against the recommended titles in one of your 'Browse Categories.' Guide to Reference has an easy-to-use interface, has up-to-date sources, and has, in addition to authoritative print resources, excellent recommended websites. We will enhance our online resources by cataloging the websites listed in Guide to Reference. Using the lists feature of the 'My Guide' section we've been able to easily email our recommendations to our collection development librarian. Thank you for providing libraries with convenient access to this standard, indispensable selection tool."

Sharlee Jeser-Skaggs
Richland College Library

"Guide to Reference is useful for collection development, identifying resources for research instruction sessions, and identifying resources for faculty in their discipline areas."

Thomas Krenzke
Concordia University