Reference works are all about the FACTS!
Encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, etc., are useful for quickly identifying key facts or researching background information. You can find print and ebook versions by searching Worldcat@SU.
Your professors do not want you to cite Wikipedia in your papers, but it can be a good place to start finding background information on your topic. The video below (3:37 min.) can show you how to use Wikipedia to your benefit when starting scholarly research.
The following links provide insight into how often Wikipedia changes and Wikipedia's accuracy: