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Library Glossary   Tags: definitions, libraries, library, terminology, words  

Includes terms you will commonly hear in an academic library.
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2013 URL: http://mvcc.libguides.com/libraryglossary Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Library Glossary

 

Acquisitions: The part of the library responsible for purchasing new books and audiovisual materials for the collection.

Archives: An organized body of records and information that are preserved for future use.

Autobiography:  A work written by a person about their own life.

Bibliographic Instruction: Instruction provided by librarians on how to use the library. Certain rooms are designated in the library for this purpose. See also Information Literacy.

Bibliographic Record:  A full description of each item in the online catalog.

Bibliography: A list of resources about a particular subject, including books, articles and cds. In a Research paper, a bibliography lists all of the materials that have been used or consulted to prepare the paper, regardless of whether or not the source(s) have actually been cited in the paper. Compare to Works Cited.

Biography: A work written by a person or persons about someone else's life.

Blog: See Weblog.

Book Drop: A metal box in which to deposit books is available for after-hours book return or simply for convenience for those not wishing to come into the library to return books. The box is located outside the Payne Hall building, and is labeled with the library's hours.

Bound Periodicals: Individual issues of journals are bound together in hardbound books for ease of use and shelving. Bound periodicals are found near the Reference section of the library.

Call Number: A call number is a combination of letters and numbers assigned to each book in the library's collection by Cataloging. A call number represents the subject of the book and also indicates where it is shelved in the library. A book's call number can be found by looking in the Library catalog, off the Library's WWW page. College libraries ususally use the Library of Congress Classification System; a typical call number looks like this: HQ 777 .B66 1992.

Cataloguing:  This department is responsible for getting new materials entered into the online catalog and processed, ready to be shelved.

Change Machines: Change for $1.00 bills and quarters is available through the photocopy machine. Change is required to make copies or print from the microfilm machine.

Circulation: Located in the front of the Library, this department is responsible for maintaining the book stacks (including reshelving ), checking out books and audiovisual materials to patrons, and maintaining the patron database.

Citation: Provides the complete information to document a source used. For books, the information includes author, title, publisher and date of publication. For articles, the information includes author, title of the article, title of the periodical, volume, pages, and date.

Copiers: See Photocopiers.

Current Periodicals: These are the most recent issues for all of our journal subscriptions. They are located in the Reference Section of the Library, past the Public Use computers.

Database: An integrated collection of logically related records or files organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed, and updated.  Some databases are available through subscription and some are free (open access).

Electronic Journal: Usually the web based version of a print journal, although some electronic journals do not have print versions.

Holds: Placing a "Hold" on a book in the Library allows a patron to request a book that is currently checked out to someone else. Upon its return to the library, the book will be set aside for the patron, who will be notified of the book's return.

ILL (Interlibrary Loan): A system whereby libraries share their materials with each other at the request of patrons. The Interlibrary Loan cards can be obtained near the Reference section of the Library, and then returned to the Circulation Desk at the front of the Library.

Indexes: Indexes are a part of the Reference collection. They are used to find citations to specific journal articles by subject.

Information Literacy: The skills of knowing how to locate, evaluate and use information.

Journals: The word "journal" is sometimes used to mean magazine, although it usually refers to scholarly journals, while the term magazine is most often applied to popular titles. Journals and magazines are arranged alphabetically by title (not by call number, like books) in the bound and current periodicals sections of the Library.

Keyword:  A word that can be found anywhere within a bibliographic record or web site.

Microfiche: A 4x6 inch film that contains photographically reproduced images of documents.

Microfilm: A roll of film that contains photographically reproduced images of documents; often used to locate magazine and newspaper articles.

OPAC: Online Public Access Catalog. This is used to find books, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs and audiocassettes in the library's collection.

Open Access:  A database, web site, or online software application the contents of which are free for use. 

Peer-Reviewed:  This term refers to a journal containing articles that have been reviewed for accuracy by people who are expert in that field (the author's peers).  These are considered scholarly articles and are also known as "refereed."

Reserve Materials: These are books, copies of articles, videos and more placed at the Library Circulation Desk by MVCC instructors, generally for use only in the library.

RSS: A format used to syndicate news and the content of news-like sites. Includes major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites and personal weblogs.

Subject Headings:  Terms provided by the cataloguer describing the main subject(s) of each book or AV item.  College libraries use as their guideline the Library of Congress Subject Headings.  These are the terms you would use if you were doing a "subject" search in the online catalog.

 Web 2.0:  Dynamic Web pages that allow individual interaction and group conversation and collaboration, with emphasis on sharing and free access.

Weblog: Using RSS, content ranges from news and personal diaries, to political campaigns, media programs and corporations which are posted on a common web page in periodic, reverse chronological order.

Wiki: A group blog that readers can edit.

Works Cited: A list of items that have actually been cited in a Research paper.

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