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Common Library Terminology

Find a glossary below of commonly used library terminology.

abstract Summary of an article, book, or other written publication. Maybe be included along with the citation information.

acquisitions The department of the library that purchases materials.

archives Historical records and documents, or the place where such records and documents are kept.

bibliographic citation The information that identifies a book or article. A citation for a book usually includes the author, title, publisher, and the date published. A citation for an article usually includes the author of the article, the title of the article, the title of the periodical in which the article was published, the volume number of the periodical, the issue number of the volume, the page numbers on which the article was printed, and the date the article was published.

bibliography A list of books, articles, or other sources (interviews, films, etc.) on a particular subject. Bibliographies are often found at the end of books or articles, or they may be separate publications.

bound Refers to several issues of a periodical which are joined together under one cover.

call number A group of letters and numbers given to an item and used to arrange materials in the library. The Library of Congress System (LC call number) is used for most Logan Library materials; an example: GV 836 .A2C72.

cataloging The department of the library that organizes and maintains its materials and adds the records describing new materials to the library's automated system. These records are searchable in the library catalog.

CD-ROM A read-only-memory compact disk, used to store information. CDs that accompany books owned by Logan Library are housed at the Circulation Desk.

check out or charge out The process of borrowing materials to use outside the library. This is done at the Circulation desk. A Schreiner ID is required. The library's automated system tracks the items checked out to patrons until the items are checked back in on the system. The library does not retain any history of the items borrowed by a patron.

Circulation The department of the library that is responsible for maintaining accurate records on the materials currently checked out to its patrons.

Circulation desk Also frequently called Circ or the main desk by library staff; the area of the library used to check out materials to patrons. Located at the front entrance of the Logan Library.

citation Same as bibliographic citation.

claim Notification that a periodical was not received as expected.

community patron A non-Schreiner affiliated person who lives in one of the 5 counties that comprise the Texas Hill Country and has registered with the library. A person allowed to

course reserves Materials that instructors set aside for their students to read for class. These items may be borrowed for a short period determined by the instructor.

cumulative index An index in which several previously published indexes are combined into one physical piece that resembles a book.

current periodical The most recent issues of a journal or magazine for which the library has a subscription, often published during the last year, which have not been moved into storage.

database searching Using a computer and the internet to find journal article citations on a given subject or other information contained in a database.

hold A request that guarantees that when a book is returned to the circulation desk it will be saved for you. Holds expire in seven days and materials are reshelved.

holdings A group of items included in or owned by a library. Typically used to refer to the volumes, issues, and years of a journal title housed in a library.

index A list of subjects, names, titles, etc. that helps locate information. A periodical index lists articles by subject or author. A book's index is a list at the end of the content which gives the page numbers in the book where names and subjects can be found.

information literacy The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) A way to get materials owned by other libraries. The Interlibrary loan desk is located in the main part of the library.

journal A publication which has scholarly information, usually written by professors, researchers, or experts in a subject area. Not intended for the general public. See magazine.

keyword searching Using a few important or unique terms to find journal article citations that contain those terms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings The words or phrases that may be needed to find information in the library's catalog on a given subject.

location A grouping of library materials by a unique characteristic such as Reference, Periodicals, Folios (oversize), Main Stacks. This is information is critical to finding an item (in addition to the call number of on an item.)

magazine A periodical intended for the general public rather than for scholars.

manuscript A handwritten or typed composition, rather than a printed one.

microforms Either microfiche (4 by 6 inch plastic cards) or microfilm (a roll of plastic film) upon which printed materials have been reduced in size by photographic methods to save space. Stored in metal cabinets near the Library's copiers.

monograph A book.

newspaper A periodical containing up-to-date and current affairs information. Newspapers are kept for a limited time at Logan Library. Only the Kerrville Daily Times newspaper is retained permanently on microfilm.

online database A computerized file of information.

online searching Using a computer and a database to find periodical citations to articles on a subject.

OPAC A library catalog. "Online public access catalog" was once used to differentiate it from the card catalog still in use.

patron Someone allowed to checkout library materials.

periodical An item which is intended to be published in parts indefinitely and more often than just once a year, includes journals, magazines, and newspapers.

phrase searching Using a few important or unique terms entered in a specific order to find journal article citations that contain those terms in the same order.

reserves Same as course reserves. Other materials may also be kept on reserve.

search If a book is not on the shelves and it is not checked out, you may place a search request at the Circulation or Reference Desk. One of the library staff will try and find the book for your use. You will be notified if the book is found or not.

serial A publication which is intended to continue producing new parts indefinitely. This includes books such as almanacs and yearbooks which are published every year or less often, as well as periodicals such as magazines, journals, and newspapers.

subject heading The specific word or phrase used to find a book or article on a specific topic in a database or periodical index.

volume A number of issues of a periodical, may cover any time period up to one year.

web searching Using a computer and a search tool such as Google to find information on the internet.