Understanding Library Terminology can be confusing. Click on any of the terms below to be taken to a page where you can learn more about that term.
An abstract is the summary of an article that often appears at the beginning of an article. It can also be the summary of a paper. In a database if the full text is not available you can read the abstract in order to decide if you need the full text of the article.
An almanac is an annual publication based around a certain topic. For example, every year a new World Almanac is published. This volume contains important and relevant information on geography and history as well as important events for the given year.
An anthology is a collection of literary works such as poems or literature. For example, The anthology of British Literature.
An annotation is an extra note or piece of information inserted into a document (usually a rough draft) which explains why that information is important to the author.
Archives are the public records or historical documents of an institution. For example the federal government keeps its important documents in its Archives. Nearly every large university has an archives as well.
An article is an essay or report that is included in a magazine, journal, newspaper or encyclopedia. The results in a database search are articles.
Audiovisual is a term used to describe any CD, DVD, VHS or other audio materials. In the LDSBC Library, these materials are located on the left hand side of the last row of the stacks near the Reference Material.
Bar Code
A bar code is the black and white lines on a stick label that you see on the backs of books and other library items. The computer reads a bar code and determines what item you are checking out.
Personal beliefs, opinions, or attitudes that prevent one from being objective about a particular topic.
A Bibliography is a list of sources about a related topic. For example, when you read an article and you see a list of articles, and other books at the end of the article, that is a bibliography. When your teacher asks you to compile a bibliography, that is a list of citations of the works you used to write your paper.
A blog is an online journal or forum for sharing information and collecting comments from its readers. For example the LDSBC Library Blog contains interesting links and comments about resources you may find useful that do not really fit in with the main web page. Blogger is one of the more popular places to create a blog.
Boolean Operators
Boolean operators are search terms you use to find information. These include AND, OR, NOT. These words may be used to narrow or widen your search.
Call Number
A call number is the number on each item in the library. This number is used to help you locate the item and is also a way of organizing the collection. A call number is assigned to each item on the basis of subject. For example, all items beginning with the number QA have something to do with computers. The call numbers in the LDSBC library must start with one or two letters followed by numbers in order to be a call number. E-books, articles and other online materials do not have call numbers. An ISBN number or DOI number is not a call number. 
Cataloging is the process of determining which call number belongs on an item, assigning the number to that item, putting the item in the library catalog and preparing it for checkout.
Circulation Desk
This is the place where you check items in and out or renew items that you have already checked out and are still using. In our library it is also the reference desk where you come to ask questions about the library and get help with research.
This is the publication information about an item. It includes the title, author, publisher, call number, and year published. Citations are also called references. A group of more than one citation is often called a bibliography.
This is the legal protection on any published item. You can generally make one copy of any article for personal use but you should not make copies of entire books as this is a violation of the law. If you have questions about copyright please ask at the third floor library desk.
Course Reserve
These materials are placed behind the third floor desk by professors for use in certain classes. These materials are usually only checked out for two hours or two days. The fine for overdue materials from these selections is two dollars a day.
Ebooks or Ejournals
Ebooks or Ejournals are available online via Ebrary and Netlibrary. Ejournals refer to magazines or journals available online. E means electronic. ...
Electronic Journal Locator
The Electronic Journal Locator is a program that you can use to help you find electronic articles. You can also figure out which journals we have access to in electronic format and which databases they are in.
An encyclopedia is a volume of entries on various topics. They can be general such as in the World Book Encyclopedia or more specific such as in an Encyclopedia of Africa.
Full Text
A term used for when a document or book is available electronically in its entirety. That is to say, the whole thing is available for access.
Group Study Rooms
Small rooms available for groups of students to use for an hour at a time. These rooms are on the 4th floor. Reserve a room online at the Library Web Page.
A service that we offer to help you obtain a book that you would like to check out but that someone else has already checked out. Request a hold at the 3rd floor desk.
A term referring to all of the items in a library's collection.
Interlibrary Loan
A library service that allows you to request any item you cannot find at our library from another library and have it either delivered to you via email in the case of articles or via print in the case of books. We will send you an email when you item is available at the LDSBC library.
In Process
When you see in process on a record in the library catalog it means that the item is not yet available for checkout as it is still being cataloged but it will be available soon.
An index can be both a list of subjects in a book usually printed at the end of the book or a list of journal articles arranged by subject and or author.
A magazine that contains scholarly articles written by professors, researchers and other experts in a given subject.
A word that you use when searching for an item in an electronic database. These word may appear anywhere in the text of the document. If you are trying to find something about a topic you should search by subject instead of keyword.
Library Catalog
An online database of all of the items available for checkout in our collection. The place you search when you are looking for a book, CD, or DVD.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Words or phrases used by the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to divide books into subjects and sub-topics. Our library uses these terms to arrange the books on the shelves.
Loan Period
The length of time for which items may be borrowed. Books which are not on reserve check out for three weeks. Multi-media items are generally one week with longer time periods on some items.
A print publication intended for general reading and interest rather than for scholarly research.
Media can be used in two different ways: 1. as another term for audiovisual, that is materials that are not books or magazines. 2. an information resource such as news media.
This refers to items that cannot be checked out. General these items are encyclopedias, bibliographies and other reference items located in the library reference section.
Peer Reviewed
Journals that are peer reviewed are scholarly journals. This also means that the articles have been reviewed by other scholars in their subject of research.
This is a term for any magazine, journal or newspaper that is published on a regular basis.
A podcast is an online radio show or audio that you can download and listen to on an ipod or other portable player or online audio that is produced on a regular basis that you can listen to via the internet. Many libraries are starting to produce podcasts.
Reference Material
Encyclopedias, Maps, Bibliographies, and other material located in the reference section near the CDS and DVDS.
Reference Desk
In our library the place on the third floor where you come to ask questions and get help with your research.
If you need to keep an item you have checked out for a longer period of time you may ask to renew it. Reserve materials cannot be renewed.
Search Engine
A program on the internet used to find information using search terms. The most popular one is Google.
A publication that has more than one part issued by successive numbers. Some examples include: annual reports, journals, newspapers and magazines.
Subject Heading
A word or phrase that describes the subject of a book or article. A book may have more than one subject heading listed in the library catalog. Our library subject headings are determined by the Library of Congress.
A list of terms used to describe the ideas in a particular group of materials. It also offers synonyms for certain terms and alternative words you can use for effective searching of databases.
If you cannot find an item where it supposed to be located. Contact a library staff member and we will put a trace on it and attempt to locate the item.
If you need to broaden your search in a search engine or database, then you can take off the last part of the word and add a symbol to broaden your results. The computer will find all results that have the word or a word with a different ending. For example: the word read* will find all the words read, reads, reading, reader.
Library materials that are part of a single title but have more than one bound item. Larger works such as encyclopedias have more than one volume.