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.
Annotated Bibliography
Like a Bibliography, which is a list of sources used while researching a topic, an annotated bibliography has a list of sources as well as notes about each of the sources listed. These notes could be a summary of the resource, or an evaluation of the resource. Annotated bibliographies help you keep track of the research you have completed, as well as help you evaluated what sources will be most useful in presenting your research.
Archives and Special Collections are collections of artifacts, books, materials, and art that have a significant historic value to an institution, a population, or a topic. Because of the nature of these materials they are non-circulating, and often have special policies when researchers go to view and interact with them. 
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. Articles have their own individual title and author that will be different from the journal title.
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.
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 used while doing research. Bibliographies have special styles that will dictate what information is included and how it is presented. At LDSBC we use APA as a style guide for all citations in 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.
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. AND will limit your search to only results that include both keywords. OR will expand your search and is used to connect similar keywords. NOT is used to eliminate irrelevant topics from search results that keep appearing.
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. 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 provided by the publisher and 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.
Electronic Journal Locator
The electronic journal locator is a tool to find which databases carry specific journal titles. If you know the title of a journal you would like to use, but are not sure which database has that title the electronic journal locator would be able to tell you which databases to search 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. There are times when the library has access to the full text of an article, but it is through a different database than the one originally searched. At the LDSBC Library if there is an article that is not available in its entirety through that database you can click the link that says "Check for full text" or "SFX" and you will be given a list of databases that the full text is available in. 
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 or by clicking here.
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. When that book is returned to the library it will be set aside for you, rather than put back on the shelves. The library will send an email when the book arrives and is waiting for you. Request a hold at the 3rd floor desk.
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.
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.
An ISBN is a unique identifier for books that is given to them but the publisher. An ISBN is not a call number.
Magazines and Journals have multiple publications a year; each publication is considered a separate issue. An issue number refers to the number of times it has run that year. For example a magazine that has a monthly publication would have 12 issues total, and the April issue would be issue number four.
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. These are usually nouns or words that directly describe a noun. These should be words or phrases that tell you the main idea.
Library Catalog
An online list of all of the items in our collection. The place you search when you are looking for a book, CD, or DVD.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Standardized words or phrases made by librarians and assigned to books, articles, and other materials. Items with the same subject heading will be about the same topic. Many databases let you limit your searches by subject heading to help narrow results to your specific research interest.
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. Generally these items are encyclopedias, bibliographies and other reference items located in the library reference section.
Peer Reviewed
When an journal or article is peer reviewed it has gone through a process where other scholars in the field have read it and made comments. These are usually considered high-quality articles because multiple experts have reviewed it for accuracy.
This is a term for any magazine, journal or newspaper that is published on a regular basis.
Reference Material
Encyclopedias, Maps, Bibliographies, and other material located in the reference section near the CDS and DVDS. Reference materials cannot be checked out, but you are welcome to use them while in the library.
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.
Reserve 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 25 cents per hour during the first day and one dollar a day thereafter.
Search Engine
A program on the internet used to find information using search terms. The most popular search engines include and
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 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. Journals also have volume numbers. A volume of a journal is the accumulation of all the issues for that year. These can be found either on their cover, table of contents, or their spine if they are a printed journal. If the journal is electronic the volume number can be for in the citation information or article description.