Library Vocabulary

See Also:

ABSTRACT: A short statement of the essential content of a book, article, speech, report, dissertation, or other work of nonfiction that gives the main points in the same order as the original work, but has no independent literary value. In scholarly journal articles, the abstract usually appears at the beginning, following the title and before the first sentence of the text. In an entry in a bibliographic database, the abstract accompanies the citation.

ACQUISITION: The process of obtaining resources, in all formats, for the library collection. Library materials may be acquired through purchases and gifts. See the Acquisitions/Serials Department for more information.

AUDIO-VISUAL CENTER: The Audio-Visual Center (AV Center) is now called Instructional Media and Special Events Services.

AUTHOR: The writer of a book or article. An author may be one person, several people, or an organization.

AUTOMATION: The use of computers to manage library operations such as circulation, cataloging, and acquisitions. See also Integrated Library System.

AV CENTER: See Audio-Visual Center.

BARCODE: A small label on the library books that can be read by the computer scanner. The barcodes are used to check out books from the library.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASE: A computerized file consisting of electronic entries or records, each of which represents a document or bibliographic item retrievable by author, title, subject heading (descriptor), or keywords. Although some bibliographic databases are general in scope and coverage, most are indexes and abstracting services that provide access to the literature of a specific field or discipline. See Licensing Agreement.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC INSTRUCTION (BI): Instructional programs designed to teach library users how to locate the information they need quickly and effectively. BI usually covers the library's system of organizing materials, the structure of the literature of the field, research methodologies appropriate to the discipline, and specific resources and finding tools. Bibliographic instruction is usually course related or course integrated. Hands-on practice using online catalogs, electronic databases, and Internet resources may be included in instruction sessions that are taught by the Instructional Services Coordinator. (See also Library Instruction (LI).)

BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD: A representation of a work containing all the data necessary to identify and catalog it in a specific bibliographic format such as MARC. Bibliographic formats include the following descriptive elements: title and statement of responsibility (author, editor, composer, etc.), edition, type of material, publisher/distributor, publication date, place of publication, physical description, series, notes, standard number (ISBN, ISSN, etc.), and terms of availability (price).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A list of information sources (books, articles, videos, etc.) on a specific subject.

BOOK: A collection of leaves of paper, parchment, vellum, or other material (written, printed, or blank), fastened together in some manner, with or without a case or cover. Also refers to a literary work or one of its volumes. See Monograph.

BORROWING: The same as checking out a book.

BOUND PERIODICAL: Older issues of a journal that are bound together with a hard cover. Bound periodicals are shelved alphabetically by title on the lower floor of the library.

CALL NUMBER: A code comprised of letters and numbers that identifies each individual book in the library. Books are arranged in the library by call number.

CATALOG: A set of bibliographic records that represents the holdings of the library collection. See Library Catalog.

CHECK OUT/CHECK IN: The process of taking out and then returning library materials. This is done with your student identification card at the circulation desk.

CIRCULATING COLLECTION: This refers to books on the shelves that may be checked out of the library. There are stacks on all of the floors of the library. (See Stacks.)

CIRCULATION DESK: The place where books are checked in and out. The Circulation Department also includes the Reserve Desk. The Circulation Desk and the Reserve Desk are located in the lobby.

CITATION: Information that is used to identify material. A journal citation, for example, includes the author, title of the article, title of the journal, volume number, date, and pages.

CLIENT: See Client-Server.

CLIENT-SERVER: Wide-area (WAN) or local-area network (LAN) architecture that makes it possible for a client computer (usually a PC workstation) to request information or processing from a server machine, as opposed to a system that uses dedicated terminals connected to a minicomputer or mainframe. The server can be a high-speed microcomputer, a minicomputer, or even a mainframe. Also refers to the software that establishes the connection between client and server.

CONTROLLED VOCABULARY: Words used as subject headings in an index or catalog. See Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings.

DATABASE: An index or catalog in electronic form. A library database generally contains citations and sometimes the full text of journal articles or books. The JSU Library subscribes to a number of databases. See our subject listing, title listing, or provider listing of available databases.

DUE DATE: The date a book must be returned.

FULLTEXT: The complete contents of a journal article online.

HOLD: A request to be the next person to obtain a book that is already checked out.

HOLDINGS: Items owned by the library i.e. which years the library has of a particular journal.

INDEX: A list of journal articles and/or books generally arranged by subject. Also, a list of subjects covered in a book, usually given at the end of the book.

INFORMATION DESK: See Reference Desk.

INSTRUCTION LAB: The library instruction classroom is equipped with computer workstations for the hands-on use of students, with an instructor station connected to an LCD projector for demonstrating online search techniques. The instruction lab is located in the basement. In addition, there is another instruction room on the 10th floor. This lab is equipped with a computer workstation and projector.

INTEGRATED LIBRARY SYSTEM (ILS): An automated library system usually consists of a number of functional modules such as acquisitions, circulation, cataloging, serials, and an OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). An integrated library system is an automated system, as described above, in which all of the functional modules share a common bibliographic database. The JSU Library uses Endeavor's Voyager system. (See Automation.)

INTERLIBRARY LOAN: Also called ILL. This is a service to requisition books, journal articles, and other materials not owned by our library. This procedure is performed by the Interlibrary Loan Department. The Interlibrary Loan Department is located on the 4th floor. This service is only available to faculty members, administrative staff, staff, and to graduate and honors students engaged in thesis or senior paper research. See the Interlibrary Loan Department for more information.

JOURNAL: A periodical that contains scholarly articles written by professors, researchers, or experts.

LIBRARY CATALOG: Our online catalog that identifies library holdings (books, journals, videos, etc.).

LIBRARY INSTRUCTION (LI): See Bibliographic Instruction (BI).

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (LC) SUBJECT HEADINGS: A standard list of terms published by the Library of Congress that are used as subject headings for the library. See the Library of Congress Classification Outline for more information.

LICENSING AGREEMENT: A formal written contract between a library and a vendor for the lease of one or more bibliographic databases or online resources, usually for a fixed period of time, in exchange for payment of an annual subscription fee or per-search charges. Most vendors use a sliding fee scale based on the size of library, number of registered borrowers (or Full Time Equivalent), and number of simultaneous users. Most licensing agreements limit remote access to registered users.

LOAN: To check out or borrow a book. The loan period for books is generally two weeks.

MAGAZINE: A periodical intended for the general public rather than for scholars.

MICROFICHE: Also called fiche. A small plastic sheet that contains multiple tiny reproductions of printed pages. A microfiche reader and printer are available on the 2nd floor.

MICROFILM: A roll of film that contains microscopic reproductions of book, journal, or newspaper pages. A microfilm reader and printer are available on the 2nd floor.

MONOGRAPH: A book or treatise on a scientific or scholarly subject in which the treatment is detailed but not extensive in scope. In AACR2 a monograph is defined as a nonserial item, either complete in one volume or intended to be completed in a finite number of successive parts, issued at regular or irregular intervals, which can be either a single work or a collection of works. A monograph may be published as one of a monographic series or subseries. See Book.

MONGRAPHIC SERIES: A series of monographs, usually issued under a collective title by a university press or society. Each volume may contain more than one monograph, each with its own title in addition to the series title.

MUSIC LISTENING ROOM: The Music Listening Room houses the majority of the University's musical albums, tapes, and audio CDs. The Room is located on the 6th floor. See the Music Listening Room Policy for more information.

OFFLINE: Computer equipment that is not connected to the Internet, an online service, or an intranet (example: a stand-alone PC running databases on CD-ROM). Also refers to computer accessories or devices that are not connected to or installed in the central processing unit (CPU), or are connected but not turned on or in "ready" mode. See Online.

ONLINE: Connected to the Internet or an intranet. Also refers to computer accessories or devices directly connected to, and under the control of, the central processing unit (CPU) in real time. See Offline and Online Catalog.

ONLINE CATALOG: A library catalog consisting of bibliographic records in machine-readable format maintained on a dedicated computer, which provides uninterrupted interactive access via terminals or workstations which are in direct, continuous communication with the central computer. The software used in online catalogs is not standardized from one library or library system to another. (See OPAC.)

OPAC: An acronym that stands for Online Public Access Catalog. The OPAC is a computer catalog of the books and other materials owned by a library.

OVERDUE: A book that is late. A fine (money for late items) is charged for overdue books.

PASSWORD: An authorized sequence of characters that a user must type in order to log on to an online database or computer system to gain access to desired resource(s). System software is only capable of verifying the legitimacy of a password, not the person who uses it; therefore, it is essential that passwords remain private. For library use, your password is your JSU student/staff ID. See Username.

PERIODICAL: A publication that appears on a regular schedule. Examples include journals and newspapers.

PROXY: A server that sits between a web browser like Netscape and a real server on campus. Its purpose is to verify that you are indeed a legitimate JSU user.

RECALL: A request for a book that is checked out to be returned early if someone else is waiting for it.

REFERENCE DESK: The Reference Desk is located on the 2nd floor of the library. There is always a librarian available at this desk. It is the place you should go if you need help in locating research and/or reading materials.

RENEW: To extend the due date for a book. Books may be renewed four times.

RESERVE: Materials that are placed on hold by professors at the Reserve Desk in the Lobby. Students may check them out for use in the library.

SERIAL: Any publication that is issued in successive parts at regular intervals.

SERVER: A host computer on a network programmed to answer requests for data or program files from client computers connected to it. Also refers to the software that makes the process of serving clients possible. Servers are distinguished by the type of function they perform (examples: application server, database server, file server, intranet server, mail server, print server, proxy server, terminal server, and Web server).

STACKS: The shelving areas in a library where books, periodicals, and other materials are stored.

USERNAME: A code that an authorized user must type or enter into a computer system to logon and gain access to its resources. For library use, your username is your last name. See Password.

VENDOR: A company in the business of providing access to a selection of electronic databases usually available online or on CD-ROM, by licensing agreement (examples: EBSCO, Ovid, SilverPlatter), or on a per-search basis (examples: OCLC FirstSearch and DIALOG). Compare with supplier and dealer. In a broader sense, any company or agency that provides products and/or services to a library or library system for a fee.

VOLUMES: Materials that are part of a single title but appear as separate bound items. Examples include journal issues covering a particular time frame that are bound together and parts of large book sets.

WORKSTATION: A computer used for accessing library resources such as the catalog, databases, etc. Also refers to a PC functioning as a client in a network. In this context, compare with server. (See Client, Client-Server, and Server.)