Abstract - a summary of a magazine or journal article, or a book.
Advanced Searching - A method of searching for information, usually in a database, that takes advantage of such things as Boolean Logic, which deals with two or more variables.
Almanac - An annually published reference book with a wide range of brief information, such as statistics and facts on many topics. Current as well as retrospective information is given. An almanac may also include details of anniversaries and events.
Annotation - The explanatory, descriptive, or critical notes that are added to a text or a bibliography, catalog, or reading list.
Anthology - a collection of works in one volume. These can be authored by the same person or more than one writer.
Atlas - A book which contains maps and vital statistics of geographic areas.
Author - The person who wrote the book or article. Author entries in the online catalog and in the indices are listed by the surname or last name. Example: if you know that the author of a book is Deborah Tannen, you would look for books or articles written by her as Tannen, Deborah.
Autobiography - A book that someone has written about his or her own life.
Barcode - A sequence of vertical lines and numbers that identify an item when read by an optical scanner. This is also known as a Universal Product Code or UPC. In a library, both books and user identification cards have barcodes.
Bibliography - the list of works used or consulted by an author and listed at the end of an article, paper, book, or other research-based writing. There are also specialized subject bibliographies, published separately as books.
Biography - a book about a person's life. Reference books (encyclopedias, for example) contain concise biographies for many individuals.
Blog - Short for weblog, this is a website which contains posts or short dated entries in reverse chronological order.
Boolean Logic - a system of symbolic logic that uses various combinations of logical operators such as "AND," "OR," and/or "NOT" to establish relationships between items.
Boolean Searching - a method of looking for information, usually in databases, using Boolean Logic, a system of symbolic logic that uses various combinations of logical operators such as "AND," "OR," and/or "NOT" to establish relationships between items.
Browse - to look through the entries in the online catalog or the books on the shelf in alphabetical or numerical order. This is especially useful in searching the online catalog when an exact author or title isn't known.
Call Number - a systematic combination of letters and numbers assigned to a book that gives it a unique location in the library. This is the "address" where the book "lives" in the library. Most academic libraries use the LC or Library of Congress classification system. School and public libraries often use the Dewey Decimal System.
Catalog - a list of the materials in the library, usually arranged by author, title, or subject.
Chat - to exchange electronic messages with one or more other computer users in real time.
CD-ROM - Compact Disc Read Only Memory - a digitally mastered disc which holds information, usually a database.
Censorship - the suppression or attempted suppression of a book, movie, magazine, etc. by someone who finds it objectionable or subversive.
Circulation Counter - the counter or service area in the library where you borrow or check out books. It is also where instructors can put additional class materials for students to use ("Reserves").
Circulating - this means that the item can be checked out from the library.
Citation - the information given in an index or catalog about a particular title. The citation is a single reference to a book or periodical article. Citations for books and articles vary (see below), but normally include the author;the article, periodical, or book title; place of publication; publisher; volume; pages; and date. Refer to a style manual to learn how to format citations for your bibliographies. Examples:
Book: Freedman, Richard R. What Do Unions Do? New York: Basic, 1984.
Compact Disc - Read Only Memory - See CD-Rom
Consolidated Searching - combining several separate electronic searches into one.
Copyright - the right of authors and other creative artists or their publishers to control the use and the reproduction of their original works.
Database - a collection of information, usually electronic.
Dewey (Dewey Decimal System) - a numeric classification system that is used to assign call numbers to materials. Most school and public libraries use Dewey.
Dictionary - a book that gives definitions of words. Dictionaries may be general (Webster's new Collegiate Dictionary), or specialized (Dictionary of Economics).
Digital Video Disc - See DVD.
DVD - Digital Video Disc - an optical compact disc that stores larger amounts of information than the conventional type of CD-ROM. Whereas a CD-ROM is used for data and/or sound, a DVD can store video, too.
E-Books - a book in an electronic format. E-books are available through subscription databases (netLibrary, ebrary), the internet, etc.
E-Journals - a journal in an electronic format. These are available through subscription databases. There are also some which are available through open access on the internet.
Electronic - in libraries, this usually describes a database which can be accessed with a computer. CD-ROM and online databases are both electronic. These can be general (Encyclopedia Britannica), or specialized (The Encyclopedia of World Cultures).
Encyclopedia - a compendium of information. Like Dictionaries, these can be general (Encyclopedia Americana) or specialized (The Encyclopedia of World Cultures).
FTP - File-transfer Protocol. A standard procedure for transferring electronic files. This allows files on one computer to be transferred to another one using a network such as the internet.
Full-Text - the complete text of the article.
Holds - materials that are reserved for specific library users.
HTML - Hyptertext Markup Language - The symbols or codes that tell a Web browser how to display images and words for the user
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The set of rules on the World Wide Web for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video, etc.). Most World Wide Web addresses (URLs) begin with "http."
Hyperlink - a symbol, word, or image in a hypertext document that links to another like element in another hypertext document.
Hypertext Markup Language - See HTML.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol - See HTTP.
ILL - Interlibrary Loan. The process or service used by one library to obtain materials from other libraries for its patrons.
Index - 1. Citations to articles in periodicals by author, subject, title, or keyword. 2. An alphabetical listing at the back of a non-fiction book which provides page numbers to topics in that volume.
Information Desk - another name for the Reference Desk.
Intellectual Freedom - "Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive, and disseminate ideas." - American Library Association.
Interlibrary Loan - See ILL.
Internet - a global network that links computers all over the world by telephone or satellite, enabling users to access such service networks as the World Wide Web and e-mail
Invisible Web - information on the World Wide Web that's not retrievable through the use of search engines. Once information on the Invisible Web can be found through a search engine, it's considered part of the Visible Web.
Journal - a publication that comes out at regular intervals and is scholarly or academic in content and purpose. This is in contrast to a magazine, which has more popular content. Examples of journals are: Journal of Applied Psychology and American Historical Review.
Keyword - a word that is used as a reference point when searching for information in a database or document. Keywords can be combined in Boolean searching to form a search statement.
LAN - Local Area Network.
LC - See Library of Congress Classification System
Library Instruction - a curriculum including information literacy and research methods.
Library of Congress - founded by an act of Congress in 1800, the Library of Congress is the national library of the United States. It is located in Washington, D.C.
Library of Congress Classification System - the system of letters and numbers used by most academic (college) libraries to assign a call number to materials.
Listserv - a free service on the Internet that has a forum-like format and permits users to "discuss" a topic using e-mail.
Loan Period - the length of time a book or other material is allowed to be checked out from the library.
Local Area Network - LAN. A group of computers that are linked together .
Magazine - a publication that comes out at regular intervals and has articles, stories, photographs, and other features. In contrast to a journal, which is scholarly, a magazine has widespread appeal and is popular in tone. Examples: Time, Good Housekeeping, People .
Media - a generic term usually referring to videocassettes, audiocassettes, phonograph recordings, films, photographs, photographic slides, etc. In some libraries, "media" includes all resources, including books.
Metacrawler - an internet multisearch engine (http://www.metacrawler.con/index.html) which searches other search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Google, Teoma, Lycos, Alta Vista, etc.)
Microfiche - a microform format. Materials that are reproduced as miniature reproductions on individual rectangular sheets of film. In libraries, the microform format is often used for old issues of magazines, journals, and newspapers.
Microfilm - a microform format. Materials that are reproduced as miniature reproductions on rolls of film. In libraries, the microform format is often used for old issues of magazines, journals, and newspapers.
Microform - materials that are reproduced as miniature reproductions on rolls of microfilm or sheets of microfiche. In libraries this is often used for old issues of magazines, journals, and newspapers, the contents of which are transferred to microformat.
Monograph - a complete, scholarly piece of writing on a particular topic. A monograph can be a single book or a paper.
OCLC - Also known as the Online Computer Library Center, this is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network links library collections all over the world and make interlibrary loans possible.
Online - refers to accessing a remote computer via a terminal. Our OPAC is one example of an online database.
Online catalog - also called the Online Public Access Catalog or OPAC. This is the database that lists the books available in a given library or library district. This is the electronic equivalent of the card catalog.
Online Public Access Catalog - OPAC
OPAC - Online Public Access Catalog; often simply called the Online Catalog.
Out of Print - materials that are unavailable because they are no longer being printed by a publisher.
Overdues - items that have been kept out longer than the established loan period
Pagination - how the pages are numbered.
Patriot Act - Public Law 107-56 - "The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.A reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001." As applied to libraries, a person's library record is open to federal perusal.
PDF. - Portable Document Format. A PDF document is electronic, an and looks exactly like the original. The text of a PDF document is searchable and secure. Developed by Adobe ®, PDF is a publicly available specification utilized by standards bodies worldwide.
Periodical - a non-book publications that comes out on a regular basis, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly.Magazines, newspapers, and journals are periodicals.
Periodical Index - a subject guide to the contents of a collection of periodicals.
Periodicals List - the listing of magazines, journals and newspapers to which a library subscribes.
Plagiarism - using someone else's writings or ideas and passing them off as your own.
Portable Document Format - see PDF
Primary Source - information created by someone who was either part of an event or a witness to it. Primary documents include: artifacts, audio recordings, autobiographies, correspondence, court records, diaries, interviews (in person, telephone, e-mail), journals, manuscripts, memoirs, memos, moving pictures, original documents (e.g., birth certificate), pamphlets, patents, periodicals, personal narratives, photographs, poems, proceedings (conferences, meetings, symposia, etc.), published materials (newspaper, magazine and journal articles; books written at the time), records collected by government agencies, records of organizations, research data, speeches, survey research (market surveys and public opinion polls taken at the time), video recordings of the event, and works of literature.
Print - the actual copy (ink on paper) of a book, magazine, journal or newspaper as opposed to the electronic version.; not electronic.
Reference - (1)the process of answering the questions of library patrons; (2) the section of the library in which this takes place and/or where the reference materials are kept.
Reference Books - a volume that contains facts, statistics, biographical information, or other such information (e.g., almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.). These books may not be taken out of the library, as a rule, and are shelved separately from the rest of the collection. When using the Online Catalog a book that has [REF] in front of its call number is a reference book
Remote Access - using a computer in one location to access the information in computer in another location.
Renewal - extending the loan period of library materials.
Research Guide - a guide that provides relevant resources - books, periodicals, web sites - on a particular subject.
Reserve - in an academic library, this refers to the location in the library where materials are placed to be accessible to all students in a class. Usually materials are put on reserve at the request of an instructor. At GCC reserve materials are kept at the Circulation/Reserve counter.
Save/Download/Email - three methods of capture information.
Search Engine - a computer program such as Yahoo, Google, Teoma, etc. that scans files on the Internet for keywords input by the user and returns a list of documents in which they were found.
Secondary Source - a secondary source has the benefit of hindsight. It is written after an event or is at least one step removed from it. Secondary sources include discussions and commentary that describe, explain, analyze, and interpret the event. Examples of secondary sources include: biographies, commentaries, dissertations, journal articles, monographs, and textbooks.
Serials - a broad category of publications that are published on regular intervals. This includes some reference books that are published annually or semi-annually. Serials include periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers).
Serials List - the listing of magazines, journals, and newspapers to which a library subscribes.
Stacks - the shelves where the books are kept in the library.
Subject - what the book, article, database, movie, etc. is about. Libraries standardize subject terms using such tools as the Library of Congress Subject Headings. If the subject is a person, he or she is listed by last name or surname. For example, if the subject is Susan B. Anthony, search suing Anthony, Susan B.
Subscription Database - collections of electronic information to which the library subscribes. This includes sets of newspaper, magazine, and journal articles. These are usually full-text.
Surname - a person's family name. This is usually the person's "last name". Author and subject entries in the online catalog and in the indexes are listed by the surname or last name. Example: If you know the author of a book is Deborah Tannen, you would look for books or articles written by her as Tannen, Deborah.
Style Manual - a book that tell the reader how to format a paper, with regard to footnotes, bibliographies, pagination, etc. Ask you instructor which style manual you are to use. The commonly used style manuals are:
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Ref LB 2369 .G63)(a copy of the most recent edition is kept at the Reference Desk)
Telnet - the connection to remote computer sites. This is done through a terminal emulation program which allows users to connect to a server.
Tertiary Source - information which is distilled from primary and secondary sources. These include: almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and fact books.
URL - Uniform Resource Locator. The Internet address of a file. This consists of the protocol, the computer where the file is located, and the location of the file in the computer.
Visible Web - information on the World Wide Web that's retrievable through search engines. Once information on the Invisible Web can be found through a search engine, it's considered part of the Visible Web.
Weblog - a website which contains posts or short dated entries in reverse chronological order. Also called a blog.
Web site - a collection of World Wide Web pages typically including hyperlinks to each other. These made available to the public online by an individual, school, corporation, governmental entity, organization, etc.
World Wide Web - the plethora of linked documents and other files located on computers that are connected through the internet and used to access data and programs.
List prepared by Shelley Moseley, Library Media Center
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