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Library Terminology  

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2012 URL: http://guides.library.georgetown.edu/terms Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Additional Resources

Multilingual Glossary of Library Terms (from ACRL)  The Language Table presents terms in six languages:  English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, and Spanish. A separate list provides Definitions in English.

Selected library resources for English as a Foreign Language students are listed on this Guide.

More library research help is available here: Library Tips & Tutorials.

 

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Definitions

#: a symbol for the word “number.”

 

ABSTRACT: 1) brief summary of a book or periodical article.

2) an index by subject or author, which includes summaries of periodical articles.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: a list of writings by an author or on a subject.

 

BIOGRAPHY: a book or periodical article about a person’s life.

 

BOOLEAN LOGIC: allows you to combine terms with “and” or “or” in computerized databases.  For example, searching “personnel management and Japan” retrieves citations which contain both terms.  Searching “automobiles or cars” retrieves citations which contain at least one of the terms. Boolean Searching online tutorial.

 

BROWSER: software, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, that displays Web files.

 

CALL NUMBER (CALL #): a combination of letters and numbers which indicates the location of library materials.  The call number appears under “Call Number” in the online catalog and on the spine of the book.  B 151 .S6 is an example of a call number.  (see LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION)

 

CD-ROM: Compact Disc Read-Only Memory.

 

CHECK OUT: to borrow library material for use outside the library.

 

CIRCULATE: books that circulate may be borrowed for use outside the library.

 

CIRCULATION DESK: the counter in the library where books are borrowed for use outside the library.

 

CITATION: the information needed to identify and locate a book or periodical article.  This usually includes its author, title, and date.  This information is used to compile a bibliography.

 

CROSS REFERENCE: a direction from one subject heading to use another subject heading instead; also called a “see reference.”

 

DATABASE: an organized collection of related information or data (usually computerized).

 

DUE DATE: the book should be returned to the library by this date.  The due date is on a slip of paper put into the back of the book when you check it out.  If you return it late, you will be charged a fee.

 

FOLIO: a very large book (over 35 cm. tall) kept on special shelves for folios located on the lower level of Lauinger Library.

 

GELARDIN NEW MEDIA CENTER: films, videotapes, recordings, and other non-print materials are kept here along with machines for viewing these.  This area also has computers for e-mail, word processing, and multimedia and scanners and other equipment.

 

GEORGE: the name of Lauinger Library’s online computer catalog.  GEORGE lists books and periodicals available in Lauinger and the Science Library.  Books can be searched by author, title, subject, or keyword.

 

GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS AND MICROFORMS DEPTARTMENT: the area of the library where publications of the U.S. Government are kept, located on the first floor of Lauinger Library.  Microforms are also kept here. (see MICROFORM)

 

HOLD: a book may be held for you at the Circulation Desk for 48 hours, usually because it was recalled or because the staff located a missing book for you.

 

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. The HTML coding in a Web page tells the Web browser how to display the text and images.

 

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol.  The instructions, or language, required for transmission of HTML files across the Internet.

 

IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY: the book must be used within the library and may not be checked out.

 

INDEX:          1) periodical index – allows you to find articles by topic or author.

2) index of a book – an alphabetical list of names and subjects (with page references) located at the end of a book.

 

INTERNET: a high-speed network linking computers and their users with thousands of information resources.

 

ISP (INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER): a company that provides access to the Internet.  Usually for a monthly fee, the ISP gives you software, a username, password, and an access phone number.  To connect to the Internet with an ISP you will typically need a modem for your computer and a phone line.

 

KEYWORD: searching by any word or phrase.  For example, if you want information on how personnel management works in Japan, keywords would be “personnel,” “management,” and “Japan.”

 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION: a system of arranging books so that they are shelved together by topic.  Each book has a call number (a combination of letters and numbers).  For example, most books about Africa will have call numbers which begin with the letters DT.  (see CALL NUMBER)

 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUBJECT HEADINGS (LCSH): a list of subject headings used in GEORGE.  (see SUBJECT HEADING)

 

LIMIT: a feature of GEORGE which allows you to reduce the number of your search results.  For example, if you retrieved a large number of citations, you could select “limit” to ask the computer to find only those published after a certain year.

 

LOCATION: in GEORGE, the information given under “location” tells which library has the book and in what general area it is kept.  Click on the location in GEORGE for more information or a library map.

 

MICROFORM: a book, magazine, or document which has been photographed and reduced.  Microfilm is a roll of film.  Microfiche are film cards. Microforms are kept in the Government Documents and Microforms Department, first floor of Lauinger Library.

 

MULTIMEDIA: software that incorporates graphics, video, text, and sound into an interactive computer presentation or database of information.

 

OFF-CAMPUS ACCESS: Georgetown faculty, students, and staff who are currently registered borrowers of the Library have access to many of the library’s subscription databases from computers not on the Georgetown campus.  For more information, see the instructions for off-campus access at http://www.library.georgetown.edu/indexes/instructions/offcampus.

 

PDF: Personal Document Format.  A file format that displays images of the original printed document. PDF files are created using software such as Adobe Acrobat. To view and use the files, you will need the Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free.  Acrobat will then start automatically whenever you want to look at a PDF file.

 

PERIODICAL: a publication that appears at regular intervals. (see SERIAL)

 

1) magazine  – a periodical for general reading.

2) journal – a specialized or research-oriented periodical.

3) current periodical – recent, unbound issues.

4) bound periodical – one that is contained in a hard-backed volume.

 

PROXY SERVER: a server that sits between a client application (your computer) and a real server.  The library’s proxy server controls access to remote Web servers, providing access to the library’s subscription databases to valid patrons anywhere in the world.

 

QUARTO: a book too large to be put on regular shelves (over 31 cm. tall).  Check the call number to determine which floor it is shelved on.  Each floor has Quarto (oversized) shelving on the outer shelves of the floor.

 

RECALL: if a book is checked out, you can have the Access Services Department recall it for you.  The person who has the book will be notified to return the book to the library.  When it is available, you will be notified that the book is being held for you.

 

REFERENCE: the area of the library where encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, indexes, and other information sources are kept.  Reference librarians are available to answer your questions about the library and doing research.

 

RENEW: to extend the length of time you may keep a book you have borrowed.

 

RESERVE: a collection of books and articles needed for specific class assignments kept at the Circulation/Reserve Desk.  These materials have short check-out periods and some must be used in the library.

 

SEARCH ENGINE: software which allows you to search for sites on the Web using keywords.

 

SERIAL: general term for publications that are issued at regular intervals.  Periodicals, newspapers, and yearbooks are all types of serials.

 

STACKS: the shelves where the books are kept.  Lauinger Library has open stacks, which means you must go directly to the shelves to get books.

 

STATUS: in GEORGE, the information listed under “Status” tells whether the book is “in library” or whether it is “due” (someone has borrowed the book) and when it is due back.

 

STORAGE/OFF CAMPUS STORAGE/WRLC Center: some older or little-used books and periodicals are kept in storage, away from the library.  If the book or periodical you want has the location Riggs Storage or WRLC Center, you will need to ask for it.  In the record for the item in GEORGE, click on “Request Item” and fill out the information requested to have it retrieved for you.

 

SUBJECT HEADING: a word or phrase describing what a book or article is about.  (See LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUBJECT HEADINGS)

 

SUDOC NUMBER: Superintendent of Documents number–refers to a U.S. Government Document.

 

URL: Uniform Resource Locator.  The address of a file on the Web.  URLs are case sensitive and spacing and punctuation must be exact.  The URL provides the exact location of a resource on the Internet and describes the type of resource, for example: http://www.library.georgetown.edu/tools asks your computer to use the hypertext transfer protocol to connect to the computer at www.library.georgetown.edu and retrieve the file /tools.

 

Research/Instruction Librarian

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Sandy Hussey
 

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Cambridge advanced learner's dictionary
Call Number: Ref. PE 1628 .C23 2005
ISBN: 0521843790

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