Use this glossary of common library terms to familiarize yourself with some of the words and phrases you may hear or see while searching in library resources or speaking with a librarian. For a more extensive glossary, check out Library Lingo from Colorado State University.
Glossary of Library Terms
Words like AND, OR, and NOT which are used in database searches to help narrow down or broaden search results. For more information on Boolean Operators and Boolean Searching (that is, searching using Boolean Operators),see: FAQ: What is boolean searching and how can I use it?
A series of numbers and letters that are assigned to each library material. Call numbers are used to organize and categorize library materials so that materials on similar topics will be found near each other on the shelves. FAQ: What is a call number?
The basic information about a material such as title, author, publisher, etc.
A collection of sources available and search-able online. Databases can include journals, ebooks, reviews, government documents, and more. Some databases are very subject specific (they only include sources about one or two subjects) while others can be very broad (they include sources about a number or all subjects). A-Z Database List.
The entire article or material.
A service whereby patrons can request books, articles, and other materials from other libraries. For more information, check out the Interlibrary Loan page.
A periodical which is usually more scholarly than a magazine. Journals may or may not be peer-reviewed.
periodical which is less scholarly than a journal.
Online Book Catalog
Shapiro Library's online system for helping patrons find books and other library materials. Specifically, the online book catalog helps patron's find materials that are physically owned by the library, but some electronic resources can be found using the online book catalog as well. Online Library Catalogto view the Online Library Catalog.
Journals or other materials which have gone through a rigorous editorial process by subject experts. Journals or other materials which are peer-reviewed are scholarly. FAQ: What is a peer reviewed journal?