Glossary of Library Terms


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Glossary of Library Terms

  1. 1. About this TutorialStudents:This tutorial will:• Help you understand the terms librarians use to describe parts of the library and the information resources available to you.• Help you understand the difference between similar types of resources and how they might be used in your research.Faculty:This tutorial was created using Microsoft PowerPoint 2007.This tutorial will helps student understand jargon used in libraries and help clarify difference between various information sources. This tutorial meets the following ACRL standards: 2.1b
  2. 2. What to watch for…Notes – These are to let you know there is important information you need to know about what is being covered.
  3. 3. Sometimes libraries and librarians use terminology that can be confusing to most people. We often call this “library jargon.” Use the terms on the following pages to better understand “library jargon.” Jargon: This term indicates language that is used by a group, profession, or culture, especially when the words and phrases are not understood or used by other people.
  4. 4. Abstract:For most people, abstract is a kind of art workwhich can be difficult to understand andappreciate. But this is not the case when itcomes to library materials.In the library an abstract is a brief summaryof an article. Abstracts can save you time byhelping you identify the best articles on yourtopic without having to read the whole articlefirst. Below is an example of an abstract of ajournal article.
  5. 5. Bibliography: A bibliography is a list of the sources an author used when writing a book, article or essay. It is found at the end of written works. If you find a great article and want to locate more information about the topic you should check the bibliography. Bibliographies are also known as lists of references or works cited.
  6. 6. Boolean Searching:Sometimes when you search for information on theInternet or in an electronic database, you must searchusing various combinations of words.For example, if you were looking for information on therelationship between poverty and drug abuse, you’dhave to combine the search terms: This can be one of the more difficult research concepts to understand, but Drug once you understand how it works, it Poverty really helps to make your searches Abuse more effective. This type of searching is called Boolean searching or Boolean Logic. It is a great way to improve your search results.
  7. 7. Boolean logic consists of threelogical operators: – AND – OR – NOT Freshman Let’s look at these individually to better understand how each of them work in a search and what results they return. College Success
  8. 8. OR Question: I would like information about college or university life. College University The red area The blue area represents search represents searchresults that contain results that contain only the word only the word College. University. The overlapping area represents search results that contain both College and University. This will retrieve records with AT LEAST ONE of the search terms. We are searching on the terms college and also university because either of these words might be relevant. OR is most commonly used to search for synonymous terms or concepts.
  9. 9. ANDQuestion: Im interested in the relationship between poverty and crime. Poverty CrimeThis search retrieves only records in which BOTH of the search terms are present. This is shown by the overlapping green area of the two circles which represent all the records that contain both search terms, "poverty" and "crime" Notice how we do not retrieve any records with only "poverty" or only "crime.”
  10. 10. NOT Question: I want information about cats, but I dont want to see anything about dogs. In this search, we retrieve records in which ONLY ONE of the terms is present, the one we have selected. Cats DogsThe blue shaded area with No records are retrieved inthe word cats represents the area overlapping the twoall the records containing circles where the word "dogs"the word "cats,” but not appears, even if the worddogs. "cats" appears there too.
  11. 11. The more terms or concepts we combine in a search using OR , the more results we will retrieve. Search terms Results college 396,482 College University university 590,791 college OR university 819,214 college OR university College Search terms Results college 396,482 university 590,791 University Campus college OR university 819,214 college OR university OR campus 929,677college OR university OR campus
  12. 12. The more terms or concepts we combine in a search using AND, the FEWER results we will retrieve. Search terms Results poverty 76,342 Poverty Crime crime 348,252 poverty AND crime 12,998 Poverty AND Crime Poverty Search terms Results poverty 76,342 crime 348,252 Crime Gender poverty AND crime 12,998 poverty AND crime AND gender 1,220college AND university AND campus
  13. 13. Browsers: A browser is a program that lets you view HTMLdocuments or webpages. These are programs that translate all the computer code into the words and images that you see when you surf the web. Did you know that the World Wide Web is just a small part of the Internet? In fact the World Wide Web was considered one of the first browsers ever invented.
  14. 14. Citation Styles: Citations provide important information about articles, books, websites, and other important information you use in your research. A citation style is the way in which you format this information. There are 3 main citation styles used in university classes: • MLA (Modern Language Association) • APA (American Psychological Association) • Chicago Manual of Style Citations of articles often include the author, title, magazine or journal name, page numbers and publication information. Citations of documents found online also include a URL and the day the information was accessed. Below are some examples of APA style: Book: Dixon, Suzanne. (1992) The Roman Family. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Online Article: Wiltshire, R. D. (2006, May 5). Changing thinking patterns to reduce depression. Psychology For the Future, 3, Article 0012. Retrieved March 15, 2007, from
  15. 15. Fields: Whether searching Google or an EBSCOhost database, the place you enter your search term(s) is called aA simple Google search field. field. Some searches let you identify what kind of field you want to search in, such as author, title, subject or text. Multiple search fields… With specific identifiers to narrow your search.
  16. 16. Full-Text: When the complete electronic text of an article is available it is indicated by a full-text icon. Some databases, such as JSTOR and EBSCOhost, provide entire articles online.
  17. 17. Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Sometimes the library may not have the materials you need. Many of the university libraries are connected through an interlibrary loan service. This means we can borrow a book or request a copy of an article that is available in another library if we don’t have it. Starting from the library home page, follow the links to the ILL form to request materials not available in our library.
  18. 18. Microforms: Storing old copies of magazines and newspapers can take up a lot of space in a library, so older issues are photographed and stored on a microform. These are usually called microfilm or microfiche. This allows a library to store a large amount of information in a small amount of space. Reader-printer machines which allow you to view and make copies of microforms are available on the second floor of the library.
  19. 19. Periodicals:Publications which are issued at leasttwice a year, including journals,magazines, and newspapers, are calledperiodicals. Linscheid Library has twosections of periodicals.“Current periodicals” are those whichhave recently arrived, usually within thelast 6 months. These are shelved by title.“Bound periodicals” are those whichhave been bound into a volume like abook. These are shelved by call number. Many periodicals are also available electronically in the library databases.
  20. 20. Reference Materials:Books or electronic resources providingfacts, statistics, bibliographies, backgroundinformation, or other specific pieces ofinformation are called referencematerials. Examples include almanacs, atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and indexes. The print versions of these materials may be consulted in the library, but may not be borrowed from the library.
  21. 21. In this tutorial you learned some common library terminology or jargon. Thank you for taking the time to look at thisGlossary of Library Terms!