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Library Language - Definitions: Home

This is a list of definitions of terms we librarians use for the resources in the library. They will help you understand library language! The second tab identifies terms you may want to know when you borrow materials from us.

Library Terms

Abstract: Summary of a book or article. Abstracts are used in library databases to give article or book oeverviews. 

Annotated Bibliography: List of sources, with annotations (summaries) included, created in preparation for a research paper.

Annotation:  A brief summary of a book or article, often included in an annotated bibliography.

Anthology: A collection of separate works - essays, short stories, poems, stc. - in a single book.

Archive:  Print or electronic documents stored or preserved for future access. An e-mail archive stores past messages. An historical archive preserves materials of historical significvance.

Article: An authored work published in a magazine, journal or newspaper.

Autobiography: A book-length work on a person's life written by that person.

Barcode: The electronic code on a book which identifies the book when it is checked out.

Bibliographic Record:  The set of information that describes a book or audiovisual work in the catalog of a library. It contains information such as author, title, date of publication, catalog headings, and call number.

Bibliography: 1) A list of sources referred to in a particular work. 2) A list of the books of a specific author or on a specific subject. (From The Concise Oxford English Dictionary). Also can be called Reference List or Works Cited document. 

Biography: Work, article or book, that describes the life of a person.

Blog:  Abbreviation for "weblog", an online page created by a person or organization to present ideas, information, and opinions. See Warner Library's  blog here.

Book Stacks: This term is used to distinguish the Circulating book collection (Stacks) from  the Reference Book  collection.Stacks locations for our library  include these other locations: Philly site, Curriculum lab, Esperanza, Palmer Seminary.

Boolean:  The mathematical boolean operator terms "AND", "OR", and "NOT" are used to search in library databases. Click here for a full description.

Call Number: A unique set of symbols (letters, numbers, and/or punctuation) assigned to a specific item identifying its broad subject and exact shelf location in a library collection, for example, GV350 .E36 2004. We use Library of Congress or LC.

Chat: To chat, or discuss and ask questions, with a librarian through an online application. At Warner Library, you can chat via G-mail on you desktop.

Checkout: The transaction performed to borrow a materials from the library.  When you check out a book at the Circulation Desk you must present your Student ID card.

Circulation: The processes of taking materials out  of the library. Most books circulate, but reference books and many journals/periodicals do not. Our Circulation Policy is in the About the Library area of our website.

Citation: Information describing a book, journal article or electronic findings in a research paper. A citation generally includes the Title, Author, Publisher, Year of Publication, etc. Its main purpose is to offer enough information about an item to enable the reader to find and retrieve it.

Citation Styles: Citation styles are approved formats for citing sources in the different academic disciplines. The most common styles are MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). To learn about these styles click here. 

Copyright: Legal authority protecting works of art, literature, music, and computer programs from reproduction or publication without the permission of the creator/copyright holder. Copyright date is the year the copyright was issued. For more information on copyright click here.

Database: Electronic collection of records that can be searched and manipulated through an interface. Databases differ in subject coverage, type of material (books, newspaper articles, statistics, dissertations) and output type (full-text, citation, image). To access our databases click here.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): A unique, alphanumeric string that is assigned to a document in order to provide a consistent link on the Internet. It is typically located on the first page of an electronic journal article near the copyright information. In a database the DOI may be found in the article's citation. Example: doi: 10.3134/ehtj.09.002 .

eBook: Electronic (digital) version of a book in full text, providing instant access to its entire contents from a computer.  A link to the eBook is located in the catalog record. 

EZ Borrow: This is a great Interlibrary loan tool for books. You can request books from here and they will come to you within 3-4 days time. You go to the site for EZ Borrow and log in using your EU login and password. A search box will come up and you are on youyr way. When you find the book you want just click on the submit button. 

Format: Identifies type of library material. Examples: book, eBook, journal, eJournal, map, microform, sound recording, video recording, etc.

Full-text: Full-text indicates the entire text of an article/book can be viewed directly from your computer. Depending on the material, you may be able to print, e-mail  or download/save full-text online materials. Books can be read online; journal articles are available in PDF (reproduced image of original) or HTML (Web version).

Government Documents: Publications sponsored and published by the government of a given country, state, or city.

Holdings: Our catalog records, describing material location and volumes/issues owned by the EU Libraries.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): A markup language used on the World Wide Web to design webpages. HTML provides a language for formatting text and setting up hyperlinks, among other functions. When used in databases as HTML-Full-Text, the user will receive the text of an article or resource as a block of text. Paragraphs will usually be defined; however, many times pages will not be indicated and images will not be included.

Index: 1) List of works on a given topic used to find research material, provided in both paper and electronic formats. 2) An alphabetical list found at the end of a book, containing key terms and their pagination throughout the book.

Information Literacy: The skills necessary to determine need for, and locate, access, evaluate, and use information for success in work, civic, and personal life. Instruction in Information Literacy is provided by our librarians. You may be required to attend a session with us and you come may see us for personal instruction. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): The ILL service obtains materials such as books and articles from other libraries if they are not available at EU's library.

Issue: Volumes of periodical publications such as academic journals may be comprised of issues which cover a calendar year. Example: Volume 22; Issue 1, Volume 22 Issue 2, Volume 22 Issue 3, etc.

Journal: A serial publication that contains articles written by experts/professionals on a topic. The material published is generally research or analysis. The language is technical and is meant for an audience of professionals or academics. Journals exist in paper and electronic formats.

Journal A-Z List: A database that allows users to check and see if Warner Library subscribes to a periodical (print or online); it will also provide the time frames for this subscription. Click here

Keyword: Single words used to perform a search in a library catalog, also called an OPAC, database, or Internet browser. A keyword search will return records that contain that word anywhere in a record.

Library of Congress: This is the cataloging classification used by our library to identify materials. You will see this in the Call number of an item.

Multiple Holdings: In our catalog records, this indicates an item is available at more than one EU library.

Periodicals/Serials: Includes anything published at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, annually) such as magazines, newspapers, academic journals, almanacs, reports, newsletters, etc.

Primary Sources: Original manuscripts or documents (first-person accounts, speeches, letters, interviews, diaries, photographs) created at the time an event occurred.

Rapid ILL: This is another Interlibrary Loan tool primarily for articles that you cannot get in full-text fro our databases. This tool is electronic submission and retrieval. In other words, you need to fill out an onl;ine form and submit. Then the article will be e-maield to your EU email account. You initially need to set up an account (free) and then start requesting.

Reserves: Books or other items set aside in the library for particular classes. They circulate for short periods (2-3 hours). They are located behind the circulation desk in the Reserves Room. Electronic reserve materials (scanned articles, images, etc.) are posted on Brightspace under the specific course.

Scholarly/Peer-reviewed: Article or book based on original research or experimentation, written by a scholar or expert in the field often affiliated with a college or a university. Includes footnotes and/or a bibliography useful for identifying additional materials on a topic.

Secondary Sources: Sources created after an initial occurrence which analyze, criticize, or seek to further explain material in the primary sources. Examples: encyclopedias, textbooks, histories, criticisms, commentaries, scholarly journal articles.