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International Students: Library Terms

A guide to the library for international students.

Library Terms

Here are some definitions of common library terms:

Abstract: a summary or brief description of the content of a longer work.

Article: a brief work on a topic, usually published as part of a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

Author: the person(s) or organization(s) that wrote or compiled a document.

Bibliography: a list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document.

Boolean Operator: a word - such as AND, OR, or NOT - that commands a computer to combine search terms.

Call Number: a combination of letters and numbers that identifies a specific item in a library, tells you where it is located in the library, and organizes materials by subject.

Catalog: a database listing and describing the books, music, and other materials held by the library.

Check Out: the ability to take most materials out of the library for a limited time using your TU ID card. Check out is done from the circulation desk.

Circulation Desk: the place to check out and return most library materials.

Citation: a reference to a book, article, or other work containing all the information necessary to identify and locate that work.

Database: a collection of information stored in an electronic format that can by searched by a computer.

Due Date: the date by which you must return to the library any library material(s) you have checked out.

Full Text: a complete electronic copy of a resource, usually an article.

Interlibrary Loan: a FREE service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries that McFarlin Library does not own. We do NOT interlibrary loan current textbooks.

Journal: a publication, issued on a regular basis, that contains scholarly research published as articles.

Keyword: a significant word or term in the title, abstract, or text of an information resource that indicates its subject and is often used as a search term.

Loan Period: the length of time library materials may be borrowed.

Peer Reviewed Journal: peer review is a process by which editors have experts (peers) in a field review books or articles submitted for publication. Peer reviewed journals are also called refereed or scholarly journals.

Periodical: publications with reports on recent studies and/or scholarly essays that are printed on a regular basis. Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals.

Recall: a service by which a patron can request a book be brought back to the library that has already been checked out by another person. When the material is returned you will be notified. If a book you have borrowed is recalled, you must return it to the libraries within two weeks.

Reference Collection: the reference collection consists of materials used frequently for general information. It includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes, and other materials. These materials may not be checked out of the library.

Reference Desk: the reference desk is the best place to ask questions or begin your research.

Remote Access: use of library electronic information when off-campus.

Renew: allows you to extend the loan period for the book that you have checked out unless the book has been recalled.

Reserves: materials set aside by professors for required reading by students as part of their coursework. Reserves can be found in Media.

Stacks: shelves in the library where materials - typically books - are stored.

Multilingual glossary of library terms