Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

TODAY'S HOURS
 
More Hours

Library Self-Guided Tour

Mobile-optimized version of the library's self-guided tour

glossary banner

Library Jargon Definitions

Each field or discipline uses unique language. Learning the language of the area you are studying is an important aspect of research. Here are brief definitions of some library terms:

 

Library Catalog

A database of materials in the Library’s collection (aka search this to find out what the library has).

 

Circulation

The loan of library materials. The act of checking out (aka borrowing) library materials such as books. 

 

Database

Any collection of records stored in an electronic format. Each item (i.e. a book or an article) has a record. Common library databases are used to find books and other library materials (the catalog) or to locate articles (journal databases).

 

InterLibrary Loan (aka ILL or ILLiad)

Libraries lend materials to each other and library users (that’s you!) may request that items (including journal articles) be borrowed for them. Contact us via 24/7 Chat if you need help with InterLibrary Loan. 

 

Network Printing

Library computers (including wirelessly via laptops) send documents to printers via the network.

 

Online

Anything accessed via a network or the Internet.

 

Periodicals

Newspapers, magazines and journals. Things that are published periodically. 

 

Reference or Research Services

Services designed to help users find and use information. We provide reference (aka research) services in-person, online (email, via Zoom appointment, and 24/7 chat), and via phone. 

 

Stacks

Short for bookstacks, which is another term for bookshelves.