Glossary of Library Terms

A | B | C | D | E | H | I | L | M | O | P | R | T | V
Annuals
Books and videos published once a year containing work that has been chosen as the best in the field.

Autobiography
An account of a person's life written by that person.

Biography
An account of someone's life written by someone else.

Book Drop
A location where books may be returned when the library is closed.

Bound Periodicals
Non-current magazine issues joined/bound together (6 months or one year) in a hardback book form, located behind the current periodical racks. Also called Back Issues.

Call Number
A unique combination of letters, numbers, and dates found on the spine of a book which determines its location in the library.

Circulating Books
Books that can be borrowed.

Course Reserve Materials
Books and other course-specific materials provided by instructors which students can access in the library only.

Desk Reference
Reference books which are kept behind the Circulation Desk.

Dictionary
An alphabetical list of words and their definitions (what they mean).

Directory
A book which lists names and addresses of companies, organizations, or people.

EBSCO Art Source
Online database used to find and view journal and magazine articles on art related topics.

Encyclopedia
A multi-volume summary of the world and everything contained in it, organized alphabetically by subject.

Exhibition Catalog
An exhibition catalog is a printed publication that documents an art exhibit from a museum or gallery.

Hoover’s
Online database with information on companies such as sales figures, products, competitors, and CEOs.

Index (in a book)
Alphabetical list of subjects with page numbers indicating where to find that subject, usually found in the back of a book

Late fine
A fee charged for every day that material is overdue.

Librarian
A professional with a Masters Degree in Library Science who helps library users find information.

Library Online Catalog
Computerized listings of all material found in a library (such as books, magazines, CD-ROMS, and videos) and includes information on each title such as author, subject, call number, and location on library shelves.

Library of Congress Classification
The system of organizing books by subject that is used by academic libraries in the U.S.

Loan Period
The amount of time books may be borrowed.

Magazine Tower
The display structure where the current year’s magazines are shelved.

MFA Desk
The section of the library where MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis projects are kept.

Overdue
When a book is not returned or renewed before the loan period expires.

PDF File
File format that keeps electronic documents in their original format.

Periodicals
Magazines, newspapers, journals, or anything published on a regular basis.

Picture File
A collection of circulating single images kept in file cabinets and arranged by subject.

Reference Books
Books that do not circulate; they can be used in the library only.

Renew
To extend the loan period for library materials.

Table of Contents
List of chapters found in the beginning of a book.

Thesaurus
Book of synonyms (words that have the same meaning).

Vandalism
Intentional damage done to library materials.