Glossary of Library Terms

A glossary is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms. Traditionally, a glossary appears at the end of a book and includes terms within that book which are either newly introduced or at least uncommon.

A brief summary of the content or essence of a book, article, speech, report, or dissertation.
Academic / Scholarly Journal
Articles are written by academics for academic audiences (researchers, professionals and students). An editorial board of subject experts critically analyse draft articles to ensure they meet certain standards before they are accepted for publication. Articles usually have an abstract at the beginning summarising the main points and a bibliography or reference list at the end to show other works cited.  Most (but not all) scholarly publications are peer reviewed (also known as refereed).
 The symbol "&" which means “and”.
A critical or explanatory note, usually included in a bibliographical reference or citation.
Annual publication
An item published once a year, every year.
A collection of stories, plays, or poems.
A brief composition on a topic usually published in a magazine or journal.
A book of maps.
A writer of a book, essay, story, play, poem or other work. Some works have two or more co-authors. In library catalogues authorship is sometimes attributed to an organisation, conference symposium, or institution. This is known as a corporate author.  Other individuals such as editor, playwright, director, composer, performer, or other, may also be considered an author.
An account of one's life written by oneself. See also biography.
Biannual publication
An item published twice a year.
Bibliographic information
Information about published items. This information generally covers four basic elements. (1) Author/Editor/Producer (2) Date of publication (3) Title of item (4) Publication information (Place of publication, Publisher, URL, Address etc).
Bibliography (1)
 A list of all the books, journal articles, conference papers and websites etc that have been used during a person’s research.  The bibliography might include items not specifically cited in the text of a document, but they are still important background reading that support ideas and conclusions reached by the author.  This list of references is found at the end of a book, article or assignment.
Bibliography (2)
A list of books, articles etc on a specific subject and published as a book
Biennial publication
An item published every two years.
An account of a person's life, written by another. The person who writes a biography is the biographer. The person written about is known as the biographee. See also autobiography.
To issue, check out or charge out library materials.
Bound periodical/journal
Older issues of periodicals/journals that have been bound together between hard covers so they look like a book. This is done to preserve them and to make storing easier.
Call number
A unique location code or shelf number that appears on the spine of a book or bound periodical.
A catalogue contains records, with detailed descriptions and location information, of the material in a library collection. In this Library the catalogue is available online and known as Library Search.
An abbreviation for "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory;" A computer with a CD-ROM drive is needed to read this kind of disc.
"Chat with a Librarian"
"Chat with a Librarian" is a service provided by the library as a way of allowing users to have a conversation and seek advice from librarians via the website, using instant messaging.
A brief description of a text (book, article, report, World Wide Web page, or other) that has been quoted, or used as an authority. A complete citation for a book typically includes author, year, title, and publication information such as place of publication, publisher or URL. A complete citation for a periodical or magazine article includes author and title of the article, title of the periodical, volume number, page numbers, and the dates or a retrieval statement like a URL or DOI.
For details of different formatting styles see: Referencing Overview.
Classification is used in libraries to keep like subjects together on the shelves. The major classification scheme used in the Hamilton Campus Library (located in the Student Centre) is the Library of Congress (LC) Classification. Books and journals are assigned a classification number (which in LC Classification is a combination of letters and numbers) that represents the general subject of the item. Additional letters and numbers are added (usually the first two letters of the author's last name and the date of publication) to form a call number. The use of classification allows library users to browse shelves to find additional items close by on the same or related subjects. The Teaching Resources Library, which is located in the TL building of the Faculty of Education, is classified in the Dewey Decimal System.
Collected work
A book of works by different authors (essays, stories, poems, plays).
Conference paper
The print or electronic version of a talk or presentation given at a conference or meeting.
Conference proceedings
The official record of the things said and done at a conference or meeting.  Usually available online or in print.
The legal right granted to an author, editor, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work. This legal right will limit what can be copied or quoted from any published work.
Corporate author
When the author of a book, essay, article or other work is an organisation, conference symposium or institution.
Cross reference
In a catalogue or index, a direction that leads a user from one entry or subject heading to another.
Current periodicals
The most recent issues of a journal or magazine that a library has received. The current issues of a print periodical are bound when enough have accumulated to constitute the size of an ordinary book (usually about a year's worth or less). The majority of the library's periodicals are accessed online and are known as eJournals.
A comprehensive collection of related data organised for convenient access, generally in a computer.
Desk copy
Term formerly used for the High Demand Collection.
Dewey Decimal System
Library classification system used for material held in the Teaching Collection of the Teaching Resources Library.  With the non-fiction collection, subjects are divided into ten main groups which are represented by series of numbers. Each of these groups is divided into more specialised groups.  There is always a decimal point after the first three numbers.  The first three letters which follow the number are usually the first three letters of the author's surname.   Fiction is shelved alphabetically by author.
A book of alphabetically listed words in a language with generally accepted definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, and other information. Some dictionaries are specialised; for example, Dictionary of Sociology, Dictionary of Literary Terms.
A book that lists the names, addresses and telephone numbers of a specific group of persons, companies, organisations, or publications.
An extended scholarly essay submitted for a degree or other academic qualification.  See also thesis.
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
The method of identifying online material such as journal articles, books and reports. It provides a persistent link to the electronic form of the document and is made up of letters and numbers.  It is unique like a digital finger print.
See what a DOI looks like.
An electronic version of a book. The Library now has more than 100,000 eBooks, some of which can be downloaded to e-readers or other hand held devices. Most eBooks have considerable restrictions on how many pages can be copied or printed at a time.
Some books are revised and republished, particularly reference books. The new version may be called a "revised" or "second" edition. Subsequent editions are numbered sequentially. The latest edition is the most current, but older editions may contain useful information deleted from later editions.
A person who selects and prepares the works of other writers for publication, by selection, arrangement, and annotation.
An electronic version of a journal. Some are online versions of print journals, others are only published via the internet. At the University of Waikato, eJournals are accessed via Library Search, specific databases, or the Ejournals tab on the Library homepage.
Electronic information resources
Any of several different categories of databases and machine-readable files, including, but not limited to electronic journals, online databases and World Wide Web sites.  
A reference book containing information on all subjects, or limited to a special field or subject (sometimes in more than one volume).
Enquiries desk (previously known as the Lending desk)
The first service point for general enquiries and directions to collections or other service points in the Student Centre. Also, users can ask for help with membership, borrowing, and fines queries
A referencing tool that enables you to collect, organise and cite your reference lists and bibliographies.
A fee charged for keeping a book or other library materials longer than the time allowed.
An alphabetical list of words related to a specific topic, with definitions, often placed at the end of a book.
Government document
A publication of a government including hearings, reports, treaties, periodicals, and statistics.
A reference book that provides concise, useful data and other information on a specific subject.
Printed material, as opposed to information in microform or digital (electronic) format.
High Demand
The High Demand Collection is where items that are in heavy demand are placed while students work on specific assignments. Items are held in this collection for a limited period of time and may be borrowed for a short period of time (usually two hours). This collection is located to the left of the door on Level 2 of the Student Centre. Previously, this was known as Course Reserve
All the materials (print, non-print, and electronic) owned by a library.
An abbreviation of the Latin word ibidem which means "in the same place".  In referencing styles that use ibid, it refers to the last work cited.  This saves re-typing the author and title. Usually this is found in footnotes.  It is not used in APA referencing.
i) A back-of-the-book index is an alphabetical detailed list of the names, places, and subjects discussed in a book and the numbers of the pages on which each subject is treated.

ii) A periodical index is an alphabetical listing of magazine or journal articles by subject, and sometimes by author. Most periodical indexes cover a specific topical area or discipline.
Instant Messaging
A form of real-time, online text-based communication between two or more people over a network, such as the internet. It can be accessed through computers or other networked devices. At the University of Waikato this is known as 'Chat with a Librarian'.
Interloan or Interlibrary loan or Document delivery
A library service in which libraries loan books and other materials to each other. If the library does not hold an item, it can be borrowed from another library.
Abbreviation for International Standard Book Number. A unique 10 or 13-digit number that is given to every book or edition of a book before publication to identify the publisher, the title, the edition, and volume number. The ISBN is usually printed on the reverse side of the title page of a book.
Abbreviation for International Standard Serial Number. A unique 8-digit number that identifies a specific periodical title.
All the copies of a specific periodical title published on the same date. A subscription entitles the subscriber to receive one copy of each issue.
A publication published periodically (monthly, quarterly, or other), devoted to a specific field or subfield of knowledge. Print journals are stored in a separate collection in the Hamilton Campus Library (Level 3 of the Student Centre). Most journals are accessed online. See also eJournals, peer-reviewed, academic/scholarly, professional/trade and popular/general journal.
A word indicating a main term or concept or subject discussed in a document.  It is used in searching catalogues and databases and Library Search.
Large book collection
NZC on Level 4 of the Student Centre has a shelf that holds extra large books that are over 40 cm.
A specialist in the field of information retrieval, and often, in other subject areas as well. Librarians have a qualification in librarianship and usually other graduate degrees also.  They help users find materials needed for research, and teach users how to use library resources.
Library of Congress (LC) Classification
The classification system used in the Library of Congress, and used for arranging most of the University of Waikato Library collections
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
A standard list of words or groups of words under which books and other material on a subject are entered in a catalogue. These subject headings can be helpful when searching Library Search.
Library Search
A search tool that enables users to search the Library's online and print resources through a single search box. To use Library Search efficiently, you need to refine your search by using the filters on the right hand side of the page e.g. Resource type, subject and publication date.
Library Service Desks
Library Service Desks in the Student Centre and Teaching Resources Library provide a first point of contact for help and advice.
An Internet service provider. Student internet on campus is free. Students living in an area covered by Lightwire can register to get the residential 2 GB of free data per month. This account can be kept active as long as you update your UoW password or alternatively use your private Lightwire username and password which never expire.
A 4x6 inch sheet of film, used for storage of miniaturised text. Microfiche and reader/printers are on Level 4 of the Student Centre.
A continuous roll of film, used for storage of miniaturised text (usually newspapers, journals or magazines).  Microfilms and reader/printers are stored on Level 4 of the Student Centre.
Film medium for storage of miniaturised text. Includes both microfiche and microfilm.
A publication that appears one time only. Books or reports are monographs; periodicals or serials are not.
My Interloan
The previous system used by University of Waikato staff and students to place and track Interlibrary Loan requests. It was powered by the software ZPortal. This has since been replaced by the Interlibrary Loan system.
A serial publication printed and distributed daily or weekly containing news, opinions, advertising, and other items of general interest.
Material published in a format other than print on paper e.g. audio cassettes, compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs and electronic (online) resources.
Accessible via a computer or computer network. Also called "computerised" or "electronic."
Online catalogue
A computer database that lists most books, serials, and non-print items owned by a library. At the University of Waikato, this is called Library Search
An item has been kept by the borrower past its due date. There are usually fines for overdue items.
A University wide solution for capturing video and audio content.  Often it is used for teaching, learning and research.
Peer reviewed
A publication (journal or conference paper) is considered to be peer reviewed or refereed if its articles go through an official editorial process that involves review and approval by the author's peers (people who are experts in the same subject area) and are of a suitable standard.   Most (but not all) scholarly publications are peer reviewed.  If you have a journal in hard copy (print), the inside cover of the journal will state if the journal is peer reviewed.  If the journal is electronically available, it will often state that it is peer reviewed or refereed on the homepage or in the guide for contributors sections.
Journals or magazines which are published at regular intervals longer than a day but shorter than a year (weekly, monthly). See also Serials.
Periodical index
A cumulative listing of citations to periodical articles, arranged alphabetically by subject and by the author's last name. Most periodical indexes are devoted to a specific field or discipline or type of periodical (for example, newspapers).
An unacceptable practice of using other people's work or ideas without acknowledgement.
Popular/general journal or magazine
A periodical intended for the general public rather than for scholars. Examples are Newsweek, Time and Business Week.
Professional /trade journal
A periodical written by practitioners or journalists/writers with subject expertise.  These are aimed at people in a particular trade or profession.
Publication date
Year in which a book or periodical is published. The publication date is usually found on the back of the title page of a print book (verso) or on the cover of a print periodical, in the item's Library record or in the case of online resources, in the database that holds it. This is usually an essential part of a citation.
Quarterly publication
Published four times a year.  Many scholarly journals are published quarterly.
Quick Reference Collection
Frequently-used books such as telephone directories, English dictionaries, encyclopedias and other material used to look up quick answers to enquiries. Most quick reference books cannot be borrowed. There is a Law and NZC Quick Reference Collection in the Hamilton Campus Library on Level 4 of the Student Centre.
Recall notice
If a user requests a book which is issued to someone else, this means the original due date of the borrowed item is no longer valid.  Library Staff will send out a recall notice via email or post requesting that the item be returned.  The borrower has to return the material by the new due date whether they have finished with it or not. This procedure helps to share high demand library material among all users.
Recreational reading
A collection of popular novels that provide light relief from study. The selection is refreshed frequently. It is located on Level 3 of the Student Centre.
Reference book
A book such as a dictionary, encyclopedia or directory that contains specific facts, data, or other brief bits of information.  Most hard copy reference books may not be borrowed. Many online dictionaries and encyclopedias can be accessed via the Subject portals.
Reference List
The full bibliographic information for each source cited in a text.  A source has to be referenced when it has been quoted directly or indirectly (paraphrasing).
Material which can be consulted in the library, but may not be borrowed.
To extend the loan period of a book.
If a print item is not on the shelves, is on loan, or in storage, staff and students can place a request. This is done through Library Search.
Self issue machine
Machines that allow users to issue and renew their own books.
Also known as periodicals. A term that describes a wide range of publications that are issued in successive parts with no predictable end in sight.  Periodicals, magazines, journals, newspapers, annual reports, series, some conference proceedings, and annual reviews are all examples of serials.
Student Centre – Te Manawa
 A learning and social space where people can meet.  Students and staff can access a range of services here including the Hamilton Campus Library, Campus Books, cafes, fees office and Student Services.
Style manual
A guide that provides rules and formats for arranging footnotes, citations, and bibliographies. Various style manuals are available in the Library. The choice of style manual depends on the discipline or subject matter. Departments will provide guidance to students as to which style manual to use for formatting citations.
Subject portals
These provide a gateway to essential resources and guides for each major subject area. They have been selected by the Academic Liaison Librarians to support students’ study and research. These can be accessed from anywhere on The Library site or see Subject Portals.
The portion of a work's title following the semicolon or colon.
Table of contents
A list of the chapter or article titles in a book or journal. This is usually found at the beginning of a book after the title page. Library Search lists the table of contents for many recent books/eBooks. It is located in the description field of the book's full record. The table of contents for a print journal may sometimes be found on the cover (back or front) of each issue, inserted in one issue of the volume (but covering all issues of a volume) or issued separately. Table of contents for online journals can be viewed when a search is made via the title, year, volume and issue.
Note two distinct meanings:
(i) A book of synonyms, sometimes including contrasting words (antonyms). The most well-known thesaurus of this type is Roget's.

(ii) An alphabetical list of terms and concepts representing the specialised vocabulary of a particular field.  An example of one among many hundreds of this type is Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.
A dissertation to maintain or prove a proposition, especially one written as the principal requirement for a degree.
The name of a book, essay, story, play, poem, picture, statue, piece of music, film, etc.
Uniform Resource Locator or Universal Resource Locator.  A standardised address that identifies a particular file or resource on the Internet.  It usually consists of the protocol http followed by the domain name. e.g.
Universal Serial Bus.  A plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory.  It gives users the ability to plug a device into a computer and work on documents stored on it.
Virtual Reference Desk.  A Moodle-based Library resource that provides referencing and information-finding support for students. It is staffed by librarians.  Help comes in the form of FAQs, guides, PowerPoints, quizzes, videos, and online forums.
The reverse side of the title page of a book.
Virtual Browse
A feature of Library Search located in the full record of physical items. It is accessed by clicking the item’s title and scrolling to the bottom of the page. It enables users to browse for other books in the same subject area as the original item.
Waikato Reading Lists
Waikato Reading Lists is a quick and easy way to access online Course Reading Lists and see what the recommended and essential readings are for a course.
Weekly publication
Published once a week. Many popular magazines, and some newspapers, are published weekly.
An annual documentary, historical, or memorial publication containing information about the previous year.
A free, web-based referencing tool that collects, organises, cites and shares research sources.