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Glossary of Library Terms

  • (1) A brief summary of the points in an article; (2) A source which compiles by subject, author, or title, articles in a selected group of periodicals and includes a summary of each article.

  • A compendium of useful data and statistics relating to countries, personalities, events, and subjects.

  • A list of works with descriptions that include brief summary about each.

  • A brief note, usually no longer than two or three sentences, added after a citation in a bibliography to describe or explain the content or message of the work cited or to comment on it.

  • A collection of extracts from the works of various authors, usually in the same genre or about the same subject. (Example: Norton Anthology of English Literature). Sometimes a collection from the works of an individual author.

  • Section of a book after the main content containing supplementary materials such as tables or maps.

  • A non-fiction contribution written for publication in a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

  • A volume of maps, plates, engravings, tables, etc.

  • Information in a non-print format. Includes films, slides, audiotapes, videocassettes, records, software. It's also referred to as media.

  • An account of a person's life written or told by that person.

  • The 14-digit number appearing beneath the barcode found on the back on a book. Barcode numbers are used to checks items in and out in the online computer system.

  • A list of citations or references to books or periodical articles on a particular topic. Bibliographies most often appear at end of a book or journal article.

  • A carefully researched, relatively full narrative account of the life of a specific person or closely related group of people, written by another

  • Formed when issues of a softcover periodical title are gathered to form a hardback volume.

  • Browse searching is limited to one field, such as author or subject heading, and the computer matches the search statement exactly, so word order and spacing are important. This is in contrast to keyword searching which may involve more than one field, and where word order is not important. A browse search results in a list of entries from the one field.

  • A combination of numbers and letters that provide a unique description of each item in a library collection. Items are arranged on the book shelves by call number, so the call number is the "address" of materials on the shelf. The St. Lawrence libraries use the Library of Congress style for creating call numbers and categorizing books.

  • A physical file cabinet arranged by author, title, and subject, listing all items owned by a library. The St. Lawrence University Libraries have all the library holdings cataloged digitally. Items can be found through searches with Encore or Odysseus on the library homepage.

  • A study area for one person. ODY library has designated carrels that can be reserved for an entire academic year. Seniors have priority as the spaces are limited. There are also private carrels for faculty use.

  • To borrow books or periodicals from the library for a certain period of time.

  • To allow materials to be checked out of the library. Some materials, such as reference books, are non-circulating and must be used within the library.

  • Location near the front entrance in each library where many patron functions happen. This includes checking out or returning items, picking up items on reserve and claiming lost belongings.

  • A citation is a reference or footnote to an item (such as a book or periodical article). A citation contains the author, title, date of publication, and other information needed to locate the item.

  • Connect NY is a consortium (group) of libraries within New York State whose members have created a combined catalog of their collections. Patrons are able to request books from other member libraries in the consortium. These books can be lent for three weeks at a time, with one renewal.

  • Words that indicate the relationship between search terms. Also referred to as Boolean Operators. Common connectors are: AND, OR, NOT.

  • The exclusive legal right to control the production, use, and sale of copies of a literary, musical, or artistic work.

  • Materials that instructors set aside for the students in a class to read. These items may be borrowed from the circulation desk for a short period and have fines for late returns. There are also e-reserves which can be accessed through the library homepage for a specific course.

  • Word or heading that directs you from one part of a book, catalog, or index to another section in the same item.

  • The latest or most recent issues of journals and magazines that the library receives. Both the Owen D. Young and Launders Science Libraries have easily accessible sections of current periodicals.

  • A collection of information, usually stored in an electronic format that is searchable online. The libraries have access to hundreds of academic databases that can be found by subject on the library homepage.

  • A thesis or treatise prepared as a condition for the award of a degree or diploma.

  • To receive data to a local system from a remote system, or to initiate such a data transfer. The opposite of upload.

  • The date by which borrowed books and materials should be returned. To extend the loan period for materials, the item should be renewed before the due date so that fines are not incurred.

  • An eBook refers to any book that comes in a digital or electronic format. Common types of eBooks include those provided by Amazon for the Kindle, Apple, etc. The St. Lawrence University Libraries currently subscribes to a series of services to provide access to eBooks for our patrons.

  • The SLU Libraries’ keyword searching tool. It displays results to the libraries holdings (books, periodicals, media) as well as the hundreds of online databases that we subscribe to.

  • The amount of money which is owed by the borrower if materials are not returned by the due date. Fines can be paid at the ODY Library circulation desk.

  • An over sized book, too large for normal shelving. The folio books in ODY are found after the Z's on the shelves.

  • Located in the first floor of ODY library near the reference area, this station is staffed by both trained students and librarians. The ODY Help Desk can assist in narrowing search terms for the best results, as well as provide more in depth research consultations.

  • Refers to items retrieved from a database matching criteria you set. For example, if you do a keyword search in the online catalog for "mammals" and retrieve 508 items, that can also be called 508 'hits.'

  • The materials owned or held by a library.

  • Points to where information can be found.
    1. List at the end of a book, encyclopedia, etc. that indicates by author, title and/or subject the location of information within the book or encyclopedia.
    2. Tool that arranges (by author, title, or subject) citations to articles in a selected group of periodicals. See also bibliographic database.

  • 1. Exchange of books or periodical articles between libraries for a brief period.
    2. A service you can use to borrow library materials not owned by the St. Lawrence University from other libraries.

  • A four-part, ten-character code given a book (a non-serial literary publication) before publication as a means of identifying it concisely, uniquely, and unambiguously. The four parts of the ISBN are: group identifier (e.g., national, geographic, language, or other convenient group), publisher identifier, title identifier, and check digit.

  • The international numerical code that identifies concisely, uniquely, and unambiguously a serial publication.

  • The Josephine Young Room in Owen D. Young Library has been a “browsing room” since “ODY” was built in 1959. Named for the wife of Owen D. Young (both Class of 1895), during the spring of 2012 it was renovated thanks to the estate of Richard Young ’40 and the generosity of Charles ’75 and Karen Sivy Daugherty ’75, P’12.

  • A type of periodical which contains scholarly articles. Journals are usually published by academic or association presses and include bibliographies.

  • This is one of two satellite libraries on the St. Lawrence campus. It's holdings include books and periodicals in the sciences. It is also home to the Science Writing Center, the GIS lab and the James Streeter Map room.

  • A compact book of rules or guidelines.

  • Films, tapes, and other audio-visual materials that require the use of special listening or viewing equipment.

  • Photographic images reproduced on a small 4 x 6 sheets of film. This is a method of storing a considerable amount of information in reduced form. To access the photos, the film is loaded into a microfilm reader.

  • Photographically reduced images of printed pages on 35mm film. Older issues of newspapers are often microfilmed because newsprint deteriorates so rapidly. To access the information, the film is loaded into a microfilm reader. The microfilm and readers are kept in the lower level of the ODY library.

  • A set of books that have a number of volumes with a definite end. An encyclopedia is a good example.

  • This library is located inside the Arts Annex at 21 Romoda Drive. It consists primarily of sound recordings, video recordings, scores for study and performance, and collected works of select major composers. Books and periodicals about music and musicians are housed in the Owen D. Young Library.

  • The primary search engine for the campus holdings before Encore was brought on board in 2010. Has the capability to search by title, keyword, author, subject heading or call number.

  • Words such as AND, OR, and NOT that are used to combine search terms to broaden or narrow the results of a search.

  • An item that has not been returned by the date that it is due. Many materials accrue late fines when they are not returned on time.

  • This is the main library on the St. Lawrence campus. It's holdings include books, periodicals, media and special collections in the humanities. There is lab and study space on each of its three floors. It's also home to the WORD studio, IT's Educational Technology department and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

  • The process in which a new book, article, software program, etc., is submitted by the author to experts in the field for critical evaluation prior to publication. This is a standard procedure in scholarly publishing.

  • A journal that uses the peer review process to select works for publication. Also called a refereed journal.

  • Materials published at regular intervals (at least 3 times a year) and intended to be continued indefinitely. Examples of periodicals include magazines, journals, and newsletters.

  • Authoritative documents relating to a subject, used in the preparation of a later work, e.g., original record, contemporary documents, etc. Synonymous with original sources and source material.

  • These are copiers where you can swipe your Campus ID card to release a print job. This is available to all students, faculty and staff.

  • A center that provides mathematical, statistical and computational support. They facilitate, encourage, and develop quantitative reasoning, skills, and applications for the St. Lawrence University Community. It is located in Valentine 215.

  • A request by the library to a borrower for the return of a item before the due date. A patron can submit a recall slip requesting that an item be returned early.

  • To extend the loan period library materials that are checked out. Renewals can be made online through the library website, in person at a circulation desk or over the phone. An item can not be renewed if another patron has requested it.

  • A selection of specific books, articles and other materials which faculty have indicated that students must read for a particular course. They are checked out for short periods through the ODY circulation desk (for humanities classes) and Launders circulation desk (for science classes). They must be used within the library.

  • see: COURSE RESERVES

  • This center is run by student tutors in the sciences. They can assist in formulating ideas for papers and lab reports. It's located in room 211 of the Launder Science Library.

  • The range or content of a specific work, which indicates what information is included and what is excluded.

  • Located on the main level of the Owen D. Young Library, this department is responsible for the rare books and manuscript collections owned by St. Lawrence University. Special Collections also houses the Vance University Archives, where historic documents, photographs and other records of the University are preserved.

  • Often called the Stacks, the area of the library where the main body of the collection (usually books and periodicals) is stored.

  • A publication that sets forth the rules for composition, including format and manner of citing sources. There are numerous manuals and each is specific to a particular discipline, profession or publisher.

  • A subdivision of a more general subject heading. For example in the Library of Congress Subject Heading: Canada -- Pictorial works, Pictorial works is a subheading of Canada.

  • A term or phrase used in indexes and library catalogs to describe the content of library materials in a standardized way. For example, Black-and-white photography
    is the subject heading used in the online catalog to describe materials that showcase this style of photography.

  • A list of parts contained within a book or periodical, such as chapter titles and periodical articles, with references by page number to the place they begin and in the sequence in which they appear.

  • There are 8 raised tree house cubicles spread throughout ODY Library's 3rd floor where students can study above the ‘distraction line’ allowing for a more effective and quiet study time. What started as a Psychology research project resulted in these extremely popular study spaces, spaces that are very hard to claim during finals week.

  • The WORD Studio is the main writing and oral communication center at St. Lawrence University. It's staffed by student tutors who can assist with understanding an assignment, citing sources, and polishing a final draft. The tutors do not edit papers, instead they guide you to help strengthen your skills in critical thinking, organization and use of scholarly sources and citations. There is also a Science Writing Center in Launders Science Library.

  • Second floor room in ODY library. Affectionately called the Yellow Pipe Room on account of the brightly-colored yellow pipes.