Learn the Terms
Some of the most commonly terms used by professors and librarians in research assignments and library instruction are the least understood by students. To fully make use of library resources and become a better student, learn the terms of information literacy.
What Library Term are You?
Are you a robotic retrieval system or a box of old letters? Because you've always wanted to know.
- A space which houses historical or public records.
- The historical or public records themselves, which are generally non-circulating materials such as collections of personal papers, rare books, etc.
The space-saving Automated Storage Retrieval System stores books in metal bins, retrievable by a robotic system operated via computer. ASRS is a common location code in the Libraries' Books and Media.
A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing library holdings. GVSU uses Library of Congress call numbers. Many public libraries use Dewey Decimal numbers.
A service that retrieves full-text or photocopies of information sources for library users.
Also known as a filter, limiters restrict your search results to only information resources meeting certain criteria beyond subject. Common options for limiting your search can include: time period, language, geography, or scholarly/peer-reviewed articles.
An original document or record of an event, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, or scientific documentation. This term is conditional, or context specific.
An information source published in multiple parts at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, biannually). Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals. Also referred to as a serial.
Shelves in the library where materials—typically books—are stored. Books in the stacks are normally arranged by call number. May be referred to as "book stacks."
A summary or brief description of the content of an article.
An online database listing with descriptions of the books, journals, films, and other materials held by a library.
A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer.
A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports. Also known as a periodical.
A process by which editors have experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the experts' peers. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source.
Information created by scholars who are experts in their field. It involves formal study or research.
A word that describes the subject of an article or book, used in many computer databases.