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Library Student Workers: Library Terms

Library Terms

  • Archives: 1. A space which houses historical or public records.
    2. The historical or public records themselves, which are generally non-circulating materials such as collections of personal papers, rare books, ephemera, etc.

  • Avalon: The library catalog for MVC and 8 other academic libraries. This is part of the Mobius system.

  • Article: A brief work—generally between 1 and 35 pages in length—on a topic. Often published as part of a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

  • Bibliography: A list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document. See also: Reference.

  • Call Number: A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing library holdings. Two major types of call numbers are Dewey Decimal Call Numbers and Library of Congress Call Numbers.

  • Catalog: A database (either online or on paper cards) listing and describing the books, journals, government documents, audiovisual and other materials held by a library. Various search terms allow you to look for items in the catalog.

  • Course reserve: A selection of books, articles, videotapes, or other materials that instructors want students to read or view for a particular course. Print reserve materials are usually kept in one area of the library and circulate for only a short period of time

  • Database: A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer.

  • Ephemera: Collectible memorabilia that was for a short term purpose. Examples include show tickets, ticket stubs, playing cards, and postcards, etc. Ephemera is almost always paper-based and is often written or printed items that were expected to have short term popularity or usefulness.

  • Interlibrary Loan: Service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through your own library

  • Journal: A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports.

  • Mobius: A group of libraries in Missouri and 4 other states that share books through interlibrary loan.

  • Reference: 1. A service that helps people find needed information.
    2. Sometimes "reference" refers to reference collections, such as encyclopedias, indexes, handbooks, directories, etc.
    3. A citation to a work is also known as a reference.