Abstract--A summary of an article or book.
the Library which orders new material. This term is used in the Online
Archives-- A group of
documents, photographs, plans, etc. collected to maintain a historical record
of an institution. These items may be collected though a record-keeping
Article--An essay or research
report on a subject. Articles can appear in magazines, journals, newspapers, or
other sources such as encyclopedias.
Audiovisual--Information in a
form other than words printed on paper. Examples include videos, DVDs, CDs,
CD-ROMS, slides, audio tapes, records (vinyl), and software.
Author--The writer of a book
or article. Usually this is a person (or perhaps two or three people), but it
can also be a government agency, a symposium, a company, or other group that
does not necessarily give the name(s) of the people who actually wrote the
Barcode--A small white label
with closely spaced black stripes that can be read by a computer. Bar codes on
books and on your student identification card are used to check out books from
Bibliography--A list of books
or other published writings. The list may be of books by one author, or on one
subject. Sometimes bibliographies are annotated, that is, they include brief
abstracts summarizing the important features of the works. Bibliographies can
be found at the end of scholarly journal articles. If you find an article that
is useful, then following the sources listed in its bibliography may also be
Bookbag--Feature in the Online
Catalog which allows users to select items of interest. This list may be
printed to facilitate locating the item in the stacks. Also, this feature
remembers items placed in the bookbag for future use.
Boolean Operators--The three
Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT. These words are used to combine words
in a database
AND asks the computer to look
for two different concepts. For example, the way to write a search for the
topic "Women in the military" would be women AND military.
OR instructs the database to
look for either topic. This is particularly useful when one topic has many
words that describe it. For example, if you were searching for articles that
were not just about the military as a whole but also about the branches, you
might type military OR army OR navy OR air force OR marines.
NOT instructs the database to
not return results with a certain term. For example, if you wanted information
about the military but not about the Navy, you would type military NOT navy. These difference types of searches may be combined with a concept called nesting discussed
Bound Periodical--Several issues of a journal or
magazine that are fastened together between hard covers so that they resemble a
book. These items are located in the North Wing of the Library.
Call Number--A group of letters and numbers given
to each book in the library that acts like an address. We use the Dewey Decimal
System at this library. Books are arranged in the library by call number, and
every book has a unique call number. The call number system arranges books so
that books on similar topics are grouped together. You can find a book's call
number in the Online Catalog. Example: 360.62 C283 1994. After you
locate your number in the collection, look around to see if nearby books would
also be useful.
Carrel--Study area for one
person. The study carrels on the first floor of the South Wing are equipped
with lights, power, and network connections.
Out--To borrow materials from the library.
This is done at the circulation desk. You will need your student identification
card to do this.
are items that leave the Library such as books, videos, CDs,
Circulation Desk--The counter
where you check out items, return materials, renew items, request reserve
material, etc. The circulation desk is near the front entrance.
precisely identifies a book, article, website, etc.; includes title, author,
volume and page numbers, and publication information. A single citation is
sometimes called a reference; a group of citations gathered together is usually
called a bibliography.
headings selected by indexes and catalogs to represent important concepts.
Subject searches require knowledge of these headings. These can make searching
easier by standardizing the way in which something is referred as in the case
of using "Capital Punishment" in every instance of that concept regardless of
the document calling that topic the death penalty, lethal injection, the
electric chair, etc. Examples of this include Library of Congress Subject
Headings, ERIC descriptors, NCJRS index terms, etc.
Current Periodical--Issues of
a magazine or journal published during the last year. Our current periodicals
are kept in the North Wing on putty-colored shelving. Lift the shelf up to see
other issues for this year. For titles that publish frequently, inquire at the
Circulation Desk for their availabilty.
collection of information, often of citations, to materials. The Online Catalog
is a database of books, videos, DVDs, CDs, etc. owned by the Library. Also,
resources like Academic Search Premier and Lexis-Nexis Academic
Universe are journal/magazine article databases as they contain citations
and full-text articles.
Descriptors--A word or a group
of words used as a subject to describe the content in books, articles, and
other materials for the purpose of indexing or organizing these items by topic.
As an important element of effective research, descriptors are needed to
determine the correct headings for a specific database or catalog. Examples of
such databases are ERIC, PsycInfo, Medline, etc. The books detailing these
terms are located near the Reference Desk on the Dictionary Stand. See also
Due Date--The date by which your borrowed books
and materials should be returned. If you need to use the book for a longer
time, you may renew it. Renewals can be performed online through the Online
Catalog. Click on the "Your Account" function to complete this. Books cannot be
renewed online if they are overdue. Late materials are considered overdue and
will result in a fine.
Ebook--An electronic book. The
Library subscribes to a product called netLibrary which provides over 22,000
Field--The part of a record in
a database or Online Catalog used for a specific category of data. For example,
the title field holds the title information for each record (eg. the name of
the book). Many of the electronic databases allow you to search on these
fields, so if you know the author's name and a word in the title, you can
search just those two fields.
Fine--The amount of money which is owed by the borrower if an item is not returned on time.
that the whole text of an item (usually an article) is available in the online
system. Full-text articles may be in HTML format (word processed text) or PDF
format (scanned image of the page which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view).
HTML full-text prints faster but usually does not show the page breaks (which
part of the text is on which page of the article). PDF full-text loads and
prints slower, but displays charts and graphics better. Also, page breaks are
Hold--If you need an item that
is currently checked out to another patron, that item may be placed on hold.
Placing an item on hold means that when the other person returns the item, you
will be notified that it is available. You may place a hold at the Circulation
Desk and through the Online Catalog.
Holdings--Often this term applies just to the issues of a magazine or journal owned by the library, but it can also refer to all the materials (books, periodicals, audiovisual media, electronic databases) in the library's collection.
Index--This term can be used
in two ways. (1) A list of subjects discussed in a book usually found at the
end of the text. (2) A list of journal articles arranged by subject and/or
author. This second type can exist in print or as an electronic database (see
the listing for database above).
Interlibrary Loan--Borrowing a
book or getting a copy of an article from another library. You can use this
service (that is sometimes called just "ILL") to obtain items that are not
owned by our library. Please allow time for this service; items may take up to
two weeks to arrive. For more information, visit
Journal--A publication that
contains scholarly articles written either by professors, researchers, or
experts in a subject area. An abstract and a bibliography usually appear with
each article. Articles go through a process of peer-review before
Keyword--Searching a topic
wherever the words may appear in a database, using "natural" language. Keyword
searching is the most common kind of search.
Library of Congress Subject Headings--Terms used by the Library of Congress to divide knowledge into related subject areas, and by the library to arrange books on the shelves.
Limit--Users of resources,
like the Online Catalog and various databases, may limit their searches.
Limiting allows users to refine their search by placing restrictions such as
"full-text" (show results where only the whole article text is available),
"peer-review" (show results that only contain scholarly articles), "date" (the
date of the article must be after a certain time period).
Loan Period--The length of time library materials
may be borrowed. The time varies depending on the type of material borrowed and
the borrower's status (student, faculty, staff).
intended for the general public rather than for scholars. Examples are
Newsweek, Time, and Business Week.
Microfiche--A flat sheet of
film which stores periodicals or other documents which needs a reader to
magnify the image.
Microfilm--A roll of film
either 16mm or 35mm that stores periodicals or other documents which needs a
reader to magnify the image.
Microforms--Journals that are
printed in miniaturized form on roll of film or sheets of transparent plastic.
Microform is the name of the group of which microfiche and microfilm are a part
Nesting--Nesting is a way to
combine concepts using Boolean operators (see above) and/or truncation (see
below) that groups the search. This is very similar to order of operations in
math. If you wanted a comprehensive search on women in the military, you could
try (women OR woman OR female*) AND (military
OR army OR navy OR marines OR air force). This statement
instructs the databse to process first the items within the parentheses and
then process the AND concept.
Online Catalog--This Internet
site allows users to search the holdings of the Library. Patrons may search for
items by keyword, author, title, etc. Users can also limit (restrict a search
so that only items of the catagaory specified are found) by format (video) or
location (Teaching Materials Collection). Also known as an
OPAC--Online Public Access Catalog.
Overdue--Material which is not
returned to the library by its due date is considered overdue.
Oversize--Books that are too
large for normal shelves; they are stored in special oversized stacks and have
an L prefix in front of the call number. These are located in the North Wing,
turn left immediately after entering, and go to the brick
Periodical--A publication that
is printed regularly. Examples include newspapers (daily or weekly), magazines,
alphabetical list which refers you to articles within periodicals. The list is
generally arranged by subject or author. Periodical indexes are used to locate
articles by subject or author within magazines, journals, and newspapers. The
indexes are bound and arranged by year. Currently, the Library subscribes to
the New York Times Index in print (as well as online) and the ATLA
Religion One Index. Many of the items that traditionally were available as
indexes are now available in database form. The periodical indexes are located
in the North Wing, main floor.
Ranges--The shelves where library
materials are kept in call number order. Also called stacks.
Reference Collection--Reference materials include books such as dictionaries,
encyclopedias, almanacs, and atlases. These items should be consulted for a
quick fact (the name of a capital, a definition, the amount of coffee consumed
by the average American). These materials are also a good place to look when
choosing or developing a topic. They may not be checked out (non-circulating).
Reference Service--The Library
provides reference services many of the hours in which it is open. A Reference
Librarian is available to answer questions about conducting research, searching
for books or articles, or any other question about writing a research paper,
project, or presentation.
Renew--To extend the due date
for an item. Books may be renewed through the Online Catalog's "Your Account"
function as long as the item is not overdue or at the Circulation
Research Guides--These guides
prepared by the reference staff answer common questions, suggest avenues of
research, and point users to materials. Print versions of these are available
next to the Reference Desk. Electronic versions are available at the Library's
website at http://www.methodist.edu/library/guides/guidelst.htm.
Reserve--Library materials may
be placed "on reserve" by faculty members. Reserve materials are kept at the
Circulation Desk. These materials are loaned for limited periods of time.
Closed reserve items cannot leave the building. The Online Catalog's "Course
Reserve" tab allows users to search by instructor, course, or department to
identify the materials on reserve.
Serial--A publication which
comes out in parts. This includes periodicals such as magazines, newspapers,
and journals, as well as books such as almanacs which come out each year.
libraries have materials which are not placed in the public stacks. These may
be old, rare, or expensive. These materials may be available to the public, but
usually special arrangements must be made in advance to view them. Please ask
at the Circulation Desk.
Stacks--The shelves where
books are located.
Status--The place in an Online
Catalog Record that tells you whether an item is available, checked out,
Words--These are words that databases will not
search for. Some of these words include: the, a, for, of,
Thesaurus--A list of words or
group of words that can be used as subject headings or descriptors in a
particular database, catalog, or index. See Controlled Vocabulary, Descriptors,
and Library of Congress Subject Headings for more information.
Truncation--Truncation is a
useful function of electronic databases and the Online Catalog. Searchers type
in the root of a word (delinquen) and then a symbol (usually an asterisk *, but
may also be a question mark?, or an exclamation point !) which asks the
database to search for any word beginning with that. So a statement like
delinquen* would retrieve articles which contain the words delinquent,
delinquency, delinquents, delinquence, etc. One caution--truncating some words
may not retrieve articles that you want. For example, ban* will retrieve ban,
bans, banned, banning, etc. but will also retrieve bananna, bandit,
that are part of a single title but appear as separate bound items. Individual
issues of a periodical that are bound together into a single book are called a
volume (usually, this equals one year of that periodical).