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Library Terms

Please select a letter or view the entire glossary

  • Abstract
  • A brief accurate description or summary of an article, report, document, book, and so on, usually without added interpretation or criticism, accompanied by a citation or bibliographic reference to it.
  • Accession Number
  • A consecutive number assigned to each document as it is added to a library collection.
  • Advanced Search
  • It refers to one of the search modes available in the library catalog. This search mode uses a series of dropdown menus and textboxes to construct a search.
  • Almanac
  • An annual publication containing a variety of facts and statistics, often presented in figures, tables, or charts.
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • It is a list of books, articles, or other documents on a topic or by a particular author containing a citation of each item, as well as a brief description and/or a critical evaluation of it.
  • Annotation
  • A descriptive note added by way of comment or explanation to a bibliography listing, catalog record, reading list, etc.
  • Anthology
  • A collection of extracts from the works of various authors, often limited to a specific subject, genre, or time period.
  • APA Style
  • A set of rules and guidelines for citing references, as well as preparing and submitting manuscripts to publication from the American Psychological Association. These rules are detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the most recent version is available at the Reference Desk).
  • Archives
  • The organized body of noncurrent records made or received in connection with the function of the institution or the library. Archives are maintained and preserved as a part of the record-keeping process and usually collected in a separate physical location.
  • Article
  • A composition on a topic, which is usually found in periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.) and reference items (encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, etc.).
  • Ask a Librarian
  • The choices of reference services that include the ability to receive help from a librarian online, chat from your office, home, or dorm room.
  • Atlas
  • A volume of geographic maps, tables, plates, etc.
  • Audio-visual material
  • In libraries, the term is used to describe material in a non-print format, such as slides, video, and music.
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