Skip to Main Content

Library Terminology

Dictionary of common library terms.



A notice to return borrowed library materials that have been requested by other users. Recalled library materials cannot be renewed.


See Bibliographic Record.

Reference Collection

Materials that allow users to quickly locate information. Reference materials include encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes, abstracts, almanacs, directories, etc. At the Alvin Sherman Library, most reference materials are located separately from the Main Collection and restricted to Library Use Only.

Reference Desk / Reference

The location in the library where librarians and library assistants provide users with directions, assistance locating and evaluating resources, answers to questions, etc. Also referred to as an "information desk".


1. A republication of a previous edition of a work.

2. A part of a work (e.g., article, chapter, etc.) that has been published separately.


Materials placed in the library for students to share that may or may not be for a particular course. Borrowing restrictions vary by item. At the Alvin Sherman Library, most reserves are kept at the Circulation Desk and restricted to Library Use Only.

Renew / Renewal

Requesting a loan period extension for borrowed library materials.


An critical evaluation or discussion of a work.

Revised Edition

An edition of a published work that has been altered by the author(s) and/or editor(s) since its previous publication.

Click a letter, then click on a word.