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Volunteers @ the Library: Library Lingo


AACRII - Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, second edition. The former standard set of rules for cataloging used by many libraries in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. SEE ALSO: RDA.

ACCESSION NUMBER - A consecutive number assigned to each major item as it is added to a library collection.

ACCREDITED LIBRARY SCHOOL - A college or university offering a library education program meeting standards of the American Library Association and officially accredited by a committee of ALA.

ACQUISITIONS - The activities related to obtaining library materials by purchase, exchange, gift, or other means. New items received are often publicized to users in an acquisitions list.

ACRL - Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, a forum of the Iowa Library Association and the American Library Association.

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act. This Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities; it impacts libraries as service providers and as employers.

ALA - American Library Association. The national association serving the interests of libraries.

ALMANAC - A publication containing a variety of useful facts and statistics, current and past. Almanacs may be general (World Almanac and Book of Facts) or related to a specific field or discipline (Almanac of American Politics).

ANNOTATION - A note which accompanies an entry in a bibliography, reading list or catalog intended to describe, explain, or evaluate the referenced item. See also abstract.

ARCHIVES - 1) The organized body of non-current records of an organization which are preserved because of their continuing value. 2) The depository itself.

ATTACHMENT - A file of any type linked to an e-mail message in such a way that the two are transmitted together to the desired destination.

AUDIO BOOK - A book which has been read onto an audiotape or compact disk, usually by a professional reader or sometimes by the author. Synonymous with book-on-tape or talking book.

AUDIO-VISUAL - A generic term for non-print materials such as films, filmstrips, slides, video recordings, audio compact discs, audiotapes, CD-ROMs, machine-readable data files, and computer software. Synonymous with media.

AUTHORITY FILE - An official list which establishes, for consistency, the authoritative forms of headings to be used in a catalog.


BANNED BOOK - A book whose production, distribution, circulation, or sale has been prohibited or suppressed by secular or ecclesiastical authorities because its content is considered objectionable or dangerous.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC UTILITY - A computer-based network offering support functions to libraries, particularly in cataloging/technical services. See OCLC.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORDS - The cataloging information used to describe and access an item.

BIBLIOGRAPHY - A list of documents which usually have something in common, such as by a given author or on a given subject.

BIBLIOSTAT – Bibliostat Collect is a customized, web-based, data-collection tool that allows for a more complete, timely, and accurate annual library data-collection process. Bibliostat Collect assists both the survey administrator and the reporting entities (libraries) in collecting, verifying, and submitting library report and survey data quickly and efficiently.  The data collected through Bibliostat Collect is reported to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the Public Library Survey.

BOOK-ON-TAPE - A book which has been read onto an audiotape, usually by a professional reader or sometimes by the author. Synonymous with audio book or talking book.

BOOK PROCESSING - The activities for preparing books for use, including putting on jackets, labels, book pockets and cards or barcodes and stamping ownership marks. Part of technical services or processing.

BOOKS AND MATERIALS SELECTION - The process of deciding what to buy for the library. Selection is usually based on a policy adopted by the library board, the goals and objectives of the library, use of selection guides, funds available and the skill of the library staff in meeting local needs. Materials include all types: books, periodicals, videocassettes,-computer software, compact disks, electronic databases, etc.

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