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Glossary of Library Terms: A-B


Abstract: A brief summary of a book or article

Access points: Access points are the doorways to searching for an item. In a database, the access points are the searchable fields such as subject, title and author. Databases that include a thesaurus are searchable by subject.

Adobe Acrobat: A program for viewing PDF (Portable Document Format, also referred to as page image) files. Adobe Acrobat is available free of charge via the Internet.

Annotation: A short description or evaluation of a document.

Archives: A repository of documents and other materials of public or historical value.

Barcode: A 10 digit number and code located on the cover of a book, periodical or other item. Barcodes identify specific items and are used to charge, discharge, and renew items in the online computer system.

Bibliographic Citation:  – The bibliographic citation gives the characteristics of the information source, such as books, articles, videos, or government documents.  The basic information for books which include author, title, city of publication, publisher and date of publication.

Bibliographic record: a bibliographic record refers to all the information necessary to identify one item. This information includes title, author, call number, publisher, and date of publication. (See citation.)

Bibliography: A list of sources of information (articles, books, and other materials) on a specific topic. Bibliographies can be found at an end of a book or article to indicate the items used to create the item or to refer researchers to recommended further reading. Bibliographies can also be independent works that are annotated.


Bind:  - (A periodical): To join several issues of a magazine or journal in one volume with a hard cover.

Bindery: A place where periodicals and books are sent to be bound in hard covers.

Boolean operators (terms): The words "and", "or", "not" used in keyword searching to broaden, narrow, or limit a search.

Bound periodical: Several issues of a periodical (magazine or journal) are often bound together as a single book for storage. Bound periodicals usually contain a full volume, or one year's worth of issues, of the title.

Browser:  – The desktop software that allows you to view web pages.  Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and Mozilla’s Firefox are examples of browsers.