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Undergraduate Guide

Basic introduction to the Mary & John Gray Library

Library Terms in English and Spanish





Summary of a book or article



An annual calendar containing important dates and statistical information such as astronomical data.



Bibliographic Record

Entry in the catalog of a library that  tells you where to find a specific book. It contains information such as author, title, date of publication, subject, location, and call number.

Archivo bibliográfico



A list of sources referred to in a particular work. A list of the books of a specific author or on a specific subject.



Book Stacks

General section of books. In many libraries this term is used to distinguish the circulating book collection from the Reference section.



Call Number

Series of letters and/or numbers assigned to a book to classify it in the context of a larger collection according to the subject it discusses. Serves as the address of the item

Numero de clasificación


A searchable database of all the books, journals and other materials available in a library

Catálogo de la biblioteca



The transaction performed to borrow a book from the library. You check out a book at the Circulation Desk using your library card, or in the case of LU Libraries, using your current LU student card.


Circulation Desk

Library Desk or station where you check-out and return books. That is also where you pay the fines for overdue materials

Escritorio de Circulación


Information needed to identify a book or article; includes author, title, publisher, date, etc.

Ficha bibliográfica


Electronic list of records that can be searched through the library website to find information on a specific topic. The LU Library has over a 100 databases with full text articles from magazines, journals, newspapers, and in some cases reference materials and e-books

Base de Datos



Book that contains the definition and pronunciation of the words in a language, or that translates words from one language to another.




Date in which the loan of a book expires.

Fecha límite



A book that is available in electronic format, usually over the Internet.


Full Text

 An indication that you can read the entire item online. 

Texto completo


Work of one or more volumes that contains basic and concise information on a certain topic. It can be found on paper and electronic format.


Government Document

Publication sponsored and published by the government of a given country, state, or city.            

Documento del  gobierno



Concise reference book which provides useful factual information on a specific subject or subjects, organized for easy access by practitioners.


Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Service by which materials not held by a "home" library are obtained from libraries that do have them, and delivered to the library for the patron

De préstamo interbibliotecario


Periodical published by an institution or professional society. It is more scholarly than a magazine found on at local newsstand or a drugstore.

Revista profesional ó académica



Significant word in a topic, abstract, title, subject headings (descriptors), or text of an entry in a bibliographic database which can be used as a search term in a free-text or natural language search

Palabra Clave


Library of Congress Classification(LC)

System of classification used by academic libraries to organize books and other library materials. (It was created by the Library of Congress).  


Sistema de la Biblioteca del Congreso


Serial publication that contains articles written by its editorial staff/journalists (not by experts). Its purpose is to inform and/or to entertain and it is written in non-technical language for the general public.

Revista popular


PDF (Portable Document Format)          

Digital image format that presents documents identical to the original.    



Peer Reviewed or Refereed

This term is applied to journals that publish material previously evaluated by a panel of experts in that field. Peer-reviewed journals are considered scholarly journals.           


Aprobado por expertos

Periodical or Serial

Any publication published periodically (once a day, once a month, etc.) Newspapers, magazines, journals, and gazettes fall into this category.            


Publicación seriada


The act of using the ideas of another person and presenting them as your own without giving credit to the original author. Plagiarism is considered academic misconduct and can be grounds for expulsion in higher education institutions.    



Reference Desk

Library desk where the reference librarian answers questions about research and helps patrons find information.   


Escritorio de Referencia


Materials set aside (usually by an instructor) for the use of a special group of patrons and e-reserves can be accessed electronically.