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Library and Information Science and Information Literacy Terminology and Jargon Dictionaries and Glossaries



Library and Information Science and Information Literacy

Terminology and Jargon Dictionaries and Glossaries



Some Defining Moments in the World of Libraries



Library and Information Science and Information Literacy

Terminology and Jargon Dictionaries and Glossaries


ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science

Fourth Edition

Editors    Michael Levine-Clark, Toni M. Carter

Publisher        American Library Association, 2013

ISBN        0838911110, 9780838911112

Length    288 pages





Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz

Western Connecticut State University.

Libraries, Libraries Unlimited, Inc

Publisher  Libraries Unlimited, 1996




ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science was created by Joan M. Reitz, Arts and Humanities Bibliographer at the Ruth A. Haas Library, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury, CT. Ms. Reitz holds a B.A. degree (1972) from Reed College in Portland, Oregon; an M.L.I.S. degree (1991) from the University of Washington, Seattle; and an M.A. degree (1998) in history from Western Connecticut State University. Her primary academic interests are history of the book and publishing, history of political and social revolutions, and art history.

History of the Dictionary



ODLIS began at the Ruth Haas Library in 1994 as a four-page printed handout titled Library Lingo, intended for undergraduates not fluent in English and for English-speaking students unfamiliar with basic library terminology. In 1996, the text was expanded and converted to HTML format for installation on the WCSU Libraries Homepage under the title Hypertext Library Lingo: a Glossary of Library Terminology. In 1997, many more hypertext links were added and the format was improved in response to suggestions from users. During the summer of 1999, several hundred terms and definitions were added, and a generic version was created, omitting all reference to specific conditions and practices at the Ruth Haas Library.



In the fall of 1999, the glossary was expanded to 1,800 terms, renamed to reflect its expanded scope, and copyrighted. In February, 2000, ODLIS was indexed in Yahoo! under “Reference – Dictionaries – Subject.” It was also indexed in the WorldCat database, available via OCLC FirstSearch. In 2000, the dictionary was expanded to 2,600 terms and by 2002 an additional 800 terms had been added. From 2002 to 2004, the dictionary was expanded to 4,200 terms and cross-references were added, in preparation for the print edition. Since 2004, an additional 1,500 terms and definitions have been added.



Purpose of the Dictionary

ODLIS is designed as a hypertext reference resource for library and information science professionals, university students and faculty, and users of all types of libraries. The primary criterion for inclusion is whether a librarian or other information professional might reasonably be expected to know the meaning of the term in the context of his/her work. A newly coined term is added when, in the author’s judgment, it is likely to become a permanent addition to the lexicon of LIS. The dictionary reflects North American practice. However, because ODLIS was first developed as an online resource available worldwide, with an e-mail contact address for feedback, users from many countries have contributed to its growth, often suggesting additional terms and commenting on existing definitions. Expansion of the dictionary is an ongoing process.



Broad in scope, ODLIS includes not only the terminology of the various specializations within LIS but also the vocabulary of publishing, printing, binding, the book trade, graphic arts, book history, literature, bibliography, telecommunications, and computer science when, in the author’s judgment, a definition might prove useful to librarians and information specialists in their work. Entries are descriptive, with examples provided when appropriate. The definitions of terms used in the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules follow AACR2closely and are therefore intended to be prescriptive. The dictionary includes some slang terms and idioms and a few obsolete terms, often as See references to the term in current use. When the meaning of a term varies depends on the field in which it is used, priority is given to the definition that applies within the field with which it is most closely associated. Definitions unrelated to LIS are generally omitted. As a rule, definition is given under an acronym only when it is generally used in preference to the full term. Alphabetization is letter-by-letter. The authority for spelling and hyphenation is Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition). URLs, current as of date of publication, are updated annually.








Dictionary for Library and Information Science

Author       Joan M. Reitz

Publisher  Libraries Unlimited, 2004

ISBN 1591580757, 9781591580751

Length      788 pages









Library Terminology: Glossary of Library Terms

This guide contains resources and terms frequently used in the library.

USC Libraries Research Guides








Library Instruction Services

Library Research Aids

Library Vocabulary: A Glossary

U.C Davis University Library









Glossary of Library Terms

Colorado State University Libraries








Library Lingo

A Glossary of Library Terminology

Colorado State University Libraries









A Glossary of Medical Library Jargon.

Fenske RE, Fortney LM.

Med Ref Serv Q. 1986 Summer;5(2):45-75.









Library Jargon

English to Spanish/Ingles al Español










Multilingual Glossary of Library Terminology 

Brock University








Library Terminology Informally Explained

W3C Semantic Web










Glossary of British Library Terminology

British Library








Contributions to the History of Library Terminology

Fred R. Shapiro

The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy

Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr., 1989), pp. 95-115

Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Stable URL:









A Glossary of Medical Library Jargon

Ruth E. Fenske MA, PhD Cand & Lynn M. Fortney MLib

Pages 45-75 | Published online: 26 Oct 2008


Download citation











Library Terminology

Eastfield College Library




Web Resources

Contains definitions of common library terms intended to assist ESL speakers.

Contains select library terms in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Arabic.








ACRL Multilingual Glossary Library Terminology




ACRL Multilingual Glossary






Library Terminology: A Guide for International Students








Boolean Searching

Call Number

Check Out

Circulation Desk


Closed Stacks


Date Stamp



Due Date






Government Publication


Information Desk

Interlibrary Loan

Library Instruction

Loan Period




nline Catalog



Reference Collection

Reference Desk


Research Guide






Subject Heading

Technical Services








Library Terminology –

Oregon Institute of Technology








Terms defined in ‘LAC glossary’ – Dictionary – Glossary – LAC-Group

Glossary of Library, Content Curation & Knowledge Management Terminology.








Library Terminology

Arizona State University







Users Don’t Know What Libraries Are Talking About, Studies Find

By Meredith Schwartz on March 15, 2012
Library Journal




“On February 29, Library Terms That Users Understand by John Kupersmith, a reference librarian at UC Berkeley, was added to the University of California’s eScholarship repository.”








Harrod’s Librarians’ Glossary and Reference Book: A Directory of Over 10,200 Terms, Organizations, Projects and Acronyms in the Areas of Information Management, Library Science, Publishing and Archive Management

Author       Ray Prytherch

Edition      10, revised

Publisher  Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2012

ISBN 140948615X, 9781409486152

Length      768 pages









Library Research at Cornell: Library


Michael Engle


Types of Terms









To Jargon or Not to Jargon (Library Edition)

March 3, 2015

To Jargon or Not to Jargon (Library Edition)

by Natalie Browning, Senior Assistant, INALJ DC






This is a list of terms we use and suggest for searching for jobs in and related to library work.

  • Archives
  • Archivist
  • Big Data
  • Catalog
  • Cataloger
  • Cataloging
  • Certified Records Manager
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Community Manager
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Conflict Information Specialist
  • Content Strategy
  • DAM
  • Data Curator
  • Data Management Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Visualization
  • Database
  • Database Designer
  • DBA (Database Administration/ Administrator)
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Digital Content Curator
  • Due Diligence
  • Futurist
  • GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
  • ILS (look up by name)
  • Index
  • Indexer
  • Indexing
  • Informatician
  • Information Architect
  • Information Policy
  • Information Privacy
  • Information Professional
  • Information Recovery
  • Information Resource Officer
  • Informationist
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • KM
  • Knowledge Architect
  • Knowledge Coordinator
  • Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge Solutions Analyst
  • Librarian
  • Library
  • MARC
  • Market Analyst
  • Metadata
  • Open Source
  • Program Analyst
  • Project Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Research
  • Research Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Social Marketer
  • Social Media
  • Taxonomist
  • Taxonomy
  • Teacher
  • Technology Futurist
  • Technology Trainer
  • Trainer
  • Transactional Law Researcher
  • User Experience Design (UXD)
  • User Interface Designer
  • Vendor websites







Concise Dictionary of Library and Information Science

Authors    Stella Keenan, Colin Johnston

Edition      2

Publisher  Walter de Gruyter, 2000

ISBN 3110967588, 9783110967586

Length      275 pages












Library Terminology in Chinese

George Fox University Libraries








Library Lingo  

Fordham University Libraries




Content Sample


A   –   C           D   –  H            I   –  O          

P   –   T           U  –  Z 

A – C

A brief summary of a book, journal article or other work.

Annotated Bibliography
A bibliography that includes a brief description of each article or book listed.  The description is intended to assist the reader in evaluating the contents and usefulness of each item.

A collection of works such as essays, poems or stories by various authors collected into one volume.

A collection of documents and records relating to a person or the history of an organization preserved for their historic value.  Also the location where such materials are kept.  Fordham’s Archives and Special Collections are located on the fourth floor of Walsh Library.

Bibliographic Record
An entry in a database that identifies and describes a specific work, such as a book or a journal, by various fields including author, title, publication information etc.

A list of sources (books, articles, etc.) cited in a research paper or publication.

Book Truck
Rolling carts used for moving books.

Boolean Operators
Terms such as “and,” “or” and “not” used to express the relationship between terms in searching electronic databases.

Bound Periodical
Issues of a journal that have been sent to the bindery to be “bound” together in book form.

Call Number
Number assigned to library materials used for shelving and location.  Fordham uses the Library of Congress call number system.

Department in the library that is responsible for entering the information about library materials in the online catalog.

Compact Disc – Read Only Memory.

Checked Out
Term used in OPAC used to indicate that an item is out of the library on loan.

The information needed to find specific material.  For books it includes author, title and publication information.  For journal articles it includes author, title, journal name, date, volume and pages.

Circulation Desk
Desk where library materials are checked out and returned.  Renewals, recalls and Inter-Campus loan requests are also handled here.






Brown University Library :: Glossary of Library Terms