User Services Student Guide: Library Terminology

Orientation manual and materials for Public Service Staff

Essential Terms: Getting Started

Essential Terms: Barcodes

Item Barcodes - The 14-digit number label attached to each physical piece of library material for identification.  Main library item barcodes begin with 33838; Law Library barcodes begin with 31551.  The item barcode is linked to the patron barcode to check out and renew library materials, then unlinked from the patron barcode when it is returned and checked in.

Patron Barcodes - Most patron barcodes are 8-digit numbers based on the last 8 digits of the 16-digit number that appears on the front of the KU Card or the KU Library Borrower Card.  Thus, if the 16-digit number is 6017 4303 0000 1234, the patron barcode in library records is 00001234 (with leading zeros, without the space).  Temporary borrower cards or permits and proxy borrower cards display a variety of barcodes including:  6-digit proxy borrower numbers beginning with 8 or 9; 7-digit barcodes such as 1234567; summer camp barcodes such as SUMPRO2116613; school group barcodes like SCH2111209.

Essential Terms: Borrower Cards

KU Card - KU students, faculty, staff, and authorized affiliates are issued KU Cards as the official University identification card.  To be authorized for library privileges, the card presented must be the most recent card issued by the KU Card Center.

KU Library Borrower Card - This is the borrower card sold by the KU Libraries to Kansas residents, KU Alumni, students, faculty, and staff at other Kansas institutions of higher learning, school groups, and summer campers.  Most of the cards currently issued are plastic with photos of the borrowers included; however, school groups receive borrower permits on paper and summer campers receive wallet-size paper borrower cards, both without photographs.

Proxy Borrower Card - KU faculty, staff, and graduate students may sponsor up to three individuals to act as their proxies to complete library borrowing and request processes on behalf of the sponsor.  The person presenting the Proxy Borrower Card must also present his/her own photo ID when requesting library services on behalf of the sponsor.

Essential Terms: Call Numbers

Call Number - Libraries use classification systems to organize library materials.  The classification system's product is a call number that provides a unique combination of letters and numbers to identify and locate a single item in the library; this number appears in the Library Catalog and on the physical library item.  The KU Libraries have materials shelved in call number order with numbers from multiple classification schemes including Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, and Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) numbers as well as several locally designed classification systems and filing number sequences.

Library of Congress Classification (LC or LCC) - A system of organizing library material that was created by the Library of Congress.  It uses a mix of letters and numbers to divide materials into broad subject areas.

SuDoc (Superintendent of Documents) Classification - A string of letters and numbers used to identify and label publications issued by the United States Federal Government.  The letters beginning each SuDoc number refer to the government agency responsible for the publication.  A colon (":") is used to separate the classification from the individual book or item information.

Essential Terms: Circulation

Charge - Voyager circulation module terminology for checking out, as in charging out, library materials to borrowers.  The process links the borrower's patron record with the item's barcode to document the connection.  Also called:  Check out, Lending, Loans, Borrowing.  The term Charged indicates an item is currently Checked out to a borrower.  Occasionally, a patron will ask if an item can be "rented;" since we do not charge for lending library materials, the term is not part of our lexicon.

Discharge - Voyager circulation module terminology for checking in library materials.  The process unlinks the borrower's patron barcode from the item's barcode.  Also called:  Check in, Returns, Returning.  The terms Discharged and Recently Returned indicate the item was discharged, usually within the last 3 days.

Due date/time - The Voyager circulation module assigns a due date and time when library mateials are Charged/Checked out.  This is the date and time by which the borrower needs to return the item(s) checked out in order to avoid overdue or lost item charges.  Our responsibility is to accurately report that due date and time to each borrower at the time of check out.

Item Types - Each piece of library material with an item record in Voyager Circulation is assigned an item type that identifies the type of material.  The item type interacts with the borrower's patron type within the shelving location's policy group to determine how long an item is checked out to the borrower.  Two of the most common item types are Book and Serial.  The Voyager item type for monographs is Book; a monograph is a publication that appears one time only, usually covering one subject or class of subjects, detailed in treatment, but not extensive in scope and often containing bibliographies.  Serials are publications issued in parts, expected to continue publishing parts indefinitely, usually numbered and dated in sequence; includes annuals, reports, proceedings, scholarly journals, popular periodicals and magazines, and newspapers.

My Account - Via the Library Catalog, users may log into My Account to review their Personal Information on record in the Voyager circulation module, to see the list of Items Checked Out, to renew eligible items, to review Request Information, and to see Fines & Fees Information for unpaid charges currently payable at the Circulation Business Office.

Essential Terms: Library Materials and Finding Them

Course Reserves - First, the name of the search tab in the Library Catalog to search for items On Reserve in the KU Libraries.  Second, it refers to services provided by the Reserve Liaisons to place materials in onsite reserve in the KU Libraries.  KU instructors place materials on Course Reserve in order to guarantee their availability to students; this includes library owned materials and personal copies provided by the instructors that are made available for checkout from one of the Reserve Desks in the KU Libraries.  All Reserve Desks are part of the service desk in the library where they are located.  The term Course Reserves does not specifically refer to a physical library location.

Folio - Size designation for larger and/or taller books and periodicals that appears as part of the call number marking on the item and in the Library Catalog call number display.  The size designations for the folio status to be applied varies by library location.  In most cases, folio materials are shelved in a separate call number sequence; we need to call this to the attention of the patron we are helping.

Hold Shelf - Each circulation service desk maintains a Hold Shelf where library materials are held for library users to come to the library to check them out.  The items end up on the Hold Shelf in fulfillment of Recall, Retrieve from Shelf, and WebRetrieve/Interlibrary Loan requests.  The requestor is able to designate a Deliver to (Pick-up) location as part of the request process and is sent an Item Available Notice when the item is ready to be checked out.

Library Catalog - Also referred to as "the catalog," the Libraries' website link is to Catalog:  books & more.  The Library Catalog is a computerized database of books, serials, and other library mateials held physically by the KU Libraries and provides access to electronic resources owned or for which KU has purchased access.  Also referred to as the OPAC (online public access catalog); mostly a Voyager system term.  At KU, the term "online catalog" is considered out of date.

Stacks - The part of the library facility where the physical collections (books, periodicals, media items, etc.) are stored on shelves arranged with multiple sections into rows called ranges.  Two single-face ranges back to back are called a double-face range.  Each range usually has a range marker at the end of the row identifying the call number or other sequence contained on that range.  Library users may browse and retrieve items from open stack collections.  Watson Library Stacks are an example of open stacks.  Library staff retrieve items from closed stack collections, often for in library use only.  The Art & Architecture Library has a closed stacks area (in addition to open stacks), and the Library Annex and Spencer Research Library house closed stack collections.

Essential Terms: Request Processes

Interlibrary Loan - Also known as ILL or more formally as Resource Sharing, Interlibrary Loan borrows materials from other libraries that KU does not own and loans KU materials to other libraries.  They also provide article and chapter delivery (known as Document Delivery or Doc Del) for KU patrons, Retrieve from Shelf, and TripSaver Services.

Recall - Recall requests are entered via the Recalls & Requests button in the Library Catalog.  Long-term loan items checked out for 6 weeks or longer may be recalled from any borrower.  The current borroer has 14 days to return the item; when the item is available, the requestor will be send an Item Available Notice indicating that the item is now available for checkout.

Retrieve from Shelf - Retrieve from Shelf requests are entered via the Recalls & Requests button in the Library Catalog.  Most long-term loan books, Recreational Reading items, some of the serials published once per year or less often, many of the microformat collections, and Art and Watson videos and DVDs may be requested through this service.  Library staff retrieve the item from the shelf and route it to the borrower's selected Deliver to location for checkout.  The Voyager Call Slip client is used to process and maintain Retrieve from Shelf requests.

TripSaver - TripSaver services are available only to KU faculty and staff in departments served by Campus Mail on the Lawrnece campus.  TripSaver is one of the Deliver to locations available in Retrieve from Shelf requests.

WebRetrieve - From the left navigation column on the Libraries' website, click Request Materials, then WebRetrieve to log in and enter requests for:  articles and book chapters available at KU, articles and book chapters not available at KU, and loans of materials not available at KU.

Essential Term: Voyager

Voyager - The name of the Libraries' record management system, also called an ILS, integrated library system.  Includes modules (called clients) for Acquisitions/Serials, Call Slip, Cataloging, Circulation, and OPAC (the Library Catalog).  When we say Voyager at a library service desk, we usually mean the Circulation module.