Library Glossary


A short account of the contents of an article, book, dissertation, report etc. which tells enough to allow a reader to decide whether or not it has the information sought.

Materials being added to the Library's collection, including donations.

Adobe Acrobat Reader
A programme for viewing PDF files.  The reader programme is free and instructions for downloading it will usually appear on your screen.  You can download it from here.

A serial publication issued regularly once a year.

Archives Service
Located in the Q-1 area of the Boole Library, the Archives Service collects and administers archival collections generated from outside of UCC which complement the research and teaching needs of University College, Cork.  For more information click here.

Records generated by the College itself, and which relate to the history of the institution, direction of Catriona Murphy, University Archivist [email:]

Non-book materials such as various formats of audio and video recordings e.g. vinyl's, CD's, audio tapes and DVD's.  See Audio-Visual and Multimedia Services.

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Barcode Label
A label attached to each Library item with a a unique number comprised of vertical lines which contain machine readable data.

A vertical section of usually 6 or 7 bookshelves.  Bays are arranged in rows or ranges.

A list of works, including books, journals and essays, on a subject.

A brief summary or description of a work either in printed or electronic version.

Boolean searching
A method of combining two or more search terms to increase or restrict the amount found.

Boole Library
Main Library of UCC, located on the main campus of UCC on the main quadrangle.

Booleweb is the website which gives you on-line information about UCC Library.  To access it from outside UCC, type into a search engine such as Google.

Boston Scientific (BSHSL)
Boston Scientific Health Sciences Library is located in the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex on College Road.

Software used to access web documents (e.g. Internet Explorer or Firefox).

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Call number
A call number is like a book's address.  Each item in the Library has a call number which you trace through the Library Catalogue  The call number is printed on the white sticker attached to the spine of the book.  See also Dewey Decimal Classification.

Card Reader
A device attached to an older photocopier that reads a card's barcode, enables the service and deducts credit as the card is used.

The UCC Library Catalogue is an organised comprehensive list of books, journals and other materials in the Library, arranged systematically in order to facilitate retrieval.  It will provide you with the call number to allow you find the book on the shelf.  It is available at

A reference to a text or publication that includes the bibliographic information - author, title, name of journal or name of publisher, date, pages, volumes and other information necessary to locate a book, magazine or journal article, or some other material.

Class Number
See call number.

A high-capacity optical information storage device in the form of a plastic disk and holds approx. 600 MB of information (about 300,000 pages of text).

The exclusive legal right granted by a government to an author, editor, publisher etc. to publish, produce, sell or distribute copies of a work.  The Copyright Law protects these rights.  The Universities and Institutes of Technology have agreed and signed licence agreements with the Irish Copyright Licensing Authority to cover copying by staff and students for academic purposes.  The full text of the licence is available on the Secretary's Office webpage.

CUH Library
Cork University Hospital Library is located in Cork University Hospital, opposite the Wilton Shopping Centre, on the Wilton Road. Enter via the Main Reception area of the hospital and go through the door on the left hand side. Go upstairs to the first floor, take a sharp right at the top of the stairs and follow the corridor through a set of double doors.  Once through these doors, you will see the Hospital Library ahead of you.

Current Periodicals
The most recent issues of journals or magazines.

Customer Services Desk
Has been renamed Library & IT Desk and is located towards the front of Q floor. It deals with any problems that users encounter including IT queries

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A large, regularly updated file of digitised information (bibliographic records, full-text documents, directory entries, images, statistics, etc.) related to a specific subject or field, consisting of records of uniform format organized for ease and speed of search and retrieval and managed with the aid of a database management system (DBMS) software.  Content is created by the database producer (for example, the American Psychological Association), which usually publishes a print version (Psychological Abstracts) and leases the content to one or more database vendors (EBSCO, OCLC, etc.) that provide electronic access to the data after it has been converted to machine-readable form (PsycINFO), usually on CD-ROM or online via the Internet, using proprietary search software.

Most databases used in libraries are catalogues, periodical indexes, abstracting services, and full-text reference resources leased annually under licensing agreements that limit access to registered borrowers and library staff.

Desk Reserve
See High Demand Collection

Dewey Decimal Classification
The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is a system of library classification developed by  Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) in 1876, and since greatly modified and expanded in the course of twenty revisions. A book, magazine or journal’s Call Number is based on the DDC system.  See specific subjects here.

A language dictionary lists the words of a language in alphabetical order giving, depending on how comprehensive the dictionary is, their spelling, pronunciation, definition and standard usage. Dictionaries are also available for specific subjects or fields of enquiry. A dictionary may be single-volume or multi-volume. Dictionaries are for reference only and carry the prefix R in the Call Number. Online dictionaries are also available.

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E-journal/Electronic journal
An electronic journal is a serial publication in digital format. The Boole Library subscribes to the online version of a large number of journals. Where appropriate, the Catalogue entry will provide a Hyperlink to the e-version, where the full text of an article may available. See also Moving Wall.

See European Documentation Centre

Electronic Resources
Digital versions of research databases, journals and other documents available either on CD ROM or via the internet. To access UCC Library holdings go to the Journals Portal, the Databases Portal or the Library Catalogue. 


A book or numbered set of books containing authoritative summary information on a variety of topics in the form of short essays, usually arranged alphabetically. Encyclopaedias are for reference only and carry the prefix R in the Call Number.

EndNote is a software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies.  More information at  Introduction to EndNote

European Documentation Centre (Robert Schuman)
The Library at UCC has been a designated European Documentation Centre (EDC) since 1973. The Library's Official Publications Centre (OPC), incorporating the Robert Schuman European Documentation Centre is now located as a distinct collection within the Law section of the Boole Library on Q+2. It contains official publications and documents of the institutions of the European Union, including legislation, proposals, reports and general publications. All the documents in the EDC are reference only, and cannot be borrowed.

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Frequently Asked Questions. See Library FAQ's.

Fines Kiosk
The fines kiosk is located on Q Floor next to the self Issue machines and allows payment of library fines with a smartcard.

An oversized volume. It is indicated in the Call Number by the prefix ‘f’. Folio books are located in a separate sequence on each floor.

For Reference Only
This phrase is used on the Catalogue to indicate that reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias etc., may not be removed from the library.

When the entire content of an item or article is available in electronic format.

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High Demand Collection
This room is located on Q Floor and contains a selection of books on reading lists for essays, which are in high demand and may be borrowed for a four hour period only.  The Catalogue will indicate which copy of a title is in the High Demand Collection .  A blue sticker is attached to the spine of the book for the duration of the period it is held in the High Demand Collection.


A patron may place a hold on an item which is on loan to another patron. The item will be held at the Customer Services Desk for pickup.  See also Request an Item.

The stock that UCC Library has of books, journals, etc.

Main webpage for the UCC Library.  See

Hyper Test Markup Language - A standardized language of computer code, imbedded in "source" documents behind all Web documents, containing the textual content, images, links to other documents (and possibly other applications such as sound or motion), and formatting instructions for display on the screen. When you view a Web page, you are looking at the product of this code working behind the scenes in conjunction with your browser. Browsers are programmed to interpret HTML for display.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol allows servers and browsers to communicate.

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Information Desk
There are Information Desks on each floor of the Boole Library, in the Boston Scientific Health Sciences Library and in the CUH library

Information Literacy
Ability to locate, evaluate, manage and use information from a range of resources for problem-solving, decision-making and research.

Inter Library Loans
An arrangement between libraries whereby users can borrow items from other libraries within the system.  See Inter Library Loans.

International Standard Book Number, a numerical code given to a book which uniquely identifies it.

International Standard Serial Number, a numerical code given to a serial (periodical) which uniquely identifies it.

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A periodical publication devoted to a specific subject or area of study and dedicated to the dissemination of original research and commentary on current developments within that field. They are usually published in quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly issues and sold by subscription. See also Electronic Journal.

A significant word in the title, abstract or text of a document.

Lending Services
All borrowing from the General Collection of the Boole Library is via the Self-Issue machines on the Q Floor. Returning is via the Booksorter on the Q Floor.  Borrowing and returning from the High Demand Collection is via the machine located in the High Demand Collection area.

Library Catalogue
See Catalogue

Library PIN
Used to access Your Library Record and certain electronic resources from off-campus.  To create a Library PIN go to Your Library Record and enter your name and student (or staff) number and click on Submit.  You will then be asked to enter your PIN which must consist of at least six characters, a combination of letters and numbers.  If you encounter any problems with your Library PIN, please contact the Library Information Desk at +353-21-4902292.

Library Store
The Library Store is located at the Youngline Industrial Estate on Pouladuff Road.  Materials may be requested from the collection but patrons are not allowed to visit.  Requests for books may be made through the Library Catalogue or at the Customer Services Desk.  Journal articles may be requested through the appropriate Subject Information & Research Support Desk.

Loan Period
The length of time for which a library patron may borrow an item.

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Microform is the generic term for information stored on microfiche or microfilm.  Microforms and readers can be found in Special Collections.

A once off publication complete in one part or set usually on a defined single topic.  For example a book or pamphlet.

Moving Wall
A term used with electronic journals to represent the time period between the last issue available online and the most recently published issue of a journal.  A “moving wall” of three years therefore means current issues are not available online but any issues older than three years will be.

Multimedia Area
See Audio Visual and Multimedia Services.

My Library Account
Where you will find information on how many books you have out and when they are due etc.  You can renew books online, check your reading history and request email alerts for books in your chosen subjects. Login using your name, ID Number (student or staff number) and your Library PIN.

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Group of computers linked together, e.g., UCC network.

Networked Printing
This means that print jobs may be printed on any Printer that is connected to the network.

Non Circulating
Library materials which may not be checked out by patrons. Items include archival material, rare books, reference material, periodicals and government publications.

Official Publications

Official Publications is the term used to describe the publications produced by governments and organisations associated with government.  The Library's Official Publications Centre (OPC), incorporating the Robert Schuman European Documentation Centre is now located as a distinct collection within the Law section of the Boole Library on Q+2.
Subject information and research support for both collections will be available at the Law and OPC/EDC Information Desk on Q+2 and via e-mail at

Online Catalogue
Formerly known as the OPAC - see Library Catalogue.

Item that is still checked out to a patron and it past its due date.

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See Library PIN

See Journal

Primary Source
A document or record providing first-hand information or original data on a topic. They include original manuscripts, periodical articles, books, maps, photographs, sound recordings, etc.

Q or Q Floor
Main floor of the Boole Library.  The entrance is located here as well as the self-issue machines, the book sorter (returns), the fines kiosk and the Library & IT Desk.

Basement level of the Boole Library – Special Collections & Archives.

First Floor – Computing, General & Applied Sciences
Dewey Numbers: 000-099; 500-699.

Second Floor – Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Social Sciences, Law
Dewey Numbers: 100-399

Third Floor – Language, the Arts, Literature, Geography, History, & Multimedia
Dewey Numbers: 400-499; 700-999.

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If a book is on loan to someone else, it may be recalled for you when you put it on hold/reserve it.

Reference Collection
Materials such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias etc. which can only be used in the Library.

Extending the loan period of an item already on loan.  Short Loan and High Demand items may not be renewed.  You may renew your books online at Your Library Record.

Request (reserve) an item
Requesting an item that is on loan to someone else.  The item will be held for you when it is returned.  Pickup location is the Boole Library Customer Services Desk for books from that location and the Boston Scientific Health Sciences Library Information Desk or the CUH Medical Library for books from those locations.

Robert Schuman EDC
See European Documentation Centre


See Lending Services

See Journal

Shelf Number
See Call Number

Short Term Loan
Certain designated course textbooks may only be borrowed for a maximum of five days. The spines of such books generally carry a yellow sticker. Their Call Number is prefixed by the letter U.

Special Collections
Located in the Q-1 area of the Boole Library.

Special Collections holds important collections of rare and early printed books, manuscript material, historical newspapers, reference sources and maps. UCC theses are also held here.

Special Collections material cannot be borrowed or removed from Special Collections.
For more information click here.

Standard Loan
Part of the General Collection within the UCC Library.  These books may be borrowed for 2 weeks and all categories of users may borrow them.

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Noise that the Self-Issue makes when it is de-sensitising a book.  This is the final part of the issue process and if the book is removed before this process is complete, the book will set off an alarm at the front door.

Cutting off part of a search term so that it can be matched with other terms with the same root or other versions of the same word – very useful for finding both singular and plural versions of a word.

UCC Library
UCC Library is comprised of the Boole Library, Boston Scientific Health Sciences Library and CUH  Hospital Library, Cork University Hospital.

Virtual Library
Access to electronic information through a gateway such as the internet.

See Truncation


Last updated: 14 September 2016

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