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Library Resources for International Students: Library Vocabulary

This guide is for international students who are interested in learning about what the Roberta A. Smith University Library offers.

Terms Frequently Used in the Library


This is the library classroom. You will come here for library instruction sessions or if you take our three credit hour class, LIBR 220.


An abstract is a brief summary of a book or article that you can use to determine if the book or article is relevant for your research. A good abstract will tell you the thesis of the article, the methodology used to conduct the research, the results, and the conclusion.

Ask-a-Librarian Chat

Ask-a-Librarian is our chat window, which you can find on the library homepage, in course and subject guides, and in the databases. You can use this chat window to get help from a librarian Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m.-9:30 p.m.


A bibliography is a list of citations to the resources used for your research. Bibliographies are usually located at the end of a book, article, or research paper. When submitting your own work, you need to include a bibliography of the resources used for research. You need to provide a way for others to follow up on your research.

Call Number

A call number is a group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and it organizes library materials. The Roberta A. Smith University Library uses the Library of Congress Call Number system for most of our books. Books in the Children's and Young Adult collections use the Dewey Decimal System.

Call numbers are located on a label on the spine of the book. You will need the call number to locate the book.


If you are looking for print books, ebooks, DVDs, or other materials owned by Muskingum, search the Books tab on our library homepage. You can search by keyword, title, or author.

Check Out

To "check out" means to borrow material from the library for a certain period of time. Check-out periods vary according to the type of item, but most items can be checked out for three weeks and renewed up to six times. Loan periods are located here:


A citation is a reference to a book, magazine or journal article, which contains all the information needed to identify and locate that work. A citation includes its author's name, title, publisher, place of publication, and date of publication. There are several citation format styles; examples include the MLA style, the Chicago style, the APA style. Ask your professor to find out what style is used in your discipline. Consult this link for specific citation formats:

Citation Manager

A citation manager is software that organizes your research citations. With a citation manager, you can store, retrieve, edit, and organize citations, and you may create your own bibliography. Duke Libraries provide access to RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero. For more information, see:


A consortium is a partnership between local libraries. Duke belongs to the TRLN consortium, which includes North Carolina State University (NCSU); the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU). All Duke community members have access and borrowing privileges at these TRLN Libraries. You can go to these libraries, or have materials from these libraries delivered to Duke. To search for materials at these libraries,


In the United States, creative works, books, art, music, plays are protected by copyright laws. These are rules that dictate how copyrighted materials can be used, how much of a work can be photocopied, cited, etc. You can find information about Muskingum's Copyright Compliance policy here:

Course Reserves

Course reserves (also called reserves) are materials (books, articles, videos, etc.) that faculty members place on reserves at the library for student use. Generally, they are high-use items, for example, course textbooks, will have shorter loan periods to accommodate their demand. Reserve materials are kept behind the Welcome Center desk, and you must ask at this desk to get these items for you. You will need your Muskingum I.D. to check out Reserves.


A database is an index of information about books, journal articles, videos and other types of sources. Muskingum subscribes to more than 140 databases.

Due Date

Due date is the date on which library materials on loan should be returned or renewed. Materials not returned or renewed by the due date are subject to fines or loss of borrowing privileges. Loan periods are here: You can access a list of items and due dates online at

E-book or Electronic Book

An e-book is an electronic version of a book that is read on a computer. Muskingum has access to thousands of ebooks through the OhioLINK consortium.


An encyclopedia contains information on all branches of knowledge. Encyclopedias are an excellent place to look for general,basic information on a topic.

Find It

This magenta button searches other library databases for a full-text copy of an article.

Full Text

Indicates there is a complete electronic copy of a resource. This is usually an article, that is viewed, downloaded, or printed from a computer.

Government Document or "Gov Doc" or Federal Documents

Muskingum University Library is a Federal Depository Library, meaning we store federal and state documents (gov docs). You may access these documents during business hours. A gov doc is an official publication issued by a government agency. Gov docs contain information covering a wide variety of subjects. See:

Group Study Rooms

The library has three rooms that are available for group study. LIB 137 is located next to the New Books area. LIB 008 and 009 are located in the basement. 008 and 009 are available for online booking here. Groups who book the room online have priority.

Interlibrary Loan

If you can't find a copy of a book through OhioLINK, or if you can't find an electronic copy of an article, you can place an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request. We will take your request and submit it to another library that has the item. In the case of a book, the library will send the book and allow you to check it out. ILL requests for articles will be filled electronically. You will receive a pdf copy of the article in your email.

Library Website

The Muskingum University Library's homepage is:

Miller Librarian Hub

This desk is located to the right of the Welcome Center in the Reference and Research Center. A reference librarian staffs this desk from Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Muskie Scholar

The "Google of library resources." Enter your keywords in the Muskie Scholar search box on our homepage, and you'll search our library catalog, the OhioLINK catalog, and almost all of the library databases.

Off-Campus Access

Some library databases are available off-campus. If you log in to a database from off-campus or from a dorm room using a WiFi hotspot, you will be access to enter your last name and library barcode. Your library barcode is the number on the back of your student i.d. beginning with 28153.


Stacks or shelving are those areas where library materials are stored. We have open stacks, which means you can go to the shelf and find the books that you want. Material in stacks are generally arranged in call number order.

Study Carrel

Study carrels are located in the basement of the library. This floor is the quiet study area of the library.

Welcome Center

When you enter the library, this large desk is one of the first things that you'll see. This is where you check out library materials, return library materials, pick up OhioLINK books, and check out Reserves. This is also where we serve free popcorn on Friday afternoons.