New Service: Library Glossary


We know that some of the library-specific words we use can be confusing, especially for new students or for those who don’t have English as their first language.  We try to explain things as clearly as possible, but some words are unavoidable!

For example – would you know the difference between an inter-library loan and an inter-site loan? It seems obvious to us but makes a huge difference to you, because it’s the difference between reserving a book at one of our other BCU Libraries and having it delivered on the campus van the following day, or waiting a couple of weeks for delivery for a book we’ve requested from somewhere else in the country! (If you’re wondering, inter-site is our local reservations system and inter-library is the national one).

A small team of library staff worked to develop a Library Glossary to help define some of the words we use every day. Some of the words may seem obvious, but have different meanings if used in another context. Some people may be used to saying they want to ‘hold’ a book, for example, whereas we exclusively use the term ‘reserve’.

We held two focus groups with students to test out our new Glossary, exploring design, ease of use and discoverability.  This was really useful and the feedback we received helped us develop the guide further.

Why not check out the Glossary, and use the poll on the front page to tell us how useful you think it is? You can also use the link to email us with any word suggestions or feedback – both of which would be gratefully received.