Dictionary of Library and Information Science

Dictionary of Library and Information Science

Dictionary of Library and Information Science

Dictionary of Library and Information Science


Now available for the first time in print, the dictionary is the most comprehensive and reliable English-language resource for terminology used in all types of libraries. With more than 4,000 terms and cross-references (last updated January, 2003), the dictionary's content has been carefully selected and includes terms from publishing, printing, literature, and computer science where, in the author's judgment, they are relevant to both library professionals and laypersons.


Work on this Dictionary for Library and Information Science began in 1994 when, in the course of the author's work as instruction librarian at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), a four-page printed handout on Library Lingo was developed for undergraduates lacking fluency in English and for English-speaking students unfamiliar with basic library terminology. In 1996, the text was converted to HTML format for installation on the Web site maintained by WCSU Libraries, under the title Hypertext Library Lingo: A Glossary of Library Terminology. Over the next seven years, many more terms were added and the definitions extensively revised and interlinked. The present print version of the dictionary contains approximately 4,000 terms with definitions.

The purpose of the dictionary is to define terms encountered and used by library and information professionals, library technicians, and students of library and information science to assist them in expanding their knowledge. The primary criterion for including a term is whether a librarian or other information provider might be expected to understand its meaning(s) in the course of executing his or her professional duties and responsibilities. A newly coined term is added when, in the author's judgment, it seems likely to become a permanent addition to the lexicon of library and information science.

Since the author's professional training occurred in the United States, the dictionary reflects North American practice; however, because the dictionary 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, making it a "work in progress."

Broad in scope, the dictionary includes not only the terminology of the various specializations within library science and information studies but also the vocabulary of publishing, printing, the book trade, graphic arts, book history, literature, bibliography, telecommunications, and computer science when, in the author's judgment, a definition might prove helpful to librarians and information specialists in their work. Entries are descriptive, with examples provided in boldface when appropriate. The definitions of terms used in Anglo-American Cataloging Rules follow AACR2 closely and are therefore intended to be prescriptive. The dictionary includes some slang terms and idioms, and a . . .

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