Student Resources

Basic information on using your library

Librarians Can Help

Need help finding and evaluating sources? Having trouble citing in MLA or APA? Schedule a Research Consultation for expert librarian assistance!

Common Library Terms

UNF library elevators and signs with an explanation of what's on each floorWhat are they talking about?

Common library terminology can help you figure it out.

  • Call number: a set of letters and numbers identifying a particular item in a library collection. Most university libraries (including UNF) use the Library of Congress Classification. Most public libraries use the Dewey Decimal Classification.
  • Collectionrefers mainly to the location of the item but also can tell you whether or not you may check it out. There are several main collections: Course Reserves, Curriculum, General Collections, Media, Periodicals, and Special Collections. Periodicals and Special Collections materials may not be checked out.
  • Course reserves: materials held for instructors for students in a class. These items can usually be checked out for a short time period. Find your call number in the Course Reserves Look up and head to the 1st floor desk to check it out.
  • Database: provides descriptive information (title, author, date, subjects, summary or abstract) for periodical articles and other information. Many databases also contain the full-text of the articles.
  • Journal: a periodical containing articles and current information on research and development in a particular area of study. Journals may be more like a magazine or they may be academic in nature. See the Doing Research tab in this guide for more information on academic/scholarly, peer-reviewed, and refereed journals.
  • Library catalog: a collection of records that represent materials owned or accessed by a library. This is essentially a list of all of the books, media, maps, journals, and documents that we own or that you can access through your UNF Library.
  • Microformat: microfiche (4 by 6 inch cards) or microfilm (a roll of film) - printed items reduced in size by photographic method.
  • Periodical: an item published at regular intervals, such as a magazine, journal, or newspaper.