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Library Lingo

This page lists common terms, acronyms, and phrases used by libraries and librarians.



An ebook (also: eBook, e-book), sometimes called an electronic book, is an electronic (digital or online) equivalent of a conventional printed book.


A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.


General information source that provides articles on various branches of knowledge. Encyclopedias may be general or subject specific.


A short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.


EPUB (short for electronic publication; sometimes styled ePub) is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub. EPUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that an EPUB reader can optimize text for a particular display device.


Handheld devices on which electronic versions of books, newspapers, magazines, etc., can be read


To pull data from a program (like a library catalog or research database) and save it into a data file.

Express Collection

A collection of library materials (specific books and videotapes, etc.) which are in great demand and customers cannot place hold on these materials. These materials are kept in a certain area in the library to use which assures access to all customers who might need the materials.