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Library Lingo

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


Reading History

If you have already reached your limit when putting items on hold (25) or if you don't want to obtain an item right away, you can save it to a wish list.

  • Wish lists are tied to your account, so they are only visible when you are signed in to My Account online.
  • For your convenience, there is a "Place Hold" button next to each item in a wish list so you can put it on hold when you are ready to request it.
  • You can have multiple lists, and it is easy to add, remove, or even move items between lists.
  • If you have the Reading History feature turned on, you can update your wish list by removing items you have already checked out. Just view a wish list and click "Remove Read."

Reference (Collection)

A selection of library materials (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, directories, etc.,) which are kept in a specific location and used to begin research and to answer quick questions. The items in the reference collection are for library use only, so they are always available.

Reference Librarian

Reference librarians have a master's degree in library science and often other graduate degrees as well. They help you find materials needed for research, show you how to use online and other resources, and teach you about the research process.


A criterion (subjective measure of how well a document satisfies the user's information need) used in evaluating the quality of information. Relevance describes how closely the contents of an information source match the topic.


An extension of the loan period for cheked out library materials. You can renew items through or by calling the at 210-207-2500

Research Databases

The databases the library subscribes to. They can be accessed using your valid library card login through the library’s website.They contain e-books, periodical citations, abstracts and full text, reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries), and other information sources.

RSS feeds

RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts