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Library Lingo

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


Table of contents

A list of parts contained within a book or periodical, such as chapter titles and periodical articles, with references by page number or other location symbol to the place they begin and in the sequence in which they appear.

Teen Librarians

Teen librarians are librarians who work primarily with young adults, generally defined as between the ages of 12 and 18.

Texana Genealogy

Located at the Central Library, the Texana/Genealogy Department acquires, preserves and offers access to research materials relating to San Antonio, Bexar County and Texas history, and North American and Hispanic genealogy. Home to historical books, periodicals, maps, newspaper clippings, city directories, census records and military records, these collections are some of the Library's most valuable resources. Texana also offers free classes each month covering genealogical research and a variety of other topics.


A list of subject headings or descriptors assigned in a particular database, index, or online catalog that can be used to search that database. See Subject Searching. 


Truncation uses a symbol (either *, ?, or !) as an operator at the end of the term. This will find any part of the word following the string of characters. For example, "librar*" retrieves records containing the words “library," "libraries," "librarian," etc.