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Library Terminology: D-F

Discover the truth that lies behind the most Arcane Library vocabulary--- stranger than fiction!

Database through Full Text


Database: A database is a file or collection of bibliographic citations or records of materials stored electronically in a manner that can be searched, retrieved and manipulated.

Dewey Decimal System: A classification and organization system for library books.  Developed by Melvil Dewey, this system is often used in public and school libraries.  The Auraria Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System.

Dictionary: A work which defines the terms of a language, profession, discipline, or specialized area of knowledge. Terms are usually arranged in alphabetical order. ABRIDGED dictionaries limit themselves to the most commonly used words. UNABRIDGED dictionaries aim at a much higher level of completeness.  

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): A unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a DOI when an article is published and made available electronically.

Due Date: The due date is the day which library materials on loan should be returned or renewed. Materials not returned or renewed by designated due date are subject to fines, loss of borrowing privileges or other, even more heinous and unspeakable sanctions. Really though, we just need the item back. Often library materials are out-of-print, or otherwise irreplaceable. So, if you keep them, then no one else will ever see them again.  And that would be a shame, wouldn't it?


E-Book: A book that is available electronically to read on your computer or to download on an electronic device.

Electronic Journals: Sometimes referred to as ejournals. Electronic journals are full text or abstracts of journal articles available electronically on the Internet or CD-ROMs.

Encyclopedia: A work containing factual articles on subjects in every field of knowledge, usually arranged alphabetically. A subject encyclopedia is a similar work on a single field of activity or a single subject. An encyclopedia can be one volume or many volumes, depending on the amount of material included.


Facet: See limits.

Field: A subdivision of the computer record used for a defined category or purpose. An example in a bibliographic record is the author field, where the name of the author is located.   Searching in the correct fields may greatly enhance relevant search results.

Full text: The entire contents available of a book, government document, or an article from a  journal magazine or newspaper.

D is for Diamond Sutra

Diamond Sutra

The earliest printed book that is dated.  Discovered in 1907, this is a Chinese translation of an important Sanskrit Buddhist text.  This scroll was preserved for centuries in a hidden cave near the Silk Road city of Dunhuang.  While there are older block print books, this particular volume contains its creation date:  11 May 868 CE.

Source:  Reitz, Joan.  Dictionary for Library & Information Science. Westwood, CT; Greenwood, 2004.  (pgs. 213-14)