Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Terms Used in Library Technical Services

Compiled by Ann Denton and Terry D. Martin, University of Memphis


A&I:  abstracting and indexing services; terms describing many electronic databases used by libraries

AACR: Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition, 2002 Revision, 2005 Update (Kit))

ALCTS:  Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association

ANSCR:  The Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings, composed of 46 major categories into which all sound recordings are organized (California State University, Los Angeles)

ANSI: American National Standards Institute, a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates administers the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, including many library and publishing standards

Authority Record: LC's explanation of "What is an Authority Record?"

BGN: U. S. Board on Geographic Names

BIBCO: the monographic bibliographic record component of the Library of Congress' Program for Cooperative Cataloging

Book number: additions to a classification number to cause the material to be arranged on the shelf in a specified order.  May consist of a Cutter number (to sub-arrange by topics or authors' surnames), a year,  and a workmark (for a title, reprint, edition, or local cataloging notation)

Call number: often used incorrectly as synonymous with "classification number," but in technical services parlance a call number is the notation used to identify and locate a particular item in a collection.  It comprises a  classification number and a book number

CC:AAM: Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials of ALCTS/ALA

CC:DA: Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access of ALCTS/ALA

CCL: Common Command Language.  Millenium ILS Information Gateway uses CCL to specify fields in the "expert keyword" search option, e.g., a=Author; t=Title, d=Subject, W=Keywords, s=Journal Title, e=Dewey/Local call no., c=LC call number, i=ISBN/ISSN/Music pub. no., l=Law call no., o=Control no., g=Gov't doc no., v=DRA no., z= LC Authority Record #, k=Titlekey, b=Barcode, p=Prof/TA, r=Course, .=Record no., x=SICI #

CaMMS: Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) of ALCTS/ALA

CDS: the Library of Congress' Cataloging Distribution Servicefor bibliographic products and services

CIP Cataloging in Publication Program, a cooperative program by Library of Congress and numerous publishers to catalog/classify books prior to publication and print a major portion of the cataloging record on the back of the title page (verso) when published

CLSI: Computer Library Systems, Inc.; firm that provided the University of Memphis' first online catalog software

CONNEXION: OCLC Connexion: Integrated Online Cataloging, software available free to OCLC member libraries

CONSER: cooperative online serials; the Cooperative Serials Cataloging Program, a component of the Library of Congress' Program for Cooperative Cataloging

CORC: OCLC's Cooperative Online Resource Catalog, a system available to full or partial OCLC members for creating bibliographic records and "pathfinders" for electronic resources

Cutter number:  alphabetic and numeric characters used by library cataloging departments to further organize material within an LC classification number or to organize authors' surnames alphabetically; versions found on a Cutter-Sanborn Table or in printed Library of Congress classification schedules; based on original work of Charles Ammi Cutter

DDC: Dewey Decimal Classification system; created originally by Melvil Dewey to organize library books by subject; also denotes shelf location

Dewey reclass: program for reclassifying material from the Dewey Decimal Classification to the Library of Congress Classification

Dublin Core:Description

EADEncoded Archival Description, a machine-readable standard for archivists

FRBR:  Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), the Final Report of a study by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)  related to the logical structure of AACR2 (1998)

GMD: general material designation described in the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules that identifies the format of material described in a cataloging record, e.g., videorecording. The GMD appears in the 245$h field of the MARC record

GPO: the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, one of the largest publishers in the world

GSR:  global search and replace, a powerful command in electronic databases that permits a single programming statement to effect changes in multiple records

IBC:  initial bibliographic control; term used by the Library of Congress to identify all acquisitions and pre-cataloging work performed on material prior to its final cataloging

IFLAInternational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

III: INNOVATIVE INTERFACES, INC., designer and supplier of Millennium integrated library system (ILS), integrated library system software used by the University of Memphis.

ILL: inter-library loan; a voluntary program among libraries to loan material to each other

ILS: integrated library system; software that integrates several distinct library applications, e.g., acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, reserve room, serials); a more recent variation is "LMS," for library management system

InProcess:  the status of purchased or gift material that has been received by the Acquisitions Department and is awaiting cataloging

Internet:  a decentralized global network connecting computers, based on a protocol for communication and data exchange;  click for a history on Living Internet

ISBD (G)International Standard Bibliographic Description, General, a format used for bibliographic data in the descriptive text of a cataloging record, e. g. punctuation, spacing. As of2011 all formats were consolidated into one area.

ISBNInternational Standard Book Number, a unique machine-readable number assigned to a particular edition or volumes of a book by a publisher to facilitate distribution and sales.

ISSN: International Standard Serials Number, a unique number assigned to a distinctive serial title by a publisher to facilitate distribution and sales

JSC:  Joint Steering Committee

LC: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, serves not only as the national library of the U.S. but performs many valuable services for libraries throughout the world

LC Class:  Library of Congress Classification system designed to organize library material by subject; also denotes shelf location.  Most often referred to as "class number"

LCRI: Library of Congress Rules Interpretations; decisions made on how to interpret and apply parts of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings (use only the latest edition)

LITA: Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association

LMS: library management system; software that integrates several distinct library applications, e.g., acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, reserve room, serials); also called an ILS, integrated library system

p>Lyrasis: ,an organization of libraries of all types in the southeastern US that markets bibliographic products for OCLC and trains library staff members in the use of OCLC products

MARBI: Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information, an American Library Association interdivisional organization associated with ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA

MARC: Machine-Readable Cataloging

MARC record: machine-readable cataloging record created in a standard database format designed to allow libraries to share and exchange cataloging data

MeSh: Medical Subject Headings

METADATA: data about data, especially important when cataloging and indexing electronic resources, for it identifies features of web sites or other electronic entities

METS: Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard: rules for tying digital objects and their metadata together

MFHD: MARC Format for Holdings Display

NA: name authority; standard for the unique form of an personal or corporate name for use in a library catalog.  See  MARC21 Concise Format for Authority Data

NACO: the name authority component of the Library of Congress' Program for Cooperative Cataloging

NAL: National Agricultural Library, Washington, DC

NetCat:  Network cataloging, module of the DRA integrated library system used for adding, editing, and deleting machine-readable cataloging records

NISO:   National Information Standards Organization, accredited by the American National Standards Institute, formulates technical standards affecting the management of information in libraries

NLM: National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland

NSDP: the  National Serials Data Program at the Library of Congress

NUCNational Union Catalog, cataloging records produced by many libraries, reduced in size, and edited for publication for several decades by the Library of Congress prior to the advent of online electronic records

NUCMC: National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, a cooperative cataloging program operated by the Library of Congress

OAI: Open Archives Initiative, a collaborative research project to find ways to collect metadata from many servers in distant places and aggregate the metadata so that technical reports, image collections, and other material formerly unavailable to Internet search engines can be discovered and used by scholars

OCLC: Online Computer Library Center, a cooperative of thousands of libraries that holds, preserves, and facilitates the exchange of machine-readable cataloging records (originally known as the Ohio College Library Center, the members of which are owed a debt of gratitude by librarians all over the world)

OLACOpen Language Archives Community
OLACOnline AudioVisual Catalogers

ONIXOnline Information eXchange, used by publishers to distribute electronic product information to a variety of users, including to libraries where ONIX files can be accessed through some online catalogs

PCC:  the Program for Cooperative Cataloging at the Library of Congress

PINYIN CONVERSION: Change in Romanization of Chinese characters from the Wade-Giles system, used for a century by most American libraries, to the Pinyin system.  As of October 1, 2000, the Library of Congress began using Pinyin in all new cataloging records  (announcement and  project description)

PMH: Protocol for Metadata Harvesting

PURL: persistent uniform resource locator for documents on  the World Wide Web; can be entered into a browser to locate the current URL for a document  for which the address may have changed; OCLC manages PURLs

RDF: Resource Description Framework

RECTO: right hand page of a book

RETROCON or RECON or Retrospective conversion: local library programs for retrospectively (after the fact) converting cataloging records from printed cards to machine-readable records. Most libraries began their use of electronic cataloging records for material currently received, and then, as staff time and funds were available, they began converting paper records into electronic records for the previously cataloged titles, thus "retrospective conversion."

RFP: Request for Proposal: a description of a project to which vendors are asked to respond with specifications and price quotations; libraries that are searching for a new integrated library system frequently use this document to evaluate competing bids

SA: subject authority; standard for the unique form of a subject heading used in a library catalog

SACO: the subject authority component of the Library of Congress' Program for Cooperative Cataloging

SAR: series authority record

SCCTP:  Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program at the Library of Congress

Shelf list: a file of records arranged as one would expect to find material on the library shelves; formerly a card file, but now often only available in electronic form

Shelflisting: the range of activities  required to assign unique call numbers to library material and provide documentation of library holdings or an inventory tool.  See Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, 1995

Sierra ILS: Integrated library system (ILS) software used by the University of Memphis; designed and supplied by INNOVATIVE INTERFACES, INC.

SIRSI: firm specializing in integrated library system (ILS) software

TEIText Encoding Initiative

URL: uniform resource locator, the global address of a document on the World Wide Web

Verso:  left hand page of a book

XMLextensible markup language

Z39.50National Information Standards Organization's standard developed for the interaction of databases with different structures.



IFLA Multilingual Dictionary of Cataloguing Terms and Definitions

ODLIS: Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science (Western Connecticut State University)

Serials Cataloging Graduate Manual Glossary (cjkcataloger)



Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed., 2002 revision.  Ottawa, Canada: Canadian Library Association; London: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals; Chicago: American Library Association, 2002, Appendix D.

Library of Congress, Cataloging Policy and Support Office.  Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting, 2ed.  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, 1995, pp. G10, 1-2.

Thompson, Elizabeth H. A.L.A. Glossary of Library Terms.  Chicago, Ill.: American Library Association, 1943. 

These contents Copyright ©2015 by and for the University Libraries, University of Memphis. Permission to use available from Cataloging Department Coordinator, Rachel Scott.