ACCESSION The act of acquiring materials and
assigning them unique (and usually consecutive) serial numbers, called access
numbers, for the purpose of positively identifying an individual item. Access
numbers are most commonly used for accessing a circulation record, and for
maintaining inventory. The access number may be in the form of a barcode.
ARISTOCAT® A registered trademark used by
Atlantic Rim Information Systems for its collection of library automation
ASPECT RATIO The relationship between a pictures
height and its width. A picture with an aspect ratio of 2 x 1, for example, is
twice as wide as it is high. Width, the horizontal dimension, is given first.
AUTHOR Anyone concerned with the production of a
work is known to these systems as an author, although producer might
be a better word since they may have only served on an editorial board which was
responsible for the work. Material is often written by more than one person,
especially in academic subjects. Textbooks, especially, are often produced by
committee, and usually no individual name is important enough to be called a
Designated Personal Author. The listing of additional authors creates a more
complete record and makes something easier to find.
BARCODE The access number in the form of a
barcode, designed to be read by a computer. Many things can be barcoded, but in
AristoCAT® Systems the term refers only to the access number.
BOOLEAN A system in which two search keys (not
one search key and one subkey) must relate to each other in one of the following
AND Both search keys must be in the
OR Either search key must be in the
record, and it doesnt matter whether the other one is or not.
NOT The first search key must be in the
record and the second one may not be.
XOR Either the first or second search key
must be in the record, and the other one may not be.
Please notice that these differ from two-key
non-Boolean searches in that both keys must be indexed (subjects, authors,
titles, and call numbers are indexed), whereas with the simple two-key search
the second key is merely found in the record. See the help screen in Search or
the section on Running Search in the
Manual for more examples and more detail.
CALL NUMBER The books
address where it can
be found. Usually you need this address to find something (the physical object)
on the shelf. The most common types of call numbers are Dewey Decimal
Library of Congress, but there are others in use around the world. Not
everything in every library has a call number, but if there is one its almost
always written somewhere on the item, usually the spine in the case of books.
AristoCAT® systems recognize four types of call numbers: Library of
Congress, Dewey Decimal, Stack-and-Shelf, and Other. In addition to
these, you may use a two-letter code as a call number, or you may forego the call number altogether.
CHARGE One of those specialized library terms
that confuse outsiders, probably its purpose, which means that a book or other
item has been lent (charged out) to a borrower.
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM A plan by which material is
put on shelves or in a storage area in some kind of order to make it easier to
find. The two most common systems are Library of
and Dewey Decimal, but
there are others.
COLLATION A physical description of the item,
including number of pages for printed material, size, running time for movies,
videos, etc., and whatever other details the cataloger feels are appropriate.
The purpose of a collation is two-fold: to create a more complete catalog of a
librarys collection, and to make an item easier to find if its in the
wrong place on the shelf.
DATE Nothing is simple in the complex world we
live in, and an items date is no exception. For printed material, the date is
usually the latest year of copyright, but may be the year an item was reprinted
or reissued if the library is interested in keeping track of how old its
collection is. Motion pictures are usually dated by year of release, which may
be as much as three or four years after the copyright date. You may need to
develop a policy on this matter.
DESIGNATED PERSONAL AUTHOR Some things have
authors or composers so intimately associated with them that anyone else is
mostly irrelevant. For example, Ernest Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the
Sea, and few care who else helped bring the book into the world. The same is
true of Mozart and The Marriage of Figaro. Authors and composers with
this level of association are known to these systems as Designated
DIRECTORY A division or subdivision of a computer storage medium in which similar files
are stored. Same as Folder.
DISCHARGE The opposite of charge, this means that
the borrower has returned the borrowed material and it has been taken off the
DPA Designated Personal Author.
ERROR Something the system does wrong, as opposed
to a mistake, which is something the user does.
EXACT SEARCH A search
in which the entire indexed
item must match the search key, as opposed to a normal search in which the
leftmost n the number of characters in the search key characters must match.
With a normal search, for example, Smith will match Smith, John and Smithsonian,
but an exact search will not match either of them.
actual data or module, stored in a Folder.
FOLDER A division or subdivision of a computer storage medium in which similar files
are stored. Same as Directory.
GLOBAL Installed on or written to a central
computer, available to individual workstations attached to it,
as opposed to local.
IMPRINT The publisher and date together.
INDEX A file which tells the computer where to
find what youre looking for. Indexes are created when you run
select the Index option, and youll normally have no further need to worry
INDEXED Listed by the computer in a separate
place, in alphabetical order, and containing the record number that the word or
phrase applies to.
LOCAL Installed on or written to an individual
users workstation, as opposed to global.
LOCATION Most libraries, unless very small, have
different things in different places, such as a reference section and special
collections of one kind or another. In addition, some things are so valuable
that they must be kept under lock and key. Knowing the location is an important
part of the search process, since you cant find something if you dont know
where it is.
MAIN ENTRY In the days of card catalogs it was
necessary to designate a main entry so that multiple copies of the
card could be printed. This is no longer the case, and AristoCAT® Systems dont
recognize the concept of a main entry at all.
MATCH Sometimes called a hit, this refers to the
number of records that come up for a particular search key, that match the key.
MISTAKE Something the user makes, as opposed to
an error, which is something the system does wrong.
NOTES A catch-all field for information which
seems important to know, but which is too specific or unusual to require its own
field. Just about anything goes: comments on edition, binding and location, the
source of the item if donated, and quotations from the cover are often found
OVERHEAD In computer terms, that part of a file
or other system which the computer needs for its own purposes and is not
available for data. A record of a thousand bytes, for example, that had an
overhead of two hundred bytes would have eight hundred left for
PASSWORD Whatever else youre doing with your
computer that needs a password, AristoCAT® Systems have their own password
which you can require
for certain kinds of access such as editing the database. You have been supplied
with the password password, which you may change with Customize.
An AristoCAT® password may be anything or nothing; there are no restrictions at
all, except that leading and trailing spaces are trimmed.
PERIODICAL In most applications, a periodical is
the same thing as a magazine, but the word has a broader scope and refers to
anything issued periodically on some kind of regular basis.
PICTURE Any graphic object or graphics file.
RECORD In AristoCAT® systems, a record is the
basic unit of storage for information in the computer. Most users will not be
concerned with records.
RECORD NUMBER A number assigned to pieces of data
by the computer for its own purposes. Normally, you wont need to be concerned
with it, but please dont confuse it with other numbers such as an access
RESERVE A note placed in a circulation record to
the effect that another person wishes to borrow an item when the current
borrower has returned it.
SEARCH KEY An indexed word or phrase that the
user has asked to see records for. To qualify as a search key, the word or
phrase must be indexed.
SEE ALSO REF Another subject which may be used to
locate material. Often different catalogers will use different subjects for
similar items, and the use of See Also references increase the chance of finding
what the user wants.
SEE REF The subject under which the material is
listed, but which was not entered by the user. The Library of Congress, for
example, calls movies moving-pictures, and a user looking under movies will be directed to
SEE Moving-pictures. This is
done automatically in AristoCAT® Systems if you have made the feature
SUBJECT What the material is about. Assigning
subjects to something is more art than science, and subjects are a lot trickier
than they look. You should ask for assistance if you dont find what you want
right away. In the days of card catalogs, subjects were called Subject
Headings. Its the same thing.
SUBJECT HEADINGS The same thing as subjects.
SUBKEY Something that must be in a record before
it is put on the screen in Search, if the user has asked for it. It differs
from a search key in that it is not indexed.
TEXT EDITOR An editor that adds no formatting or
control characters to a file, but simply edits the text. Notepad is a text
TITLE The most important field, the only one that
an item must have. If theres more than one, one of them will be designated
the main title, and if an item doesnt have a title, you must make something
up. Books and movies often have subtitles, which are variations in the title or
other things they might be known as. A book entitled Introduction to Bird
Watching, for example, should have Bird Watching as an
alternate title. In addition, a publisher will often assign a series title to a
group of things, and this series title can be helpful in finding what youre
Also, in library parlance, title refers to an
object or set of objects with a common title, such as an encyclopedia. This is
opposed to volume, a physical object.
THUMBNAIL A small representation of a picture or
other graphics file for purposes of identification.
TWO-LETTER CODE A two-letter abbreviation,
primarily for non-book titles, allowing a way to store material without call
numbers. Some of the more common ones are AC for audiocassette, BP for
pamphlets, and VC for videocassettes. There are nine general groups shown by the
first letter, plus sub-groups indicated by a second letter. If the second letter
is X, only the general group distinction is made. Typically an item is
identified by the two-letter indicator plus its access number, so that, for
example, a videocassette might be known as VC-100. The groups are
A - Electronic material primarily auditory
AC - Audiocassette
AD - Compact Disk
AO - Other Auditory Electronic Item
AR - Phonograph Record
AT - Open-Reel Audiotape
AY - Cylinder
B - Books or book-like printed material, including pamphlets
BB - Bibliography
BC - Catalog
BD - Dictionary
BF - Fiction Book
BG - Biography
BL - Braille Book
BM - Musical Score
BO - Other Printed Item
BP - Pamphlet
BR - Reference Book
C - Computer software
CA - 3.5-Inch Floppy Disk
CC - Cassette Tape
CF - 5.25-Inch Floppy Disk
CO - Other Computer Software Item
CP - Punched Card or Punched Paper Tape
CR - CD-ROM
CT - Open-Reel Tape
F - Photography-based material
FF - Filmstrip
FK - Filmstrip-Based Kit
FM - Motion Picture
FO - Other Photography-Based Item
FS - Slide
O - Physical objects
OG - Globe
OK - Kit Unclassifiable Elsewhere
OM - Model
OO - Other Physical Object
OP - Game or Puzzle
OR - Realia
P - Visually-oriented printed material
PA - Art Print
PC - Chart
PF - Flip Chart
PG - Graph
PK - Print-Based Kit
PM - Map
PO - Other Visually-Oriented Printed Item
PP - Poster
PT - Overhead Transparency
S - Scientific sources of information
SK - Scientific Kit
SM - Microscope Slide
SO - Other Scientific Source Item
SS - Laboratory Specimen
V - Electronic material primarily visual
VC - Videocassette
VO - Other Visual Electronic Item
VT - Open-reel Videotape
X - Anything not covered above.
XX - Unknown Item
VOLUME In library parlance, a volume is a
physical object such as an individual book, opposed to Title. An encyclopedia,
for example, might be one title but twenty-four volumes.
WORKSTATION An individual computer connected to a
network, the client served by the server.
electronic images, and printed material copyright © 1997 by
Atlantic Rim Information Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Atlantic Rim Information Systems, Inc., One Linden Court, Bloomfield, CT 06002