Glossary of Library Terms
Annotated codes offer the text of codified laws in addition to editorial supplementation. The supplementation consists of legislative history, summaries of related cases and references to law review articles.
See also code
A critical comment or explanation on a specific topic. In the law library, the term annotation usually refers to the American Law Reports annotations which provide in depth analysis of specific legal issues.
A call number is an items address within the library. It consists of a combination of letters and numbers used to place a book or periodical on the shelf according to the classification system.
See also Library of Congress Classification System
All of the necessary information needed to locate a document. For a periodical article, a citation includes the article author and title along with the journal title, volume and page number. For a case, the citation consists of the name of the case, the court reporter in which it appears and the page number.
A system of arranging materials in the library, usually through the use of call numbers and subject headings. Two common classification systems are the Dewey Decimal System, usually used in public libraries, and the Library of Congress Classification System, usually used in academic libraries.
A code is a subject arrangement of laws and regulations, as opposed to a chronological arrangement. Sources of codified laws and regulations include the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, West’s California Code Annotated and the California Code of Regulations.
See also annotated code
Material placed in the Stauffer Reserve Room and given a special circulation period for the duration of a course at the request of the instructor.
Court reporter or reports
Court reporters contain the text of court opinions, published chronologically. Court reporters are generally specific to a given jurisdiction or several jurisdictions. Examples: California Reports (covering California Supreme Court cases), California Appellate Reports (covering California appellate level cases).
A large collection of organized material, usually searchable by various fields.
A book consisting of an alphabetical listing of words and their corresponding meanings. General dictionaries include Webster’s Dictionary. Black’s Law Dictionary is an example of a specialized legal dictionary.
A summary of a body of work. In the law library, digests function as subject indexes to case law, usually covering a designated jurisdiction. Examples: West’s California Digest and West´s Federal Practice Digest.
A work that provides broad, comprehensive coverage of an area or topic. General encyclopedias, like the Encyclopedia Britannica, covers multiple topics in brief. Subject specific encyclopedias, such as legal encyclopedias, concentrate on a specific area.
A searchable segment of a database item record, such as the title, author, publication date and subject fields.
Full-text refers to online databases that offer the complete text of material online rather than just the bibliographic citation. Examples of full-text databases include Lexis and Westlaw.
Government Documents Department
Located within Orradre Library, the Government Documents Department collects government publications on the local, state and national level. Their holdings are cataloged on OSCAR.
An alphabetized list of subjects, names or places which appear in a particular work or set of works. Examples: A subject index at the back of a book that lists the contents of the book alphabetically or a periodicals index that alphabetically lists the subject, article titles and authors of articles published in a group of journals.
See also periodical index
The means to borrow material from other libraries.
See also Link+
A record in the library online catalog which describes a book, periodical or other material in the library’s collection. It consists of numerous fields, such as author, title and publisher. An item record also contains the location of the item, its call number and circulation status. If it is accessible via the internet, the record will also have a link to that url.
A dictionary specific to legal terminology, such as Black´s Law Dictionary.
See also dictionary
An encyclopedia that focuses on legal topics. The coverage tends to be comprehensive but brief.
See also encyclopedia
Periodical index that focuses on law-related journals and newspapers. Accessible through OSCAR, it allows for searching by subject, title and author.
See also periodicals index
Library of Congress Classification System
System used by most academic institutions to arrange and locate material in the library.
See also classification system
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
Standardized, predefined subject headings used in most academic libraries to classify material by subject. Subject headings are assigned to library material so that material may be located by subject. A listing of the subject headings is located in the main reading room of the law library.
See also subject headings
Link+ is a network of academic libraries in California, allowing for cooperative borrowing among the member institutions which include the California State University libraries as well as Santa Clara University.
A book or document that is complete in itself, as opposed to a periodical or serial publication.
An electronic version of the library catalog, typically web-based and accessible via the World Wide Web.
See also OSCAR
A periodical index are used to find if there are articles on a certain subject or by a certain author. Periodical indexes are arranged in numerous ways: by author, title of
the article or subject.
See also Legal Resources Index
See item record
See course reserves
Stauffer Reserve Room
The Stauffer Room, which houses the library's permanent reserve collection, popular newspapers and materials placed on course reserve by faculty, is an open access collection located behind the circulation desk.
Standardized terms used to describe the subject of material in an index.
See also Library of Congress Subject Headings
Truncation uses a symbol at the end of a word to catch all variant endings of that word when searching a database. Truncation symbols vary. On OSCAR, it is indicated with an "*". Example: bank* will retrieve banks, bankruptcy, bankrupt, etc.