Archived Information

Access for All: A New National Library for Tomorrow's Learners - February 1997

Appendix C:

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations Used in This Report

Terms Used:

Definitions marked with an asterisk (*) are derived from the American Library Association's Glossary of Library and Information Science, ed. Heartsill Young (Chicago: 1983).

Acquisition. The obtaining of materials for a library or archival collection by purchase, exchange, or gift.*

Advisory. An adjective meaning, for purposes of this Report, that the entity thus described- committee, commission, board, etc.-is empowered only to make recommendations and has no actual oversight authority.

Archive. An organized body of noncurrent records made or received in the course of business by a government agency, institution, organization, or other corporate entity, and the personal records of families and individuals. The term also describes the agency responsible for selecting, preserving, and making available these types of records as well as the repository in which they are stored.*

Bibliographic Control. A term meaning a range of activities that together create a complete record of a written or published item on the basis of a standardized set of codes and descriptions. Such a record permits searching for similar items and facilitates storage and retrieval.*

Clearinghouse (Information). An independent organization or component of a larger organization which serves as a central agent for the collection, organization, storage, and dissemination of documents and that also performs referral services and research assistance. Information clearinghouses usually provide these services on a specifically defined subject or subjects.

Collection. The total accumulation of materials of all kinds and formats that have been acquired and maintained by a library or archive and are available to users through its policies and procedures.*

Conservation. The use of chemical and physical procedures in the treatment or storage of collection items to ensure their preservation.*

Copyright. The legal provision of exclusive rights to reproduce or distribute a published work.*

Customer. A customer is any individual or group needing the services of another individual or group in a transaction relationship. Both sides of a transaction relationship can be, and often are, one another's customers simultaneously. For a service organization, such as a government agency or a library, the customer is the reason for the existence of the organization and the focus of its work.

Database. An organized collection of computer records, standardized in form and content, that is stored in machine-readable format and from which readable files may be created.*

Digital. For purposes of this Report, information and statistics stored as databases in computers or on disks, CD-ROM platters or other devices accessed via computers. Printed matter can be converted to a digital database, a process known as digitization.

Feedback. Feedback means information given by customers to the service supplier concerning the quality of service received. It may be informally or formally transmitted; if the latter, this is usually done via customer surveys.

Format. The physical nature, arrangement, appearance, representation, and makeup of information and the vehicle (book, video, data file, recording, microform, etc.) carrying the information.

Government Publication. Any published document originating in, issued with the imprint of, and published by or through the expense and authority of a government, government branch or agency, or international organization.*

Interlibrary Loan. A transaction in which, upon request, one library lends an item from its collection, or furnishes a copy of the item, to another library. Interlibrary loans are generally governed by formal agreements and policies among cooperating libraries.

Internet. A global computer network based on commonly derived computer languages, procedures, and protocols. Originally created as a secured fail-safe system to permit data transfer in order to survive nuclear attack, the Internet is now an open system facilitating universal data access by anyone possessing access to a computer and one of the many Internet service providers on the market.

Library Network. A specialized type of library cooperation for centralized development of cooperative programs and services, including use of computers and telecommunications, and requiring the establishment of a central office and a staff to accomplish network programs rather than merely coordinate them.*

Material(s). Physical entities of any substance that serve as carriers of information, including but not limited to books, serials, graphics, audio recordings, videos, and computer data files. Materials form the basis of a library collection.*

National Library. A library designated as such by the appropriate national body (Congress) and funded by the national government. National libraries may be general or specialized and are usually responsible for some combination of the following tasks: acquiring and maintaining a comprehensive collection of materials within their subject scope; compiling and maintaining a national bibliography of titles in the subject scope; providing service to the national and international communities; producing bibliographic tools; coordinating a national network of information providers; providing library services to the national government and its agencies; and other responsibilities as directed by the national government.*

Policy. An administrative plan or set of guidelines, preferably written, which delineate acceptable practices and actions for a wide range of activities within an organization, such as library technical services, or for a single broadly defined activity such as collection development.*

Preservation. The activities associated with maintaining library or archival collection materials for use, either in the original form or in some other usable way.*

Principal Office. A principal office is a major unit within an agency, usually responsible for a broad portion of the agency's authority and mission and headed by a senior political appointee, often an Assistant Secretary if the agency is part of the President's Cabinet.

Procedure. An administrative plan, either written or formalized by practice, which establishes the acceptable sequence of steps, actions, and methods for accomplishing a narrowly defined task in an efficient and effective manner.*

Process. An organized sequence of operations (based on procedures) intended to produce specified results.*

Reference. A service provided to library and archive users who need assistance in locating information on a specific topic or topics. Reference services range from simply looking up a fact to extensive research counseling and information searches.*

Rights. Statutory and/or common law rights to a literary (published) property, which may include prepublication rights, initial publication rights, second or serial publication rights, and rights to dramatization, leasing, reproduction (video, electronic, xerographic, facsimile), condensation and abridgement, translation, quotation, and commercial exploitation.*

Statutory. Legal; authorized by statute.

Technical Services. The area of library operations that includes acquisition of materials, organization and bibliographic control of materials, physical processing, and collection maintenance.*

User. A user, in library terms, is any individual or group needing or seeking the information services provided by the library. Another term employed to describe library users is "patron."

Virtual Library. As used in this report, the term virtual library means an information system making it possible to satisfy the information needs of a single user or multiple users wherever they may reside, independent of the location of the services and resources.

World Wide Web. An array of advanced graphics and multimedia software applications available on the Internet to users with access to computers with graphic capabilities and high speed processing, and large memories, as well as to supporting software.

Abbreviations Used:

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American Association of School Librarians
American Council on Education
American Library Association
College Entrance Examination Board (The College Board)
Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
Education Department, the official abbreviation used for the U.S. Department of Education
Educational ResourcesI nformation Center
Federal Library and Information Center Committee
Library of Congress
National Association of Foreign Student Advisors
National Agricultural Library
National Commission on Library and Information Services
National Educational Research Policy and Priorities Board, OERI, U.S. Department of Education
National Library of Education
National Library of Medicine
Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education
Office of Interagency and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Education
Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Education
Special Libraries Association
United States Information Agency

[Appendix A: National Library of Education - Past and Current Programs] [Table of Contents] [Appendix D: Persons and Organizations Providing Assistance to the Task Force]