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Interlibrary Loan Guide

The Albertsons Library, Boise State University Interlibrary Loan LibGuide informs our patrons on how to navigate Interlibrary loan (ILL) privileges and answers general questions about Interlibrary loans.

Glossary Of Terms

Image of books stacked on each other.


Glossary [glos-uh-ree, glaw-suh-]

noun, plural glos*sa*ries.

1. a list of terms in a special subject, field, or area of usage, with accompanying definitions.

2. such a list at the back of a book, explaining or defining difficult or unusual words and expressions used in the text.

(“Glossary Definition & Meaning.”,,



Abstract:  This can be used in three ways.

  1. A summary of an article in a scholarly journal. It usually appears at the beginning of the article.
  2. An index to journal articles that not only provides citations to the articles but also gives a summary of each.
  3. A summary of a paper presented at a conference. The full text of the paper may or may not be published.

Acquisitions: The library department that purchases and receives material for the library.

Archives: The department in the library that houses the publications that University Authors write.

Article: Anything that has been scanned that we are sending to another library does not need to be returned. Articles include journal articles and book chapters.

Audiovisual: Information presented in a form other than words printed on paper. Examples include films, compact discs, audio tapes, and videos. Also called media.


Bibliographic Record: An library catalog entry containing all the functional information for an item in the collection. This information includes the item's title, creator, place of publication, and subject headings. The metadata in the record is often discovered via a search in the library catalog.

Bindery: A place where books that need repair and periodicals to be bound are sent out of the library and not available to patrons.

Book Truck: A cart that the library uses to move books and other materials around the library.

Boolean: A logic for improving searches by using operators such as AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses to group search items together.

Borrowing: The sharing of resources between institutions. The borrowing institution is the place from which the request originated. In ILLiad, Borrowing is the mediated process by which borrowing requests are processed.

Bound: Refers to several issues of a periodical that are joined together under one cover.


Call Number: A group of letters and numbers given to each item used to arrange materials in the library.

Campus Delivery: We offer a service to faculty and staff, delivering materials to their department's administrative assistant. (Circulation Students do the delivery)

Charge: To check materials out using the library circulation software. 

Charges: What we pay to other libraries and what we charge other libraries for providing materials through Interlibrary Loan.

Circulate: When materials are temporarily loaned to patrons in a library system or sent to another library through Interlibrary Loan. Non-circulating items are resources deemed by library staff to be too valuable, rare, or impractical to allow outside of the library building.

Circulation: The department in the library that handles the checking out and return of library materials as well as reserves and holds.

Citation: Information about a book, journal article, or other sources you refer to or quote in a paper. Information for a book usually includes the author, title, publisher, and date. Information for an article usually consists of the author, article title, periodical title, volume, issue, pages, and date.

Contiguous Pagination: An item that starts with page 1 on the first page of the first issue, and instead of starting with page 1 on the first page of the second issue, they continue where issue one ended. For example, issue 1 is pages 1-233, and issue 2 is pages 234-520, and so on.

Course Reserves: Books, articles, videos, sound recordings, and other materials selected by a professor for use by a class.  Some reserves are in electronic form.

Curriculum Resource Center: The area in the library that houses the Dewey Decimal collection and the Idaho Adoption Collection. This section of books is located on the 3rd floor of the library.

Current Periodicals: The most recent issues of a journal or magazine are often published recently, which have not been bound.


Database: A system that organizes and arranges data into fields and provides the means to sort, group, and retrieve information from these fields.

Dewey Decimal Call Number: A system of classifying books and other materials by subject using a numerical system, so that like materials are shelved next to each other.

Discharge: Checking In library materials using the circulation software at the library.

Distance Request: A request from a faculty, staff, or student where the library provides assistance and materials when the person is farther than 50 miles from Boise State University campus.

Document Delivery: A library service that copies items required by library users, including book chapters, images, journal articles, manuscripts, maps, reports, and other library collections. Then email or sends them to library users directly or indirectly. 


e-Book: A digital version of a book that can be viewed on, and sometimes downloaded to, a computer or other electronic device. e-Books can not be borrowed or loaned through Interlibrary loans due to licensing laws.

Edition: The total number of copies of a book, newspaper, or other published material issued at one time.

Electronic Delivery: This is where we send or receive articles electronically via Odyssey or Article Exchange.

Electronic Journals: A journal published in a computer-readable form and is usually available via the internet. Often there are print and electronic versions of a journal, but some are electronic-only titles.

ERIC Documents:  ERIC documents are published by the Educational Resources Information Center, a National Institute of Education department. These documents are either in electronic format or on microfiche.


Field: Generally speaking, a field is a place where data are stored. A field could be the space where a text string is entered, such as a title, or a series of numbers, such as with an ISBN.

Full-Text: The complete text of an article, book, or other items. The full-text item can be in Microsoft Word, HTML, or pdf format.


Government Documents: Documents and other information issued by the United States Government, state governments, and foreign governments. Government documents may include books and serials. The documents may be in paper, electronic, or microforms.


Hold/Request: This is a service offered at the Circulation Desk. When there is a book that you want, and it is checked out, you can request a “hold,” and the library staff will contact you and place the book on the hold shelf for you when it is available.

Holdings: The information about the location of books, journals, newspapers, and magazines owned by the library.


IFM: Interlibrary Loan Fee Management

ILL: Acronym for Interlibrary Loan. 

ILLiad: The software program used to manage Interlibrary Loan transactions, including borrowing, document delivery, and lending.

In Library Use Only: This may happen when an item is high-use, fragile, or rare.

Interlibrary Loan: Interlibrary Loan is a cooperative agreement between libraries worldwide that allows a library that does not own an item to borrow it from another library.

Invoice to Follow:  Albertsons Library does not use IFM, so an invoice is printed at the time of the request and sent with the loan or emailed for an article.

ISBN: International Standard Book Number. A unique ten or 13-digit code is assigned to a specific book's edition before publication.

ISSN: International Standard Serial Number. A unique 8-digit code is assigned to a specific serial title.


Journal: A journal is a scholarly publication containing articles written by researchers, professors, and other experts. Journals focus on a specific discipline or field of study. Unlike newspapers and magazines, journals are intended for an academic or technical audience, not general readers.



Lending: This is when Albertsons Library sends our physical materials to another library for their patron to use and needs to be returned to Albertsons Library.

Library of Congress: A central authority for libraries within the United States, the Library of Congress is one of three national libraries that provides bibliographic data and standards and guides the development of major library services such as cataloging and information sharing.

Library of Congress Call Number: A popular classification system, LC call numbers rely on Library of Congress subject headings and classifications to group similar materials. The call number is generated using an algorithm that places the material within the stacks governed by a logical, formal schema.

Loan: A loan is a physical item we lend to another library for their patron.

Lost Item: An item that is way overdue and considered lost.


Magazine: A periodical intended for the general public rather than scholars.

Microfiche: Generally, a 4” x 6” sheet of film on which a printed book, journal, newspaper, or other publication has been reduced in size.

Microfilm: A roll of film on which a printed book, journal, newspaper, or other publication has been reduced in size.

Monographs: A book


Non-Circulating: The materials in the library that do not leave the building.


OCLC Number: A unique number for each item in WorldCat; it can be used to locate specific items in an "accession number" search. 

Online database: An online database is accessible from a local network or the Internet, as opposed to one stored locally on an individual computer. Online databases are hosted on websites and made available as software as a service product accessible via a web browser. They may be free or require payment, such as by a monthly subscription. Some have enhanced features such as collaborative editing and email notification.

OPAC: the online public access catalog is a portal through which users can search bibliographic records stored in a library’s catalog. OPACs are often cross-referenced in ILLiad when searching for holdings to build a lending string.

Open Access (OA): is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of access charges or other barriers.

   Oversized Materials: This is a book or other item that is too large to be shelved in a typical call number sequence on the library shelves and must be shelved in a special location for larger materials.


PDF: A PDF is a Portable Document Format. This form of an electronic document retains the original formatting and appearance of an article or book. A PDF must be read in Adobe Reader.

Peer Review: The process by which scholarly articles and books are published. The editors of peer-reviewed publications require authors to submit drafts of their work for consideration. These drafts are then reviewed by experts in the field who evaluate them. In considering articles for publication, reviewers assess the quality of authors' research and their contribution to scholarship. 

Periodical: An item that is published on a regular basis, such as journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Phrase Searching: A type of search syntax that allows you to search for phrases in a database. In many databases, you need to put phrases in double quotation marks ("cold war").

Pull Slips: These are used to find items in our collection that we are going to lend. The pull slip for an article will be a full sheet of paper, and the pull slips for a loan will be six labels on a sheet.

Pulling: To retrieve the item from the shelf for processing.



Record: The collection of information about an item listed in a database.  For example, a record for a journal article will contain citation information (author, title, journal title, publication information, volume number, date, page numbers) as well as subject headings, an abstract, and other information. 

Renewal: An extension of the loan period for items.  Interlibrary loan items may or may not be renewable; use ILLiad to request a renewal.


Scholarly: See the entry for peer review.

Serial: This is a publication intended to continue indefinitely.  This includes periodicals such as magazines, journals, newspapers, and books such as almanacs and yearbooks, which come out every year.

Serials: The department that orders and maintains the serials collection for the library.

Stacks: The part of the library in which the books and other materials are shelved.

SuDocs Call Number: This is a call number made up of letters and numbers to help you locate government documents.


Technical Services: The department in the library that orders, receives, and processes new materials to go on the shelf.



Volume: The number of issues of a periodical. An example would be four issues in a volume for one year.