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ODLIS

Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz
Now available in print! Order a copy of the hardcover or paperback from Libraries Unlimited.

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label
A small slip of paper, cloth, or other material on which information can be written, typed, or printed, intended to be affixed to the surface of an item such as a book, usually for purposes of identification, classification, or description. Libraries use labels extensively in technical processing. They are available precut from library suppliers in various colors, shapes, and sizes, either blank or preprinted, with or without adhesive backing. Labeling tape is also available for making customized labels mechanically. When labels are used in preservation, they should be acid-free. In a broader sense, any identifying mark attached to a thing, usually to set it apart or provide information to those using or viewing it (see labeling). As ephemera, printed labels are sometimes collected for historical reasons (see this example). See also: spine label.

Also refers to a piece of material (leather, parchment, or paper) not integral to the cover of a book that is printed, stamped, or engraved, usually with the title and name of author, and affixed to the spine or front cover. Click here to see a 15th-century Latin reader bearing on its front cover a small shelf mark label above a larger one that gives a partial table of contents (Royal Library of Denmark) and here to see an 18th-century gold-tooled example (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, MS Dn-f.3). See also: lettering piece.

Also, a brand of commercial sound recordings issued under a trademarked name by a recording company, which may have more than one label, to distinguish music genres and avoid confusion in the marketplace. Also used synonymously with recording company. See also: record label.

labeling
The controversial practice of affixing a warning mark or label to library materials considered unsuitable for young children or that contain language or images that some readers or viewers might find offensive or distressing. The practice is followed by some public television stations in the United States when programs containing adult language or graphic images of sex and/or violence are broadcast at times when children are likely to be watching. See also: content rating.

lab manual
A book of exercises that includes instructions for laboratory experiments to be carried out, usually under the supervision of an instructor, by a student enrolled in a course in the sciences, often published in softcover in conjunction with a textbook.

lacing in
In hand-binding, the attachment of the sewing supports to the boards. In early Coptic bindings, this was done by lacing the sewing threads through pre-bored holes in the edges of the boards and tying them down. In medieval bindings, thongs or cords were threaded through grooves called "channels" cut into the boards and secured with pegs or nails. When pasteboard replaced wooden boards, the cords were threaded through holes pierced in the pasteboard and the ends attached by various means. Click here to see examples (Princeton University Library) and here to see the process of sewing and lacing in demonstrated (Leaves of Gold).

lacquered binding
A 19th-century style of bookbinding in which one or both boards, usually made of wood or papier mâché, are covered in colored lacquer, usually embellished with ornamental designs. First developed in China and Japan, lacquer is a technique in which layer upon layer of resinous varnish is applied to a surface, giving it a hard, smooth, glossy appearance. Click here and here to see examples of Persian lacquered bindings, courtesy of the Royal Library of Denmark. To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "lacquered" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

lacuna
A gap in a library collection, usually in the holdings on a specific subject or by a particular author, which the library seeks to fill in order to meet the needs of its users. Also refers to a missing portion of a page, or missing pages, in a manuscript or text, especially when caused by damage or normal wear and tear. Plural: lacunae.

lad mag
A magazine designed to appeal to young men who are interested in sport, fashion, sex, alcohol, and gadgets. The first lad mag was published by IPC in Britain in 1994 under the title Loaded. Also spelled lads mag. Synonymous with men's magazine.

lai
In medieval French literature of the late 12th to 13th century, a short poem composed in octasyllabic couplets. Provençal lais were love poems composed to be sung to music. Marie de France, who wrote in old French at the court of Henry II (Plantagenet), is famous for her short romantic narratives on themes drawn from Arthurian and other Celtic legends. Click here to read the lais of Marie de France in verse translation.

The term lay was also used by English poets of the 18th and 19th centuries in reference to a song or relatively short narrative poem with romance or adventure as its central theme (example: Lay of the Last Minstrel by Sir Walter Scott).

laid in
A single sheet inserted but not glued into a book or other printed publication. Compare with integral.

Also used in a note in a catalog entry to indicate a leaflet or pamphlet included in a record album or musical publication, usually containing information about the contents.

laid paper
Handmade paper that, when held up to a light source, reveals a grid of fine, faintly translucent parallel lines intersecting at right angles, made by the chains and wires of the papermaking mold. The same effect is achieved in machine-made paper by the dandy roll, a cylinder that smoothes the surface and impresses designs such as the watermark and countermark. Although it is more elegant in appearance, laid paper is not superior to other papers in a practical sense. Compare with wove paper.

Lambda Book Report
A monthly review publication published by the Lambda Literary Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting gay and lesbian literature. The Foundation also sponsors the annual Lambda Literary Awards and Behind Our Masks, an annual writers conference. ISSN: 1048-9487. Click here to connect to the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Lambda Literary Awards
A series of literary awards given annually by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in recognition of the best in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) literature. A panel of judges selected to represent the diversity of the LGBT literary community determines the finalists in over 20 categories, including lesbian fiction, gay men's fiction, lesbian poetry, gay men's poetry, lesbian mystery, gay men's mystery, drama, fiction anthology, nonfiction anthology, memoir/autobiography, biography, children/young adult, erotica, humor, romance, science fiction/fantasy, transgender/genderqueer, and so on. Also known as Lammys. Click here to connect to the official homepage of the Lambda Literary Awards to see past winners and finalists.

lamentation
A poem, song, or other musical composition written to express grief, regret, or mourning. Laments are one of the oldest poetic forms in human history. In oral cultures, they have traditionally been performed by women. See also: elegy.

lamination
A method of preserving old and fragile documents by adhering one or more layers of tissue, paper, or thin, transparent plastic film to one or both sides of a sheet by the application of pressure and/or heat, as reinforcement or to protect the surface by sealing it against dust and atmospheric conditions. Processes of deterioration inherent in the object are not arrested by lamination. Encapsulation is preferred in preservation work because it is reversible (see this example of a document damaged by lamination). Lamination is also used in libraries to protect and enhance the appearance of dust jackets on hardcover books and the covers of paperbacks. Available in rolls from library suppliers, laminate is applied by hand or on a machine called a laminator. See also: delamination and liquid laminate.

lampblack
Fine bluish-black carbon soot originally collected from oil lamps for use as a pigment in ink used for writing and printing. Lampblack is still used as a pigment because it is very stable and not affected by light, acids, and alkalis (see this example). Also spelled lamp black.

lampoon
From the 17th-century French verb lamponner, to ridicule (OED). A biting satire written in prose or verse, usually directed against an individual in public life or an institution that has become the object of public scrutiny. Lampoons written in verse were popular in England during the 18th century. The form was given new life in 20th century by publications such as The Harvard Lampoon and its close relative National Lampoon. Because this form of humor exposes its subject(s) to public ridicule, libel laws impose restraint. See also: caricature and pasquinade.

landmark
A physical mark or fixed object used to designate one of the boundaries of a portion of the earth's surface. In a more general sense, any prominent object or feature on land, often of distinctive appearance or monumental size, used for convenience or by convention to determine location or direction in navigation or surveying, for example, Chimney Rock on the Oregon Trail. Compare with bench mark. See also: landmark building.

landmark building
A library facility preserved because it has architectural and historical significance, for example, the New York Public Library building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, which houses the humanities and social sciences research collections. Designed in the beaux-arts style by John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings and constructed on the site of the old Croton Reservoir, the building opened in the spring of 1911.

Landsat
Remote sensing images and other digital data about the land surface of the earth and surrounding coastal regions, gathered by earth-orbiting U.S. satellites maintained by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (click here to see Landsat images of Lake Tahoe). The U.S. Geological Survey sponsors Earth as Art, an online exhibition of Landsat 7 images. Click here to connect to the Landsat 7 homepage (the site includes a Glossary of terms).

landscape
The horizontal orientation of a rectangular document (text and/or image) of greater width than height. Compare in this sense with portrait.

In art and photography, a general or broad view of an expanse of natural inland scenery, usually made from an elevated or distant point of view, which may include figures or man-made objects of secondary importance to the overall composition. Also, the branch of art dealing with such subjects. Compare with cityscape and seascape. See also: landscape binding.

landscape binding
A book with a decorative panel on the front cover bearing a picture of scenery. The horizon of the landscape is sometimes aligned with the spine to give the artist greater breadth of field. Click here to view a 19th-century example in which the scene is drawn on leather, probably using a dilute solution of copper or iron sulphate (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, BD20-i.1).

landscape map
A topographic map of a small area done on a very large scale (usually 1 inch to 20 to 50 feet), showing all the features and details required by architects and professional landscape gardeners to plan buildings, parks, playgrounds, etc. (see this example).

land use map
A thematic map of a relatively small geographic area (county, city, town, park, forest, etc.) subdivided to show the nature of current or projected use (residential, commercial, agricultural, recreational, etc.) for the use of planners, developers, and architects, with the usage categories usually distinguished by various tints keyed to a legend. Land use maps are typically planimetric (click here to see an example, courtesy of Rockville, Maryland). To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term "land use map" in Google Images.

language
The system of conventional sounds and symbols developed over time by a specific human population as a means of expressing and exchanging thoughts, feelings, information, and knowledge. A language consists of a vocabulary and rules of grammar, syntax, and orthography. A national language is the official language of a specific country, used in its government publications and educational institutions. Some countries have more than one national language, for example, Canada where both English and French are officially recognized. For more information about languages, see Ethnologue: Languages of the World.

In library cataloging, the language in which a work is written or spoken is indicated by a three-letter code in the 041 (Language code) field of the MARC record. A note is made in the bibliographic record only when the language of the text is not apparent from the rest of the bibliographic description, as in the case of a film subtitled in a language different from that of the dialogue or narration. In some online catalogs and bibliographic databases, it is possible to limit search results by language. Click here to connect to the MARC Code List for Languages. Abbreviated lang. See also: artificial language, indexing language, natural language, original language, programming language, and sign language.

language code
One of a set of over 450 three-letter lowercase codes developed for use in the 041 (Language code) field and in other fields of the MARC record to indicate the modern or ancient language in which a work is written or spoken. In most cases, the code is the first three letters of the English name of the language as it appears in the Library of Congress Subject Headings list (example: ger for German) or the initial letters of the parts of the language name (goh for German, Old High). Usually only one code is provided for a given language, even if the language can be written in more than one set of characters; however, in a few cases, separate codes are provided for the same spoken language written in different characters. Some individual languages are assigned a group code because it is not practical to establish a separate code for each one (myn for Mayan languages). Click here to learn more about the MARC language codes. The Library of Congress has been designated the registration authority for processing requests for alpha-3 language codes comprising the ISO 639-2 international standard Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages.

language dictionary
A reference work that lists the words of a language in alphabetic order, providing information about orthography, syllabication, pronunciation, etymology and history, definition, standard usage, abbreviation, and sometimes synonyms and antonyms. Language dictionaries differ in period covered (example: Middle English Dictionary), extent and characteristics of the vocabulary included (slang, idioms, etc.), amount of illustration (see visual dictionary), and special features. The division of dictionaries of the English language into American and English reflects slight differences in spelling, pronunciation, and usage. For an online example, see Merriam-Webster OnLine.

A foreign language dictionary lists the words of a language in alphabetic order, with each entry including a translation of the headword into a second language. Some are divided into two parts, giving translation into a second language, and vice versa. Foreign language dictionaries are often published in pocket-size editions for the convenience of travelers. Visual foreign language dictionaries are available for some languages. YourDictionary.com provides links to dictionaries of over 280 languages. See also the Yahoo! list of language dictionaries. Compare with thesaurus. See also: polyglot dictionary.

lantern slide
A photographic or painted image on glass, usually square in shape and often made in sets, to be projected at public lectures and for home entertainment, using an early kind of slide projector called a "magic lantern." A 19th-century precursor of the modern slide. Click here to see a hand-colored example from the Jacob A. Riis Collection at The Museum of the City of New York. UC Berkeley also provides an online exhibition of Magic Lantern Slides as part of its Geo-Images Project.

lapsit services
Library services and programs designed for very young children (12-24 months old) in conjunction with their adult caregivers, including nursery rhymes, songs, finger plays, and storytelling, often with the aid of a flannel board or puppets.

laptop
A small, portable battery-operated personal computer, usually equipped with a built-in keyboard and mouse and a flat panel monitor that folds over the keyboard to form a cover. Modern research libraries are retrofitting study areas to provide network connectivity for patrons who use laptops, and some academic libraries are installing them in classrooms equipped for bibliographic instruction. Click here to learn more about laptops, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. Synonymous with notebook. Compare with personal digital assistant. See also: docking station.

large paper copy
A copy of a book printed on paper of larger size (and usually finer quality) than the rest of the edition, with wider margins, for use as a presentation copy or to be sold by subscription or at a higher price. Large paper copies are printed in small numbers from the same setting of type (usually following copies of regular size) for simultaneous publication. The popularity of large paper copies, first recorded in England in the 1590s, grew until well into the 19th century. According to John Carver (ABC for Book Collectors, Oak Knoll, 1995), the term was used synonymously in the 18th century with fine, royal, and imperial paper copy. Compare with large paper edition.

large paper edition
An edition printed from the same setting of type as the trade edition but on leaves of larger size (and usually paper of superior quality), making the margins wider than normal. Limited and deluxe editions are often printed in this way. Compare with large paper copy.

large print (LP)
Any type size larger than 16-point. Also refers to books printed in type larger than the 9-, 10-, or 11-point size normally used for text, mostly publications for visually impaired, elderly, and young readers (picture books, beginning readers, etc.). In AACR2, materials for the visually impaired are indicated in the general material designation, as in [text (large print)]. The National Association for Visually Handicapped has established standards for LP materials. English-language LP materials currently in print (and forthcoming) are listed in The Complete Directory of Large Print Books and Serials, a biennial reference serial published Bowker, arranged by subject (with author and title indexes) and printed in 14-point type to accommodate sight-impaired readers. Click here to connect to the AcqWeb directory of large print publishers.

large-scale map
A systematic representation on a two-dimensional surface of a relatively small land area, at a representative fraction of 1:75,000 or greater, showing a considerable amount of detail. Click here to see a topographic map of Fort Clatsop, Oregon, at 1:24,000 and here to browse topographic maps of Utah at various scales (Utah Geological Survey). Click here to learn more about map scales. Synonymous with topographic scale. Compare with intermediate-scale map and small-scale map. See also: landscape map.

laser pointer
A small battery-operated metal wand about the size of a fountain pen, designed to project a narrow laser beam of intense red light onto a wall screen or other display surface, in daylight or a darkened room, from a distance of over 100 yards, used for emphasis by speakers during presentations that include visual aids. Most models include a pocket clip or come with a carrying case.

laser printer
An output device introduced by IBM in 1975 that uses a laser beam and electrostatic imaging to print text and/or image(s) by transferring and fusing toner to the surface of paper, one sheet at a time. Resolution is determined by the spot size of the laser. Print quality is superior to that of dot-matrix and ink-jet printers. Hewlett-Packard is currently the major manufacturer of personal laser printers, from low-end desktop models, capable of printing 4 to 8 pages per minute, to large office units, capable of printing up to 32 pages per minute. Click here to learn more about laser printers, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

last copy
A book or other item in a library collection, of which no copy is owned by any other library, often an older title lost or weeded by all libraries save one. The uniqueness of last copies makes them a preservation priority. In January 2005, the WorldCat bibliographic database maintained by OCLC contained 24 million records for items held by a single OCLC member library. For more on this subject, see the article "Last Copies: What's at Risk?" by Lynn Connaway, Edward O'Neill, and Chandra Prabha in the July 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries.

latchkey child
A young person left unattended by a parent or other adult caregiver, at home or in a public place. In libraries, the presence and behavior of latchkey children may create disciplinary problems and pose issues of legal liability. In the United States, many libraries require children under a certain age (usually 9 or 10) to be accompanied by an adult. However, public libraries that perceive such children as an opportunity rather than a problem, and invest in programs that reach out to them, often experience a decline in problem behavior and improved community relations. The child benefits from homework help and learns to value the library as a welcoming and nurturing place.

Late Antique
Manuscripts produced during the period of Late Antiquity, extending from the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337 A.D.) to the final disintegration of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century and the establishment of the Empire in the east during the reign of Justinian (527-565). Click here to view miniatures in a 5th-century Vergil written in rustic capitals (Vatican Library, Rome).

latent image
In photography, the pattern of physical or chemical changes produced on a photosensitive medium by exposure to radiant energy, remaining invisible to the eye until made manifest in the developing process. The extent to which latent images fade on undeveloped film depends on the amount of time between exposure and developing, method of storage, and type of emulsion.

latest entry
A method of cataloging serials that have undergone title changes, in which the bibliographic description is based on the most recent issue, with the publication's relationship to earlier titles established in explanatory notes or by added entries. This convention was followed under the ALA Rules but replaced in AACR by successive entry cataloging of serials. AACR2 2002 prescribes latest entry cataloging for integrating resources. Compare with earliest entry.

latin
A general term used in typography to refer to all typefaces that have their origin in the Latin alphabet, as opposed to those that do not (Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, etc.). Also refers to typefaces that have wedge-serifs.

latitude
In cartography, the angular distance of a point on the surface of the earth (or another celestial body) above or below the equator, ranging from 90 degrees north (90+) to 90 degrees south (90-). The angle is measured at the center of the sphere between the plane of the equator and the radius to the point on the surface, in degrees, minutes, and seconds (example: 60°, 20', 15" north). Latitude is usually indicated on a map by lines circling the earth perpendicular to its axis, called parallels, the longest being the equator. On average, one degree of latitude is equivalent to about 60 miles (97 km) on the ground, but the distance varies slightly because the earth is not a perfect sphere. Click here to learn more about latitude, courtesy of Wikipedia. Compare with longitude.

laugh track
A separate sound track, invented in the 1950s by American sound engineer Charles Douglass, containing the recorded sound of audience laughter, added to radio and television comedy shows at the discretion of the sound engineer to simulate the absent audience. By the mid-1960s nearly all sitcoms were produced with laugh tracks instead of live audiences. Douglass monopolized the laff business well into the 1970s, producing hundreds of different laugh tracks with his laff box. For more information on laugh tracks, see Wikipedia. Synonymous with canned laughter.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
A literary award administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) of the American Library Association (ALA), honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made a substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature over a period of years. The bronze medal was first awarded in 1954 to its namesake Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of a very popular series of children's books about the life of a pioneer family on the American prairie. From 1960 to 1980, the Wilder Award was given every five years; from 1980 to 2001, every three years; and beginning in 2001, every two years. Click here to learn more about the Wilder Medal.

lavage
Erasure by washing a sheet, roll, or leaves to remove the ink. In Antiquity and the early Christian period, the method was applied to papyrus manuscripts. To erase text written on parchment or vellum, rubbing with an abrasive such as pumice was required.

Law and Political Science Section (LPSS)
Formed in 1975, LPSS is the section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association (ALA) that serves as an educational forum and information exchange for librarians with an interest or subject expertise in law and/or political science. LPSS produces literature guides and resource reviews and sponsors conference programs and discussion groups, a newsletter, and a listserv. Click here to connect to the LPSS homepage.

law binding
A style of binding traditionally used for law books in which the boards are covered in leather or imitation leather of a medium to light color (often brown), with two contrasting bands of a darker color on the spine (usually dark red, yellow, green, blue, and/or black) and gold lettering. Click here and here to see examples.

law book
A general term for any book or set of books in which legal opinions (case law) or government statutes and regulations are published, for example, a court reporter. Law books are traditionally bound in distinctive style, with neutral covers and contrasting red, yellow, green, blue, and/or black panels and gold lettering on the spine (see these examples). In libraries, they are cataloged as continuing resources and usually shelved in the reference section. The term is sometimes used in the sense of any reference work concerning the law, for example, Black's Law Dictionary. See also: casebook.

law calf
Smooth, tanned, undyed calfskin, usually of a yellowish-tan color, used in 19th-century England for binding law books in a plain style, often with a title label of contrasting color (red, green, or blue) on the spine (see this example).

law library
A type of special library with a collection consisting primarily of materials for legal research and study, including case law, federal and state statutes, international legal agreements, treatises, reference works, legal periodicals, and electronic search tools (see this example). A law library maintained by a court, law school, or legal firm is normally managed by a law librarian who may hold a J.D. degree in addition to the M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. See also: American Association of Law Libraries.

lay
See: lai.

layoff
Separation from employment at the discretion of the employer, usually for budgetary reasons. Libraries may be forced to reduce staff when tax revenue declines or funding is cut by the primary source(s) of support. In employment governed by collective bargaining agreement, layoffs are usually decided on the basis of seniority.

layout
In typography, the overall plan of a printed publication showing the placement of text blocks, illustrations, captions, running heads, etc., and indicating fonts and font sizes, to be followed by the printer. Also refers to the process of preparing copy for typesetting and to the preliminary rough sketch and eventually to the more precise drawing called a "comprehensive" showing the general appearance of a printed page, usually done on special paper ruled in 12-point squares. Compare with make-up.

Also, the manner in which components of an interface or online document, such as a Web page, are arranged by the designer for viewing on the user's computer screen.

LCD
Liquid crystal display, a technology used in display panels and projectors that enables the output from a computer or other digital device to be projected onto a large screen. LCD technology is used in laptops because it requires less power than a conventional light-emitting monitor and occupies less space, allowing a flat panel to be used as the display unit; however, an external light source is required (ambient light is usually sufficient). Click here to learn more about LCDs, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

leader
The first field (001) of a MARC record, consisting of 24 character positions, each of which encodes data of a specific type, mostly information of use to catalogers, such as record status (new, corrected or revised, deleted, etc.) and descriptive cataloging form (AACR2, ISBD, etc.), or codes to facilitate record interpretation (character coding scheme, base address of data, etc.). Cataloging software usually provides prompts or windows to assist catalogers as they enter information in the leader. See also: fixed field.

Also refers to the strip of unprocessed black and white film stock or perforated plastic or vinyl added at the beginning of a filmstrip, motion picture, or roll of unexposed film to protect against damage in threading. Leader is also used to separate short films or shots that are combined on a single roll. According to The Film Preservation Guide (National Film Preservation Foundation, 2004), leaders are available in various colors, customized for different uses. Preservationists often use white leader at the head of a roll to provide a suitable background for labeling and a different color at the tail. Labeling on leader should include (1) a short title or accession number, (2) a location code, (3) reel number for a multi-reel work, and (4) whether the leader is attached to the head or tail of the roll. When film leader is replaced, any information on the older leader should be recorded and the notes stored with the roll inside the film can. Compare with trailer. Click here to learn more about film leaders, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

leaders
In typesetting, a line of dots or dashes intended to direct the reader's eye across the page, as from a chapter title listed in a table of contents to the appropriate locator (usually a page number) in the right-hand column. In publishing, the books on a publisher's frontlist, considered to have the most sales potential, as distinct from midlist titles.

leading
In printing, the amount of vertical space allowed by the typesetter between lines of type in a column or on a page. Pronounced "ledding."

lead-in title
Backlisted titles offered in a book club mail advertising campaign at very low prices or no charge, as an inducement to potential subscribers or as bonuses or dividends to existing members. Synonymous with introductory title.

lead-in vocabulary
In a thesaurus of the controlled vocabulary used in indexing the literature of an academic discipline (or group of disciplines), cross-references are included to direct or "lead" the user from synonyms and quasi-synonyms to the authorized subject heading or descriptor, usually by means of an instruction to see or USE the preferred term. A thesaurus containing such cross-references is said to have syndetic structure.

lead sheet
Musical notation specifying the essential elements of a popular song: its melody, lyrics, and basic harmony. The melody is given in modern Western music notation, with the lyrics appearing as text below the staff and the harmony indicated by chord symbols above the staff. In today's music industry and in entertainment law, a lead sheet is the document used to describe a song for legal purposes, including copyright. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Compare with lyric sheet. See also: fake book.

lead story
The most important item of news reported in an issue of a newspaper or newsmagazine, or in a television news broadcast, usually printed on the front page, featured on the front cover, or introduced in the opening minutes of the program. The lead story is usually longer and more detailed than the other stories published in the same issue or broadcast in the same program. Within a news story, the lead is the most important structural element of the text, given in the first one or two sentences, followed by the body and then the conclusion.

lead term
In indexing, the first word in a heading or content descriptor, which determines the position of the heading when it is listed or filed in alphanumeric sequence. In headings of two or more words, conventional word order is sometimes inverted to bring the most significant word into first-word position (example: Law, Spartan instead of Spartan Law).

leaf
One of the units formed when a sheet or half-sheet of paper, parchment, etc., is folded in half to become part of a book, pamphlet, or periodical. Of single thickness, each leaf consists of two pages, one on each side, either blank or printed. In early books, the leaves were consecutively numbered only on the recto or right-hand page of an opening (foliation), but in modern book production, the recto usually bears an odd page number and the verso or left-hand page an even number (pagination), a convention sometimes reversed in reprints. As a general rule, blank leaves are not numbered. Rare books and manuscripts are sometimes broken up and sold as individual leaves (see the Donald Jackson Collection of Original Leaves, courtesy of the Tutt Library, Colorado College). See also: double leaf and folio.

Also refers to very thin sheets of silver or gold used to highlight lettering or ornamentation stamped on a book cover or applied to one or more of the edges of a bound volume to give the appearance of luxury. See also: burnish.

leaf book
An account of an earlier printed book or manuscript, which includes an original leaf or leaves from the subject volume (see these examples). Also, a book into which pieces cut from one or more other books are inserted, to ornament or improve it. The cannibalizing of old books raises historical, ethical, and legal issues which are considered in Disbound and Dispersed: The Leaf Book Considered (Oak Knoll: 2005) edited by Christopher de Hamel. Click here to learn more about leaf books, courtesy of Christopher de Hamel and the Caxton Club.

leaf casting
The mechanical process of filling in one or more missing portions of a leaf or sheet of paper by applying a paper pulp slurry, usually made from matching paper fibers but sometimes in a different color to highlight the areas of replacement, a conservation technique requiring considerable skill if damage to the original document is to be avoided. More economical than hand repairs, leaf casting has the added advantage of requiring little or no use of adhesives. Click here to see the process illustrated, courtesy of Eclipse Paper Conservation. Also spelled leafcasting.

leaflet
An publication of two to four pages, unstitched and unbound, usually folded or stapled together, as in the program notes distributed to attendees at a performance. Also refers to a thin pamphlet of comparatively small size.

leak
In information systems, the loss of confidentiality that results when security precautions are breached. When sensitive information falls into unauthorized hands, the consequences can be devastating for those who have a stake in maintaining secrecy, but leaks can also be intentional (to divert attention, preempt criticism, etc.).

lean matter
A printer's term for copy that takes longer than usual to set because it does not contain much white space, for example, a scholarly essay or treatise, as opposed to dialogue or poetry. The opposite of fat matter.

learning curve
A graphical representation of the rate at which learning occurs, particularly in a new environment or subject area. A learning curve may be steep, moderate, or gentle, depending on the amount of new knowledge to be acquired, its complexity, and the time available to complete the task.

learning disability
A condition that significantly impairs a person's capacity to acquire basic skills and/or absorb information at the same rate as most people of comparable age, usually the result of dysfunction in the central nervous system.

learning management system (LMS)
An integrated set of online applications providing access to course assignments and materials, tests and test results, e-discussion and chat space, and other features in support of education, particularly in colleges and universities. Learning management systems offer some functions that overlap with library systems, such as the provision of electronic reserves, and their content may overlap with that delivered through library portals.

learning resources center (LRC)
Synonymous in the United States with school library.

Learning Round Table (LearnRT)
A permanent round table of the American Library Association (ALA), LearnRT is devoted to promoting quality continuing education and staff development for all library personnel, at the local level and nationally. Click here to connect to the LearningRT homepage.

leather
The skin of an animal (calf, sheep, goat, pig, deer, seal, alligator, snake, etc.) preserved by tanning for a variety of uses, such as bookbinding. Often dyed an attractive color, the leather used on book covers may also be embellished with inlay and/or tooling, blind or highlighted in gold or silver. Leather-bound books were common up to the mid-19th century (click here to see a selection, courtesy of the Glasgow University Library). Today, cloth, paper, and synthetic materials are used to cover the boards of trade books published in hardcover. Real leather is used only in hand-binding. Compare with imitation leather and leatherette. See also: ooze leather, skiver, and tanning.

leather-bound
A book bound, fully or partially, in the processed skin of an animal, with the back of the spine always in leather. Medieval manuscripts and early printed books were bound in wooden boards covered in leather, parchment, or vellum. In modern book production, leather is used mainly in hand-bound books of fine quality. Leather bindings can be plain or tooled, with the tooling left blind or in gilt. To see a selection of leather bindings, try a keyword search on the term "leather" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Compare with imitation leather and leatherette. See also: alligator, calf, goatskin, pigskin, shagreen, sheepskin, and snakeskin.

leather cloth
Closely woven cloth, treated with a mixture of cellulose and oil to give it the appearance of leather, used as cover material in bookbinding. Also used synonymously with leatherette.

leather dressing
A compound which, when applied judiciously, is believed to enhance the appearance and suppleness of leather. According to the Library of Congress, the application of various preparations was once considered useful in extending the life of leather bindings, but experience has shown that the benefits are mainly cosmetic and that dressings actually do more harm than good when applied by persons lacking professional expertise because they can cause leather to dry out over time and become stiff and/or darkened or stained. When too much dressing is applied, or it is applied too often, the surface may become sticky and attract particles of dust. Leather dressings have also been known to migrate through dry leather to stain the text pages of books.

leatherette
A durable bookbinding material available in various colors, made from strong machine-glazed paper covered with a layer of plastic and usually embossed to give the appearance of a leather surface. Compare with leather cloth.

lectern
A reading stand in a Christian church, especially one from which portions of the Scriptures are read aloud during services. In a more general sense, any sloping stand or desk, usually with a narrow ledge called a book stop along the bottom edge to support an open book or sheaf of papers, allowing the reader free use of the hands. In medieval manuscript illustrations, lecterns are shown in a variety of designs and styles. Click here to see an evangelist portrait of St. Matthew writing at a floor model in a 12th-century German Gospel book (Getty Museum, Ludwig II 3), here to see him seated before a table-top model in a 10th-century Greek Gospel book (British Library, Burney 19), and here to see St. John seated before a swivel model in a Gospel book of the 13th century (British Library, Burney 20). To see modern examples, try a keyword search on the term "lectern" in Google Images. See also: book wheel.

lectionary
A liturgical book containing lessons and selections from the Bible, also indicating the sequence in which they are to be read by the congregation in services throughout the year. In the Catholic Church, the lectionary is used in the Mass and for Matins of the Divine Office. Click here to see a leaf from a 12th-century Italian lectionary (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute) and here for a leaf from an early 9th-century Italian example, copied on purple vellum (Library of Congress), or browse the 16th-century Tongerloo Lectionary (Morgan Library, MS M.5). To see modern examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images.

ledger
A type of blankbook, often ruled in columns for use in bookkeeping to record accounts, usually containing entries for credits, debits, and other commercial transactions. Click here to see a 1920s example from B.F. Keith's Theater in Indianapolis, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Compare with daybook.

legal drama
A fictional work for stage, film, or television involving criminal prosecution or civil litigation. The setting of all or part of the action may be a court of law (example: the motion picture Witness for the Prosecution [1957], based on the short story by Agatha Christie). Synonymous with courtroom drama.

legend
A visual aid that explains to the reader the symbols used on a map, chart, or diagram. Click here to see an example on a map of world literacy rates and here to see one for a map of annual precipitation in the United States. Synonymous in this sense with map key. Also refers to the identifying title or explanatory caption printed beneath an illustration or on a coin or medal.

Also, a traditional story of a well-known event, sometimes concerning the life of a national folk hero, which may contain fictional or supernatural elements, but is considered to have some basis in historical fact (examples: Paul Bunyan and Robin Hood). Compare with folktale and myth.

legibility
The cumulative visual effect of the physical appearance of written or printed text, which allows the human eye to comprehend a few words or phrases on a page quickly and accurately. Legibility depends on the size, shape, and darkness of the characters, their distance from each other, length of line, and the amount of spacing between words and between lines. Other factors determining legibility are the color and finish of paper, available illumination, and the experience and skill of the reader. In printing, legibility of text is enhanced by no more than 13 words per line, adequate type size (9- to 12-point), margins of sufficient width and balance, clarity of type, density of ink, and paper finish that reduces glare (matte rather than smooth). Compare with readability.

legible
Writing or printing that can be easily read or deciphered by the human eye, the opposite of illegible. Legibility is an important consideration in the design of printed material. Compare with readable.

legislative history
A chronological account of the steps involved in the passage of a bill into law, including events leading up to the first draft, committee hearings, lobbying efforts, floor debates, compromises, final vote, enactment, and any subsequent history, such as a presidential veto or court test. See also: legislative reference service.

legislative reference service
An agency or unit of government that provides research assistance to legislatures and other government agencies on issues related to proposed legislation. This function may include assistance in drafting and indexing bills. At the federal level, legislative reference service is provided by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a division of the Library of Congress. See also: legislative history and THOMAS.

lemma
A passage (or passages) excerpted from a text, appearing as the heading or theme of a marginal gloss or annotation, usually underlined to set them apart from the gloss or commentary. Also, the argument or subject of a literary composition, given as a heading or title. In logic, a secondary premise, used to demonstrate the truth of the primary proposition. Plural: lemmata.

lender string
In interlibrary loan, a list of the OCLC symbols of up to five libraries, selected by the borrowing library from the holdings display in the OCLC WorldCat database as potential lenders for an item requested by a library patron. OCLC queries the first prospective lender on the list, and if the request is not filled, the second is automatically queried, and so on. Should the request remain unfilled after the first five libraries have been contacted, the borrowing library has the option of selecting a second string of five new OCLC symbols from the holdings list and repeating the process.

lending library
A library that allows users to borrow materials, as opposed to a library used only for reference. Also refers to a library or other institution that sends materials on request to other libraries, usually via interlibrary loan. Compare with borrowing library. See also: net lender.

lenticular film
A special 16mm motion picture film manufactured by Eastman Kodak from 1928 until the introduction of Kodachrome in the mid 1930s. Lenticular film is normal black and white stock on which the base is embossed lengthwise with a series of ridges, called lenticules, that act as semi-cylindrical lenses. During exposure, a color-banded lens (in conjunction with the lenticules) generates three black and white images in the emulsion layer. When projected through a three-color projection lens, the black and white images are combined into a single full-color image. Processed lenticular film appears to be normal black and white film but upon close examination, raised bands can be seen on the base side running parallel to the edges. Without the special projections lens, it projects a black and white image. Lenticular film can also be identified by the word KODACOLOR printed along the film edge.

lenticular print
A print from at least two existing images, sliced into thin strips and interlaced on a substrate, such as plastic, in alignment with an array of long, thin magnifying lenses (lenticules) molded into the reverse side. The resulting image gives the illusion of depth or appears to change or move when viewed from different angles (see this example). When the shift in viewing angle required to change the image is small, a 3D effect is created without the use of stereoscopic glasses. When the required viewing angle is greater, the image appears to be transformed into the next image in a series (a "morph" or animation effect). When a large viewing angle is required, the image appears to switch from one image to another in a "flip" effect. First developed in the 1940s, lenticular printing was originally used mainly for novelty items, such as prizes in snack boxes, but recent advances have made it an advertising tool for showing products in motion. Click here and here to learn more about how lenticular lenses work.

letter
In writing and printing, a character or symbol used to represent a speech sound. All the letters of a written language constitute its alphabet. The Latin alphabet used to write the English language contains 26 letters, each with an uppercase and lowercase form. See also: initial letter and lettering.

Also refers to a handwritten, typewritten, or printed personal or business message of one or more persons, usually enclosed in an envelope and delivered to the addressee by post or courier. Click here to see the historic letter written in 1804 by Captain Matthew Flinders from Ile de France (Mauritius) to his patron, Sir Joseph Banks, reporting on the circumnavigation and exploration of "Terra Australis" (National Library of Australia). Click here to read the last letter of Mary, Queen of Scots (National Library of Scotland). Compare with correspondence. See also: autograph letter signed, circular letter, cover letter, epistle, letter signed, letter to the editor, missive, and typed letter signed.

letterbook
A type of manuscript common in the 16th and 17th centuries containing handwritten copies of letters from the author to the recipient and originals of the replies. Copies of pertinent letters from third parties, diary entries, financial records, and memoranda might also be included. Click here to view a 17th-century volume of correspondence related to the Scotsman James Sharp (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, MS Gen. 210).

letter-by-letter
A method of alphabetization in which any punctuation marks and divisions are ignored in a heading consisting of two or more words, and the heading treated as a single word ("newt" appearing before "New Testament"). The Chicago Manual of Style recommends a modification in which the method is followed only to the first comma or parenthesis, to keep identically spelled surnames together. Most dictionaries are alphabetized in this fashion. Synonymous with all through and follow through. Compare with word-by-word.

lettered
Inscribed with letters of the alphabet, especially the title on the spine of a book, usually done in letters of contrasting color or gilt. Lettered direct means inscribed directly on the material covering the spine, not on a label attached to the spine. Also refers to a person who is educated or literate. Compare with unlettered.

letterform
The shape of the uppercase and lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet, especially with reference to their evolution in calligraphy and their design in typography. Also spelled letter form. For a brief but informative treatment of the history of letterforms, read the entry on "Letters" in Geoffrey Glaister's Encyclopedia of the Book (Oak Knoll/British Library, 1996). See also the section on letterforms in Cornell University Library's online exhibition From Manuscript to Print: The Evolution of the Medieval Book.

letterhead
A heading printed on business or personal stationery, which may include name of institution, personal name, street address, e-mail address, phone number, and institutional logo or some other small decorative element (see these examples). Also refers to sheets of paper bearing such a heading. Free letterhead templates are available on the Internet.

lettering
The act of making letters or of inscribing with letters, numerals, and special characters, especially by hand-printing, painting, or calligraphy. In graphic design, the overall arrangement of type elements (typeface, type size, etc.). In binding, the process of marking the cover of a volume with the title, name of author, volume number, etc. To remain sharp and legible, lettering on the outside of a book should be applied with sufficient pressure, temperature, and dwell to ensure permanent adhesion of the stamping foil to the covering material.

lettering piece
A label, usually of thin leather, often of contrasting color, affixed to the spine of an old book, on which information about the contents (author, title, etc.) is given in lettering.

letter picture
A graphic design in which written or printed words or the letters of a word are arranged on the page or sheet to form a recognizable picture or a decorative pattern or figure. Click here to see a late-15th-century example by the printer Aldus Manutius and here to see a contemporary example. Synonymous with calligram.

letterpress
The process of printing from a raised surface, first used in China to print entire texts or portions of text from a carved block, then in Europe to print illustrations from wood blocks. The process of printing from raised metal movable type was invented by Johann Gutenberg, probably at Mainz, Germany, in the mid-15th century. In relief printing, the printing surface (block, plate, or type) is coated with ink that is transferred directly to paper or some other flat surface by the application of pressure. After the press run, type may be left standing for subsequent reuse or broken up for use on another job. Letterpress was used for books until the mid-20th century when it was superseded by offset lithography. The Briar Press Museum provides images of letterpress machines. See also the entry on letterpress printing in Wikipedia. Also spelled letter-press. See also: intaglio.

letters
The handwritten, typewritten, or printed personal or business messages of one or more persons. A letter is usually enclosed in an envelope and sent to the addressee by post or courier. In AACR2, the collected letters of a single person are cataloged under the name of the writer, with an added entry for the editor or compiler. If the letters are addressed to the same person, an added entry is also made under the name of the addressee. The collected letters of several writers are cataloged under the name of the editor or compiler. Compare with correspondence.

Also refers to learning or knowledge in a general sense (as in the phrase "arts and letters") and to the profession of the writer, with reference to literary works.

letter signed (LS)
A manuscript letter signed but not written in the hand of the correspondent. Compare with autograph letter signed. See also: typed letter signed.

letters journal
A scholarly periodical devoted to publishing short articles containing interim reports of research results, usually in a specific academic field, including negative and inconclusive results likely to be of interest to other researchers (example: the weekly Applied Physics Letters). Speedy review and publication processes are essential for this type of journal.

letters patent
A written document of record issued by a government or monarch to confer a right, privilege, title, office, or property on a person or corporate entity, in a manner that is open for inspection.

letter to the editor
A letter, usually printed at the discretion of the publisher on the editorial page of a newspaper or magazine, in which a reader expresses his or her views on the subject of a previously published article or editorial, or on the editorial policy of the publication in general, sometimes followed by a brief response from the editor(s).

lettre de somme
A manuscript book hand used in the second half of the 15th century for the transcription of French chronicles and romances, selected by Fust and Schöffer as the model for a typeface used to print the Summae Theologicae of Thomas Aquinas in 1467. Click here to see a sample (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute).

levant
A high-quality open-grained morocco leather made from the skin of the Angora goat, used in bookbinding to achieve an elegant, highly polished look.

level of description
In library cataloging, the amount of detail given in a bibliographic record, indicated by the number of data elements included in the bibliographic description of the item. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules specify three distinct levels of description: full level, core level, and minimal level.

lexicography
The process of writing and compiling a dictionary or glossary, including the selection of terms and the preparation of an entry for each word, giving the correct spelling, pronunciation, derivation, one or more definitions, and sometimes antonyms and examples of usage. The person who writes or compiles such a work is a lexicographer (see the entry in Wikipedia on Samuel Johnson). Compare with lexicology.

lexicology
The field of study devoted to the origins, form, and meaning of words in any language. Compare with lexicography. See also: etymology.

lexicon
Originally, a dictionary of Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, or some other literary language. In modern usage, a specialized dictionary or glossary of the words of a specific subject or field of study. In linguistics, a list of all the lexical items (lexemes) in a given language. See also: vocabulary.

liaison
In academic libraries, librarians are often assigned one or more academic departments for which they serve as intermediary between the teaching faculty and the library. Liaison responsibilities may include bibliographic instruction, collection development (including reference and electronic resources), current awareness, and faculty training in the use of library resources. Most liaison librarians have academic preparation or at least some level of expertise in the disciplines they serve.

lianhuanhua
Chinese for "linked pictures." A term coined in the 1920s to describe a form of illustrated story book produced in urban China following the introduction of modern printing technology in the late 19th century. Of small size (three to five inches in height), lianhuanhua display one picture per page in continuous narrative sequence. Although their content was often based on traditional fiction, folklore, or popular culture (motion pictures, popular drama, etc.), they served a market similar to that which exists for cartoons and comic books in the West.

Libdex: The Library Index
A searchable worldwide online directory of library homepages, Web-based OPACs, Friends of the Library homepages, and library e-commerce affiliates, maintained by Peter Scott of the University of Saskatchewan Library. Click here to connect to Libdex. See also: Libweb.

libel
A written or printed statement or representation intended to expose a person, group of persons, or corporate entity to public ridicule or contempt, or to damage in some other way the reputation of its subject, or cause pecuniary loss. Also refers to the act of publishing such a statement. Burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that actual damage occurred. In the United States, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and press provides no protection for libelous statements. Slander is defamatory words spoken but not published in writing or in print.

libelli
Booklets originally created as discrete units, subsequently bound together within a larger composite manuscript. Medieval tropes (musical and textual additions to liturgical chants) were often produced in this form. French: livret.

Liber Vitae
A book in which the names of the members (familiares), benefactors, and associates of a monastic house were recorded to facilitate their remembrance in its services and prayers and in the expectation that once entered in the earthly book, the same names would also be inscribed in the celestial "Book of Life" to be opened at the Day of Judgment. Michelle P. Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994) that the Liber Vitae was customarily read with the martyrology and the obituary at the canonical hour of prime, and the manuscript sometimes contained depictions of the individuals listed. Click here to browse the 11th-century Liber Vitae of Newminster and Hyde illustrated with lightly tinted ink drawings (British Library, Stowe 944).

LibQUAL+
A survey instrument, developed under the auspices of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) with grant support from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), LibQUAL+ is designed to solicit and track users' opinions of a library's overall quality of service. Based on SERVQUAL, an instrument developed in the 1980s to evaluate quality of service in the commercial sector, LibQUAL+ has grown from 12 participating institutions in 2000 to over 500 libraries. The survey is bundled with training to help libraries assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library. A related project, dubbed DigiQUAL, is currently under development to identify best practices for digital library services. Click here to learn more about LibQUAL+.

librarian
A professionally trained person responsible for the care of a library and its contents, including the selection, processing, and organization of materials and the delivery of information, instruction, and loan services to meet the needs of its users (to see examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images). In the online environment, the role of the librarian is to manage and mediate access to information that may exist only in electronic form.

In the United States, the title is reserved for persons who have been awarded the M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. degree, or certified as professionals by a state agency. Also refers to the person responsible for the overall administration of a library or library system, synonymous in this sense with library director. Classified by functional specialization (acquisitions librarian, cataloger, instruction librarian, reference librarian, serials librarian, systems librarian, etc.), librarians in the United States are organized in the American Library Association (ALA) and its affiliates and the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Compare with support staff. See also: Librarian of Congress, renaissance librarian, scholar-librarian, and solo librarian.

In music recording, the person responsible for distributing and collecting the printed music used in a recording session.

librariana
A catch-all term for the body of information, works, and memorabilia that has accumulated on the subject of libraries, librarians, and related topics, particularly items of historical interest. Click here to browse a collection of librariana, courtesy of The Library History Buff. See also: Molesworth Institute.

Librarian of Congress
An office created in 1802, two years after the Library of Congress was established, for which no qualifications were specified. The position is filled by presidential appointment for no fixed term. In 1897, the Senate acquired the power to approve the president's nomination, and the Librarian of Congress was given the authority to appoint the staff of the Library of Congress and to establish its rules and regulations. In the 20th century, a precedent was established for appointing the Librarian of Congress for life. Click here for biographical information about the Americans who have served as Librarian of Congress since the office was created.

librarianship
The profession devoted to applying theory and technology to the creation, selection, organization, management, preservation, dissemination, and utilization of collections of information in all formats. In the United States, often used synonymously with library science. A person formally trained or certified to perform such services is a librarian. Librarianship is a very old profession. The founder and organizer of the great classical library at Alexandria (c. 300 B.C.) was Demetrius of Phaleron. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians probably had librarians to organize and preserve their extensive collections of papyrus scrolls and clay tablets. See also: comparative librarianship.

Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS)
The section of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) within the American Library Association (ALA) whose members are committed to improving the quality of library service for people with special needs, including users who (1) are elderly; (2) have vision, hearing, mobility, or developmental impairments; and/or (3) are in correctional institutions, health care facilities, and other types of institutions. LSSPS is also committed to improving library service for families and professionals working with people who have special needs. Click here to connect to the LSSPS homepage.

library
From the Latin liber, meaning "book." In Greek and the Romance languages, the corresponding term is bibliotheca. A collection or group of collections of books and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research, etc.). Institutional libraries, organized to facilitate access by a specific clientele, are staffed by librarians and other personnel trained to provide services to meet user needs. By extension, the room, building, or facility that houses such a collection, usually but not necessarily built for that purpose. Directory information on libraries is available alphabetically by country in World Guide to Libraries, a serial published by K.G. Saur. Two comprehensive worldwide online directories of library homepages are Libdex and Libweb. See also the UNESCO Libraries Portal. Abbreviated lib. See also: academic library, government library, monastic library, new library, proto-library, public library, special library, and subscription library.

Also, a collective noun used by publishers, particularly during the Victorian period, for certain books published in series (example: Everyman's Library).

Also refers to a collection of computer programs or data files, or a set of ready-made reusable routines, sometimes called modules, that can be linked to a program at the time it is compiled, relieving the programmer of the necessity to repeat the code each time the routine is used in a program.

library administration
The control and supervision of a library or library system, including planning, budgeting, policymaking, personnel management, public relations, and program assessment, with responsibility for results. Also refers collectively to the persons responsible for managing a library, usually a board of trustees or dean, library director, and his or her immediate staff. See also: Library Leadership and Management Association.

library advisory committee
A standing committee at an academic institution, composed of members of the teaching faculty, library professionals, and students who have an interest in library services, charged with advising the library administration on policies and decisions affecting teaching and learning, such as library hours and the allocation of funds to academic departments for new acquisitions, and with acting as library advocates in institution-wide decision-making (see this example). Not all colleges and universities have such a committee. Synonymous with faculty library advisory committee.

library advocate
A person who appreciates libraries and their role in society to the extent of speaking and acting publicly in their support, especially when funding and the freedom to read are at stake. The American Library Association takes an active role in training library advocates by maintaining an Issues and Advocacy section at its Web site. See also: Friends of the Library, library trustee, and National Library Legislative Day.

Library and Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The combined national library and national archives of Canada, established in 2002 by the merger of the National Library of Canada (NLC/NIC) and the National Archives of Canada. Located in Ottawa, the new institution is charged with acquiring, preserving, and facilitating access to the documentary heritage of Canada in all its forms for present and future generations of Canadians. Its collections are focused primarily on Canadiana (works written by, about, or of interest to Canadians, published in Canada or abroad). Click here to connect to the Library and Archives Canada homepage. See also: Canadiana.

Library and Book Trade Almanac
A reference serial published annually by Information Today, Inc., Library and Book Trade Almanac is a compilation of practical information and informed analysis of issues and topics of interest to the library, information, and book trade community. It includes news of the year; reports from federal agencies, national libraries, and national associations; developments in library legislation, funding, and grants; library research and statistics; average book prices; information on library and information science education, placement, and salaries; a directory of organizations; and a reference section that includes lists of distinguished books and literary award winners. Many libraries receive Library and Book Trade Almanac on continuation order. Formerly The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac. ISSN: 2150-5446.

Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA)
An abstracting and indexing service devoted to the literature of library science and information science, published quarterly from 1950 to 1968 under the title Library Science Abstracts, and bimonthly from 1969 to 1982 and monthly since 1982 under the current title, by the Library Association of Great Britain. Available online from ProQuest, LISA provides abstracts of articles from over 500 periodicals published in 68 countries, as well as papers from major English-language conference proceedings, updated biweekly. ISSN: 0024-2179. See also: Library Literature & Information Science.

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
A division of the American Library Association (ALA) since in 1966, LITA has a membership of librarians and other information professionals concerned with all aspects of the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information in electronic formats, including digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, telecommunications, networks, computer security and intellectual property rights, technical standards, online catalogs and bibliographic databases, optical information systems, desktop applications, software engineering, etc. LITA publishes the quarterly journal Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) and the LITA Newsletter. Click here to connect to the LITA homepage.

library anxiety
Confusion, fear, and frustration felt by a library user, especially someone lacking experience, when faced with the need to find information in a library. Among college and university students, library anxiety may be one cause of academic procrastination. The first formal study of this phenomenon was conducted by Constance Mellon in the mid-1980s using qualitative methods. In 1992, Sharon Bostick developed the Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) to quantitatively measure: (1) barriers with library staff, (2) affective barriers, (3) comfort with the library, (4) knowledge of the library, and (5) mechanical barriers. In 2001, Doris Van Kampen developed the Multidimensional Library Anxiety Scale (MLAS) to reflect changes in information theory and search methods. The new questionnaire instrument was successfully pilot-tested on doctoral students in 2002. For more information, see Van Kampen's article in the January 2004 issue of College & Research Libraries.

library architect
An architectural firm that specializes in the design of structures for housing libraries. Because most library buildings are intended to be permanent and their physical appearance makes a statement about the institution or community they serve, the selection of an architect is an important decision in planning new construction or renovation. A directory of architects with experience in the design of libraries is included in the annual Buyer's Guide supplement to Library Journal, published each December. Since 1963, the American Institute of Architects and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) of the American Library Association (ALA) have jointly sponsored biennial awards for distinguished accomplishment in library architecture by an American architect without regard to location or library type. The award-winning structures are shown in the April issue of American Libraries, which features new and renovated library facilities in the United States.

library association
A membership organization consisting of a group of librarians, library directors, and other persons involved with libraries who meet periodically to discuss matters of professional interest. Library associations represent the interests of their members, sponsor conferences, elect officers, select committees to address specific issues, publish newsletters and professional journals, and charge dues to support the organization's activities. The largest library association in the United States is the American Library Association (ALA). Its counterparts in Canada and Great Britain are the (CLA) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). The major library and information industry associations of the United States and Canada are listed in Library and Book Trade Almanac, which also provides information about international library associations and a list of regional and national library associations around the world. The ALA provides an online list of Library Associations Around the World. Library associations are organized in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). See also: American Society for Information Science and Technology and Special Libraries Association.

Library Association (LA)
Founded in 1877, LA is the leading library association in the United Kingdom, with a membership of 25,000 librarians and other information professionals, approximately 5.5 percent of whom are employed overseas. Divided into 12 geographic branches and over 20 special interest groups with headquarters in London, LA publishes the monthly journal Library Association Record. Its publishing arm, Library Association Publishing Limited (LAPL), issues approximately 30 new titles each year and maintains a backlist of over 200 titles. In April 2002, LA merged with the Institute of Information Scientists (IIS) to form the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). Click here to connect to the CILIP homepage.

library automation
The design and implementation of ever more sophisticated computer systems to accomplish tasks originally done by hand in libraries. Beginning in the 1960s with the development of the machine-readable catalog record (MARC), the process of automation has expanded to include the core functions of acquisitions, cataloging and authority control, serials control, circulation and inventory, and interlibrary loan and document delivery. The library automation field is currently dominated by a handful of systems vendors (Auto-Graphics, EOS International, Ex Libris, Follett, Innovative Interfaces, Polaris Library Systems, SirsiDynix, TLC, and VTLS).

Recent trends in library automation include the growing importance of "add-ons" mostly related to the delivery of digital content (link resolvers, portal and metasearch interfaces, and e-resource management modules often provided by third-party vendors), better integration with the Web environment (rewriting fat PC clients as browser applications, using XML and style sheets for display, and developing XML import and export capabilities) and for academic libraries, closer integration of library systems with learning management systems.

library award
Special recognition given to an individual, group, or library in honor of outstanding achievement and/or distinguished service to the profession. Major awards given annually often include a monetary prize funded by an individual or corporate donor or by a library association. Recipients of library awards and scholarships are listed in Library and Book Trade Almanac. A less extensive list is provided in the American Library Directory. Click here to see a list of awards and scholarships in the ALA Awards Program.

Library Awareness Program
An attempt by the FBI to recruit librarians in the United States as "cold warriors" during the 1970s and 1980s by suggesting that they restrict public access to unclassified scientific research, particularly information available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Librarians were asked to report on individuals requesting certain categories of scientific information, especially foreign nationals from countries in the Soviet Union. The FBI had the support of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) in this effort, which undermined the confidentiality of library lending records and open access to library resources.

In Free Expression and Censorship in America: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1997), Herbert Foerstel writes that the FBI conducted a 16-month investigation of librarians who openly opposed the Library Awareness Program, even accusing them of being dupes of the Soviet Union. The program was also opposed by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and other organizations. In response to public indignation, many state legislatures passed statutes making it illegal for any librarian to reveal library records or patron requests without a court order. For more information, see Surveillance in the Stacks: The FBI's Library Awareness Program by Herbert Foerstel (Greenwood Press, 1991). See also: USA Patriot Act.

Library Bill of Rights
A formal statement adopted by the American Library Association in 1948 and amended in 1961, 1990, and 1996, affirming the right of libraries in the United States to provide, to all members of the communities they serve, materials expressing diverse points of view and to remain free of censorship. Implementation of the Library Bill of Rights is the work of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the ALA. Click here to read the full text of the statement. See also: Freedom to Read Statement and Intellectual Freedom Round Table.

library binder
A commercial binder that specializes in serving the needs of libraries. Many libraries regularly send their periodical back files to a library binder to be bound into annual volumes. Special binding may also be needed for heavily used items and trade paperbacks. Library binders are organized in the Library Binding Institute. See also: library binding.

library binding
An especially strong, durable binding used for periodical back files and for rebinding worn volumes and new paperbound publications for which circulation is expected to remain high over a comparatively long period, usually more expensive than the standard publisher's binding (click here and here to see examples). Includes prelibrary binding.

The ANSI standard for library binding, established by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Library Binding Institute (LBI), requires that a book have a spine glued with polyvinyl acetate adhesive, strong endpapers, reinforced hinges, and boards covered in buckram coated or impregnated with nonmigratory resin. Click here to read the full-text of ANSI/NISO Z39.78-2000 Library Binding, courtesy of Conservation OnLine (CoOL). Compare with library edition. See also: Library Binding Institute and oversewing.

Library Binding Institute (LBI)
A trade association of commercial library binders doing business in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, LBI was established in 1935 to create and maintain standards for library rebinding and prebinding, improve binding methods, and facilitate cooperation between library binders and between binders and their customers. Membership is also open to suppliers of library binders and organizations with an interest in the preservation of books and periodicals. LBI developed the ANSI standard for library binding in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA). The Institute publishes the magazine The New Library Scene and technical papers on binding and related topics. Click here connect to the LBI homepage.

library bond
An interest-bearing or discounted security issued by a library district, or by the government entity of which a library or library system is a part, usually to finance the construction and/or renovation of facilities or some other major capital project. A bond places the library district under a general obligation to pay the bondholder (investor) a specified amount of interest, usually at regular intervals, and to repay the principal amount of the loan within a designated period of time. The bond is backed by a majority of voters in the district, who consent to be taxed at a slightly higher rate to raise sufficient revenue to pay the interest and principal on the loan. Bond measures pass more easily in times of prosperity than in economic recession.

library book
A book that is the property of a library, usually bearing an ownership mark and labeling. Library books allowed to circulate are usually barcoded, with a date due slip attached inside the cover. Some are given a more sturdy binding than the trade edition, or a plastic sleeve to protect the dust jacket and cover. A book no longer owned by a library is usually stamped "discarded" or "withdrawn." Some libraries sell their discards in an annual or continuing book sale, usually as reading copies. See also: ex-library copy.

library card
A small paper or plastic card issued by a library in the name of a registered borrower, to be presented at the circulation desk when checking out materials from its collections. Identification is usually required of new applicants. In most libraries in the United States, library cards are barcoded for electronic circulation (see this example). Periodic renewal may be required to verify contact information (current street address and telephone number). Synonymous with borrower card. See also: library card campaign and patron ID.

library card campaign
An organized publicity effort conducted by a public library or library system over a finite period of time aimed at encouraging the adult and juvenile residents of the district or area served to become registered borrowers and active library users. Successful library card campaigns have been conducted in many communities in the United States, sometimes in conjunction with National Library Week. Collateral benefits often include increased visibility and enhancement of the library's image in the community. For more information, see Running a Successful Library Card Campaign: A How-to-Do-It Manual by Patrick Jones (Neal-Schuman, 2002).

library closure
The closing of a library or branch in a library system, temporarily or permanently, usually due to budgetary constraints or demographic changes in the area served. Library closings are announced in the news section of American Libraries, the monthly magazine of the American Library Association (ALA).

library collection
The total accumulation of books and other materials owned by a library, cataloged and arranged for ease of access, often consisting of several smaller collections (reference, circulating books, serials, government documents, rare books, special collections, etc.). The process of building a library collection over an extended period of time is called collection development. Synonymous with holdings. Compare with collection. See also: digital collection, high-risk collection, hybrid collection, opening day collection, rental collection, subject collection, and test collection.

library conference
A formal gathering of librarians, library directors, and others associated with libraries for the purpose of meeting colleagues, discussing issues and events, and learning about new products, services, technologies, and recent developments in the library science and information science profession. Most library associations sponsor regular conferences at which officers are elected, committees and task forces organized, policies formulated, awards announced, etc. Conferees are generally charged a registration fee based on the sections of the conference they plan to attend. See also: preconference and proceedings.

The American Library Association sponsors a national conference during the summer and a midwinter meeting in different cities each year. The state chapters of the ALA, and some of its major divisions, sponsor their own conferences, as does the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and ASIST. The permanent round tables of the ALA convene concurrently with the national conferences. Library conferences are listed online in Douglas Hasty's Library Conference Planner (LCP).

library cooperation
Methods by which libraries and library systems work together for the mutual benefit of their users, including centralized processing, cooperative cataloging, international exchange of bibliographic information, union catalogs, resource sharing, etc.

Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)
An alliance of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), to provide a unified voice and common strategy for the library community in addressing copyright and related intellectual property issues, including proposals to amend national and international copyright policy and law to accommodate the digital environment. The LCA seeks to foster global access and fair use of information for creativity, research, and education. Click here to connect to the LCA homepage.

library director
The person who has overall responsibility for supervising the operations of a library or library system, including planning, budgeting, policymaking, personnel management, and program assessment. In public libraries, the library director is usually subject to the oversight of a board of trustees; in academic libraries, by a dean of academic affairs or provost. See also: library administration and Library Leadership and Management Association.

library discount
A discount off the list price of a book or other publication, given by most publishers and jobbers on purchases made by an institutional library. Most publishers offer a flat rate, usually 5-10 percent. Jobbers may link the discount rate to size of order or volume of purchasing. As a general rule, specialized titles are given a shorter discount than trade books or not discounted at all because of their limited sales potential.

library district
An officially delineated geographic area in which the residents decide by popular vote whether to provide tax support for a public library or library system, or one of the geographical areas into which a state is divided for the purpose of administering libraries in accordance with a comprehensive statewide tax plan (see this example). See also: service area.

library edition
An edition, often of a children's book, published in a binding stronger and more durable than the usual publisher's binding, for marketing specifically to libraries, usually more expensive than the trade edition of the same title. See also: library binding and prelibrary binding.

library education
Educational programs designed to prepare students for the postbaccalaureate degree of M.L.S. or M.L.I.S., taught by the faculty of a university department known as a library school (or school of librarianship). Modern library education began in 1887 when Melvil Dewey founded the first school for training professional librarians at Columbia University. See also: Association for Library and Information Science Education and information studies.

library equipment
Mechanical and electronic devices purchased by a library for staff use or to facilitate patron use of its services and collections, including photocopy machines, microform reader-printers, video and CD players, projection equipment, computers and computer peripherals, security devices, office equipment, etc.

library extension
Programs and activities that enable a library or library system to deliver traditional services outside the physical walls of its facilities, including bookmobiles, books-by-mail, and direct delivery of library materials to patrons. Compare with outreach.

library facility
The physical structure housing a library, or part of a library, as distinct from the collections and equipment it contains, and the personnel who operate and maintain it. A library facility can be stand-alone or a multi-purpose structure of which the library is one of two or more components. Some libraries in the United States occupy landmark buildings, for example, the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. See also: auxiliary facility, Carnegie library, expansion, new construction, and renovation.

In the plural (facilities), the term is often used for the physical conveniences of a library building that are designed to facilitate the use of services and resources, such as a reading room, listening and/or viewing room, instruction lab, children's room, meeting room, conference room, cybercafe, gift shop, etc.

library faculty
The professionally trained librarians employed at an academic institution that grants faculty status to librarians. One of the advantages of faculty status is the right to participate in governance. At some institutions, library faculty are members of the same collective bargaining unit as the teaching faculty. Whether they are eligible for tenure and promotion to the same ranks as the teaching faculty depends on the contract governing employment. See also: academic status.

library hand
A highly legible, uniform style of handwriting traditionally used by librarians for making entries in manuscript catalogs before the typewriter came into widespread use. With the conversion of card catalogs into files of machine-readable records, catalog cards have fallen into disuse, and handwritten catalog entries are rarely seen.

library historian
A researcher who writes about the history of libraries and librarianship, from ancient to modern times (example: Michael H. Harris, author of History of Libraries in the Western World, Scarecrow, 1995). Librarians with an interest in library history are organized in the Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

library history
The study of the historical development of libraries and librarianship, beginning with the Sumerian archives of clay tablets (third millennium B.C.) and including the papyrus manuscript collections of ancient Egypt, the private collections of ancient Greece, the public libraries of ancient Rome, the cathedral and monastic libraries of medieval Europe, the university and humanist libraries of the Renaissance, and finally modern libraries. To learn more about the history of libraries, see History of Libraries in the Western World by library historian Michael H. Harris (Scarecrow, 1995). Library history is also studied in non-Western cultures. See also: Alexandrian Library, Carnegie library, Library History Round Table, and proto-library.

Library History Round Table (LHRT)
A round table of the American Library Association (ALA) dedicated to facilitating communication among scholars and students of library history, supporting research in library history, and addressing current issues of concern to library historians, such as conservation and preservation. LHRT publishes the semiannual LHRT Newsletter. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) also has a Library History Section. Click here to connect to the LHRT homepage.

library hours
The times during a day, week, and year when a library is open to its users, usually posted near the front entrance and available by phone and via the library's Web site, including any days the library is closed, usually holidays (most libraries have a book drop to allow borrowers to return materials when the facility is closed). A library's hours are determined by the needs of its users and budgetary constraints. Also refers to the times during which a specific service is available from a library, which may be shorter (or longer) than the hours the facility is open.

library humor
Jokes, cartoons, anecdotes, unusual reference questions, witticisms, satire, occupational folklore, etc., having to do with libraries and librarianship (see this example). Library-related cartoons are usually included in each issue of the professional magazine American Libraries, published by the American Library Association (ALA). Click here to connect to a the IFLANET library humor site. See also: Molesworth Institute.

Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)
A round table of the American Library Association (ALA) dedicated to promoting formal and informal library instruction in all types of libraries as a means of helping library users acquire the information literacy skills essential for lifelong learning. Click here to connect to the LIRT homepage.

Library Issues (LI)
A brief newsletter, intended for academic faculty, administrators, and librarians, published since 1980 by Mountainside Publishing of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Each bimonthly issue is devoted to a four-page article on a key issue in academic librarianship, usually written by an academic professional. The explicit editorial policy of LI is "to clarify not persuade, to present facts not opinions, [and] to facilitate communication not advocate positions." Click here to connect to the full-text archives of Library Issues.

Library Journal (LJ)
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is a combination trade journal/review publication published in 20 issues per year by Reed Business Information. LJ publishes news and announcements of interest to library professionals, feature articles, commentary, analysis of trends, regular columns, and approximately 7,500 reviews per year of new books, magazines, databases and CD-ROMs, videocassettes, and audiobooks suitable for general library collections aimed at adult readers. The reviews are short but evaluative, written by and for librarians. ISSN: 0363-0277. Materials published for children and young adults are reviewed in School Library Journal. Click here to connect to the online version of Library Journal.

Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)
A division of the American Library Association (ALA) founded in 1957, LLAMA has a membership consisting of library directors and persons with an interest in improving the quality of administration and management in libraries of all types. LLAMA publishes the quarterly journal Library Leadership & Management (LL&M). Click here to connect to the LLAMA homepage.

library legislation
Laws passed by a federal or state legislative body pertaining to or affecting the interests of libraries and related institutions (example: Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998). Through their professional associations, librarians and library advocates seek to influence legislative decision-making in ways that will benefit libraries and their users. Federal legislation affecting libraries is summarized in Library and Book Trade Almanac. Each May, the American Library Association co-sponsors National Library Legislative Day with the District of Columbia Library Association. Click here to explore the ALA's Web site on issues and advocacy. Synonymous with library law.

library literature
The body of published information pertaining to libraries, library and information science, and librarianship, including books, journal articles, conference proceedings, reports, guidelines and standards, etc. The literature of the profession is indexed in Library Literature & Information Science (LLIS), published by H.W. Wilson, and in Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA). New publications are reviewed in the "Professional Media" section of Library Journal. Library and Book Trade Almanac includes a selective bibliography ("The Librarian's Bookshelf") of professional literature published in the last three years, arranged by specialization, with a list of library periodicals at the end.

Library Literature & Information Science (LLIS)
Published by H.W. Wilson, Library Literature & Information Science is an author and subject index to the English-language literature of library science and information science, covering books, periodical articles, pamphlets, and library school theses, with book reviews listed in a separate section at the end of each volume. Published from 1934 to 1998 under the title Library Literature, LLIS is available in print in bimonthly paperback supplements cumulated annually. It is also available as an online database directly from the Wilson Company or via OCLC FirstSearch. ISSN: 1528-0659. See also: Library and Information Science Abstracts.

library mail
A significantly lower postal rate charged to libraries and related nonprofit institutions by the U.S. Postal Service for books and other educational materials sent by mail. The law was amended in 1976 to allow publishers and distributors to use the rate when shipping books and other materials to libraries. The lower rate has allowed public libraries to offer books-by-mail programs to homebound patrons and has helped keep down the cost of interlibrary loan service. Click here to learn more about library mail, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service. Synonymous with library rate. Compare with media mail.

library management system (LMS)
In automated systems, an integrated set of applications designed to perform the business and technical functions of a library, including acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, and the provision of public access. In alphabetical order, the leading vendors of library management software are: Auto-Graphics, EOS International, Ex Libris, Follett, Innovative Interfaces, Polaris Library Systems, SirsiDynix, TLC, and VTLS. Synonymous with integrated library system (ILS).

library market
The portion of the market for books and other publications generated by sales to libraries, library systems, and related organizations such as museums, archives, and research institutions. The library market is segmented by type of library (public, academic, school, special, etc.). Publishers and jobbers market their products to libraries by exhibiting at library conferences, advertising in library trade journals and review publications, offering special library discounts and prepublication prices, and direct mail advertising (trade catalogs and brochures).

library materials
All the items purchased by a library or library system to satisfy the information needs of its users, including books, newspapers and periodicals, reference materials, music scores, maps, microforms, and nonprint media, as distinct from equipment and supplies. Some libraries include subscriptions to electronic resources in the materials budget; others fund them separately. Except for gifts and special endowments, the acquisition of library materials is normally funded through the operating budget. The rapid escalation of journal subscription prices over the past decade has forced many academic libraries to cancel periodical subscriptions to maintain balance between expenditures for books and serials.

library media specialist (LMS)
A librarian trained to deliver library services to students in a school library media center on a walk-in basis or at the request of the classroom teacher. In addition to managing daily operations, the library media specialist supports the curriculum through collection development, teaches research and library skills appropriate to grade level, assists students with reading selections appropriate to reading level, helps classroom teachers integrate library services and multimedia materials into instructional programs, establishes standards of behavior for the library, and assists students in developing information-seeking skills and habits needed for lifelong learning. Certification is required in many states. Synonymous with school librarian.

library music
A large collection of pre-recorded music in a variety of styles, available for use (usually as theme or background music) in productions that do not employ the services of a composer. Music production libraries typically own the copyrights to their music because it is created on a work-for-hire basis. They are therefore in a position to license to customers at reasonable rates for use in film, television, and other media, without the permission of the composer. Synonymous with production music and stock music.

library newsletter
A publication of no more than a few pages issued by a library to its clientele on a regular or irregular basis to inform them of the availability of services and resources, describe new and ongoing initiatives, and announce upcoming events, exhibitions, etc. For an example of an online library newsletter, see the Haverford College Library Newsletter. ALiNUS, maintained at Colgate University, is an Internet gateway to over 600 online academic library newsletters published by institutions of higher education in the United States.

Library of Congress (LC)
Established by Congress in 1800 to function as a research library for the legislative branch of the federal government, the Library of Congress eventually became the unofficial national library of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., LC houses a collection of over 120 million items and administers the U.S. copyright system, serving as the nation's copyright depository. LC is also the primary source of original cataloging in the United States. The machine-readable cataloging (MARC) and cataloging-in-publication (CIP) programs originated at the Library of Congress. Click here to see a photograph of the exterior of the Library of Congress and here to see the interior of the main reading room. Click here to learn more about the history of the Library of Congress, and here to connect to the LC homepage. Compare with National Archives and Records Administration. See also: Congressional Research Service and Librarian of Congress.

Library of Congress Classification (LCC)
A system of classifying books and other library materials developed and maintained over the last 200 years by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In LCC, human knowledge is divided into 20 broad categories indicated by single letters of the roman alphabet, with major subdivisions indicated by a second letter, and narrower subdivisions by decimal numbers and further alphabetic notation.

Example:
LC call number: PE 3727.N4 M34 1994

In the example given above (assigned to the book Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang edited by Clarence Major), P represents the main class "Language and literature," PE the class "English language," 3727 the subclass "English slang," and N4 African Americans as a special group. M34 is the Cutter number for the editor's surname and 1994 is the year of publication.

In the United States, most research libraries and academic libraries use LCC, while most school libraries and public libraries use Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Click here to see an outline of LC Classification and here for the LC Classification Weekly Lists.

Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)
When the Library of Congress began printing catalog cards in 1898 and distributing them in 1901, a unique Library of Congress Card Number was assigned to each item for identification and control. With the development of machine-readable cataloging in the late 1960s, LCCN became the Library of Congress Control Number. It is used in bibliographic records and also in authority and classification records. The LCCN is assigned to a publication after the deposit copy is received by the U.S. Copyright Office or in advance of the publication date if a publisher requests cataloging-in-publication. See also: accession number.

Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI)
A loose-leaf service that provides current information on recent decisions of the Library of Congress concerning the interpretation of the most recent revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). LCRI is published in print and as part of Cataloger's Desktop available on CD-ROM. The latest information concerning LCRI is available from the Cataloging Distribution Service of the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress subject heading (LCSH)
A descriptive word or phrase selected by a subject specialist at the Library of Congress from the list of Library of Congress Subject Headings and assigned to a book or other item when first published to indicate its subject. Multiple subject headings are assigned when necessary or desirable. The complete list of LC subject headings is published annually in a multivolume set colloquially known as "the big red books," usually available in the reference section of most large public and academic libraries and in the cataloging department of smaller libraries. Click here to learn more about LCSH, courtesy of the University of Oregon Libraries. Compare with Sears subject heading. See also: controlled vocabulary.

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
The complete alphabetic list of controlled vocabulary created by catalogers and used in cataloging since 1898 at the Library of Congress in assigning subject headings to facilitate access to the information content of newly published works. The list has syndetic structure in the form of USE references to direct the user from a synonym or quasi-synonym to the preferred term, and UF (used for), BT (broader term), RT (related term), and NT (narrower term) notes to indicate semantic relations between headings. Reference librarians often refer to the list as "the big red books" because it is published annually in several large volumes traditionally bound in red. Click here to learn more about LCSH, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

library of last resort
Since 1902, libraries in the United States have been able to request books and other items from the Library of Congress via interlibrary loan when a copy is not available from any other library in the country, with the stipulation that the material must be used on the premises of the borrowing library. LC is also the library of last resort for difficult reference questions (click here for more information).

Library of the Year
An annual award honoring the library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding community service, based on nominations received from the library community. Selected by members of the editorial board of Library Journal, representatives from Gale's Executive Committee, and librarians from around the United States, the winning library receives $10,000 in cash, a feature story in LJ, and a gala reception at the American Library Association's annual conference. Click here to see a list of past award winners.

library organization
The systematic demarcation of functional activities within a library or library system and the establishment of formal relationships between functional units to maximize operational efficiency, for example, the decision by many libraries to administer systems separately from both public services and technical services. For some libraries, organizational structure is indicated in a chart of official positions arranged to show lines of supervisory authority. Generally, the larger the library, the more hierarchical the organizational structure. Sociological research has shown that formal and informal organizational structure do not necessarily coincide. See also: Library Organization and Management Section.

Library Organization and Management Section (LOMS)
The section of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) within the American Library Association (ALA) responsible for investigating issues concerning efficient operations in all types of libraries and for disseminating information on management issues to its members, the LLAMA membership, and all librarians. Areas of current focus include comparative library organization, financial management, planning and evaluation of library services, and risk management. Click here to connect to the LOMS homepage.

library pet
An animal that lives in the care of a library, often a domestic cat (see this example). Exotic pets are more common in school libraries than in other types of libraries. Some public libraries have adopted a pet ban to accommodate patrons with pet allergies. The behavior of a library pet is not always docile--library cats have been known to attack assistance dogs used by the visually impaired.

library policy
A general term for a library's rules of conduct. Some libraries post their policy statements in a public area, so that library personnel may refer patrons to specific rules when violations occur. Policy statements may be related to a specific library function, such as circulation or public use of electronic technology, or to a specific behavior (see this example). See also: collection development policy.

library portal
Software that allows a computer user to customize online access to collections of information resources by creating a list of Internet connections, much like a personalized directory of street addresses and telephone/fax numbers (example: MyLibrary). Library portals are designed to reduce information overload by allowing patrons to select only the resources they wish to display on their personal interface.

library program
An activity or event (or series of events) scheduled by a library for the benefit of its patrons. Examples include book talks, read-a-thons, and summer reading programs for children and young adults. Statistics on library program attendance, collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), are used to rate public library performance in the annual LJ Index of Public Library Service.

library publication
A work produced and distributed by a library, for example, a brochure intended for users, describing the library facility, its resources, and the services provided by its staff. Most library publications are ephemeral, but large academic and research libraries publish more permanent works. A recent example: Alixe Bovey's Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts published in 2002 by the British Library.

library rating
The practice of evaluating libraries on the basis of formal criteria and ranking them according to the results. A prime example is Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR). Created and maintained by library administrator Thomas J. Hennen, Jr., HAPLR ranks U.S. public libraries on 15 weighted input and output measures based on statistical data from the U.S. Federal-State Cooperative Service. Published annually, HAPLR also lists the top 10 public libraries in the United States by size of community.

library referendum
An election by the registered voters of a library district or other governmental jurisdiction on a ballot measure concerning local libraries. Most library referenda fall into two categories: operating referenda in support of the ongoing operating expenses of the local library or library system and building referenda to provide one-time funding for new construction and major renovations. A tiered referendum provides voters with options for levels of support. Library Journal reports annually on the success and failure of library referenda, usually in the March 15th issue.

library representative
A publisher's sales representative responsible for calling on libraries, usually within an established territory, to solicit orders for titles on the publisher's list. Contacts are made, usually by telephone or in person, with librarians responsible for collection development and acquisitions. Also refers to a vendor's representative, responsible for soliciting subscriptions to online bibliographic databases and full-text resources, usually trained to give demonstrations to library selection committees. Abbreviated library rep.

library research
Systematic study and investigation of some aspect of library and information science in which conclusions are based on the statistical analysis of data collected in accordance with a pre-established research design and methodology. Results are usually published in a professional LIS journal or presented at a library conference and subsequently published in its proceedings. Library research helps expand the theoretical base of library and information science and also provides data necessary for effective administrative decision-making and problem solving. Research on libraries and librarianship published in the previous year is reported in an essay in Library and Book Trade Almanac. For more information, see Beth Ashmore's Web site for The Researching Librarian. See also: Library Research Round Table, library survey, and Office for Research and Statistics.

Library Research Round Table (LRRT)
Founded in 1968 as a permanent round table of the American Library Association, LRRT is dedicated to fostering library research by providing program opportunities for researchers to describe and disseminate their work and by informing and educating ALA members about research techniques and the importance of research as a foundation for effective administrative decision-making and problem solving. LRRT also gives annual awards for distinguished published research and excellence in doctoral research. Click here to connect to the LRRT homepage. See also: Office for Research and Statistics.

library school
A professional school or department qualified to grant the postbaccalaureate degree of M.L.S. or M.L.I.S., supported and administered by an institution of higher learning to prepare graduate students for employment in professional positions in libraries and as information service providers. The first modern library school was established by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887. Library schools may be accredited or approved (or both). Length of program varies. Synonymous with school of librarianship.

The term is becoming archaic as more and more institutions use "library and information studies" or simply "information studies" to describe the expansion of their LIS schools to include allied fields (informatics, information management, etc.). Accredited library and information studies programs in the United States and Canada are listed in American Library Directory and Library and Book Trade Almanac. Click here to connect to T.D. Wilson's online World List of Departments and Schools of Information Science, Information Management and Related Disciplines.

library science
The professional knowledge and skill with which recorded information is selected, acquired, organized, stored, maintained, retrieved, and disseminated to meet the needs of a specific clientele, usually taught at a professional library school qualified to grant the postbaccalaureate degree of M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. The term is used synonymously in the United States with librarianship. Compare with information science.

library security officer (LSO)
The person appointed by the director of a library or library system who is authorized by the library and its parent institution to act on their behalf in working with the institution's administration and staff, legal counsel, security force, and outside agencies to develop and implement an effective security plan, based on a thorough understanding of security needs, particularly those of special collections. Such a plan should include a survey of the library's collections, review of the layout of the physical facility, staff training, and standard operating procedures for dealing with theft and other common security problems.

Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA)
Passed by Congress in 1956, the Library Services Act (LSA) provided federal funding for the extension of public library services to the unserved, mainly in rural areas. In 1964, Congress extended its scope to permit federal grants-in-aid for construction and expansion of library services in all areas with inadequate services, including urban communities. Over a period of 30 years, the effect of LSCA on public library construction was comparable to the era of Carnegie philanthropy in the early 20th century. In its final phase, LSCA funding was extended to adult literacy programs and outreach services to the children and youth of poor families, homeless persons, and the physically disabled.

In 1996, following a proposal by a task force consisting of the Chief Officers of the State Libraries (COSLA), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC), Congress passed the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as part of the Museum and Library Services Act, replacing the eight titles of the LSCA with two new titles and consolidating the administration of federal library programs under the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
A section of the Museum and Library Services Act of 1996, LSTA promotes access to learning and to the information resources provided by all types of libraries by distributing federal funds to state library agencies under a formula based on population. State libraries may use the appropriations to support statewide initiatives and services or distribute funds to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries within their state, through subgrant competitions and cooperative agreements. In FY 2009, more than $171 million in LSTA funds was distributed to state library agencies. Click here to connect to the Institute of Museum and Library Services Web page on LSTA grants-in-aid. For a brief history of the origins of LSTA, see Library Services and Construction Act.

library staff
The entire group of paid employees responsible for the operation and management of a library or library system, including its director, librarians, paraprofessionals, technical assistants, clerical personnel, and pages or student assistants. In academic libraries at institutions that grant librarians faculty status, a distinction is usually made between faculty members and nonfaculty staff. In other types of libraries, a distinction may be made between professionally trained librarians and support staff. Volunteers are not considered part of the staff because they are unpaid. See also: Staff Organizations Round Table.

library statistics
Numerical data assembled, classified, and tabulated to present useful facts and information about the operation of a library or library system or about the activities of libraries at the local, state, provincial, or national level, usually presented in the form of a periodic report. The ANSI/NISO Z39.7 standard identifies data categories for basic library statistics applicable to four types of libraries (academic, public, school, and special) and additional data categories that may be collected by one or more types of libraries but not all. Click here to connect to the Web site maintained by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) as part of the Library Statistics Program. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) publishes statistics on academic libraries as part of its Statistics & Assessment Program. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) publishes annual Statistical Summaries for Academic Libraries. See also: circulation statistics and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Library Statistics Program (LSP)
A nation-wide program, established in 1989 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the purpose of systematically collecting and publishing reliable statistical information about library collections, expenditures, services, and staffing. The LSP currently includes the Academic Libraries Survey and the Public School Library Media Center Survey. In October 2007, the Public Libraries in the U.S. Survey and the State Library Agency Survey were moved to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Click here to connect to the LSP homepage.

Library Student Bill of Rights
A set of ten principles, suggested by librarian Char Booth in an article published in the December 2008 issue of Library Journal, for enhancing the quality of MLIS curriculum to expand the foundation on which professional librarianship is built. Click here to read Booth's ten recommendations.

library supplies
Expendable materials used in the operations of a library, including office supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, paper and toner for printers and photocopy machines, and items needed for technical processing (book covers, magnetic strips, book cards, labels, date due slips, bookends, mending tape, etc.). The category does not include equipment or bibliographic items acquired for collections. In the United States, the leading library suppliers are Brodart, Demco, Gaylord, and Highsmith.

Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC)
Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), LSSC is a national certification program that allows library support staff to be certified by the ALA, upon satisfactory demonstration of their competencies. LSSC began accepting applications for candidacy in January 2010. The program is overseen by the ALA-APA Certification Review Committee (CRC). Click here to connect to the LSSC homepage.

Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT)
A permanent round table of the American Library Association (ALA), LSSIRT provides a forum for addressing issues of concern to library support staff, such as training and continuing education, career development, job responsibilities, and compensation. Click here to connect to the LSSIRT homepage. See also: paraprofessional.

library survey
A written or oral question-and-answer instrument designed to elicit feedback from library users about the quality of services and resources and the existence of unmet needs. Library surveys are administered by staff, or by an outside agency, to determine how well the library's services, programs, and collections meet user needs and any objectives established by the library administration and/or governing institution. They are also used to generate data for library research. Also refers to the report produced as the result of such a study.

Also refers to an instrument used to query libraries about the current state of services and resources, for example, the federal surveys of academic, public, school, and state libraries administered periodically by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) as part of its Library Statistics Program.

library system
A group of libraries administered in common, for example, a central library and its branches or auxiliary outlets. Also, a group of independently administered libraries joined by formal or informal agreement to achieve a common purpose. Under such an arrangement, each library is considered an affiliate. Compare with consortium.

library tour
A guided walk through a library facility, usually conducted by a librarian or library assistant, to orient new users to the location of services and resources. Some libraries have installed online or "virtual" library tours on their Web sites, which may include clickable floor plans linked to photographs and descriptive text (see this live example from the South Piedmont Community College Library, NC). Not to be confused with bibliographic instruction.

library trustee
A member of an appointed or elected board responsible for overseeing the growth and development of a library or library system, including long-range planning and policymaking, public relations, and fund-raising. Trustees are usually library advocates but may sometimes be political appointees. See also: Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations.

library use
The extent to which the resources and services of a library are utilized by its clientele (students and faculty in the case of academic libraries; the general public for public libraries). Common measures include overall or per capita circulation, turnover of collection(s), gate count, program attendance, Internet use within the building, interlibrary loan and reference transactions, etc. Accurate statistics on library use are essential in documenting effectiveness and justifying funding.

A study commissioned in 2006 by the American Library Association (ALA) of a random sample of 1,003 people revealed that two-thirds of adult Americans (about 135 million) visited their public libraries in the previous year. Nearly two-thirds of Americans have library cards. According to the survey, use of library services by Americans has grown in every category since the previous survey in 2002--from borrowing books and consulting librarians to checking out CDs, videos, and computer software and attending cultural programs. The most frequent library users are women, younger adults (age 25-44), college-educated adults, and parents of younger children.

library use only
A circulation status code written on or affixed to a physical item in a library collection and entered in the item record in the catalog, indicating that it is available for use within the walls of the library but may not be checked out and removed from the premises except by special arrangement. The use of reference books, periodical indexes, and in some cases bound and/or unbound periodicals is generally restricted to the library. Use of items in special collections, such as rare books and manuscripts, may even be restricted to a designated room or area of the library (and other conditions of use). Compare with noncirculating. See also: in-house use.

Library War Service
A program sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) during World War I, which provided library services to soldiers and sailors in camps and hospitals in the United States and distributed reading materials to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. Headquartered at the Library of Congress, the program included a books-by-mail program that was granted free franking privileges by General Pershing. To help support the program, the ALA sponsored a War Service Library Week, conducted book drives, and solicited periodicals from publishers and subscribers. The Library War Service became the basis for today's armed forces libraries. Click here to see a copy of an official ALA War Service Library bookplate.

librettist
A writer to specializes in writing the text for operas, operettas, oratorios, cantatas, or other works for the musical stage, whether spoken or sung in recitative or aria. Some composers write their own libretti. Compare with lyricist.

libretto
The words or text to which a cantata, oratorio, opera, operetta, or other work for the musical stage is set, often published in the form of a small booklet for enthusiasts who wish to follow along while attending a performance or listening to a sound recording. The person who writes a libretto is the librettist, for example, Edna St. Vincent Millay in the case of The King's Henchman, an opera composed by Deems Taylor.

libricide
The systematic state-sponsored destruction of books and libraries. Twentieth-century examples include book burnings and attacks on libraries in Europe by the Nazis and the destruction of the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 by the Serbs during the siege of Sarajevo. The term is used by author Rebecca Knuth in her study Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century (Praeger, 2003). See also: biblioclast.

Libweb
A very comprehensive worldwide directory of Web homepages for all types of libraries, updated daily on the Berkeley Digital Library Web site. Click here to connect to Libweb. See also: Libdex.

licensed book
A book in which the author makes use of a character or product subject to copyright restrictions, for example, a children's book based on a motion picture character (Mickey Mouse) or a commercially successful toy (Barbie). Use is by permission of the copyright holder under the terms of a licensing agreement handled by the copyright owner's licensing agent. Although the sales potential of licensed books makes them popular with retail booksellers, they are generally not purchased for library collections.

licensing agreement
A formal written contract between a library and a vendor for the lease of one or more proprietary (copyrighted) bibliographic databases or online resources, usually for a fixed period of time in exchange for payment of an annual subscription fee or per-search charge. Vendors typically charge libraries on a sliding scale based on number of registered borrowers or FTE enrollment, number of institutions or facilities served, and number of simultaneous users. Most licensing agreements limit remote access to authorized users. For more information about licensing, see the Licensing Principles established by IFLA in 2001. Compare with site license. See also: authorized use and sublicense.

life expectancy
In archival terms, the length of time for which an item is expected to remain intact and useable when stored under normal conditions in a typical office environment (at a temperature of 21 degrees Centigrade and 50% relative humidity).

lifelong learning
One of the goals of bibliographic instruction and information literacy programs is to help library users obtain the skills they need to pursue knowledge at any age, independent of a formal educational institution. Public libraries play an important role in meeting this need because they provide access to materials in a wide range of subjects at various reading levels, not only for students enrolled in a formal curriculum but for anyone interested in reading and learning.

ligature
Two or more letters joined together in printing, such as ff joined at the cross-stroke in some fonts. Also refers to the stroke joining the two letters. In letterpress, a ligature is cast as a single unit of type (see this example). Compare with logotype.

light bleaching
A conservation technique used to restore prints, drawings, and other paper materials that have become discolored. After washing and drying, the paper is placed on a light table where it receives carefully regulated exposure to tungsten lights, gradually lightening the discoloration (see this example). Click here top learn more about the process, courtesy of Stanford University.

light box
A box with a glass or translucent plastic surface that can be illuminated from within, on which transparencies or film can be placed for close examination without projection, often with the aid of a magnifying eyepiece called a loupe (see this example). Compare with light table. See also: film viewer.

lightface
A typeface in which the characters are the same size as medium-weight and boldface type of the same font but composed of thinner strokes that do not appear as dark on the printed page.

light pen
A metal stylus equipped with a light sensor on one end for scanning barcodes at the circulation desk. Some models require an external decoder. Synonymous with bar code wand.

light table
A work table with a matt glass surface and a source of illumination underneath, on which film or slides can be placed for close examination without projection (see this example). Compare with light box.

light verse
Poetry written with humorous intent (example: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats [1939] by T.S. Eliot). Light verse is often short and frivolous, but can sometimes be serious. Word play abounds. Compare with doggerel. See also: limerick.

lignin
A brown-colored organic substance contained in wood pulp, considered undesirable in all but the lowest grades of machine-made paper because it contains acid, which weakens the cellulose in vegetable fiber, causing paper, board, and cloth to yellow and become brittle over time. Lignin is removed in the manufacture of chemical pulp but not in the production of groundwood pulp from which inexpensive papers such as newsprint are made.

Ligue des Bibliothèques Européenes de Recherche (LIBER)/Association of European Research Libraries
The European version of the Association of Research Libraries, LIBER is a nongovernmental association of the national, university, and research libraries of Europe, founded in 1971 by an IFLA steering group under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Its goal is to assist in establishing a functional network of research libraries throughout Europe, improve access to research collections and services, facilitate research librarianship, and help preserve the European cultural heritage. LIBER publishes LIBER Quarterly and sponsors a conference in a different country each year. Click here to connect to the LIBER homepage.

limerick
A five-line poem written in light verse in which the meter is rigid and the rhymes, written in a/a/b/b/a scheme, are highly original and often irreverent to the point of being unprintable. Although examples are found in Shakespeare, Tom o' Bedlam (c. 1600) is considered the first deliberate creation. Edward Lear popularized the form in A Book of Nonsense published in 1845 (click here to read them). Other examples can be found by browsing the Yahoo! list of limerick Web sites. For more about the limerick form, see the entry in Wikipedia. Click here to connect to the searchable OEDILF limerick dictionary.

limitation
The statement that certifies the total number of copies printed in a limited edition, usually appearing on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page. The statement usually notes any special qualities of the edition (large paper, special binding, etc.) and provides a blank space for the number of each copy to be entered by hand. In some limited editions, the statement is signed by the author and/or illustrator. Synonymous with certificate of issue.

limited edition
An edition consisting of a predetermined number of copies (usually 200 to 500, seldom more than 1,500) that the publisher intends not to reprint in exactly the same form. If the individual copies are consecutively numbered, each copy usually bears a certificate of issue on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page or in the colophon, indicating the size of the edition and copy number (see this example, courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Libraries). Individual copies may also be autographed by the author. If a trade edition of the same work is also issued, the limited edition is usually printed on finer paper, given a better quality binding, and sold at a higher price. In the antiquarian book trade, a copy of a limited edition usually commands a higher price because of its relative rarity. Click here to view an online exhibition of limited editions in the Gould Library, Carleton College. Compare with deluxe edition. See also: Limited Editions Club.

Limited Editions Club (LEC)
A New York-based subscription book club established in 1929 by the bibliophile George Macy, specializing in the publication of finely printed, illustrated, and crafted collectible editions of literary classics, originally issued one title per month and limited to no more than 1,500 numbered and signed copies (later increased to 2,000). Among the most famous of the Club's early editions are Aristophanes' Lysistrata (1934), with pencil drawings and etchings by Picasso, and James Joyce's Ulysses (1935), with etchings and lithographic drawings by Matisse.

In 1978, the Club was purchased by Wall Street investment banker Sidney Shiff, who focused on works by contemporary writers. Commissioning leading graphic artists to oversee the design of each book, Shiff began to produce beautiful livres d'artiste, advancing the book arts in the United States. He also raised the annual subscription fee to $5,000, reduced the number of books produced to 1 to 4 per year, and limited press runs to 300 copies. Distinguished in appearance and sharing a recognizable style, LEC editions are published in large octavo or quarto formats in dust jackets and slipcases. More affordable reprints were produced by The Heritage Press. Many libraries in the United States own copies of LEC editions. Click here to view illustrations from three examples in the special collections of Carleton College, and here to view two additional examples, courtesy of the Smith College Libraries.

limiting
A feature of well-designed online catalog or bibliographic database software that allows the user to employ various parameters to restrict the retrieval of entries containing the terms included in the search statement. Limits may be set before a search is executed, after results are displayed, or both, depending on the design of the system. Limiters are not standardized but typically include: publication date, material type, language, full-text, peer-reviewed (journal articles), and locally held.

limp binding
A book bound without stiff boards in flexible leather, vellum, or cloth covers, lined or unlined, a style used mainly for diaries, devotional works, and light verse. The squares in limp binding often extend further beyond the edges of the sections than in a normal binding. Inexpensive and surprisingly durable, limp bindings were used as early as the late Middle Ages for books not considered worth the expense of full binding (music scores, academic textbooks, etc.). Vellum covers had a tendency to curl under warm conditions. Click here to see an example of an early limp vellum binding with leather ties. To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "limp" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Compare with flexible binding and semi-limp. See also: Yapp binding.

Lindisfarne Gospels
A 259-page Gospel book written in honor of St. Cuthbert on vellum at the Monastery of Lindisfarne on Holy Island off the coast of Northumbria by a monk named Eadfrith who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in A.D. 698. A stunning example of the skill of Celtic scribes, illuminators, and book binders, the Lindisfarne Gospels includes 15 lavishly decorated pages marking major divisions of the text. During the 10th century, a translation of the original Latin into a form of old English was added as an interlinear gloss above the lines. Now lost, the original leather binding was decorated with jewels and precious metals. The present jeweled binding made of silver was added in 1852 at the expense of Edward of Maltby, Bishop of Durham. The volume is one of the treasures of the British Library. Click here to view an incipit page and a carpet page from the Lindisfarne Gospels, heavily decorated with Celtic motifs, or turn the pages of the manuscript, courtesy of the British Library. See also: Book of Kells.

line
In cartography, a shape that has length and direction (connecting two or more x, y coordinates) but lacks area, used on maps and charts to represent features too narrow to be displayed as having area at the given scale (roads, streams, etc.) and linear features that have no area at all (contours, political boundaries, etc.). Compare with point.

linear foot
A measure of shelf space, 12 inches in length, used for storing books and other documents. In records management, a linear foot measures 12 inches for documents stored on edge, or 12 inches in height for documents stored horizontally (slightly less than a cubic foot for letter-size documents), with the number of leaves in a linear foot varying with the thickness of the material (Richard Pearce-Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology). Also, a measure of the length of motion picture stock or film footage.

line art
In printing, an illustration of reproduction quality done in black and white, as opposed to a halftone in which the range of tonal values in the original is rendered by converting the image into a field of minutely graded dots.

line drawing
A drawing executed entirely in lines without the use of shading, hatching, or some other graphic technique to add depth or volume to the image. Cartoons, caricatures, and diagrams are often done in this style. In printing, any drawing that can be reproduced without using halftone. To see examples, browse the drawings of Al Hirschfeld, courtesy of the Margo Feiden Galleries.

line filler
A decorative device, usually of oblong shape, employed in a medieval manuscript or early printed book to fill the blank space at the end of a line of script or type of less than full line length. Fillers can be foliate, zoomorphic, or anthropomorphic in design but most are nonrepresentational. Michelle Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994) that scribes working in Ireland and Britain from about A.D. 550-900 were the first to popularize the use of line fillers. Click here to view line fillers of abstract design in an early 16th-century French Book of Hours (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute) or see this example of similar design in a 15th-century French manuscript (Getty Museum, MS 22). Zoomorphic and anthropomorphic line fillers in grisaille can be seen in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (The Cloisters); zoomorphic and foliate examples are common in the 13th-century Murthly Hours (National Library of Scotland). Compare them with penwork line fillers in the 13th-century Egerton Psalter (British Library, Egerton 1066).

line-item budget
A method of budgeting used in some libraries and library systems in which anticipated expenditures are divided into discrete functional categories called "lines" (salaries and wages, materials, equipment, etc.) for the purpose of systematically allocating resources and tracking operating expenditures.

linen paper
A strong, crisp paper containing fiber of the flax plant, used by many national governments for printing banknotes.

liner
A strip of kraft paper glued to the back of a book, to reinforce the layer of thin gauzy fabric, called crash or super, applied to the binding edge of the sections as lining.

lining
Material applied with adhesive to the binding edge of a book, following rounding and backing, to hold the sewn sections together securely, usually a piece of thin, loosely woven fabric called crash (also gauze, mull, or super). In better quality bindings, a strip of kraft paper called a liner is added as a second layer for extra strength. Click here to see lining with binding waste on a 16th-century Dutch binding (Princeton University Library) and here to see lining with paste and Japanese tissue in conservation bookbinding. Synonymous in this sense with back-lining. The term is also used synonymously with endpapers.

link
A direct connection in a hypertext document or hypermedia file to the Internet address (URL) of another document or file, embedded as a word or phrase in the text, or appearing as a symbol, icon, or other graphic element that can be activated by the click of a mouse or some other pointing device. Text links usually appear underlined and in a distinctive color on the computer screen. A link is broken if it does not take the user to the desired destination when clicked. Link rot is a colloquial expression for the tendency of links to become broken due to address changes and the removal of HTML files from access. The remedy is regular link checking. Synonymous with hyperlink. See also: deep linking and hot spot.

link checking
The process of testing the links in an HTML document to determine if they are functioning properly. Software has been developed to check links automatically. Without regular checking and updating, URL changes and dead links may accumulate in a Web page.

link counter
Computer software designed to track the number of times a link within a Web page is used by visitors to the site. Link counters have also been developed that use Web search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and AltaVista, to count how many Web pages on the Internet contain links to a given Web address (URL). Link counters can often be downloaded as free Web widgets.

link resolver
Application software that uses the OpenURL standard to provide context-sensitive linking between a citation in a bibliographic database and the electronic full text of the resource cited (article, essay, conference paper, book, etc.) in an aggregator database or online from the publisher, taking into account which materials the user is authorized by subscription or licensing agreement to access. Some link resolvers provide "all text" linking capability with access services such as interlibrary loan and automated catalog searching. Link resolvers often come packaged with an A-Z e-journal title list, e-journal collection tools, and MARC record services to facilitate integrated management of electronic full-text resources. Synonymous with link resolution system. See also: link source and link target.

link source
An information resource, such as an abstracting and indexing database, capable of detecting that the user has an available link resolution system and of sending citation information in the form of an OpenURL to the system.

link target
An information resource that can be linked via a link resolver. Link targets are often collections of full-text electronic journal articles but may also be abstracting services, citation indexes, document delivery services, library catalogs, and other useful sources of information.

linocut
A relief print similar to a woodcut, made by inking a block covered with a sheet of linoleum into which the design has been cut. In color printing, a separate block of linoleum is used for each color or, in the reduction method, the artist removes more material from the block for each new color to be printed. Linoleum is much easier to cut than wood, but the pressure exerted in the printing process causes the plate to degrade faster. Click here to see an example by Pablo Picasso, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term "linocut" in Google Images. Synonymous with linoleum cut print. See also: cellocut.

linotype
Typesetting by means of a machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in the late 19th century, which is operated from a keyboard resembling a typewriter (see this example). As keys are depressed, matrices are automatically assembled from a magazine and justified in lines of type which are then moved into a casting mechanism that produces a slug, which is ejected into a galley. After the slug is produced, the matrices are sorted back into the magazine for reuse. When all the slugs for a specific job have been used by the printer, they are melted down for reuse. Linotype machines not only increased the speed with which type could be set, but also eliminated the necessity of resetting type letter-by-letter whenever a galley was accidentally dropped. Compare with monotype.

linson
The manufacturer's trade name for an exceptionally strong paper used in edition binding. Often embossed to imitate linen cloth or grained leather, it is available in a variety of colors. Click here to see a 20th-century example in ivory, courtesy of the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

Lion and the Unicorn, The
Published since 1977, The Lion and the Unicorn is a theme- and genre-centered journal of international scope, devoted to scholarly discussion of children's literature. Published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, each issue includes a book review section, and some issues include interviews with authors, editors, and other major contributors to the field. The publication is available online in full-text as part of Project MUSE. ISSN: 0147-2593. Click here to connect to the homepage of The Lion and the Unicorn.

liquid laminate
A thin coating of clear liquid plastic, applied to a book cover, poster, sheet map, or other surface to give it a glossy protective finish (see this example). Lamination is also done with thin plastic film.

LIS
An abbreviation of library and information science and library and information studies. See: information science, information studies, and library science.

LIS journal
A professional journal devoted to the publication of articles about library and information science, librarianship, and related fields. Many LIS journals also publish reviews of new publications, including books of professional interest to librarians. For rankings of LIS journals by experts, see "The Perception of Library and Information Science Journals by LIS Education Deans and ARL Library Directors" by Thomas E. Nisonger and Charles H. Davis in the July 2005 issue of College & Research Libraries. The American Library Association (ALA) is a major publisher of LIS journals (click here to see the list). Click here to connect to the Libdex list of LIS journals, newsletters, and zines, or try the Yahoo! list of journal Web sites. See also: review publication.

list
All the publications currently available for purchase from a given publisher, including the frontlist, backlist, and forthcoming titles. Publishers of trade books in hardcover and paperback generally issue seasonal lists twice a year in the spring and fall, or three times a year (spring, fall, and winter). See also: midlist. Also used as a shortened form of list price and mailing list.

listening room
A special soundproof room or area in a library, equipped with playback equipment (players, speakers, headphones, etc.) for listening to audiorecordings (compact discs, audiocassettes, LPs, etc.). Click here to see an example. Registered borrowers and sometimes members of the general public are permitted to use the equipment, individually or in groups, usually for a limited period of time. See also: viewing room.

list of abbreviations
A page (or pages) in a book, giving the abbreviations used in the text and their meanings, usually in alphabetical order in the front matter or, in some reference works such as dictionaries, printed on the endpapers.

list price
The undiscounted price at which a new publication is offered for sale to the public, established by the publisher at the time the edition is issued. The list price is quoted in the publisher's catalog and printed on the front flap of the dust jacket in hardcover editions and usually on the back cover in softcover editions. Discounts offered to libraries, booksellers, and jobbers are computed as a percentage off list price. In library cataloging, the list price of an item is indicated (when available) in the standard number and terms of availability area of the bibliographic description (field 020 or 022 of the MARC record). Synonymous with published price, retail price, and sticker price. See also: introductory price and prepublication price.

LISTSERV
Mailing list management software that runs on a variety of platforms, designed to scan incoming e-mail messages for the words "subscribe," "unsubscribe," and other housekeeping commands and update the subscriber list automatically. Also used as a general term for any mailing list that runs on LISTSERV software. Tile.Net/Lists is a online directory of e-mail newsletters and discussion lists. See also: Majordomo.

litanies of saints
In service books, a series of invocations for deliverance and intercession, usually addressed to the Trinity, the Virgin, angels, apostles, martyrs, confessors, and virgins, individually or in groups (see this example from the 13th-century Egerton Psalter, courtesy of the British Library). Variation by region and patronage in the names of the saints included in such litanies provides valuable evidence to scholars of the geographic origin of specific manuscripts. According to the British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, litanies of saints first appeared in western manuscripts in the late 5th century and increased in length throughout the Middle Ages.

literacy
The ability to read and write. Functional literacy is the level of skill in reading and writing needed to cope adequately with everyday adult life. Illiteracy is the inability to read and write. The literacy rate of a nation or other geographic area is usually expressed as the percentage of its adult citizens who know how to read and write. In the United States, adult literacy programs have been available for many years, and public libraries have been heavily involved in promoting literacy. In recent years, such efforts have focused on adults for whom English is not the first language. For an example of an online literacy initiative, see Guys Read by Jon Scieszka. Compare with computer literacy and information literacy. See also: International Reading Association, new adult reader, ProLiteracy Worldwide, and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

literal
Following the exact words and ordinary meaning of a text or speech, without taking into account possible figurative or symbolic use of language, as in a literal interpretation of a passage from the Bible. The interpretation of words or statements according to their denotation rather than their connotation. Also refers to an approach that is prosaic or matter-of-fact, rather than intuitive.

literary agent
An organization or person in the business of offering professional advice to writers on the suitability of manuscripts for publication. An agent may also provide guidance and/or assistance in locating and selecting a publisher, negotiating a book contract, arranging the sale of subsidiary rights, and handling the business of authorship in general, usually in exchange for a commission paid by the author or a portion of the proceeds derived from the work. A literary agent may also act on behalf of a publisher to find works to fill a specific need. Not all authors use an agent; some prefer to deal directly with the publisher. Directory information for literary agents is available in the reference serials Literary Market Place and Writer's Market.

literary award
A special honor and/or reward given to an author or illustrator for creating a specific work or in recognition of a distinguished career, usually based on the decision of a qualified panel of judges. Most literary awards and prizes given annually are funded by private individuals or foundations. Rewards may include a medal, grant, and/or cash prize. Recognition usually boosts the sale of the recipient's works and can mean larger advances on royalties from publishers. See also: children's book award.

The most prestigious literary awards are the Nobel Prize for Literature and in the United States, the Pulitzer Prize. Click here to see an online list of literary prizes and awards maintained by the Christchurch City Libraries in New Zealand, and here to see a list of book and media awards given by the American Library Association (ALA) and its divisions. The annual reference serials Literary Market Place and Writer's Market also list literary awards and contests. In library cataloging, awards received by a work are entered in the 586 field of the MARC record. In the bibliographic display, they appear in an Awards: note. Synonymous with literary prize. See also: PEN Literary Awards.

literary executor
A person (or persons) appointed by an author in his or her will to handle the disposition of copyright and intellectual property rights in published and unpublished works and any papers of literary interest in accordance with the author's wishes, after death (example: Dmitri Nabokov for his father Vladimir Nabokov).

literary forensics
The scientific analysis of documents of unknown authorship or disputed authenticity, to discover clues about their origin. Synonymous with literary sleuthing.

literary form
A mode of literary expression characterized by elements of internal structure, rather than by content, for example, drama, poetry, fiction, essay, etc. The major literary forms are further subdivided (one-act play, sonnet, novel, etc.). See also: genre.

literary magazine
A magazine devoted to publishing works of literary merit (poetry, essays, short fiction, commentary), often by new and emerging authors. Many major writers of the 20th century got their start publishing in small literary magazines. Although a few high-profile literary magazines are long-established (The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic, The Hudson Review), half of all literary magazines cease publication within a year. For other examples, see the CLMP Literary Press and Magazine Directory published by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Compare with little magazine.

Literary Market Place (LMP)
Published annually by Information Today, Inc., LMP is a directory of the book publishing industry in the United States and Canada, containing an alphabetic list of U.S. publishers, indexed by subject, type of publication, and geographically by state. It also lists Canadian publishers, small presses, editorial services, literary agents, book trade associations, writer's conferences and workshops, literary awards and prizes, fellowships and grants, and provides a calendar of book trade and promotional events. The section on advertising, marketing, and publicity lists book review publications, news services, book clubs, book exhibits, etc. LMP also includes an industry yellow pages, with separate sections for companies and key personnel. Information Today also publishes the companion International Literary Market Place. The most recent edition of LMP is shelved in the reference section of most large- and medium-sized academic and public libraries. ISSN: 0000-1155. Click here to connect to Literarymarketplace.com. See also: Writer's Market.

literary review
A periodical devoted to publishing contemporary poetry, short fiction, drama, essays, reviews, interviews, and sometimes art (example: The Hudson Review). Most are published quarterly and many are affiliated with institutions of higher education, for example, The Sewanee Review affiliated with the University of the South in Tennessee. A selection of literary reviews is provided in the reference serial Magazines for Libraries. Compare with little magazine.

literary warrant
The quantity of works that have been written on a specific subject or topic. In library cataloging, the development of portions of a classification system in response to the content of the materials requiring classification. A body of literature must exist on a topic for a new class to be added. In indexing, the addition of a subject heading or content descriptor to an indexing language, based on the frequency of its occurrence in the title or text of the documents indexed. Compare with user warrant.

literary work
A nonsacred work written in literary form (poem, play, essay, novel, short story, etc.) recognized and appreciated by educated readers and lovers of literature for the superior quality of its style and treatment of an enduring theme. Compare with popular fiction and pulp fiction.

literati
Men of letters. Scholarly, learned, and/or well-educated people.

literature
Enduring works of poetry or prose that express ideas and emotions of universal human interest in a form and style embodying excellence. Also refers to the body of works written and/or produced on a subject, in a given field of inquiry, or in a specific language, country, period, etc., as in the "literature of library and information science." Abbreviated lit. See also: Nobel Prize in Literature.

literature review
A comprehensive survey of the works published in a particular field of study or line of research, usually over a specific period of time, in the form of an in-depth, critical bibliographic essay or annotated list in which attention is drawn to the most significant works. Click here for tips on writing a literature review, courtesy of UC Santa Cruz. An annual review is a type of serial devoted to the publication of literature reviews. Synonymous with literature survey and review of the literature. See also: systematic review.

In scholarly journals, particularly those publishing original research in the physical and social sciences, the first section of each article, devoted to a review of the previously published literature on the subject, with references in the text to footnotes or a list of works cited at the end.

literature search
An exhaustive search for published information on a subject conducted systematically using all available bibliographic finding tools, aimed at locating as much existing material on the topic as possible, an important initial step in any serious research project. Compare with ready reference.

Literatures in English Section (LES)
Established in 1982, LES is the section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) within the American Library Association (ALA) that represents academic and research librarians who are professionally involved in the selection, acquisition, organization, and use of information resources related to literatures in English. LES also provides assistance in the professional development of its members, promotes the improvement of library resources for literatures in English, and initiates and sponsors programs, discussion sessions, publications, and other projects related to the field. Click here to connect to the LES homepage.

lithography
A planographic (as opposed to intaglio) method of creating illustrations or prints by drawing on the surface of fine-grained limestone or on a zinc plate with a water-repellent substance to which ink adheres. When the stone is wetted, ink is repelled by the moist areas and attracted only by the design. An impression is made by applying dampened paper to the stone under pressure. The resulting print is a lithograph (see this example, courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Libraries). In chromolithography, separate stones are used to produce multiple colors. Invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796 and widely used for book illustration during the 19th century, the process is now used mainly by artists. Click here to view chromolithographs of the American West by the artist George Catlin (Beinecke Library, Yale University) and here to see them used as onlays in 19th-century bookbinding (Rare Books & Texana Collections, University of North Texas Libraries). Click here to learn about lithography in Victorian England, courtesy of the British Library. See also: lithotint and photochrom print.

lithotint
A lithograph given the appearance of a wash drawing by the use of ink diluted with turpentine in the process of creating the image on the printing stone or plate, a technique introduced in the 1840s, not the same as a lithograph with a background tint produced by the use of a second stone (see this 19th-century example by John H. Richard, courtesy of the Smithsonian.

littera florissa
A pen-flourished initial or letter in a medieval manuscript and early printed books, embellished with tracery in geometric and/or foliate patterns. Click here to see examples in the 15th-century Closworth Missal (Bodleian Library, MS Don.b.6). Plural: litterae florissae.

litterateur
A man of letters, especially one who devotes himself to the study and writing of literature in the capacity of an amateur or dilettante.

little magazine
A periodical of limited circulation devoted to experimental or avant-garde poetry, fiction, essays, humor, photography, and art. Little magazines flourished in the United States, Britain, and France during the 1920s, but most disappeared before the beginning of World War II. Desktop publishing has given new life to this form of publication. According to Magazines for Libraries, over 5,000 little magazines are currently published in the United States, with some available online (example: Ploughshares). For libraries, indexing can be a problem because many fall outside the mainstream press. Compare with literary magazine. See also: Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

liturgical work
A book used in the worship services of an organized religion. In AACR2, liturgical works are entered under the name of the body with which they are associated (example: Catholic Church). If a well-established title exists in English, it is used as the uniform title (example: Breviary). If there is no well-known title in English, or the name of the body is given in another language, a brief title is entered in the language of the liturgy, followed by a word or phrase in parentheses indicating the variant or special text (if applicable), for example, Book of hours (Ms. Rohan). Synonymous with service book. Compare with sacred text.

An understanding of the liturgical books of the Catholic Church is essential to the study of medieval manuscripts because book production in Europe occurred mainly in monastic scriptoria from the early Christian period until about 1200. The online exhibition Celebrating the Liturgy's Books, provided by the major libraries of New York City, is helpful. The Getty Museum also provides an online exhibition of Religious Service Books. See also: antiphonal, benedictional, Book of Hours, breviary, epistolary, evangelary, gradual, lectionary, martyrology, missal, ordinal, pontifical, processional, psalter, and sacramentary.

live action
A motion picture or videorecording made by photographing sequences of action that occur in the living world, as opposed to one in which the optical illusion of motion is created through the use of animation techniques. A bibliographic item may consist of a combination of live action and animated sequences.

live recording
A sound recording of an actual performance made at the performance venue before a live audience, as opposed to a studio recording made in the controlled environment of a recording studio. Production quality varies.

livre de chasse
French for "Book of Hunting." A category of secular medieval manuscript devoted to the subject of hunting for sport, often illustrated with hunting scenes and miniatures of various species of game animal. Hunting manuals were commissioned largely by wealthy aristocrats. The best-known example is the Le Livre de la Chasse composed between 1387 and 1389 by Gaston III ("Phébus"), Count of Foix and Béarn. Click here to page through the Morgan Library's copy, bearing the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, which was created in the atelier of the "Master of Bedford" (MS M.1004), or try this exhibition, courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Synonymous with livre de la chasse.

LJ
Sponsored by Baker & Taylor's Bibliostat, the LJ Index of Public Library Service uses data collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to rate the performance of U.S. public libraries in nine categories of annual expenditure, according to four criteria: circulation statistics, number of visits, program attendance, and public Internet use, awarding stars to public libraries that score highest. Changes in mean per capita measures are also published in the nine categories. Announcements are made in a November issue of Library Journal.

LJ
An award, sponsored by ProQuest, given annually since 2007 for excellence in educating the next generation of librarians. Eligibility is limited to full-time and adjunct faculty who have taught in an ALA-accredited master's program. The winning LIS teacher receives a $5,000 cash prize, a feature article in the November 1 issue of Library Journal, and a reception at the midwinter conference of the American Library Association.

loan agreement form
A form used to establish a legally binding contractual agreement between a prospective borrower of special collections materials for exhibition and the lending institution, generally provided by the borrowing institution, but some lenders insist that the borrower also sign the lender's agreement form. When two forms are used, care should be taken to avoid conflicting provisions. The Loan Agreement Form should be on letterhead and give 1) the title and location of the exhibition; 2) inclusive dates of the loan; 3) name, address, and contact information for the lender; 4) a detailed description of the item to be lent, including condition and lender's call number or accession number; 5) special instructions for the loan; 6) insurance provisions; 7) permission for reproduction in any medium; 8) legal conditions; and 9) signatures of legal representative of lender and borrower. Before adoption, such a form should be reviewed by the institution's legal counsel and insurance company. A model form can be seen in Appendix II of Guidelines for Borrowing and Lending Special Collections Materials for Exhibition, approved in January 2005 by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). See also: condition report, facilities report, and request letter.

loan character
A character from one writing system used in writing another language, for example, the Chinese characters used by the Japanese to write their own language (kanji).

loan period
The length of time for which an item in the circulating collection of a library may be checked out by a borrower. Under normal circumstances, loan period is determined by the loan rule applied to a specific item, based on item type and the borrower's patron type. In most libraries, circulating items (except reserves) may be renewed for an additional loan period, provided no holds have been placed by other borrowers. Most libraries charge fines for items returned after the due date. Synonymous with borrowing period and checkout period.

loan rule
In library circulation systems, the decision governing the prescribed period of time for which an item of a specific item type may be checked out by a borrower, depending on the patron type. The loan rule also determines the form of the notice sent when an item is kept past its due date and the amount of any overdue fine charged to the patron. The cost of replacing a lost or damaged item may also be determined in part by the loan rule. Each library or library system establishes and maintains its own set of loan rules for the various categories of materials in its collections.

loan status
The type of loan in effect at a particular time for a specific item in a library collection. In public and academic libraries, most items are available for general circulation, but some may be on reserve or on loan to other libraries via interlibrary loan. Noncirculating items such as reference books are for library use only.

lobby card
A motion picture advertisement printed in black-and-white or full color for display in a theater lobby or showcase window, often a smaller version of a movie poster (see this example). In 1909, the Motion Pictures Patent Company established 11 x 14 inches as the standard size. As collectibles, their value depends on age, condition, and rarity. The Beinecke Library at Yale University provides online access to its Western Silent Films Lobby Card Collection, 1912-1930.

local area network (LAN)
A communications network restricted to a relatively small geographic area, often within a single building or group of adjacent buildings such as a college, university, or corporate campus, consisting of at least one high-speed server, client workstations, a network operating system, and a communications link. LANs handling communication over the Internet use optical fiber as a transmission medium. Compare with wide area network. See also: metropolitan area network and wireless local area network.

local author
A published writer who lives in the geographic area served by a library. Once rare but increasing in numbers with the growing popularity of self-publishing, local authors may actively court libraries to promote their works. They are sometimes invited to participate in library programs. Local authorship can be a criterion for selection, if demand exists, but some libraries are adopting policies for collecting self-published works which require reviews in established review journals.

local bibliography
A bibliography of books and other materials about a specific geographic area smaller than a country, usually covering material about the history, geography, architecture, and environment of the area, as well as works about the people born or residing in it. Useful in genealogical research. See also: regional book.

local collection
A library collection of books, prints, maps, photographs, and other materials related to a specific geographic area and its inhabitants, usually the community in which the library is located, useful in historical and genealogical research. See also: local bibliography and regional book.

local field
In library cataloging, a field of the machine-readable bibliographic record tagged 9XX (with XX in the range of 01-99), not technically part of the MARC record format, defined by OCLC for (1) the Library of Congress, (2) local processing, and (3) OCLC-MARC record delivery services. For example, the 910 field used for data of local interest, such as funding source (grant, endowment, etc.) or the 938 field reserved for vendor-specific ordering data. OCLC does not retain 9XX fields in the master record, but they may be retained in archival records.

local history
Materials of historical interest concerning the people and events in a small geographic area, such as a city, county, or town, including newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, posters, diaries, personal papers, community records, etc. Some libraries and historical societies are digitizing their local history collections (see this example). See also: oral history.

local interest title
A book or other published work of interest to people who live in a specific geographic area, but of limited interest to others (example: LaPine Cemeteries of Deschutes County, Oregon [2003]).

local newspaper
A daily or weekly newspaper containing news, editorials, commentary, and advertising related to a specific geographic area, intended primarily for distribution within that area (example: The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon).

local serial control number
A unique identification number assigned by a library to a specific serial title, used as a code for serials control within the library but not in data exchange or communication outside the library or local system. Compare with International Standard Serial Number.

location map
A small-scale ancillary map inset in or appearing outside the neat line of a map on a larger scale, showing the main map in relation to its vicinity, to help the reader locate its correct geographic position. Click here to see a circular inset showing the location of Mercer Island within the metropolitan area of Seattle, Washington; here to see an example showing the location of Acadia National Park, Maine; and here to see a corner inset showing the location of the city of Kuopio in Finland.

location symbol
A code consisting of a few letters or a word displayed in a catalog record or added to an entry in a bibliography, indicating the specific location or collection in which the item is shelved (example: Ref for items in the reference stacks). In a union catalog, location symbols are used to indicate the libraries in the system or consortium owning at least one copy of the item. Synonymous with location code.

locator
The portion of an entry in a catalog or index that gives the location of the unit indexed. In the library catalog, it is the call number. In a single index, the locator is usually a page or paragraph number, or a figure or table number. In an abstracting service, the locator is the abstract number under which the full bibliographic description of a document can be found. In an open-end index, the locators may be the bibliographic descriptions themselves.

A sequential locator is a pair of locators separated by a hyphen, indicating the first and last pages, paragraphs, or sections of the book or other document in which the indexed topic is mentioned. To avoid ambiguity, it is standard practice to give the second part of a sequential locator in full (example: 396-409 instead of 396-09).

loc cit.
An abbreviation of the Latin phrase loco citato, meaning "in the place cited."

locked
In film production, the work in its final form, the editing process having been completed.

locked up
Said (in letterpress) of assembled type and display matter made up into pages and imposed in a chase once it has been tightly secured by adjusting small expandable wooden or metal boxes called quoins positioned between the imposed type and the sides of the chase. The resulting forme is ready to be placed on the bed of the press for printing.

locking case
A sturdy clear plastic container for storing CDs, DVDs, or other media, which can be locked and unlocked magnetically or with a mechanical device to secure the item against theft (see these examples). Locking cases may require repackaging.

LOCKSS
An acronym for Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe, an application designed to create low-cost, persistent digital "caches" of electronic journal articles, housed locally at institutions that have authorized access to the content and elect to preserve it. The idea behind LOCKSS is that e-journal content is more likely to be preserved if there are many distributed copies of the material. If a particular document ceases to be available from the publisher�s site, it can be accessed from the LOCKSS cache. Click here to learn more about LOCKSS.

LOEX
An acronym for Library Orientation Exchange (pronounced "low-ex"), a "library outreach" office established in 1971 at Eastern Michigan State University with the aid of a grant from the Council on Library Resources (CLR) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Since its inception, LOEX has sponsored the annual LOEX Conference, attended by bibliographic instruction librarians, information literacy specialists, and other individuals with an interest in library instruction, and has served as a clearinghouse for bibliographic instruction materials and resources. Click here to connect to the homepage of the LOEX Clearinghouse for Library Instruction.

lo-fi
An abbreviation of low fidelity. Recorded music of sound quality below commercial standard, usually due to the use of low-budget do-it-yourself recording techniques and home-based recording equipment. In the 1980s, when cassette technology such as Tascam's four-track Portastudio became widely available, lo-fi became a musical genre.

log book
A blankbook in which the daily activities of an expedition, voyage, mission, or other undertaking are noted chronologically as a matter of record, usually by the person in command or a designated person, with the date included in each entry (see this 19th-century example, courtesy of the Scottish Archive Network). Because log books provide an account of events as they occurred, the information contained in them can be of considerable historical value (click here to see a World War II aviator's flight log book). Also spelled logbook.

logical difference
In Boolean logic, the result obtained when the NOT command is used to separate members of a set of entities from those of another. It is the search strategy used to determine which records in a library catalog or bibliographic database contain term A but not term B. Synonymous with logical subtraction and negation. Compare with logical product and logical sum.

logical product
In Boolean logic, the result obtained when the AND command is used to find all the members common to two or more sets of entities. It is the search strategy used to determine which records in a library catalog or bibliographic database contain both term A and term B. Synonymous with logical multiplication and conjunction. Compare with logical difference and logical sum.

logical sum
In Boolean logic, the result obtained when the OR command is used to find all the members of two or more sets of entities. It is the search strategy used to determine which records in a library catalog or bibliographic database contain term A or term B, or both A and B. Synonymous with logical addition and union. Compare with logical difference and logical product.

logo
An emblem or graphic design used in publications and on promotional materials by a company, organization, agency, or institution as a trademark or symbol of its identity. Web sites often include a logo to indicate affiliation with a host organization or to suggest the nature of the site's content. Click here to see the logo of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

log off
The procedure by which the user closes or terminates communication with a remote computer system. The opposite of log on. Also spelled log-off or logoff. Compare with exit.

logogram
A symbol or character that stands for an entire word, for example, $ for dollar and # for number.

logon
See: log on.

log on
The procedure by which the user gains access to and initiates communication with a remote computer system, usually by typing or entering an authorized username and/or password. The opposite of log off. Also spelled log-on and logon.

logotype
In letterpress, a unit of type cast in one piece, bearing two or more characters on the body, not tied together as in a ligature, for example, the frequently used Qu letter combination (see these examples).

long discount
The standard discount given by a publisher to a bookseller on trade books, usually 40 percent. Compare with short discount.

longevity
The length of time for which a given information medium remains fit for use under normal conditions, before deterioration and other factors render it unusable. Longevity is affected by inherent vice, preservation procedures (cleaning, storage conditions, etc.), and obsolescence of technology in the case of electronic media. For example, the longevity of materials printed on permanent paper is considerably greater than that of materials printed on acid paper. Similarly, the clay tablets that served as a writing surface in ancient Mesopotamia were superior in longevity to the papyrus sheets and scrolls used in ancient Egypt and other parts of the Mediterranean region. The longevity of some electronic media, such as CDs, CD-ROMs, and DVDs, remains uncertain. See also: backup and migration.

longitude
In cartography, the angular position of a point on the surface of the earth east or west of the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, dividing the earth into eastern and western hemispheres. The angle is measured in a plane parallel to that of the equator, between the plane of the meridian containing the point and the plane of the prime meridian (or other datum meridian). Longitude is expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds, ranging from 0 to 180 degrees, with notation added to indicate direction (example: 120º, 15', 5" east). One degree of longitude is equivalent to about 60 miles (97 km) on the ground. For other planets, astronomers measure longitude in degrees ranging from 0 to 360 west from a meridian designated the 0 meridian. Click here to learn more about longitude, courtesy of Wikipedia. Compare with latitude.

longitudinal study
A research methodology in which the same phenomenon is observed continuously or at intervals over an extended period of time, usually to discern temporal patterns or identify changes that occur in response to altered conditions (see this library-related example). See also: user survey.

long page
In printing, a page containing more lines of type matter than specified. In books, a typesetter may add an extra line (or lines) to avoid setting an orphan or widow. Compare with short page.

long-playing record (LP)
A sound recording medium, introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, in which music and/or spoken words are recorded in a continuous spiral microgroove in the surface of a thin, flat 12-inch wide vinyl disk, which can be played back at 33 1/3 rpm using a device called a record player equipped with a stylus, cartridge, and speakers to amplify the sound (see this example). LPs have a playing time of 20-25 minutes per side. Although they have been superseded, first by audiocassettes and more recently by audio compact discs, they are purchased by collectors and retained by libraries for archival purposes (see the Yahoo! list of vintage vinyl sellers). See also: monaural, quadraphonic, and stereophonic.

loose
Sheets of paper, parchment, etc., that are unbound, usually filed in a folder or container. The opposite of bound. See also: loose-leaf.

Also refers to one or more leaves, or all the sections of a book, that have become partially or completely detached from the binding through use (see this example). The term is also used to describe the binding on a well-used book that opens easily and lies flat at any page. The opposite of tight.

loose-leaf
A rigid or flexible mechanical binding that can be manually opened and closed by the user to remove or insert, at any location in the sequence of pages, one or more leaves or sections with holes or slots punched along the back margin. The most common varieties are ring binding and post binding. Loose-leaf binding is used in libraries for reference serials, government documents, legal publications, instruction manuals, etc., which must be updated on a regular basis (click here to see the process illustrated, courtesy of the University of Illinois Library). Compare with comb binding and spiral binding.

loose-leaf service
A type of serial publication, usually sold on subscription, designed for storage in one or more loose-leaf binders (base volumes) to which new material is added, in which revised material is substituted, and from which outdated material is removed on an ongoing basis as content is cumulated and/or indexed, a format used to disseminate information that requires frequent updating (financial, legal, scientific, etc.). Investment advisory services are often issued in this form. In AACR2, this type of integrating resource is called an updating loose-leaf.

lossless
A conversion from one format to another that does not result in the loss of data or information. The opposite of lossy.

lost
A code used in a library catalog record to indicate the circulation status of an item no longer available because it was checked out to a previous borrower and never returned. Most libraries bill the patron an amount based on the cost of replacement after a number of overdue notices have been sent without result. In some libraries, the charge may be refundable if the item is found and returned within a reasonable period of time. Compare with missing. See also: lost work.

lost work
A creative work known only through allusions or quotations in the writings of contemporary authors, all manifestations having disappeared. Literary works of the classical period (poems, plays, etc.) and musical works are often known only through fragments or by reference and quotation in other surviving works. Unknown works and works thought to have been lost are sometimes discovered, as in the case of the Bach aria discovered in 2005 in an archive at Leipzig and the unfinished novel Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine by Alexandre Dumas found in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France by Dumas expert Claude Schopp.

lot
A regular shipment of books, periodicals, or other printed material sent by a library to a bindery for binding or rebinding. The phrase "closing the lot" refers to the point in time after which no further items are added to a shipment. Only when the lot is closed can the necessary paperwork be prepared to accompany the shipment.

Lotka's Law
The bibliometric principle that the number of authors making n contributions to the scholarly literature of a given field is about C/na, with C (the number making a single contribution) a constant. In the article "The Frequency Distribution of Scientific Productivity" published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences in 1926, mathematician and statistician Alfred James Lotka (1880-1949) observed that the exponent a is often close to 2. Rewriting the equation as a statistical distribution (1/na), he observed that when a is exactly 2 for a given literature, C = 0.61. Accurate when applied to large bodies of literature over a significant period of time, Lotka's empirical law of scientific productivity means that in a field in which a = 2, about 61% of all published authors make just one contribution, about 15 percent have two publications (1/2² x .61), about 7 percent make three contributions (1/3² x .61), and less than 1 percent produce ten or more publications (1/10² x .61).

loupe
A pocket-sized magnifying eyepiece used to examine photographic prints and slides, motion picture film, graphic artwork, fine jewelry, etc. To see examples, try a keyword search on the term "loupe" in Google Images.

lowercase
The small letters of a type font (abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz), as opposed to its capital letters (ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ). The opposite of uppercase. Type matter set in lowercase can be read more rapidly than the same text set in uppercase. The words "lowercase" and "uppercase" are derived from the relative positions of the compartments within the wood or metal case designed to hold elements of type bearing small letters and capital letters at a typesetter's bench in the days when typesetting was done by hand (letterpress). Also spelled lower case. Compare with minuscule. See also: ascender, descender, and x-height.

loxodrome
From the Greek loxos ("oblique") and dromos ("running"). Synonymous with rhumb line.

lubki
A style of inexpensive woodblock print, usually consisting of an image (often hand-colored) with minimal text, which served as a form of folk narrative and simple graphic art for the poor in Russia from the second half of the seventeenth century until 1917. Engraving and eventually lithography replaced the earlier woodcut technique. See these examples, courtesy of Johns Hopkins University, or try a keywords search in Google Images. Click here to learn more about lubki, courtesy of the Fine Press Book Association, or try Wikipedia. Singular lubok.

luminescent work
A novelty work, usually a graphic representation or sign made from materials that emit light in the dark without an increase in temperature, usually through a process of fluorescence or phosphorescence. The category includes works that glow only under ultraviolet light (see these examples). Synonymous with black light work and luminous work.

lurk
To receive and read messages posted to an online discussion forum, or observe the exchanges in a chat room, without actively participating in the discussion. In some mailing lists, there may be more lurkers than active correspondents.

lux
A unit of measurement of the intensity of natural and artificial light, equivalent to one lumen per square meter, used in the conservation of light-sensitive materials. Light intensity is measured using a lux meter (see this example). Click here for a more technical definition, courtesy of Wikipedia. Abbreviated lx.

lyric
In classical Greece, a song or poem performed to the accompaniment of a harp-like stringed instrument called a lyre. In contemporary usage, a relatively short poem in which a single speaker expresses a personal emotion or state of mind, as opposed to narrating a sequence of events. The form includes sonnets, elegies, odes, and hymns. Compare with lyrics.

lyricist
One who specializes in writing the words for songs, usually in collaboration with a composer who writes the melody. Which comes first? In songwriting, the answer is both: a lyricist may write the lyrics and then turn them over to the composer, who adds the music, or vice versa. Or, the two artists may work in closer collaboration. Compare with librettist.

lyrics
The words of a song or musical drama, as opposed to its music. In libraries, songs and musicals are cataloged under the name of the composer, with an added entry under the name of the lyricist when the words were written by a person other than the composer (examples: Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein who wrote the words for musical works composed by Richard Rodgers). For examples, try the Yahoo! list of lyrics Web sites. Compare with lyric.

lyric sheet
A typed or printed copy of the words to a song, usually used in conjunction with a lead sheet. A lyric sheet may also give the song title; the author's name, street address, and telephone number; and notice of copyright. Lyric sheets may also be handwritten (see this original by Bob Dylan).


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