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Frequently Asked of Us

Check our FAQ for research tips and answers to popular questions.

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Stop by the Ask Me desk at Shadek or the Circulation desk at Martin, or call at:
Shadek-Fackenthal (717) 291-4217
Martin Library (717) 291-4331

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Students can meet with a librarian for one-on-one, expert research assistance.

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Students can consult with a librarian to research prospective employers and explore graduate school opportunities.

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Research Tips: Glossary of Library Terms

Summary of an article, book, or other written publication.

Materials which are bought for the libraries, or the department of the library which buys materials. On the Ground Floor of Shadek-Fackenthal Library.

An annual compendium of statistics and facts, both current and retrospective.

Public records or historical documents, or the place where such records and documents are kept. On the Ground Floor of Shadek-Fackenthal Library.

Ask Us
Ask Us provides research assistance by email and text at "," and by chat at screen-name "askusfandm." We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Ask Me desk
Also known as the Reference Desk, the place to ask for assistance in the Library.

A volume of maps, plates, engravings, or tables.

Bibliographic citation
The information which identifies a book or article. Information for a book usually includes the author, title, publisher, and date. The citation for an article includes the author, title of the article, title of the periodical, volume, pages, and date.

A list of books, articles, or other sources (interviews, films) on a particular subject. Bibliographies may be found at the end of books or articles, or may be separate publications.

Books that need repair and periodicals that need bound are sent out of the library to the bindery.

Journals (periodicals) are published in individual parts (called issues). After a certain number of these parts are received by the Library, it sends them off to a company that makes them into a single volume (called a "bound" volume) and then the Library shelves them for use in either the Ground Level of the Main Library OR the 2nd floor of the Science Library.

Call number
A group of letters and numbers given to each item which is used to arrange materials in the library The Library of Congress System (LC call number) is used for most academic library materials; an example: GV 836 .A2C72.

The process of borrowing materials to use outside the library. This is done at the Circulation desk. A student or FPS ID is required. Also frequently called circ, the place on the first floor of the Library where you check out library materials.

Same as bibliographic citation.

An index of all the principal words in a work, showing location in the text, and sometimes defining the words.

Cumulative index
An index in which several previously published indexes are combined into one book.

Current periodicals
The most recent issues of a journal or magazine, often published during the last year, which have not been bound. These are found on the first floor of the Libraries.

A library which receives the publications of a government. Franklin and Marshall is a partial depository for publications of the U.S. Government.

E-Z Borrow
A patron initiated service that allows you to request materials owned by other libraries (books only).

A geographical dictionary.

A compendium, covering one or more subjects, arranged for the quick location of facts.

A hold guarantees that when a book is returned to the circulation desk it will be saved for you.

A list of subjects, names, titles, etc., that helps you to locate information. A periodical index lists articles by subject or author. A book index is a list at the end of a book which gives page numbers where names and subjects can be found in the book.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
A service that allows you to request materials owned by other libraries (books & journal articles).

A publication which has scholarly information, usually written by professors, researchers, or experts in a subject area. See Magazine.

Library of Congress Subject Headings
The vocabulary, or subject headings, used to classify the information in the online catalog.

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

Microfiche (4 by 6 inch cards) are printed items which have been reduced in size by photographic methods to save space. Microfiche is housed on the 1st floor of the Main Library (between the Reference Room and the Periodical Reading Room) and also on the Technology Room of the Science Library. The Library provides FREE reader/printers for microfilm use.

Journals (periodicals) that the Library collects take up a lot of space! In order to keep their back file contents available for users the Library has had to resort to having some of them filmed at a reduced ("micro") size and stored on small reels. While more and more of such back files are available online, a significant portion remains on such film (call "microfilm") which is housed on the 1st floor of the Main Library (between the Reference Room and the Periodical Reading Room) and also in the Technology Room of the Science Library. The Library provides FREE reader/printers for microfilm use.

A book.

Online database
A searchable, computerized file, often of periodical indexes.

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

Reference Desk
See Ask Me desk, the place to ask for assistance in the Library.

Materials that instructors set aside for the students in a class to read. These materials are either in paper behind the Circulation desk, or on EDisk or Blackboard.

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

Subject heading
The specific word or phrase used to find a book or article on a specific topic in a catalog or periodical index.

Both the Main Library and the Science Library have storage areas for books and bound journals (periodicals). Because these areas are comprised of shelves one on top of each other they are referred to as "stacks."

A collection of issues of a periodical, usually gathered over a year.


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