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Library Language - what does it mean?: R

A guide to terms, jargon and vocabulary you may encounter using the University Library services and resources



Rare Books
Books which are special because there are very few copies of them in existence. Or books which are special because of their age, where they come from or how they were made. The Library's rare book collections are held in Special Collections on level 1 of the Robinson Library. They can be searched on the Library Catalogue.

Reader Services
The department of the Library responsible for running many of the services which the Library offers to students and staff, including the main counter on Level 2 of the Robinson Library.

Reading List
List given out by lecturers or tutors containing the books or articles which should be read by those studying a particular module or course. A reading list can be either in paper form or electronic form via the catalogue. A reading list will usually contain three types of suggested book/article:

  • "Essential reading" means books or articles which you must read.
  • "Recommended reading" means books or articles which you will find it very useful to read, although you do not have to read them.
  • "Background reading" means books or articles which might not be directly related to your topic, but which provide information which will help you understand your topic.

Reading Room, Special Collections
See: Special Collections Reading Room

The email/notice sent to a reader who has a book on loan which has been requested by another reader. The recall will ask you to return the book by a certain date.

An acknowledgement that an idea, a quote or a piece of information that you have used in your work is taken from someone else's work and information about where you have taken it from.

Reference only
Items which can only be used in the Library and cannot be borrowed.

Borrowing an item again once the initial borrowing period has run out.

Research Reserve
A collection of lesser-used books and journals which are held off-campus. If you want any item which is held in the Reserve, you can request it using either the Library Catalogue or the online Research Reserve Request form.

Reservation request 
A request made for a book which is currently on loan to another reader. You can make a reservation request by logging into the Library catalogue. 

Restricted issue
Items which have some restrictions to how long you may borrow them for or where you may use them.

Robinson Library
The Robinson Library is the main campus Library and has resources for all subjects except medicine, dentistry, biomedical sciences and law.