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Library Language - what does it mean?: S

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



The Society of College, National and University Libraries. SCONUL enables members of one academic Library to make use of another in the United Kingdom. To make use of the SCONUL scheme, please talk to staff on the main issue counter on Level 2 of the Robinson Library.

Search engine
Software that searches the web. For example, Google and Ask are popular search engines.

Search Terms
The different words you might use to Words to describe a search topic. You can use search words to find books on a particular topic in the Library catalogue.

Terminals where you can issue items out to yourself using your Smartcard.

Terminals where you can return your items yourself using your Smartcard.

See: Journal

Shelf Mark
The number used to arrange books on our Library shelves by subject. The Library catalogue gives the shelfmark of each item. You need the shelfmark to find the item on the shelf. You will find the shelfmark somewhere on the item, usually on the spine of a book.
See also: Dewey decimal system.

Your University ID Card. Carries your photo, name and Student Number, and a barcode. You need it to access the Library building, to borrow books and to make photocopies.

Special Collections
The Library's collections of rare, historical or special material including books and archives and manuscripts, which are kept on closed access
See: Closed Access.

Special Collections Reading Room
The room on Level 1 of the Library where Special Collections material can be used. Also called the Enright Room.

Student Texts Collection.
A collection of books or journals which are in heavy demand and which students or staff can use for a shorter time period. You can book a 4-hour slot to look at an STC item by logging into the catalogue. The STC is on Level 2 of the Robinson Library. Overdue charges are very heavy for late STC books.

The section of the Library where you will find a particular book or journal. The sublibraries in Newcastle University Library are:

  • Robinson
  • Walton
  • Law
  • Computing
  • Special Collections
  • Research Reserve
  • Electronic (meaning part of our Electronic resources)

Subject librarian
Another term for Liaison Librarian
See: Liaison Librarian.