International students

Service in your preferred language

Many of our library staff are able to provide service in languages other than English. Look for the language button on our staff lanyards.

staff lanyard with "I speak" buttons for various languages

Library materials by language

The U of T Scarborough Library has resources in many languges. Check the links below to find books and online resources in these languages.

Glossary of library terms

Library terms can be difficult to understand. Here are definitions of some library-related terms used on our website and research guides.

Abstract: a summary of a document, usually found at the beginning of academic articles.

Annotated bibliography: a discussion of literature sources on a given topic, including a concise summary of each source and an assessment of its value or relevance to the topic.

Article: a non-fiction piece of writing that is part of a larger work (such as a journal or an encyclopedia) and that has its own specific topic independent of the other pieces in the work.

Bibliography/References/Works cited: a list of books, articles, or other sources of information that have informed the content of a piece of academic writing. They are often included at the end of books, chapters, or articles, and follow a specific format.

Boolean operators: the conjuctions AND, OR, NOT, or AND NOT that are used to combine or exclude keywords in a search, in order to produce relevant results.

Call number: a unique code given to each physical item in the library, is used to identify the subject and location of the item. The call number appears on a label on each book. U of T Scarborough uses the Library of Congress Classification system.

Cited by: quoted or referred to by another text, author, or other source of information as an authority on a subject or in support of an argument. Clicking on the cited by link in Google Scholar will display a list of newer documents that refer to the original document found.

Citation: an entry in a bibliography that provides information about where a particular quotation, text, or document is to be found.

Course reserves: books and films, usually required texts or course readings, that are set aside by a course instructor for students to borrow on short term loan. At U of T Scarborough , the course reserves are located to the right of the library entrance. This area also contains technology items (phone chargers, power banks, and calculators).

Database: an online collection of sources (usually journal articles), searchable by topic or keyword. The databases by subject are found on the A-Z databases page.

Dictionary: a book that contains short entries (often in alphabetical order) for the words of a language or languages. It provides each word’s spelling, meaning, and may have other information such as pronunciation or illustrative examples. Dictionaries may also be limited to a specific subject or theme, containing the specialized words related to the subject (such as biology or medicine).

Drop box/book return: this is a container in the library into which borrowers return library items when they are finished with them. At the U of T Scarborough library there are two drop boxes, one just inside the entrance and one in the hallway outside that can be used even when the library is closed.

Encyclopedia: a book or set of books that contain extensive information on all branches of knowledge, organized in alphabetical order by subject. There are also special-topic encyclopedias devoted to a specific academic discipline (such as music or psychology).

Footnote/endnote: a citation, reference or comment that appears at the bottom of a page or end of a chapter, and is used to provide further explanation or comment on something in the main body of text. Footnotes are the preferred style of citation for academic writing in the humanities.

Glossary: an alphabetical list of obscure or technical terms in a publication or related to a subject, with definitions or explanations.

Hold: an online or in-person request that a library user can make to get an item that someone else currently has borrowed. When the item is returned to the library, the library user who placed the hold will be notified by email that it is ready for pickup at the front desk.

Index: an alphabetical list (usually at the end of a book) of the major names and subjects that were mentioned in the book, along with the page numbers where they are found.

Intercampus delivery (ICD): a free service where a library user may request that an item that is not available at their preferred University of Toronto library be delivered from a library located on a different campus. Request an ICD online in the catalogue, or in-person at the front desk.

Interlibrary loan (ILL): a free service where a library user may request that an item that is not available at any library at the University of Toronto be provided from another library system (such as a public library or other university library). Request an ILL online through RACER, or in person at the front desk.

Journal: an ongoing publication, containing articles that are written by various authors, about new research in a certain subject area. Many academic or scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. University of Toronto subscribes to a large number of journals, which are accessible online or in print through the library catalogue or databases.

Keyword: one or several words used to describe the topic of a document or database record. This also sometimes refers to any word entered into a database or search engine to produce a set of results.

Magazine: like journals, magazines are ongoing publications containing current articles about a particular topic. However, magazines are usually written for entertainment or to inform, and they appeal to a general, non-academic audience. At UTSC, the magazines are shelved in the Reading Room.

Newspaper: an ongoing publication with information about current events, usually related to a particular city or region. The UTSC library has access to many major newspapers online through the library catalogue and the newspaper research guide, and we also have local newspapers in print and microfilm.

Peer-reviewed: a process that many scholarly journals use to decide which articles they will publish. The articles are reviewed by a group of the author's peers (other academics in their field) before the articles are published. Another term for peer-reviewed is “refereed.” To know if a journal is peer-reviewed, check Ulrich’s.

Plagiarism: using another person’s words or ideas without citing their source.

Primary source: materials providing immediate, first-hand evidence of a topic being studied, on which further (secondary) research may be based. Primary sources in the humanities might include diaries, historical newspapers, photographs, and works of art and literature. Primary sources in the sciences might include the results of experiments, statistics, datasets, and survey data.

Reference or research help: this refers to help with finding and evaluating sources, using databases and keywords, styling citations, and other library-related questions. At the U of T Scarborough library, get reference help in-person at the front desk of the library, by email or telephone, or by using the Ask a Librarian Chat service.

Reference collection: a collection of important or frequently used books that can’t be borrowed and must be used within the library. At U of T Scarborough these are located in the Nook seating area.

Renew: an extension of the due date for a book or other library item from the main collection (not available for course reserves or other special collections). Undergraduate students at U of T Scarborough can usually renew an item up to 5 times for an additional 2 weeks each time, as long as there are no holds on it. Renew items online or in-person at the front desk.

Research guides: research advice, useful tools, and the best resources for your needs.

Secondary source: a source that summarizes, analyses, interprets, or discusses primary sources or information that was originally created elsewhere. Secondary sources might include books about a topic, articles analyzing data or discussing earlier research on a topic, and literary criticism.

Stacks: the shelves in the library where the library’s main collection of books are kept (rather than specialized collections such as Course Reserves). At the U of T Scarborough  Library, the stacks for call numbers A-JN are located on the upper floor, and the call numbers JQ-Z are on the lower floor.

Table of contents: a list of a book’s sections and chapters or a journal issue’s articles, with page numbers. It is usually located at the beginning of the book or issue.

Thesaurus: a list of words along with their synonyms (words with a similar meaning) and antonyms (words with an opposite meaning). This also sometimes refers to an alphabetical listing of all the subject terms in a single database, used to classify and organize information for that database, and that users then enter into a database or search engine to produce a set of results.