Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Staff Style Guide: Glossary


List of Preferred Terms

Purpose of this Glossary

  1. To encourage our team to use a unified vocabulary in guides, email, chat, Staff/Student News, social media, LAS News, presentations and other communications.
  2. To help us describe our services and supports in a user-friendly way (consistent, clear and inclusive).

This is a living glossary which will remain open to revision. If you have content to suggest, please click on the MAKE A SUGGESTION button below.



A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Ask Us bubble (widget on website)

The widget on Library and Academic Services’ webpages that directs Library users to the Ask Us Chat during online service hours; or to LibAnswers when Library staff are not available. 

Avoid: Ask Us button, Ask Us icon 


Ask Us button

See Ask Us bubble


Ask Us chat (the service) 

The Library’s online reference service where Library staff answer inquiries, provide research guidance, and reference assistance to the RRC Polytech community. 

Avoid: chat, LibChat, Lib Chat, online service desk


Ask Us icon

See Ask Us bubble


AV, audiovisual, or audio-visual equipment

See equipment



best practices

See Terms of Use



See Library and Academic Services News


bookable equipment

See equipment


breakout or break out rooms

See study rooms



See Ask Us chat


check-out/-in or check out/in

See checkout OR loan


check out/check in

See checkout OR loan


checkout OR loan 

Library materials loaned to Library users through Alma or LibCal. 

Also used: self-checkout, checked out (past tense)

Avoid: check-out/-in, check out/in, loans/returns, sign out/in, discharge 



See Library users


collection development

See Suggest a Purchase


course reserve

See Course Reserves


Course Reserves 

Materials, either physical or electronic, selected by an instructor to support students in a specific course. Physical items have restricted loan periods and are kept at the Service Desk. All materials are managed through Alma and discoverable through OneSearch. 

Avoid: course reserve, reserve



See Library users




An organized, searchable collection of information made available online. 


digital collection

See online collection



See checkout OR loan


Discovery System

See OneSearch



Digital video disc or digital versatile disc. A type of optical disc used for data storage and as a platform for multimedia. (Source:

Avoid: media, video 




See ebook


ebook (mid-sentence), Ebook (beginning sentence) 

Any electronic book formats that can be read on an electronic device. 

Note: Ebook should be capitalized at the beginning of sentences, and subsequent uses of ebook within a sentence should be lowercase. 

Avoid: e-book, eBook, electronic book, online book, etc.



See ebook



See ejournal


ejournal (mid-sentence), Ejournal (beginning sentence) 

A periodical published in electronic format and accessed online. 

Note: Ejournal should be capitalized at the beginning of sentences, and subsequent uses of ejournal within a sentence should be lowercase. 

Avoid: e-journal, eJournal, electronic journal, online journal, etc.



See ejournal


electronic book

See ebook


electronic collection

See online collection


electronic journal

See ejournal



Bookable equipment such as laptops, cameras, projectors, and chargers and well as accessories such as markers and light therapy lamps. 

See also: equipment booking system 

Avoid: loanable equipment, bookable equipment, borrowed equipment, AV/audiovisual/audio-visual equipment


Equipment Booking System 

The online platform for Library users to browse the Library’s equipment collection and create scheduled bookings on equipment items.  

Avoid: LibCal, Lib Cal, equipment catalogue, AV equipment booking, audiovisual equipment booking, A/V equipment booking, audio visual equipment booking


Equipment Catalogue

See Equipment Booking System




See filters



A OneSearch tool where patrons may customize search results.  

Not to be confused with “Limiters,” which are functions applied in the creation of the search; for example, limiting to a location or resource type. Filters are applied after; for example, filtering the results to peer-review only. 

Avoid: facets


flash drive

See USB drive OR USB stick




See Terms of Use



Web-based collections of curated resources developed by Library staff to support students and faculty at RRC Polytech.

LibGuides (internal staff use): The name of the SpringShare software module used for building Guide pages, not to be confused with the product of the module. (Note: not to be used: Libguide or Lib Guide) 


  • "Guides” are not used as a description for web pages. 
  • If necessary to provide context, add “Library’s” in front (i.e., Library’s Guides).
  • Avoid “Online Guides.” Instead, provide a link.
Avoid: Subject Guides, Program Guides, Library Guides, Learning Guides, Research Guides, LibGuides, Lib Guides, Information Guides, Info Guides, Online Guides 




See request




See Interlibrary Loan


Info Guides or Information Guides

See Guides


Interlibrary Loan 

Process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library for Library users. Physical items may be loaned, or copies of documents sent, with usage limited by copyright and licenses. 

Avoid: Inter-library loan, ILL (NO dash to align with current Library practice, including Library and Archives Canada)


Inter-library Loan

See Interlibrary Loan




In the Library collection, “Journal” includes scholarly journals, popular magazines, newsletters, newspapers, etc., published as in a series (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). A journal may be an online or physical resource. 

Personal journals, logs, or diaries are not included in this definition. 


  • OneSearch differentiates journals and magazines from newspapers under the search scopes within “Resource Type.” When users limit search results to “Journals” or “Peer-reviewed Journals” under “Tweak your results,” newspapers will not be included.
  • In Library Instruction, we use “Periodical” and “Journal,” but overall “Journal” is preferred. 
Avoid: periodical





Learning Guides

See Guides


LibCal or Lib Cal

See Equipment Booking System


LibChat or Lib Chat

See Ask Us chat


LibGuides or Lib Guides

See Guides


Library and Academic Services News 

A series of articles written by LAS staff and guests from the College community, with a primary audience of RRC Polytech staff and students. It is hosted on the RRC Polytech website

Avoid: blog, Library News, Library blog, LAS blog, etc.


Library Catalogue

See OneSearch


Library Guides

See Guides


Library instruction

Information sessions designed to inform Library users about how to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. 

Note: Library orientations and Library workshops are sub-categories of Library Instruction.


Library orientation

A specific type of Library instruction that focuses on basic library services (e.g., using OneSearch or checking out a book).


Library search

See OneSearch


Library users (first occurrence) and “users” (subsequent occurrences) 

The broadest collective term that describes people who use the library.

Avoid: patrons, customers, clients 


Library workshop

A specific type of Library instruction that is hosted (either in-person or online) by the library.


loan OR checkout

Library materials are loaned to Library users through Alma or LibCal. 

Also used: self-checkout, checked out (past tense)

Avoid: check-out/-in, check out/in, loans/returns, sign out/in, discharge 


loanable equipment

See equipment



See checkout OR loan






memory stick

See USB drive OR USB stick






Branding name for Ex-Libris Primo VE discovery service. 

Note: OneSearch refers to the system as well as the act of searching.

Avoid: library catalogue, OPAC, Discovery System, Primo, simple search, library search 


online book

See ebook


online collection

Library resources that Library users access online. Format of digital content varies (e.g., may include audio, video, text, images, mixed media, etc.). 

Note: Use “Library’s Online Collection” when required for context. 

Avoid: digital collection, electronic collection


Online Guides

 See Guides


online journal

See ejournal


online service desk

See Ask Us chat


online video

See streaming video



See OneSearch




See Library users


pen drive

See USB drive OR USB stick



See journal



See Terms of Use



See OneSearch


Program Guides

See Guides






See request



Physical library materials owned by the library that Library users request to borrow. Users request using OneSearch and Library staff request and process using Alma. 

Avoid: hold, reserve, recall 


Research Guides

See Guides



See Course Reserves

See request (as in requesting to borrow)


rules and regulations

See Terms of Use




See Subject Specialists


/login (nouns)

See sign in/log in


sign in/log in (verbs) 

To enter your College credentials to view a resource. 

Note: Prefer verb. For nouns, use username or password rather than “Sign-in” or “Login”. 


sign in/sign out (loan of Library materials)

See checkout OR loan


Simple Search

See OneSearch


streaming video/streaming audio 

Video streaming is a type of media streaming in which the data from a video file is continuously delivered via the Internet to a remote user. It allows a video to be viewed online without being downloaded on a host computer or device.  

Avoid: video on demand, online video 


study pods

See Study Rooms


Study Rooms 

Partitioned, open-air spaces within the Library for semiprivate group or individual study use. 

Avoid: study pods, break out rooms, breakout rooms


Subject Guides

See Guides


subject selection

See Suggest a Purchase


Subject Specialists (holding definition*)

Library staff (IPD and LRM) responsible for assessing, selecting, and deselecting Library collection resources based upon subject area, schools, or non-school areas. 

Avoid: Selectors

*Current practices are under review with significant changes anticipated in the current year. 


Suggest a Purchase

Method for Library users to recommend a resource (various formats) be acquired for the Library collection. The current ‘Suggest a Purchase’ form includes sections for justification and subject/content coverage. 


  • Does not include methods for temporary access to a resource (e.g. interlibrary loan or controlled digital lending). 
  • Best practice is to use “suggest a purchase” as an entry point. “Collection development” is a suitable term once the conversation has been initiated.  
Avoid: collection development, subject selection 



Terms of Use

An agreement that a user must abide by in order to use the Library's services.

Examples of usage: Borrowing Terms of Use, Guest Terms of Use  

Avoid: policies, guidelines, best practices, rules and regulations


thumb drive

See USB drive OR USB stick



USB drive OR USB stick 

External storage that plugs into a computer’s USB port. It functions like a hard drive and is used for storage, backup, data transfer and disseminating information. (Source:

Avoid: thumb drive, pen drive, memory stick, flash drive



See sign in/log in






video on demand

See streaming video









Frequently used terms



Ask Us bubble (the widget) Ask Us button, Ask Us icon
Ask Us chat (the service) chat, LibChat, online service desk
ebook e-book, eBook, electronic book, online book
ejournal e-journal, eJournal, electronic journal, online journal
equipment loanable equipment, bookable equipment, AV or audiovisual equipment
equipment booking system LibCal, equipment catalogue, AV or audiovisual equipment booking


OR "Library's Guides" for context

Subject Guides, Program Guides, Library Guides, Learning Guides, Research Guides, LibGuides, Info or Information Guides, Online Guides
Interlibrary Loan Inter-library Loan, ILL
Library and Academic Services News blog, LAS News

Library users (first occurrence)

users (subsequent occurrences)

patrons, customers, clients
OneSearch library catalogue, OPAC, discovery system, Primo, simple search, library search

online collection

OR "Library's online collection" for context

digital collection, electronic collection
streaming video video on demand, online video
study rooms study pods, breakout or break out rooms


Guiding Principles

Avoid using software names or the names of our providers as front-facing explanations for our services. 
OneSearch is our branding, Primo is the software platform and should not be used with patrons, it’s confusing. Examples: Primo, Alma, Springshare, LibApps (-Guides, -Chat, -Cal), etc. We could extend this logic to Electronic Collections vs Databases. For the sake of our job the distinction is important, but for users they’re synonymous, and interchanging either term is confusing.

Avoid acronyms.

Use “Library’s” in front of a term if necessary for clarification. (e.g., “Library’s Guides” or “Library’s Collection”) 

Media will be named as the format of the item. (e.g., DVD) 

LAS Promotions

Promotion Requests

Use the Promotion Request Form to request promotional support for LAS services, workshops, and events. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Graphics
  • Document design
  • Social media
  • Staff news
  • Posters
  • Marketing Services request

For questions about LAS promotions, please contact Linda Fox.