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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons


Resources for CIE/ESL Students

Library vocabulary

Do you speak "library"? A list of commonly-used library words.



To look through or explore at random. You can browse through SSU Library's books and magazines to find items that look interesting to you.

Check out

To borrow something from the library; to take something home with you from the library.  You will need to show a student ID card or other photo ID to check out.

Circulating Collection

Books and other items that can be checked out and taken home. Circulate means to go from place to place (like from school to home). SSU Library's circulating collection is kept on the second and third floor of the library.

Course Reserves (also called Reserves)

Textbooks and other books used in your classes that you can use in the library. They are kept at the Help Desk and you can browse them online

Database A database in an online search application that allows you to find research material. Some databases contain periodical articles, some contain music or video or art images. SSU Library has over 300 databases

Due date

The date by which you should return items you have borrowed to the library.  If you keep a book past the due date, you will receive an email telling you that the book is late (or overdue) and asking you to return it. SSU Library lets you borrow books for three (3) weeks. 

Group Study Rooms Group Study Rooms are small rooms that seat 6-8 people. Students may book a group study room to work on homework or collaborative projects. SSU Library has 11 group study rooms
Help Desk The desk in the library where you can borrow books, computers, headphones, ask questions, print, check out group study rooms and more. The Help Desk is located at the main entrance to SSU Library 


A hold is an online request to have a book or other material waiting for you to check out at the Help Desk.

Interlibrary Loan  Interlibrary Loan is a service in which libraries lend their collections to other libraries for their patrons. You can make an interlibrary loan request online.


A person who works in the library; a specialist in the library and information field.  If you are having difficulty finding what you need, you can ask a librarian for help. SSU Library has a librarian for every academic discipline. 


A place where you can borrow books, Course Reserves, etc.; a place where can get help finding information for your classes; a place where you can study and relax. (Students sometimes confuse library with bookstore.  A bookstore is a place where you can buy books.)

Loan period

The length of time for which you can borrow something from the library.  At the end of the loan period, you must return the item to the library.


Overdue means late. When a library item is kept longer than its loan period and after its due date, it becomes overdue. SSU Library lets you borrow books for three (3) weeks.  Other materials (like computers or headphones) have different due dates. 


A publication (usually a collection of articles) that is issued at regular intervals.  Popular magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers are all periodicals.


Something you should ask a lot when you are in the library.  We are happy to help you!


To extend the loan period on an item; to check an item out again so you can keep it longer.


To bring a book (or other item) you have borrowed back to the library.

Thesaurus (plural: thesauri)

A book or built-in database tool that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts.