Multilingual Glossary

Library Words and Phrases Frequently Used at Maxwell Library

A to Z Journals and Newspapers List

Lists the magazines, newspapers, and journal that Maxwell Library has accessible.


An online database of library materials (books, videos, sound recordings) that may be searched by title, author, or subject.

Call Number

Location number for finding an item in the library. The Maxwell Library uses two kinds of call numbers. Books in the General Collection use Library of Congress numbers. Books in the Children's Collection use Dewey Decimal Numbers. When you search the library's online catalog you will find the location and call number at the bottom of the catalog record.

Check Out

To borrow books

Circulating Collection

Books that can be checked out. These are located on the second and third floors (also General Collection).

Circulation Desk

The desk located near the main entrance of the library where you can check out, and return books.

Databases A to Z

An alphabetical listing of all the databases the library subscribes to.

Document Delivery Service (DDS)

Also known as Interlibrary Loan, this service allows you to request books, journal articles, or other materials that the Maxwell Library does not own, from other libraries.

Due Date

The date that borrowed material must be returned to the library. Students may borrow most books for four weeks. See also "Overdue"

Educational Resources Center (ERC)

The ERC is located on the second floor of Maxwell Library. It provides resources and assistance to support professional education and related programs at Bridgewater State University. The Children's Book Collection is also located there.


Electronic journals may not be available for a certain period after they are published due to publishers’ publishing contracts. For example, Embargo 1 year means the library will not have the current year of content for an embargoed journal.


Money owed for returning books after the due date. See the Circulation Department page for more information.

General Collection

Books that can be checked out. In Maxwell Library these books are on the second and third floors.


A request to be notified when a book that is checked out by someone else is returned.

InterLibrary Loan

Also known as ILL or ILL/DDS this service allows you to request books, journal articles, or other materials that the Maxwell Library does not own, from other libraries.

Library of Congress (LC) Classification System

The System of Call Numbers used to classify books at the Maxwell Library. Named for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. where it was developed, the LC classification system organizes books into twenty broad categories, each assigned a letter of the Latin alphabet. Further subdivisions are indicated by a second letter, and narrower subtopics by further alphabetic and decimal notation.


Library guides to help you get started on research.


Library materials that have not been returned by their due date are "overdue" and may be charged a fine.


A publication, such as a magazine or newspaper, that comes out at regular intervals. Periodicals in the Maxwell Library are located on the first floor.

Reference Desk

Located by the main entrance on the first floor, the reference desk is staffed by professional librarians trained to help with research questions, or assist you in finding materials. 

Reference Collection

Books in the Reference Collection are located on the first floor, and must be used in the library. They may not be checked out.


To request an extension of time on borrowed materials.

Reserve Materials

The Reserve Collection makes available high-demand, course related materials for restricted use, usually at instructor's request. The reserve materials are found at the Circulation desk.