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Library Glossary: R-S

A guide to Library words and phrases


Skip to: R S 




The process by which the Library asks you to return a book that you have borrowed before its due date, because another borrower has reserved it.

Reading Lists Online

An electronic version of your module's reading list giving instant access to the library catalogue, e-books, electronic journal articles, databases and websites. Available via your modules Moodle site or here, just enter your module details


To provide a brief description of a document you have used to inform your arguments in a university assignment. Find details of how to cite and reference here

Reference only / QK Ref (Quick Reference)

Describes an item that you may use in the library but may not take out. May be shelved in a separate location to the main stock.


To extend the loan period of an item. You can renew any item that has not been reserved by another borrower, except for day loan items.


To stop an item that is on loan to another borrower being renewed - you will join a queue for the item if others have also reserved it. You can also reserve items that are available on the shelf at one site to be delivered to another for collection.


tool we have created to help postgraduate and doctoral researchers map their research journey.


To bring back an item you have borrowed from the library.

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A reciprocal borrowing scheme which allows students to use other University libraries that are members of the scheme. To apply for access, please complete the online form.

Self-service machine

Self-service machines are available at all of our sites for the issue, renewal and return of library materials. Some machines also accept fine payments.

Serial (also called: journal or periodical)

A magazine like publication that is published at regular intervals. Each individual issue (or part) of a journal contains several journal articles, written by different authors on a specialised topic.

Shelf mark (also known as class mark)

The arrangement of books in the library. Books are arranged in number order (Dewey Decimal system) reflecting the subject, for example, Cookery Skills are marked 641.5. You will find the shelf mark on the catalogue entry and on the spine of each book.


At Curzon Library we have an automatic sortation machine for returned items. Please post your returns through the machine directly opposite the ground floor entrance.


Storage room at Seacole Library where older print journals are kept. Library staff can retrieve items on request. 

Study rooms

Individual or group study rooms can be booked online for Curzon Building. Library group study rooms are available on a first-come-first-served basis at Mary Seacole Library.


Our library search engine. This will search our book stock, journals holdings and many of our online databases.

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