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Introduction to the CalArts Library

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Abstract: A short (roughly 1- or 2-paragraph) description of the contents of an article or book, most commonly associated with academic articles.

Call Number: The alphanumeric (letters and numbers) code that tells you where on the shelf to find a book. It is usually on the spine of the book, but sometimes (if the book is too thin) you will find it on the bottom left corner of the front cover. 

Catalog Record: This information an individual item: Title, author, call number, etc. Your search results the library catalog are made up of catalog records.

Check Out: Borrowing a library book. When you've "checked out" a book it means that you have gone to the circulation desk, given a circulation staff member your ID card, and have successfully placed on your library account. 

Circulation Desk: The main desk at the front of the library where you check out books. This is also where you go to ask for Course Reserves, performance scores, artists' books, and items from Special Collections.

Course Reserves: Books and other items that are on reserve for a whole class to access. Typically, Reserves are held behind the Circulation Desk in the Main Library. Please note that not all course materials are held on Reserve; your instructor has to put items there. Course Reserve items can only be checked out for up to two (2) hours at a time, and can only be used in the library. 

E-Reserves: Course Reserves that are in electronic format. These can be book chapters, articles, and other types of licensed content (like an image) that your instructor wants to make sure you can access online. If you have E-Reserves for your courses, you'll need the password from your instructor or TA in order to access them.

Database: Electronic collection of articles, eBooks, images, and/or other types of documents. Databases are often organized by format (i.e., type of material) and/or subject area(s). For example, ProQuest Research Library is an article (format) database that cover many subject areas; Artstor is an image (format) database for the arts (subject). 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): A system that allows you to request books from another library. 

Holds ("Request Item"): If an item is already checked out, click the "Request Item" button (located in the catalog record) and the person who has it checked out will not be allowed to renew it. You will be notified when the item is returned.

Library Account: Your CalArts-affiliated access to the Library, allowing you to borrow and renew books and other materials, request Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items, and access the Library's databases off-campus.

Library Catalog: Online search tool to locate items in the library.

Loan Period: The amount of time you can have a book or other material(s) checked out. 

Overdue: Your library items are past the date that they are due. 

Reference Desk: Located at the front of the Library next to the Circulation Desk.  Stop by the Reference Desk to get drop-in reference help and research support from a librarian.

Renew: To extend the due date for your library items.