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LEAP: Library Information


Circulation: The desk on the 1st floor of the library where you can go to check out (or borrow) books for free. Books that can be checked out may be called circulating books. Take the books you want to check out to the 1st floor circulation desk with your Wright 1 card.

Reference: The area on the second floor near the Information Desk. This area may be called the Information Commons. Books on the second floor that cannot be checked out (encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, and handbooks) may be called reference books. Any time you need help finding anything in the library or getting started with your research, ask at the Information Desk.

Loan period: The amount of time you're allowed to borrow a book from the library. Most circulating books have a loan period of 28 days for undergraduates. When you check out a book, you'll be given a due date or a date that you need to return the book to the library. If you don't return the book by that date, the book will be considered overdue and you'll have to pay fines.

Catalog: The list of items in the University Libraries (including Dunbar, the ERC, the depository, and more). You can search our catalog online from the library homepage. The catalog will give you a book's location and call number (see the box for call numbers), and let you know if the book is available.

Database: Similar to a catalog, the database is a collection of information/records (often articles) in a subject area or covering certain publications. Database records usually include the citation, an abstract, and sometimes a link to the full text.

Periodical: A generic term for anything published periodically (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), including magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Journal: A periodical that is scholarly or academic in content and purpose. Ex: Journal of Applied Psychology or American Anthropologist. Compare with magazine.

Magazine: A general-interest periodical that has a broad audience. Ex: Time or Glamour. Compare with journal.

OhioLINK: A consortium of 89 Ohio libraries that work together to provide Ohio students, faculty, staff, and researchers with books, articles, videos, and more. We use OhioLINK to request books we don’t have. OhioLINK also provides many of our databases, electronic journals, and ebooks.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Our method for requesting books that are not available anywhere in Ohio and articles that are not available in print in our building or full-text electronically. Textbooks may NOT be requested using ILL.

For more translations and more definitions, see the Diverse Populations Language Table and Diverse Populations Glossary Definitions.

Call Numbers

Books in the library have Library of Congress call numbers. The call number is usually on a white sticker near the bottom of a book's spine.

book spines to show call number placement

A call number is like a book's address on the shelf. To find a book on the shelf, look up the book in the library catalog and copy down the entire call number. If you need help looking up books in the library catalog, ask at the Information Desk on the second floor.

Once you have the call number, find the section of the library that starts with the same letters as your call number.

close of call number labels

Read the 1st line in alphabetical order. Read the next line as a whole number.

The next lines combine letters and numbers:

  • Read the letter alphabetically
  • Read the number as a decimal

If you need help finding books on the shelf, ask at the Information Desk on the second floor.

Library hours

Library hours are posted on the library's homepage ( You can also find them on library's calendar:

Useful library phone numbers

Circulation: 775-2525

If you have questions about your library record, borrowing, or fines, or media materials, call Circulation.

Information Desk: 775-2925

If you have questions about research, library hours, how to find something on the library website or in the library, or reserving a room, call the information desk.

STAC: 775-2656

If you have questions about technical assistance with a program such as PowerPoint, Prezi, or with multimedia projects, call the STAC. 

Useful Links

Ask your librarian!

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Beth Anderson
Dunbar Library 210A
(937) 775-3144

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