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Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz
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A fictitious story in which animal characters or inanimate objects speaking and acting like human beings are used to express or teach a moral lesson, which may be explicitly stated at the end. George Orwell's Animal Farm [1945] is an example of a novel in this genre. Click here to connect to the full-text of Aesop's Fables and here to see an 18th-century illustrated edition of Fables Choisies by Jean de La Fontaine. Synonymous with cautionary tale and morality tale. See also: allegory and parable.

In medieval literature written in old French, a humorous metrical story told in eight-syllable lines that relates incidents of ordinary life in a realistic style and at the same time conveys a moral message. Fabliaux often satirize the faults of clergymen or other prominent persons or the foibles of ordinary people. They can be broadly humorous, as in some of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

In publishing, the outside of the front cover of a book. In printing, the raised surface of a unit of metal type from which the impression of a single character is taken in printing. Also used as an abbreviation of typeface. In binding, the outer side of one of the boards of a book, as opposed to the inside surface or the edge.

Also refers to the unbroken front of a single-sided bookcase or shelving unit, or one side of a double-sided bookcase or shelving unit, or range of double-sided units.

In cartography, the area of a map that lies within the neat line and bears information, i.e., excluding any margin and/or border.

A privately-owned social networking Web site, founded in 2003 by Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg, that allows users to establish and update a personal profile, maintain a list of friends to whom messages can be sent, and join social networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region. The term "facebook" originally referred to books containing portrait photographs, distributed by university administrations at the beginning of the academic year to help students to get to know each other. Click here to connect to the Facebook homepage

face out
Placement of a book or periodical on edge with the front cover forward, usually to attract browsers to a library display or exhibit or to encourage sales in a retail outlet. In some libraries, current issues of periodicals are displayed on sloping shelves designed to allow the front covers to face forward (see this example). Also spelled face-out. Compare with spine-out.

In indexing, the entire set of subclasses generated when a class representing a subject in a classification system is divided according to a single characteristic, for example, the subclasses "children," "adolescents," and "adults" generated by the division of the class "people" according to the characteristic "age." The number of subclasses depends on the specific characteristic applied. In his Colon Classification, S.R. Ranganathan identified five basic characteristics recognizable in any class: personality, matter, energy, space, and time (abbreviated PMEST). In a more general sense, any one of several distinct aspects of a subject.

facet analysis
Examination of the various aspects of a subject to identify the basic characteristics by which it can be divided into subclasses, the first step in developing a faceted classification system.

faceted classification
A classification system developed through analysis of the fundamental characteristics of subjects by which they can be divided into subclasses. For example, in his Colon Classification, S.R. Ranganathan identifies five basic characteristics: personality, matter, energy, space, and time (abbreviated PMEST). In such a system, the notation representing a subject is created by combining the notations of its facets.

faceted initial
An initial letter in an illuminated manuscript or early printed book drawn to appear three-dimensional, like a gemstone cut into a number of intersecting plane surfaces, or a Roman capital carved in stone, a style inspired the antiquarian movement in Renaissance Italy (see this example, courtesy of the British Library, Burney 353). Other examples can be seen by browsing images in this 15th-century Virgil (British Library, King's 24).

faceted notation
A notation in which the facets of the classification system are indicated by symbols, for example, the colon in S.R. Ranganathan's Colon Classification.

Witty sayings or writings, sometimes of a coarse, indecent, or blasphemous nature. In bookselling, the term is sometimes used as a euphemism for erotica and pornography. See also: jestbook.

facet indicator
In Dewey Decimal Classification, a digit used to introduce notation representing a characteristic of the subject, for example, the "0" often used to introduce concepts represented by standard subdivisions (DDC).

face up
In printing, the position of a full-page illustration printed on the recto of a leaf so that it appears on the right-hand side of the opening in a book or other publication. Compare with double spread.

A person who makes it easier for others to do their work and accomplish their goals. Ideally, a library director should facilitate the work of staff under his or her supervision. Also refers to a person with exceptional communication skills selected to lead the discussion at a conference, workshop, planning session, etc.

facilities report
In the exchange of special collections materials for exhibition, a concise document prepared by the borrowing institution, to accompany the request letter sent to the lending institution, describing the borrower's exhibition program and facilities. For traveling exhibitions, a separate report is submitted to the lending library for each institution. In Guidelines for Borrowing and Lending Special Collections Materials for Exhibition (January 2005), the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recommends that the report include a description of the 1) borrowing institution, 2) building and exhibit space (size, date and type of construction, etc.), 3) fire protection system, 4) security system, 5) environment (range of temperature and humidity, lighting, UV exposure, etc.), 6) procedures to be used in handling the lent objects, and 7) insurance coverage, with a list of references (other institutions that have lent items to the borrowing institution). A standardized facilities report is available from the American Association of Museums (AAM).

A reproduction or copy intended to simulate as closely as possible the physical appearance of a previous work, but not intended as a forgery. A facsimile of a handwritten or printed document is an exact replica of the original text, without reduction or enlargement. A facsimile edition duplicates as closely as possible the appearance and content of the original edition. Adeva and Faksimile Verlag are two companies that specialize in producing fine quality facsimile editions of rare and valuable books, the latter having produced a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells. Click here to see selected facsimiles of historical children's books, courtesy of Kay E. Vandergrift. For examples of digital facsimiles, see Project Runeberg. Abbreviated facsim. Compare with forgery. See also: facsimile binding and facsimile catalog.

facsimile atlas
A bound collection of facsimile maps or a printed reproduction of an older atlas made to duplicate as closely as possible the physical appearance of the original. Click here to see several openings in an example.

facsimile binding
A binding intended to duplicate as closely as possible the binding on a previously published edition of the same work or an earlier style of binding typical of the period in which the work was first published (see these examples, courtesy of the University of Leeds Library). Compare with retrospective binding.

facsimile catalog
A catalog that includes in each entry a small reproduction of the picture, slide, map, or other item it represents, usually affixed to or printed on cards larger than standard size or on sheets of heavy paper filed in a loose-leaf or other type of binder.

facsimile edition
See: facsimile.

facsimile map
A printed reproduction of an old map that is intended to be identical to the original in every respect except the date and method of its production. A facsimile map should (1) have the same scale and dimensions as the original, (2) include all the details of the original with no additions, (3) match the original in color(s), and (4) be reproduced using printing techniques that introduce no elements foreign to the original, such as screen-tone. To avoid confusion, name of publisher, year of publication, location of the original, and original publisher should be given in the margin of a facsimile sheet map. Click here to see a collection of examples, courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

facsimile reprint
See: type facsimile.

facsimile transmission
See: fax.

A term coined in the 1960s with the publication of Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood to describe a new literary genre consisting of fictional narrative based on real events and/or characters, depicted without disguise. Unlike historical fiction in which the author attempts to interpret a more distant past with a reasonable degree of accuracy, faction is based on contemporary events or the recent past, often leaving the distinction between what is real and imaginary to the reader. Some critics and serious writers consider it a "mongrel genre." Synonymous with documentary fiction. See also: nonfiction novel and roman à clef.

A printer's ornament in wood or metal, usually square in shape, designed with a hole at the center into which a unit of type bearing any letter of the alphabet can be inserted to print a capital letter at the beginning of a chapter or paragraph. In early printing, factotum initials were usually decorated. The effect is also achieved by an assemblage of small separate ornaments arranged symmetrically in a square around a central space (see this example).

fact sheet
A brief printed handout or publication, sometimes available online, giving basic information about a subject, organization, program, etc. Currency is essential. Click here to examples provided online by the National Safety Council and here to see state fact sheets keyed to a map of the United States, courtesy of the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also spelled factsheet.

In a college or university, any of the departments within an academic area, for example, the humanities or social sciences. Also used collectively in reference to all the departments within a school, college, or university. A faculty member is a full-time academic professional at the rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or full professor. Part-time faculty (adjuncts) may or may not have full faculty status, depending on the institution. See also: library faculty.

faculty library advisory committee
See: library advisory committee.

faculty status
Official recognition by a college or university that the librarians in its employ are considered members of the faculty, with ranks, titles, rights, and benefits equivalent to those of teaching faculty, including tenure, promotion, and the right to participate in governance. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has established Standards for Faculty Status for College and University Librarians (2007). Compare with academic status.

The condition of a dust jacket or a cloth or paper binding on which the colors have lightened as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun or to some other strong light source. The spine often fades relative to the sides of the cover on books stored upright on the shelf.

See: Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table.

A description of condition used in the book trade to indicate that a copy shows definite signs of age and/or wear, such as a torn dust jacket, foxing, a loose binding, slightly dog-eared corners, etc., but retains all the text pages, although endpapers, half title, etc., may be lacking. Defects must be noted by the bookseller. Compare with good.

fair copy
In publishing, the final version of the manuscript or typescript of an original work, containing few mistakes and no corrections, having been carefully prepared from the final draft by the author, or by a copy editor, for the use of the printer. Click here to see the autograph fair copy of a concerto by Mozart (Cornell University Library). Synonymous with clean copy.

fair use
Conditions under which copying a work, or a portion of it, does not constitute infringement of copyright, including copying for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Click here for more information about Copyright & Fair Use provided by the Stanford University Libraries.

U.S. Copyright Act: Fair Use

Title 17. Chapter 1. Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

fairy tale
A fanciful story written for or told to children, usually containing at least one supernatural element (magic, dragons, elves, ghosts, hobgoblins, witches, etc.) affecting adults and children, animals, and/or inanimate objects. Most fairy tales are based on the traditional folklore of a specific culture. Some are didactic (example: "The Three Little Pigs"). Often published in illustrated collections, fairy tales are usually shelved in the children's room of a public library or in the curriculum room of an academic library. Fairy tales are included in Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts, maintained by D.L. Ashliman of the University of Pittsburgh. Compare with folktale.

Something that is not genuine, having been counterfeited, usually with intent to deceive or defraud, for example, The Poems of Ossian, which the 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson claimed were translations of ancient Gaelic manuscripts but whose authenticity was eventually disproved. Click here to learn more about the Ossian controversy, courtesy of the University of Delaware Library. See also: forgery.

fake book
A collection of musical lead sheets, often unbound, each containing the melody line, basic chords, and lyrics of a song, intended to help the performer learn the piece quickly and to facilitate improvisation.

fallen in
The condition of the spine of a book that has become concave with use, usually the result of faulty binding or improper handling by the owner. Thick volumes are especially prone to this problem, which may be due in part to the force of gravity acting on the sections as the book sits upright on the shelf. See also: rounding.

A measure of the effectiveness of information retrieval, computed as the ratio of nonrelevant entries or items retrieved in response to a query to the total number of nonrelevant items indexed in the database (adapted from the ASIS Thesaurus of Information Science and Librarianship, Information Today, 1998). As a practical matter, the number of nonrelevant items in a given database is often difficult (if not impossible) to ascertain, except in very small databases, so this measure remains largely conceptual. See also: precision and recall.

false bands
Fake ridges added to the spine of a decorative binding in imitation of the raised bands produced by an older binding method in which the cords (sewing supports) were not recessed in grooves cut across the sections perpendicular to the binding edge. Click here to view a 19th-century example in black morocco with four wide false bands made of onlaid leather in red and green (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). Compare with half bands.

false date
A date such as a birth or death date or publication date given incorrectly, whether intentionally or inadvertently. In library cataloging, the correct date is interpolated in square brackets following the incorrect date in the bibliographic description (example: 1950 [1952]).

false document
A work (text, photograph, motion picture, etc.) created with a degree of verisimilitude calculated to fool the reader or viewer into believing in its factual authenticity, often by including one or more pieces of forgery. An example in fiction is Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719), presented as a factual autobiography. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973) is an example of a film that claims to be based on fact, but is fictional. Blurring the line separating fact from fiction is a technique often used in the fantasy, mystery, and horror genres to heighten the feeling of wonder, suspense, or fear in the reader or viewer. Compare with mockumentary.

Also used in reference to falsified identity documents (passports, visas, driver's licenses, birth certificates, etc.) and legal documents (licenses, bills of sale, etc.), often produced for criminal purposes.

false drop
In information retrieval, a bibliographic record retrieved in a keywords search that is unrelated to the subject of the search, usually because it meets the syntactic requirements of the query but not its semantic requirements. False drops generally occur when meaning is contingent on the order of search terms (library + school retrieves "library school" and "school library") or when a term used in a search statement has more than one meaning. For example, a search on the keyword "aids" will retrieve records for items about HIV infection and also items about hearing aids, teaching aids, band-aids, etc. To avoid this problem, a qualifier such as "disease" must be added to the search statement to make retrieval more precise. Synonymous with false combination. See also: semantic factoring.

false imprint
See: fictitious imprint.

To knowingly misrepresent or alter information to the extent that it no longer true or accurate.

See: type family.

family name
See: surname.

family tree
A diagram, chart, or other graphic representation of the genealogy of a family, often a branched figure showing the descendants of a given pair of progenitors. Click here to see an example for the Ptolemaic Dynasty of ancient Egypt and here to see the family tree of Ludwig van Beethoven. The category includes decorative or pictorial charts containing blank spaces for the insertion of names and/or portraits.

A book bound at only one point, usually one of the four corners.

fan binding
A style of leather binding developed in France and Italy during the second half of the 17th century in which the center of the boards is embellished with a design in the shape of a fan open 360 degrees, composed of small hand-tooled motifs repeated to resemble lacework. The four corners were often tooled in matching quarter-fans. Geoffrey Glaister notes in Encyclopedia of the Book (Oak Knoll/British Library, 1996) that the style was adopted by Scottish binders of the 18th century. Click here to see a 17th-century Italian example (Princeton University Library) and here to see a 19th-century example on an early 16th-century Bible (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Du-d.7). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "fan" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: wheel binding.

fancy type
In printing, a general term for decorative type in any size, used mainly for display purposes (ornamental book titles, chapter headings, etc.).

fan drying
When a book has become wet but not saturated, it can usually be dried by standing it on its head on several layers of clean paper toweling or unprinted newsprint, with the covers open wide and the leaves fanned out to expose them to the air. Electric fans hasten drying by increasing air circulation. Former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield recommends supporting the book block to the height of the squares, if possible, by resting it on one or more thin, pie-shaped pieces of styrofoam (The Care of Fine Books, Nick Lyons Books, 1988). Fan drying will reduce some of the swelling caused by exposure to water but does not return the book to its former condition. Vacuum freeze drying must be used for books printed on coated papers that fuse when wet.

fanfare binding
A style of leather binding developed in France during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, featuring interlaced ribbons dividing nearly the entire surface of the covered boards into compartments of various shapes, each filled with small tooled foliate designs, except for the compartment in the center. Geoffrey Glaister notes in Encyclopedia of the Book (Oak Knoll/British Library, 1996) that the interlace was typically bounded by a single line on one side and a double line on the other (click here and here to see examples). This 17th-century example bears the arms of James I of England (Princeton University Library). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "fanfare" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Synonymous with à la fanfare.

fan fold
See: accordion fold.

A highly imaginative novel, short story, poem, film, etc., in which the action occurs in an unreal and nonexistent time and/or place outside the realm of possibility. Examples include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Also refers to genre fiction in which the writer's imagination is not constrained by the limitations of conventional reality. Fantasy writers are organized in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Synonymous with fantastic fiction. See also: science fiction and utopia.

A contraction of "fan magazine." A serial publication in electronic or print format containing news and information of interest to enthusiasts of a particular pastime, phenomenon, or notable person or group (living or dead), which may also serve as a forum for readers to share their common interest. When published on the Web, such a publication may be called a fansite (see StalloneZone). See also: zine.

Frequently Asked Questions, a text file available online or in print, containing answers to commonly asked questions about a specific topic, that may serve as a mini-help file for inexperienced users of a computer system or software program. Usually maintained by one or more persons who have an active interest in the subject.

A light, boisterous form of comedy in which the characters are exaggerated stereotypes, the action improbable to the point of being ludicrous, and the verbal and visual humor lacking in subtlety (example: Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas). Farce bears the same relationship to "high" comedy as melodrama to tragedy. For other examples, try Wikipedia.

In literature, an unorganized mixture ("hodgepodge") of humorous prose and light verse. Also used in the context of vaudeville and musical theater to indicate a disjointed medley of tunes, dramatic skits, and comedy routines.

For convenience in publishing or printing, a book or other item is sometimes issued in numbered or unnumbered installments, each incomplete and not necessarily coincident with any formal division of the work. Usually issued in paper wrappers, fascicles may eventually be bound together in correct sequence to form a complete volume or uniform set of volumes (example: Middle English Dictionary, published by the University of Michigan Press). They differ from parts in being temporary rather than permanent. Click here to see an 18th-century Chinese edition published in this manner (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). Abbreviated fasc. Synonymous with fascicule and fasciculus.

A sewn gathering of leaves that allows individual items to be inserted, each with its own support, in the manner required, usually tipped in to a supporting sheet or attached to a guard (Preservation Policies: Glossary, National Preservation Office, The British Library). Designed as an improvement on the guard book. Also used synonymously with fascicle.

fashion photograph
A photographic image made to show clothing or personal accessories to advantage, usually for sales purposes. Although the live models who appear in fashion photographs are sometimes well-known to the public, the category is distinct from glamour photographs intended primarily to display the physical attractiveness of the subject and from publicity photographs made for promotional purposes (click here to see an example, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

fashion plate
An illustration printed in a periodical to advertise a current fashion design (or designs). Fashion plates first appeared in the late 18th century and were very popular from the 1830s onward, particularly in women's magazines. Click here to see a hand-colored engraving from Godey's Lady's Book, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images. Compare with fashion print.

fashion print
A separate print issued by a clothing manufacturer or haberdasher to depict or advertise one or more of their current fashion designs (see these 19th-century examples). Compare with fashion plate.

fast back
See: tight back.

A device used to keep a book closed. The earliest fasteners were wrapping bands, thongs, and ties made of fabric or leather. Metal clasps eventually replaced leather strap-and-pin fittings on medieval manuscript books. Their use helped prevent the parchment or vellum leaves from cockling in response to changes in temperature and humidity. As paper replaced parchment in the 16th century, the use of fastenings declined. Today, they are seen mainly on portfolios and on personal diaries and albums.

fat face
A novelty typeface in which the degree of contrast between the thick and thin strokes of each character is highly exaggerated.

fat matter
A printer's term for copy that does not take long to set because it contains a high proportion of white space, for example, extended passages of dialogue in a work of fiction. The opposite of lean matter.

fault tolerance
The ability of a network or computer system to preserve the integrity of data and continue operating in the event of an unexpected hardware or software malfunction, often achieved by mirroring operations on two duplicate systems.

faux book box
A storage container, often decorative, designed to look like a book (see this example) or set of books (example). See also: dummy book.

A shortened form of facsimile transmission. The transfer, over telephone lines, of text and/or images printed or handwritten on a sheet of paper, producing output that is an exact reproduction of the original. The method requires a fax machine at the each location (sending and receiving), consisting of a scanner, printer, and modem with a dedicated line and fax number. Transmission speed depends on the standard of the sending machine, with Group 3 (9600 bits per second) the most common. Click here to learn more about fax, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

See: Federal Communications Commission.

See: Federal Depository Library Program.

In 2009, the U.S. Government Printing Office launched its new Federal Digital System (FDsys), replacing GPO Access which had been the central online storage, preservation, and retrieval point for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since the 1990s. FDsys provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the U.S. Federal Government. Click here to connect to the FDsys homepage.

feasibility study
A preliminary investigation and report on a proposed policy, project, or plan to ascertain if it can be successfully carried out, for example, to determine if a new library building can be constructed on a particular site.

A comparatively long article in a magazine or newspaper given special emphasis by the editor(s) or publisher, as opposed to a short article, regular column, or editorial. In magazines, the article illustrated on the front cover is called the cover story. Other feature stories in the same issue may also be noted on the front cover, often by subject.

In cartography, an object in a landscape or represented on a map or chart, whether naturally occurring (river, lake, island, mountain, canyon, etc.) or man-made (city, park, airport, road, etc.). In geographic information systems (GIS), a shape in a spatial data layer (point, line, or polygon) representing a geographic object.

feature film
A motion picture released theatrically or direct to video in which the dialogue and characters are largely fictional, although the plot may be derived from a true story. Variable in length, feature films are at least 40 minutes long, with 90 minutes the norm. Libraries that circulate feature films usually make them available on videocassette or DVD. Compare with documentary and short film. See also: television feature.

Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT)
A round table of the American Library Association (ALA), FAFLRT is dedicated to promoting library and information services and the LIS profession within the U.S. federal government/military community, encouraging appropriate utilization of federal and military library and information facilities and resources, and stimulating research and development related to the planning, development, and operation of federal and military libraries. FAFLRT publishes the quarterly newsletter Federal Librarian. Click here to connect to the FAFLRT homepage.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Established by the Communications Act of 1934 to succeed the Federal Radio Commission, the FCC is charged with regulating all non-federal government use of the radio spectrum (including radio and television broadcasting), and all interstate telecommunications (wire, satellite, and cable), as well as all international communications that originate or terminate in the United States. The FCC is directed by five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms. No more than three Commissioners may be members of the same political party, and commissioners are barred from holding a financial interest in any FCC-related business. Click here to connect to the FCC homepage.

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)
Established by Congress as part of the Printing Act of 1895 to assure access for the American public to government information, the FDLP authorizes the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and contractors to distribute without charge copies of federal government documents to designated depository libraries in the United States (and its territories) that agree to provide unrestricted access and professional assistance at no charge to the user. The legal requirements of the FDLP are found in Chapter 19 of Title 44, U.S. Code. There are currently about 1,350 depository libraries, some receiving less than the full complement of available publications. The FDLP also provides free online public access to government information via FDsys. The Public Printer and Superintendent of Documents are advised on policy matters concerning the FDLP by the Depository Library Council (DLC) established in 1972. Click here to connect to the FDLP homepage. See also: state plan.

Federal Digital System
See: FDsys.

federal library
A library owned and operated by the federal government of the United States, usually containing a collection of government documents pertaining to the field(s) it is mandated to cover. The largest are the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, the National Library of Education, and the National Agricultural Library. The Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) of the Library of Congress has provided the FEDLINK guide to federal libraries since 1965. Federal librarians are organized in the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC)
Created in 1965 as the Federal Library Committee, FLICC is composed of the directors of the four national libraries (Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, National Library of Education, and National Agriculture Library) and representatives of cabinet-level executive departments and federal agencies with major library programs, chaired by the Librarian of Congress.

The mission of FLICC is to enhance utilization of federal library and information center resources and facilities through professional development, publicity, and coordination. FLICC is also responsible for recommending policies, programs, and procedures to federal agencies concerning libraries and information resources and for providing guidance and direction for the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK), the purchasing, training, and resource sharing consortium of federal libraries and information centers. Click here to learn more about the FLICC and FEDLINK.

Federal Research Public Access Act
Bipartisan legislation co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate in 2006 by John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut) requiring federal agencies that fund more than $100 million in annual external research to make electronic copies of peer-reviewed journal articles stemming from their nonclassified research publicly accessible over the Internet at no charge within six months of publication. According to C&RL News (June 2006), a coalition of library and public interest groups led by SPARC worked with the offices of Senators Cornyn and Lieberman on the development and introduction of the bill, which is supported by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) whose members include the Genetic Alliance, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the Christopher Reeve Foundation, and 67 other patient, academic, research, and publishing entities, including the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

federated search
A search tool designed to query multiple networked information resources via a single interface (example: Google Scholar). The metasearch engines developed in the second half of the 1990s were capable of searching only publicly accessible Web sites, but the 21st century has seen a new generation of federated search engines designed to search local and remote library catalogs, subscription databases, and digital repositories as well as Web sites, using standardized protocols, such as Z39.50. Some federated search systems provide deduping and rank results by relevance or allow sorting by other criteria. Limiting, advanced search modes, clustering, and RSS feeds or search alerts may also be available.

See: Federal Library and Information Center Committee.

A sum of money paid for a service. The amount may be fixed, depending on type of service, or variable, depending on the amount of time required to perform the service. In some libraries, document delivery service is fee-based. Fees may also be charged for the use of items in rental collections, but for the most part, libraries in the United States are committed to offering basic services at no charge to their clientele. Persons who live outside a public library's service area, or who are not faculty or students entitled to use the resources and services of an academic library, may be charged a fee for limited borrowing privileges. See also: copyright fee.

fee-based service
An information service provided by a library or information broker in exchange for monetary payment. In most academic and public libraries in the United States, fee-based services, provided on a cost-recovery basis, are limited to document delivery and rental collections. Synonymous with fee-for-service. See also: fee-or-free.

In computing, output put back into the same system as input to achieve a degree of self-regulation. In library operations, the views (solicited or unsolicited) of the users of a resource or service concerning its quality and/or usefulness, whether positive or negative. Libraries rely on user surveys and the suggestion box to obtain feedback from patrons.

The ongoing debate in libraries over the ideal of providing unlimited free access to information versus charging, usually on a cost-recovery basis, for certain services. In the United States, most libraries limit fee-for-service to document delivery, interlibrary loan when the lender charges, and rental collections. Libraries may also charge users to print from computer workstations, and in most libraries, photocopiers and reader-printer machines are coin-operated.

Parallel horizontal lines drawn lightly with a ruler or printed in light-colored ink across a sheet or page, as in an account book to keep entries separate or in a medieval manuscript to guide the hand of the scribe, as in this example on a leaf of the Burnet Psalter (University of Aberdeen Library, AUL MS 25).

A position at a university, research institute, or library for which a stipend is granted for a limited period of time, usually 1-2 years, to allow an outstanding scholar to pursue advanced study or research. The term is also applied to the stipend itself and, in some cases, to the foundation providing it. Senior fellowships are awarded to scholars who are well-established in their fields, junior fellowships to scholars at earlier stages of their careers. A teaching fellowship involves some classroom responsibilities. Click here to learn about fellowships offered at the Huntington Library in California and here to search a database of internships and fellowships maintained by the Library of Congress.

See: flannel board.

Feminist Task Force (FTF)
Founded in 1970 as a task force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Libraries Association (ALA), FTF focuses on women's issues, including sexism in libraries and librarianship. FTF hosts an electronic mailing list and publishes the quarterly newsletter Women in Libraries. Click here to connect to the FTF homepage. See also: Amelia Bloomer Project and Women and Gender Studies Section.

fence diagram
In cartography, a three-dimensional rendering of the subsurface of a geographic area consisting of three or more geologic cross sections in which the perspective is created by the intersection of the sections and their correlation lines. Click here to see an archaeological example and here to see a generalized fence diagram of the Floridan Aquifer System, courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term "fence diagram" in Google Images.

See: tintype.

festival book
A factual and/or pictorial description of a celebration (coronation, wedding, etc.) or other formal event (spectacle, pageant, performance) that occurred at a royal court or in connection with a religious establishment, usually compiled by a court or Church official and issued by an approved publisher/printer. Careful records of previous celebrations were kept by the courts of England and Europe as precedents on which to base preparations for new festivities. Diplomats also included descriptions of state occasions in reports to their home chancelleries. Written in the vernacular in prose or verse, the genre flourished from about 1550 to 1725.

Varying considerably in content and form, festival books may be entirely textual, contain text with illustrations, consist mostly of plates (usually engraved), include celebratory verse or genealogical information, or consist entirely of the libretto of an opera or ballet. Often printed before the event for distribution as souvenirs to attendees, festival books may provide an idealistic rather than a realistic account of the occasion. They are valued by historians as cultural and political literature documenting the development of national identity and traditions. Click here to see an example commemorating the coronation of James II, courtesy of Octavo Editions, and here to learn more about Renaissance and early modern festival books, courtesy of the British Library. Synonymous with adventus book.

From the German words Fest ("festival") and Schrift ("writing"). A memorial publication, usually in the form of a collection of essays or speeches by distinguished persons, issued in honor of a scholarly person or society, sometimes on the occasion of an anniversary, birthday, or retirement celebration. The subject or theme encompassing the collected works is usually related to the field in which the person (or organization) achieved distinction. The contributors are often friends, colleagues, and former students of the person (or entity) honored. Click here to view an online Festschrift in honor of Eugene Numa Lane. Plural: Festschriften.

From the French feuillet meaning "leaf of a book." From the early 19th century, a supplement attached to the political section of a French (later European) newspaper or magazine, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, art and literary criticism, and social commentary, plus literary trifles, such as light fiction and epigrams. "The Talk of the Town" section of The New Yorker is a contemporary English-language example. In English newspapers, the term was applied to an installment of a serial work of fiction printed in a particular section of a newspaper.

See: International Federation of Film Archives.

A very rigid form of paperboard made from heavily pressed sheets of pulped vegetable fiber, laminated together.

fiber content
A statement of the various kinds of fiber present in a material manufactured from fiber (paper, board, cloth, thread), usually expressed in percentages to indicate relative proportions, useful information because type of fiber affects the properties of a product, for example, its color, chemical stability, strength, and durability. Synonymous with fiber composition. See also: pulp.

fiber optics
The high-speed transmission of data encoded in pulses of laser light via cable constructed of optical fiber made of pure silicon dioxide, a technology that revolutionized the telecommunication industry in the late 20th century, making it possible to interconnect computers large and small in a worldwide network. Click here to learn more about fiber optics, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

See: microfiche.

From the Latin fictio, meaning to "make" or "counterfeit." Literary works in prose, portraying characters and events created in the imagination of the writer, intended to entertain, enlighten, and vicariously expand the reader's experience of life. In historical fiction, characters and events usually bear some relationship to what actually happened, but any dialogue is reconstructed or imagined by the author. All fiction is fictitious in the sense of being invented, but good fiction remains "true to life." In Western literature, the traditional forms of literary fiction include the novel, novelette, and short story. Compare with nonfiction. See also: crossover fiction, faction, genre, popular fiction, and pulp fiction.

In libraries that use Library of Congress Classification (LCC), fiction is shelved in the Ps, the section for language and literature, subdivided by language. To locate a specific work of fiction in the stacks, the patron must first look up the LC call number in the catalog. In libraries that use Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), long fiction is shelved separately from nonfiction, alphabetically by last name of author, to facilitate browsing. In some public libraries, genre fiction is shelved separately from general fiction, usually by category (mystery, science fiction, etc.), sometimes indicated by a graphic label on the spine.

Having no real existence, as in a fictitious character created in the imagination of a writer or a fictitious name adopted to deceive others. Also used in reference to a statement or emotion not genuinely believed or felt; false.

fictitious imprint
An imprint that has no real existence because the publisher has given incorrect information about when, where, or by whom the edition was printed or issued, usually for profit or to evade legal or other restrictions, avoid charges of copyright piracy, or conceal the identity of the author (see this 16th-century example, courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library). In AACR2, the real imprint, when known, is given by the cataloger in the publication, distribution, etc., area of the bibliographic description as an interpolation following the fictitious one (example: Paris : Impr. Vincent, 1798 [i.e. Bruxelles : Moens, 1883]). In actual practice, it is not uncommon for the real imprint to be given as an interpolation and the fictitious one in a note. Synonymous with false imprint.

In library cataloging, a relative location of fixed or variable length in a machine-readable record, reserved for a specific data element or group of elements that constitute a single logical category of bibliographic description, for example, the area of physical description reserved for information about the physical characteristics of an item. In the MARC record, each field is indicated by a three-digit tag, but in the catalog display, textual field labels are provided to assist users in identifying the various categories of description.

Repeatable fields (R) may appear more than once in the same record; for example, there is no restriction on the number of topical subject headings (MARC field 650) that may be assigned to a work. Nonrepeatable (NR) fields can be used only once and may be mutually exclusive, for example, the personal name main entry (field 100) and uniform title main entry (field 130). Fields for areas of description containing more than one data element are divided into subfields. Only about 10 percent of available MARC fields are used in most bibliographic records; the other 90 percent are used infrequently. See also: control field, directory, leader, local field, and variable data field.

In a more general sense, a logical unit of data that, together with other units, comprises a record in a database or other system of recordkeeping, for example, the name, address, or phone number field of each patron record in a library's patron database.

In academic research, a subject or group of related subjects studied in depth, for example, "anthropometry" in the subdiscipline "physical anthropology" within the discipline of anthropology.

field guide
A handbook designed to help readers identify and learn about the flora and/or fauna of a geographic area, often published as part of a series. The content of a field guide is usually arranged according to biological classification, with each entry describing a single species or group of related species (genus). Entries typically include the Latin species name, descriptive text, at least one illustration to facilitate identification, and one or more maps showing geographic distribution (see these examples). Printed field guides are shelved in the reference section or in the circulating collection, depending on local library policy. Compare with natural history book.

field label
An abbreviation or descriptive word or phrase appearing in the record display in an online catalog or bibliographic database, usually in italics or distinguished typographically in some other way, aligned with the left-hand margin to indicate the category of data that follows, for example, Source used in periodical databases to indicate the journal title, volume number, publication date, and page numbers of the article indexed. In the MARC record, numeric tags are used instead of textual labels to distinguish fields of the record.

field notes
Observations and experiences recorded on paper or electronically by scientists in the course of their work with the phenomena under study. Descriptive sciences such as ethnography, archaeology, geology, and biology have a long history of recorded fieldwork (see this example). Also spelled fieldnotes.

The gathering of information or scientific data about a subject through observation, interviewing, and other methods of direct investigation, usually conducted in a location closely associated with the topic, as opposed to researching the subject in books and other publications, conducting experiments in a laboratory setting, administering mail surveys, etc. See also: field notes.

In archives, the process of locating, identifying, and securing materials for an archival collection, including any negotiations required to acquire custody if the materials have monetary value. Also spelled field work.

Illustrative matter printed with the text, rather than separately in the form of plates. Figures are usually fairly simple line drawings, numbered consecutively in arabic numerals in order of appearance to facilitate reference. Figures not individually captioned may be listed with captions on a separate page, usually in the front matter of a book. Abbreviated fig. Also, synonymous in printing with numeral.

figure drawing
A drawing or sketch of a human body, or one of its parts, executed as a study of the human form, not as a portrait of the individual as subject (see this example by Leonardo da Vinci). A life drawing is a figure drawing done from a live model holding a stationary position.

figure initial
An initial letter in an illuminated manuscript or early printed book composed wholly or in part of designs representing animals, humans, and/or imaginary beings unrelated to the text. Figure initials can be anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, or zoo-anthropomorphic. Click here to see a zoomorphic example from a 15th-century Italian antiphonal (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and here to see an anthropomorphic initial "I." Compare with historiated initial and inhabited initial. See also: gymnastic initial.

figure of speech
A form of expression employed mainly in rhetoric and literary writing in which words or entire sentences are used in a way that deviates from conventional order or literal meaning to achieve an unusual or unexpected poetic or aesthetic effect, for example, the phrase "a flood of tears." Click here to learn more about figures of speech in Wikipedia or see Grant Williams' Figures of Speech Tables. See also: metaphor.

A collection of documents usually related in some way, stored together, and arranged in a systematic order. In computing, a collection of structured data elements stored as a single entity or a collection of records related by source and/or purpose, stored on a magnetic medium (floppy disk, hard disk, Zip disk, etc.). File type, indicated by an extension at the end of the filename, depends on the code in which the data is written (example: .html for HTML script). In AACR2, the term is defined as a basic unit in which electronic resources are organized and stored, some e-resources containing more than one file.

In manual data systems, the contents of a manila folder or other physical container used to organize documents, usually of a size and shape designed to fit inside the drawer of a standard-size filing cabinet or other storage space. Also refers to a collection of information about a specific subject or person, stored together as a single unit, sometimes with other files on related subjects or people, for example, a personnel file maintained by an employer. See also: case file, convenience file, and reading file.

file break
See: cutoff.

file copy
A copy of a document, report, periodical article, etc., kept on file, usually with related items, for reference or future use. Also, a copy of a published work kept in the library of the publisher.

file header
Information about a block of digital data, provided in specified format at the beginning of the file, for use in storing, processing, and/or transmitting the file.

file name
See: filename.

A brief name assigned by a programmer or computer user to a data file to identify it for future retrieval. Filenames usually provide a clue to the content of the file (example: resume.txt or home.html). The three- or four-letter extension added to the end of a filename indicates file type (example: .txt for a file in ASCII or .html for a file in Hypertext Markup Language). Also spelled file name.

file server
See: server.

file sharing
Also spelled file-sharing. See: peer-to-peer.

file size
The number of characters or bytes in a block of digital data, usually expressed in bytes, kilobytes (KB), or megabytes (MB). The amount of disk space required to store a computer file depends not only on file size but also on how disk space is managed by the file system.

File Transfer Protocol
See: FTP.

file type
In electronic data processing, the type of code in which a data file is written, indicated by a three- or four-letter extension at the end of the filename (example: dictionary.html for a file in HTML script). Common file types and their extensions:

File Type Extension
Plain ASCII text .txt
Document in Hypertext Markup Language .htm or .html
Document in Standard Generalized Markup Language .sgml
Document in Extensible Markup Language .xml
GIF image .gif
JPEG image .jpg or .jpeg
TIFF image .tif or .tiff
Bitmap .bmp
PostScript file .ps
AIFF sound file .aif or .aiff
AU sound file .au
WAV sound file .wav
QuickTime movie .mov
MPEG movie .mpg or .mpeg

For a more complete list of file formats, see Every File Extension in the World from Whatis.com. Synonymous with file format. Compare with Internet media type and MIME media type.

An elegant style of decoration used in manuscripts and fine printing in which an initial letter or border is edged with a delicate tracery of curved lines resembling lacework. In medieval manuscripts and early printed books, this type of decoration is usually done in pen using colored ink. Click here to view filigree initials on a vellum leaf from a 14th-century French illuminated breviary (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute).

filigree letter
An initial letter in a manuscript or printed book given a decorative outline or background of delicately interlaced lines resembling lacework. Click here to see polychrome examples in a 15th-century French missal and here to see gilt examples in a 14th-century French breviary (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute). See also: pen-flourished initial.

filing rule
A guide established to determinine how a specific type of decision is to be made concerning the order in which entries are filed in a library catalog. Published in 1942, the first edition of the A.L.A. Rules for Filing Catalog Cards was revised in 1967 to correlate with Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. New ALA Filing Rules published in 1980 apply to all bibliographic display formats (print, microform, digital, etc.). Under the current guidelines, filing is character-by-character to the end of each word, and word-by-word to the end of each filing element. Numerals precede letters, and letters of the English alphabet precede those of nonroman alphabets.

filing title
See: uniform title.

filing word
See: entry word.

Blank unnumbered leaves added at the end of a publication to increase its bulk when bound, known in the book trade as padding.

In bookbinding, one or more thin decorative bands or lines impressed in gilt or blind on the boards and/or spine of a book, usually around the circumference of the cover. Also refers to the rolling tool used, when heated, to apply such lines. A French fillet consists of three unevenly spaced gilt lines. Click here to see an example by a binder of the Victorian period (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Mu30-b.5) and here to see an early 20th-century example (Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami, Florida). See also: Oxford corners.

fill rate
In acquisitions, the percentage of materials ordered by a library from a publisher, jobber, or other vendor actually supplied within a specified period of time. See also: back order and canceled.

In interlibrary loan/document delivery, the number of requests from library users to borrow materials, or from other libraries to lend materials, that are successfully fulfilled within a given amount of time, in proportion to the total number of requests received, often used as an output measure in evaluating library performance.

A thin strip or sheet of flexible, transparent or translucent material (usually plastic) coated with a light-sensitive emulsion that, when exposed to light, can be used to develop photographic images. Motion picture film, produced in various gauges for different markets, has perforations along one or both edges by which it is advanced by sprockets inside the camera or projector. The instability and flammability of the cellulose nitrate used as a film base prior to 1950 has created a preservation imperative of massive proportions. To prevent deterioration, older films must be copied onto a more permanent base such as acetate or polyester, a time-consuming and expensive process. Click here to learn more about the physical composition of film (National Film and Sound Archive, Australia) and here to learn about how photographic film works, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. The National Film Preservation Foundation provides a Web site on film Preservation Basics. Compare with plate. See also: film format, filmstrip, microfilm, reversal film, and safety film.

Also refers to commercial and educational motion pictures in widths of 8, 16, 35, or 70mm, including documentaries, feature films, and short films. See also: film archives, film library, filmography, International Federation of Film Archives, National Film Preservation Board, National Film Registry, and orphan film.

film archives
An organization or unit within a larger organization or institution responsible for maintaining a permanent collection of motion pictures in support of study and research, and for their restoration and preservation. Environmental control is essential in film archives to prevent deterioration of the medium. The UCLA Film & Television Archive maintains the largest university-held moving image collection in the world. Some film archives specialize in films of a particular type (example: newsreels). For an international list of film archives, see the directory of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) or the Library of Congress list. Compare with film library. See also: National Film Preservation Foundation.

film can
A shallow disk-shaped container made of metal or hard plastic with a tightly-fitting lid, available in various diameters for storing and transporting motion picture film on reels or cores (see these examples). ISO standards recommend polypropylene or polyethylene for plastic film cans. If metal is used, it should be noncorroding. Films are also stored in wide, flat archival cardboard boxes. Containers should not be made with adhesives or additives that might react chemically with film. The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) has developed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) for film storage materials. Size of enclosure should match the diameter of the film roll and containers should be stacked horizontally to allow the rolls to lie flat.

To open a rusted or dented film can, bang it gently against a hard, flat surface to loosen the lid. If necessary, a screw driver or similar implement can be used to pry the lid off, but care must be taken to keep the blade from damaging the film. Gloves should be worn when opening an old film can and the lid tilted away to protect the face and eyes from flying particles and fumes. Vented cans are available for storing nitrate film. Cans containing old films sometimes bear marks and labels that can be important sources of documentation. Click here to learn more about film cans, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Also spelled filmcan.

film cement
A special combination of solvents and solids used to make overlap splices in the editing and repair of motion picture film. In a cement splicing machine, the ends of the film are aligned on pins through the perforations, and both the removal of the emulsion layer by scraping and the application of cement may be done automatically. With a "hot splicer" an electric heating element hastens the drying of the cement, resulting in a stronger bond. For safety, film cements should always be used as directed by the manufacturer. Commercially available film cements cannot be used on polyester base film, which must be spliced with tape or by using an ultrasonic splicer.

film cleaner
A solvent used in the conservation of film to remove dust, oil, and wax from the plastic surface. Commercially available film cleaners can be toxic and should always be used as directed by the manufacturer on the product specifications sheet. They should not be used on magnetic sound film or on films with magnetic sound tracks. Also refers to a machine used in the film lab to clean motion picture film, especially the original negative after it has been handled in editing, usually equipped with pads or squeegees that wipe the surface with cleaning solution. In an ultrasonic cleaner, the film is passed through a solvent bath in which high-frequency vibrations dislodge dirt and grime. Mechanical film cleaners can also be attached to a rewind bench or film projector to clean release prints after use. As ageneral rule, a film should be cleaned before preservation copying.

film clip
A short piece of motion picture footage taken from a longer work, usually for promotional use or review purposes, to give viewers a brief impression of the whole. Compare with trailer. See also: video clip.

film format
The characteristics that distinguish a particular type of motion picture film, including width (gauge), image height and position, and size and placement of perforations. Each format requires its own equipment and supplies, for example, the cameras, printers, and projectors used to shoot, print, and show most theatrically released films have apertures with dimensions standardized to accommodate 35mm film. Click here (Wikipedia) and here (Ani-Mato) to learn more about film formats.

film library
A type of special library containing a collection of 8, 16, 35, or 70mm motion pictures, videorecordings, DVDs, and other materials related to cinematography and film studies, classified for ease of access and retrieval, for example, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Viewing or borrowing privileges may be restricted to registered members or subscribers who are required to pay fees. Compare with film archives.

film loop
A work composed of a length of motion picture film with the ends spliced together to allow it to run through a film projector or other viewing device continuously until the equipment is turned off. The actualities shown in the last years of the 19th century up to about 1910 were often of this form.

film negative
A photographic negative on a flexible base, such as celluloid, introduced commercially in the 1880s, or polyester, used commercially since the 1980s.

film noir
Literally "black film," a term coined by French film critics for fictional crime films made during the 1940s and 1950s in which the action is a dark, potent metaphor for human weakness and the ills of society, rather than an isolated example of aberrant behavior. The world evoked in this style of cinematic work is one of melancholy, disillusionment, and pervasive evil inhabited by hard-boiled private detectives and devious, corrupt, unrepentant criminals, often involving a duplicitous femme fatale and a strong undercurrent of moral conflict. Filmed in black and white, film noir relies on visual devices borrowed from German expressionism--deep shadows, low-key lighting effects, and oblique, unharmonious composition. Flashbacks and voice-over narration are also common ingredients. Identification of the culprit(s) is usually less important than revealing facts that justify the hero's cynical view of life, in which there are no happy endings (examples: Kiss Me Deadly by Robert Aldrich; Double Indemnity by Billy Wilder; and Touch of Evil by Orson Welles). The category also includes motion pictures made before the 1940s and after the 1950s (post-noirs and neo-noirs) that evoke the same mood as classic noirs (Scarface [1932] by Howard Hawks and Chinatown [1974] by Roman Polanski). Click here to learn more about film noir in Wikipedia. See also: noir fiction.

A list of motion pictures, usually limited to works by a specific director or performer, in a particular genre, of a specific time period or country, or on a given subject, usually listed alphabetically by title or chronologically by release date. The entries in a filmography include some or all of the following elements of description: producer, distributor, director, cast, release date, running time, language, color or black and white, etc. Click here to see an online filmography of Alfred Hitchcock, courtesy of the Internet Movie Database. Compare with discography.

film preservation
The fact that nitrate and acetate base films decay under normal environmental conditions has created a preservation imperative of a magnitude matched only by the use of acid paper in printing. Ideally, motion picture preservation involves the creation of surrogates for public use and one or more film masters that can be used to create new copies without subjecting the original source to further wear and tear. Masters are usually copied on film and access copies on videotape, DVD, or some other digital medium. If the original is in poor condition, restoration may be required. Whenever possible, preservationists use carefully documented measures that are reversible and do not damage the original. Because film preservation is an expensive, time-consuming process, cold and dry storage is often used to retard deterioration while copying is prioritized to be accomplished over an extended period. Click here to learn more about film preservation courtesy of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) also provides online information, including the Film Preservation Guide. See also the Film Preservation Handbook provided by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

film rights
The right under copyright law to make a motion picture based on another work, such as a novel, short story, or stage play. Under U.S. copyright law, the copyright holder is entitled to sell or option rights to make derivative works. Options to purchase film rights for an item of intellectual property usually have an expiration date, after which they may be resold by the copyright owner.

film ruler
A calibrated linear scale, usually made of metal, used to estimate the total length of a motion picture (usually in linear feet) by measuring from the center of the core outward to the edge of the roll (the radius). Split film reels are sometimes hatch-marked for the same purpose.

film score
Music composed for use in the background of a motion picture, generally including the opening and closing credits, written by a composer in consultation with the director after viewing a "rough cut" of the footage shot for the film. Some film scores have an overall theme, often introduced at the beginning, and individual themes for the main characters. Called cues, the pieces of music within a film score are typically composed for instruments (acoustic or electronic) and/or voices not individually featured. Compare with sound track.

film script
See: screenplay.

film series
A group of motion pictures, related in theme or subject and often uniform in style of presentation, released in succession (numbered or unnumbered) by a single producer or distributor, each bearing, in addition to its own title, a collective or series title applied by the producer to the group as a whole. In AACR2, the series title is entered in the series statement in the bibliographic record describing the item. Also refers to a group of related feature films released in succession under the same title, following upon the box office success of the initial work, with the sequels identified by a numeral added to the end of the title (example: The Godfather [1972], The Godfather Part II [1974], and The Godfather Part III [1990]). If the relationship of the sequel to the original title is indicated in the bibliographic description, it is given in the note area.

A very short filmstrip mounted like a slide in a rigid holder instead of stored in a short flexible roll.

film stock
A general term for the unexposed photographic film on which motion pictures are shot and from which they are reproduced. The equivalent in television production is videotape.

film storage
Temperature and humidity are the two most important variables affecting the longevity of motion picture film. The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) states in The Film Preservation Guide (2004) that, "Fresh acetate film stored at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% RH (relative humidity) will last approximately 50 years before the onset of vinegar syndrome. Simply reducing the temperature 15 degrees, while keeping the humidity at the same level, delays the first signs by 150 years." A storage temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit meets ISO standards for nitrate, acetate, and polyester base films. A temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (freezing) provides extended life and is recommended for films in a state of decay to buy time if means are not available for immediate duplication. If a cold storage vault is unavailable, an off-the-shelf frost-free refrigerator or freezer can be used to store a small amount of material, provided the containers are properly sealed to avoid damage from condensation. Film cans should be stacked flat to prevent warping by the force of gravity over time. Because nitrate film is a potential fire hazard, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issues guidelines for the construction of cabinets and vaults used to store nitrate-based motion pictures. Libraries and archives often store nitrate film off-site. See also: Image Permanence Institute.

A length of 35mm or 16mm black and white or color film consisting of a sequence of related still images, with or without text or captions, intended to be projected one at a time at slow speed using a filmstrip projector. Filmstrips are of variable length, usually no longer than 50 frames. Some include a signal that automatically advances the projector in synchrony with recorded sound. Compare with filmslip.

filmstrip projector
See: filmstrip.

film studio
A physical facility where the shooting of motion pictures takes place, usually privately owned or rented by a production company. The first film studio in the United States was built by Thomas Edison in New Jersey in 1893. By 1920, most film studios in the U.S. were concentrated in the Los Angeles area. Eventually the term "studio" came to mean "production company" particularly in reference to the major producers: 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, RKO, United Artists, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers. Synonymous with movie studio. See also: on location.

film viewer
A small piece of equipment through which motion picture film can be run rapidly in either direction by hand or by motor on rewinds, permitting individual shots and scenes to be located and examined on a small screen at an editing bench or workstation. Film viewers range from small tabletop models to complex flatbed editing consoles used by film professionals. See also: light box.

A computer program designed to allow only selected data to pass through to the user, for example, an e-mail system that alerts the recipient to selected incoming messages or software that blocks access to Web sites containing certain types of content, usually violent or sexually explicit material considered unsuitable for young children. In the United States, filtering has become the focus of a national debate over intellectual freedom and censorship. Click here to learn about the American Library Association (ALA) position on filters and filtering. See also: adult content filter, Children's Internet Protection Act, and V-chip.

In computing, the use of specially designed software to prevent the user of a specific computer, network, or system from viewing certain types of content by blocking access. Filters are used primarily to prevent children from viewing violent and/or sexually explicit material and by employers to prevent employees from engaging in non-work-related activities on the job. In libraries, the passage by Congress of the Children's Internet Protection Act has made filtering a controversial issue. Click here for the American Library Association's position on filters and filtering and here to learn about state filtering laws in the United States, courtesy of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Compare with content rating. See also: censorship and intellectual freedom.

final cut
The last edit of a motion picture or work recorded on videotape or audiotape, producing the version, approved by director and producer, which will be released for official distribution. Prior to the year 2000, when the director and the producer or studio could not agree on the final cut, an Alan Smithee credit might be given, signifying the director's wish to dissociate himself or herself from the final release. Compare with editor's cut and director's cut. See also: outtake.

The last examinations taken by students enrolled in a course of study at a college or university, usually scheduled in the final week of the academic term or semester.

finding aid
A published or unpublished guide, inventory, index, register, calendar, list, or other system for retrieving archival primary source materials that provides more detailed description of each item than is customary in a library catalog record (see this online example, courtesy of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University). Finding aids also exist in nonprint formats (ASCII, HTML, etc.). In partnership with the Society of American Archivists, the Library of Congress maintains a standard called Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for encoding archival finding aids in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and/or Extensible Markup Language (XML). Click here to connect to a searchable database of online finding aids for Library of Congress collections. Compare with finding tool.

finding list
A list of a library's holdings in which each item is represented by a very brief entry containing incomplete bibliographic information (usually just the author's name, the title, and its location within the library). Compare with catalog.

Information or evidence uncovered as a result of systematic research or investigation. Also, the conclusions of an official inquiry or hearing on a particular topic or issue, usually presented in the form of a report that may be preserved as a legal document.

finding tool
A general term for a resource designed to be used in a library to locate sources of information, usually in a search by author, title, subject, or keywords. The category includes catalogs, bibliographies, indexes, abstracting services, bibliographic databases, etc. The corresponding term in archives is finding aid.

fine binding
Hand-binding that adheres to a very high standard of workmanship, usually in leather of excellent quality with some degree of ornamentation, but not necessarily luxurious in appearance. For contemporary examples, see Weitz, Weitz & Coleman of New York. Compare with deluxe binding.

fine book
A book of exceptional quality with respect to its design, printing, illustration, and binding, often a copy of a deluxe edition. Very fine books are usually sold by antiquarian booksellers and at book auctions (example: the Kelmscott Chaucer). Libraries preserve them in special collections. Compare with rare book.

fine copy
In the used book trade, a copy in clean, crisp condition that surpasses good but, due to the merest trace of use, falls short of mint. Compare with very good.

fine edition
See: deluxe edition.

fine-free period
See: grace period.

fine grain master
In motion picture production, a new black and white duplicating positive made from the original negative in the production of duplicate negatives from which new release prints are made. Fine grain (FG) film is low speed, high resolution stock specifically used in motion picture laboratories as a duplicating material. Also spelled fine-grain master. Synonymous with fine grain duplicating positive. Compare with interpositive.

fine paper copy
A book printed on paper superior in quality to that of the rest of the edition, normally printed on ordinary book paper. When the paper is also of larger size, the copy is known as a large paper copy.

fine press
A publisher/printer that specializes in the production of books of exceptional quality, designed to meet the highest aesthetic standards and serve as an inspiration to the book arts (example: Kelmscott Press established in 1891 by William Morris). Fine presses are often private. See also: Fine Press Book Association and Limited Editions Club.

Fine Press Book Association (FPBA)
An international society devoted to promoting the appreciation of beautiful books, fine printing, and the book arts, FPBA had its genesis at the 1996 Oak Knoll Fest, a fine press book fair sponsored by Oak Knoll Books of New Castle, Delaware. Since 1998, FPBA has been the co-sponsor (with the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association) of an alternate-year book fair held at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England. The FPBA also publishes the journal Parenthesis. Click here to connect to the FPBA homepage.

fine print
Information printed in very small type, usually at the end of a document or in an inconspicuous place within it, containing details of which the reader must be informed but to which the source or publisher may not wish to call attention. The term is also used to refer to the details of a document, printed in any type size, as opposed to its main points. Failure to read fine print can have serious consequences for a person signing a legal document. See also: mouse type.

fine printing
The art and craft of producing beautifully designed and executed books (see this contemporary example). See also: fine binding and fine press.

To encourage borrowers to return materials promptly, most libraries charge a small amount for each day that a circulating item is kept past its due date. The amount may vary depending on the format of the material checked out. Overdue fines for items on reserve may be charged by the hour. Fines can be avoided by renewing items on or before the due date. Most automated circulation systems are set to block a borrower account if unpaid fines accumulate beyond a certain amount. See also: grace period.

A unique identifier constructed according to formula, used in historical bibliography to identify copies of early printed books as belonging to a specific edition or issue. Fingerprint formulas are usually in two parts: the year in which the edition appeared plus size of book (example: 157504 for a quarto edition of the year 1575), followed by three groups of characters transcribed from the line of text immediately above the signature marks printed at the foot of certain pages in the front matter, main text, and back matter to assist the binder in assembling the gatherings in correct sequence. Even when a text is reprinted exactly as it appeared in a preceding edition, the signature marks added after the text is composed rarely fall in the same place, creating a variance that can be used for identification. Synonymous with signature position.

For more information, please see Fingerprints = Empreintes = Impronte (Paris: Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, 1984) and the critique by Ben J.P. Salemans of the technique in the June 1994 issue of the journal Computers and the Humanities.

finger tab
A small marker attached to the fore-edge of a book to aid the reader in locating a particular passage or division of the text. In medieval manuscripts, they were usually made of vellum, tawed skin, or cloth, sometimes in the form of a small knot, as in this 16th-century example (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). In modern binding, finger tabs are usually made of paper, card, fabric, or plastic stamped or printed with letters, words, numbers, or other characters indicating the alphabetic, numeric, subject, or other arrangement of the text, to facilitate reference. Synonymous with extension tab. See also: tab index.

Also refers to a projecting part of a card, folder, divider, etc., large enough to bear a label indicating the contents, used in manual filing and retrieval.

A French word printed at the end of an old book, or appearing at the end of an early motion picture, meaning "the end" or "conclusion" (see this example). Compare with explicit.

A general term for the texture of the surface of a grade of paper, determined by the materials and techniques used in manufacture (fiber content, sizing, calendering, coating, drying, etc.). The terms used to describe finish are descriptive: antique, cockle, eggshell, glossy, matte, stipple, etc.

In binding, to apply lettering and/or ornamentation to the cover of a book in a process known as finishing.

In hand-binding, the process of applying lettering and/or decorative elements to a book cover by blocking, tooling, inlaying, or onlaying, done by a person known as a finisher after the text block has been put into the covers. The term also includes other final treatments, such as dressing and/or polishing in the case of leather bindings. Compare with forwarding.

Also, a general term for the final steps in the processing of type matter once it has been printed, including cutting, folding, machine binding, stamping, laminating, application of the dust jacket, etc.

finite resource
See: seriality.

One of the worst disasters a library or archives can experience, usually caused by incendiarism, defective electrical equipment, careless smoking, or the exposure of paper-based materials to overheating (see this example). The best defense is an effective fire prevention program that includes systematic inspection and removal of hazards and a detection system designed to give early warning. Because the chemicals used in some hand fire extinguishers damage books, their use is recommended only as a last resort. An on-off sprinkler system detects fire at its point of origin and minimizes the amount of water damage by automatically shutting off as soon as temperature returns to normal. To prevent arson, book drops that empty into the building through an exterior wall should be kept locked when the library is unstaffed.

A dedicated computer that functions as a security boundary, blocking traffic from one part of a network to another, usually the transmission of data from a larger network to a local area network. Firewalls are installed to restrict access to private computer network(s) and proprietary files by screening incoming traffic and denying access to unauthorized users. They also help prevent confidential information from passing out. Click here to learn more about firewalls, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

firm order
In acquisitions, an order placed with a publisher, jobber, or dealer for a specific title and number of copies, specifying a maximum price and time limit for delivery, not to be exceeded without prior approval of the ordering library. Firm orders are placed for materials requested by individual selectors responsible for collection development. Compare with continuation order and subscription.

First Amendment
Amendment I to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1791, which guarantees freedom of speech: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (ALA) are based on this constitutional protection.

first American edition
The first edition published in the United States of a work previously published in another country.

first appearance
A term used in the book trade to mean: (1) an author's initial appearance in print; (2) the first time a given work by an author appears in print, especially a short work (essay, poem, or short story); or (3) the first treatment of a subject to be published in book form. See also: first book.

first book
In publishing, the first appearance in print of a book-length work written entirely by the author. The initial books of many well-known writers remain comparatively obscure (example: Fanshawe: A Tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne). Click here to view an online exhibit of First Books by American Writers, 1786-1984, courtesy of the Georgetown University Library.

first edition
All the copies of the edition of a book or other publication printed and issued at the same time, before any other printings. Subsequent printings from the same set of type are considered new impressions but are still part of the first edition. The second edition is printed from a new setting of type or includes significant changes in text or format. Also refers to an individual copy of a work printed from the initial setting of type. In the antiquarian book trade, first editions are usually more valuable than later editions. Click here and here to see a copy of the first edition of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz and here to see a collection of American literary first editions, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Synonymous with princeps edition and editio princeps. Compare with reprint and revised edition. See also: all firsts, first thus, and modern first edition.

Also refers to the first printing of a newspaper on a specific date when two or more editions are issued each day.

First Folio
The common name for the first collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works, containing 36 plays assembled by actor-editors John Heminge and Henry Condell, 18 of which had never been published. Issued in London in 1623, it is one of the most famous and valuable printed books in the world. Click here to view the First Folio (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library). See also: Folger Shakespeare Library and quarto.

first impression
All the copies of a book made at the first printing, before any alterations in the text. Subsequent impressions made from the same setting of type soon after the first are numbered sequentially and may contain slight changes to correct errors detected after the first printing. Compare with first edition.

first issue
The first installment of a newly published periodical (issue number one of volume one). Also refers to the first installment received by a library in response to a new periodical subscription, not necessarily the first issue published. See also: back issue and current issue.

first-line index
An index in which the opening lines of poems (songs, hymns, etc.) are listed in alphabetical order, each entry giving the title of the work and the name of the poet, usually shelved in the reference section of a library. In The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies, poems are indexed by first line, last line, and title in a single alphabetical sequence. Poets' Corner includes an online first-line index.

first name
The first of one or more given names or Christian names, as distinct from the surname identifying members of the same family. In AACR2, personal name headings for persons known by their initials begin with the surname, followed by a comma, then the initials, followed by the full given names (example: Eliot, T.S. Thomas Stearns).

first-of-two rule
The instruction in Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) that works dealing in equal measure with two subjects, neither used to introduce or explain the other, are given the class number appearing first in the schedules, whether the subjects are close in the list of classes or widely separated. See also: rule of three.

first published edition
An edition issued for sale to the general public after the work has been distributed to a restricted audience, for example, a motion picture released for public viewing after it has been previewed by a limited audience, usually persons invited by the producer.

See: first edition.

first sale
Under Section 109 of the U.S. Copyright Act, users who have lawfully acquired a copy of a work are allowed to sell, trade, rent, loan, or dispose of the item without the prior consent of the copyright holder. Without right of first sale, libraries could not legally lend materials protected by copyright, sell their used books, or exchange materials with other libraries. It would also be unlawful for owners to donate copyrighted materials to libraries.

FirstSearch (FS)
A service of OCLC that provides access to over 40 online bibliographic databases in a wide range of disciplines via a proprietary interface, on a per search or subscription basis, by licensing agreement. Some of the databases in FirstSearch include full-text. WorldCat, the largest union catalog in the world, is available in FS. Click here to learn more about OCLC FirstSearch.

first thus
In bookselling, a descriptive term indicating that although earlier editions of the work exist, this is the first to contain a notable feature, such as a desirable set of illustrations, a special appendix, large print, etc.

In trademark law, many countries grant ownership of a trademark to the first person who registers it, but not the United States. Compare with first-to-use.

In the United States, but not in most other countries, ownership of a trademark commences from its first use; however, registration still guarantees maximum legal protection. Compare with first-to-file. See also: intent-to-use.

first trade edition
The first edition of a book to be published for sale to the general public, as distinct from a previously issued limited edition.

first-year experience (FYE)
A college course or program specifically designed to help freshmen and transfer students make the adjustment to being part of a college community and to assist them in developing the skills and habits necessary for a successful college career, usually offered in conjunction with advisement and guidance, sometimes coordinated by a Dean of Freshman. Click here to connect to the homepage of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina. Synonymous with freshman experience and freshman seminar.

fiscal value
See: archival value.

fiscal year
A period of 12 months, not necessarily coincident with the calendar year, used by a library or library system for financial accounting purposes. In the United States, most public and academic libraries that depend on public funding use a fiscal year beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30. Academic libraries at privately funded colleges and universities may use a fiscal year that coincides with the academic calendar. In federal libraries, the fiscal year may begin on October 1 and end on September 30. In special libraries, the fiscal year usually corresponds with that of the parent organization. Synonymous with accounting year.

fisheye photograph
A photograph taken with a camera lens of such extreme curvature that the image, circular in shape, is distorted to appear as if radiating from its center. To see examples, try a keyword search on the term "fisheye" in Google Images. Also spelled fish-eye.

fisheye view
See: fisheye photograph.

fish print
A print made by inking one side of a dead fish and pressing a sheet of paper or piece of fabric against it (see this example, courtesy of Flickr). The Japanese art of fish printing (gyotaku) was invented in the 1800s by fisherman to record their catch. Synonymous with fish impression and fish rubbing.

Printer's slang for a symbol in the form of a closed hand with the index finger extended, used to draw attention to something on a printed page, and in signage to indicate direction. In medieval manuscripts, this symbol (called a manicula) was inserted in the margin to draw attention to an important passage in the text. Click here to see an example drawn in red ink in the lower margin of a 15th-century copy of Saint Augustine's City of God (Golda Meir Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukie) and here to see two examples in a 16th-century edition of Lucretius, printed by Aldus Manutius (Colorado College). Click here to see an embellished example in a 14th-century English manuscript (British Library, Burney 236). Also known as a digit or hand.

See: furniture.

Five Laws of Library Science
See: Ranganathan, S.R.

fixed back
See: tight back.

fixed field
A field of the MARC record containing a fixed number of characters, as opposed to a field of variable length, for example, the 24-character leader (field 001) or the 005, 006, 007, and 008 fields. Because the function of each character in a fixed field is defined by its relative position, subfield codes are not required to distinguish data elements. Cataloging software usually provides prompts or windows to assist catalogers in entering data in fixed fields.

fixed-length data elements
Field 008 of the MARC record, containing 40 characters used to encode information that allows records meeting certain criteria to be identified and retrieved, for example, materials in a specific format, published in a specific language or country, or intended for a particular audience.

fixed location
A specific physical location to which an item in a library collection is permanently assigned, for example, a dictionary stand on which a large dictionary is displayed or an atlas case in which several large atlases are stored for ease of access. In medieval libraries, manuscript books were sometimes chained to a shelf, table, or carrel to prevent removal. In most modern libraries, items have a relative location determined by the classification notation assigned in cataloging, their actual physical position on the shelf changing as other items are acquired or withdrawn or when the collection is shifted. Synonymous with absolute location).

fixed rate
A stipulation in a contract or other agreement that the rate of payment agreed upon in advance will not change over time.

fixed shelving
Shelving in which each shelf is permanently attached to the uprights in a range, or to the vertical side of a bookcase, as opposed to adjustable shelving in which the shelves are detachable and can easily be moved up or down to accommodate materials of varying height.

The title of a newspaper exactly as printed across the top of the front page, including any design elements on either side, called ears. A gothic typeface is often used (see this example). Synonymous with nameplate. See also: masthead.

Also refers to a long, narrow strip cut with the grain from a sheet of stiff paper or thin pasteboard, inserted in a book or other item to alert library staff to the existence of special characteristics, status, or instructions, usually in technical processing or shelving. The strips may be color-coded to communicate specific information to the person doing the processing or shelving. Acid-free paper or board should be used for this purpose.

In data processing, a special character used to mark the occurrence of a condition specified in advance.

flagship publication
The most important or profitable publication issued by a publisher or other organization, often featured in its promotions (see these examples).

To communicate via e-mail in an angry, sarcastic, or critical tone. A protracted dispute in a newsgroup or mailing list discussion is known as a flame war. Such disputes are usually mediated or terminated by the other participants or by the moderator. See also: netiquette and shouting.

flannel board
A large square or rectangular board covered in felt, used in storytelling and instruction to display letters, symbols, and shapes cut from fabric or some other textured material that sticks to the felt surface when the board is held in an upright position. Synonymous with feltboard and cloth board.

One of the two ends of the paper dust jacket wrapped around the cover of a book bound in hardcover. The list price and the publisher's promotional blurb are usually printed on the front flap. The back flap provides brief biographical information about the author and/or illustrator, usually with a small portrait photograph of each person.

flap binding
A style of binding in which the back cover of a book extends beyond the sections in a wide flap that folds over the fore-edge and is usually fastened to the front cover in some fashion. In Islamic binding, an envelope flap often fits inside the upper board. The category includes wallet bindings. Click here to see an early European example in blind-tooled leather (Cornell University Library) and here to see a 17th-century gold-tooled example from Iran (Metropolitan Museum of Art). This 19th-century example has decorated paper doublures (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Arabe 1102).

flash card
A small card or piece of stiff, opaque material bearing a letter, word, phrase, numeral, symbol, picture, or combination of characters and images, usually part of a set designed for rapid display in mnemonic drill and recognition training. Flash cards are also used in presentations to provide visual cues to the audience. Libraries that include flash cards in their collections usually make them available in the curriculum room or children's room. Compare with activity card. See also: flash memory.

flash drive
See: USB flash drive.

flash memory
Invented at Toshiba in 1984, flash memory is a type of Electrically-Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) in the form of a microchip that retains its data when the power switch is turned off and can be erased and reprogrammed in units of memory called blocks, rather than byte-by-byte. Because of its speed, non-volatility, and shock resistance, flash memory is used as a storage medium in small battery-powered devices, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, and portable digital assistants (PDAs). Click here to learn more about flash memory, courtesy of Wikipedia, or try HowStuffWorks. Synonymous with flash card and storage card. See also: USB flash drive.

flash photograph
A photographic image made with the aid of artificial lighting, usually discharged by a magnesium, electronic, or other flash mechanism, either separate from or built into the camera. Flash devices are typically used to illuminate dark scenes (see this example), capture quickly moving objects (example), or change the quality of light (example). Flash photography is generally not permitted in libraries, archives, and museums displaying materials sensitive to light and/or ultraviolet radiation.

flat back
A type of binding in which the back of a book is not rounded or backed after gluing, leaving the front and back covers to meet the spine at a right angle. Synonymous with square back. See also: hollow back and tight back.

flat panel
A computer peripheral device in the form of a thin, flat screen that uses LCD or plasma technology, rather than a cathode ray tube, to display output. In laptops, the flat panel folds down to cover the keyboard. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term "flat panel monitor" in Google Images.

flat shelving
Storing books stacked flat on the shelf, one on top of another with the lower edges (tails) facing outward, used mainly for large sets and series such as law books. The volume number may be written large on the lower edge to facilitate retrieval. This method of shelving can increase shelf capacity by as much as 28 percent, but it makes browsing more difficult because the spines are not visible. See also: double shelving, fore-edge shelving, and shelving by size.

flesh side
The side of a sheet of parchment or vellum that faced the body when the skin was attached to the animal. The flesh side is usually whiter and softer in texture than the hair side, except in Insular manuscripts made from skins not scraped down as far, so that both sides retain a nap similar to suede.

A small stylized ornament in the form of a symmetrical spray of leaves and/or flowers, usually used in bookbinding as a repeating pattern in blind- or gold-tooling. The French fleur-de-lis, representing the iris plant, is used as a fleuron on this leather binding (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, S.M. 1652). Also used syonymously with printer's flower.

See: flexible binding.

flexible binding
A cloth or leather covered book bound in a material that bends easily, rather than the rigid boards used in most hardcover editions. Synonymous with flex-cover. Compare with limp binding and softcover. See also: bible style.

flexible hours
A work schedule that allows an employee to start or stop working at a time suitable to the worker, provided the required number of hours per week is worked.

Time worked in excess of the maximum number of hours per day, week, or month specified under the terms governing employment, for which the employee is granted time off at a later date. Synonymous with comp time. Compare with overtime.

See: Federal Library and Information Center Committee.

A slang term for motion picture.

flicker book
A type of toy book published during the 19th century containing a sequence of closely related cartoon-style illustrations designed to give the impression of animation when the pages are fanned from cover to cover, similar to the illusion of movement created by the rapid projection of frames in a motion picture. Synonymous with flip book.

flicker film
A type of experimental film in which the filmmaker explores visual perception and cognition by the rapid alternation on the screen of images in black and white or color, each of which appears very briefly, sometimes in a single frame. The term is derived from the title of Tony Conrad's art film The Flicker (1964) that caused a furor at the 1966 New York Film Festival. Not recommended for viewers susceptible to photogenic epilepsy, hallucinations, or migraine (some titles carry medical warnings).

An inexpensive, widely distributed handbill or circular of small size (usually 8 1/2 x 11 inches), used flat or folded for advertising and announcements. Also spelled flyer. Synonymous in the UK with leaflet. See also: ephemera.

A printer's term for very thin paper, used for making multiple copies and in layout. Also used in reference to the copy itself (see this example). See also: onionskin.

flip book
See: flicker book.

flip chart
A pad of paper of very large size designed to be mounted on an easel to display information, often in graphic or tabular format, to accompany an oral presentation. As the session proceeds, pages can either be torn off or turned over the top. Unlike slide projection or presentation software, a flip chart allows the presenter to manipulate information content manually as it is presented, sometimes in response to feedback from the audience. Overhead transparencies are visible to a larger audience but require projection equipment. Also spelled flipchart.

flock paper
A type of specialty cover paper, originally intended to simulate tapestry or velvet brocade, produced by coating the sheet with size (all over or in patterns or designs), applying specially dyed flock powder (pulverized fiber), and removing any excess that does not adhere to the surface (adapted from Roberts and Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology).

One of the worst disasters a library or archives can experience. Because books and most other printed materials are made of paper, water can cause damage out of proportion to the amount. Flooding is usually caused by leaking pipes, malfunctioning air conditioning equipment, unintentional sprinkler system use, or inadequate drainage during periods of excessive precipitation. If possible, books and other printed materials should be stored away from all water sources. Mold can begin to grow in wet books within 48 hours (or less) of exposure. Freezing saturated books buys time, but vacuum drying is an expensive process and not feasible for large quantities of water-damaged items, which must often be discarded. Click here to view flood damage at the Public Health Library, UC Berkeley. See also: fan drying.

floor load
Standard full-height shelving requires that the floor in a library's stacks be designed to sustain a load of 150 pounds per square foot. If compact shelving is used, floor load requirements double to support a load of 300 pounds per square foot.

floor plan
A plan representing a horizontal section through the walls and other vertical elements of a building at one or more levels, showing the shape and disposition of rooms, spaces, and structural components, with information on the placement and dimensions of features such as doors, walls, stairways, and built-in fixtures and equipment, with room numbers and/or names included (see these examples, courtesy of Fordham University). When libraries make their floor plans available to patrons to show the location of collections, services, and facilities, nonpublic areas are often left unnamed.

floor space
The two-dimensional size of a room, functional area, or facility, expressed in square feet in the United States or in square meters in countries where the metric system is used. Usable floor space excludes areas not available for the specified use, such as utility closets, elevator shafts, stairwells, and bathrooms.

See: floppy disk.

floppy disk
A 3 1/2-inch external metallic magnetic disk encased in a rigid plastic envelope designed for use in a personal computer as a portable storage medium for data in digital format (see this example). The most commonly used sizes are 720K (double-density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Before 1987, most PCs used flexible 5 1/4-inch floppies. To conserve paper, libraries encourage users of online catalogs and bibliographic databases to save search results to floppy disk (or export output to an e-mail account), instead of printing. In microcomputers, the floppy disk drive is the a:\ drive. Click here to learn more about floppy disks, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. Synonymous with diskette. Compare with hard disk.

Florence Agreement
Sponsored by UNESCO and signed by 17 countries, the Florence Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials (1952) reduces tariffs and trade barriers in the international export and import of books, documents, and other materials in the signatory countries. Click here to read the text of the Florence Agreement.

See: printer's flower.

In bookbinding, tooled decoration on a leather binding in the form of small flowers or parts of flowers, closely imitated or stylized.

A decorative tail or ornamental extension on a swash letter, usually in the form of one or more swirling curves. A flourish is often an extension of an ascender or descender. Pen-flourished initial letters are common in medieval manuscripts. Click here to see an example in a 12th-century Italian lectionary (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute). In older signatures, flourishes were used as a mark of distinction and to prevent forgery. Click here to view flourishes in the colophon of a 15th-century manuscript in the Schøyen Collection (Oslo and London, MS 111), and here to see an elaborate 16th-century example in the form of a calligraphic exemplar (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). See also: paraph.

A diagram showing the complete series of steps in a process, such as a computer program, or the sequence in which the components of a system function, usually in the form of symbols of varying shape, each representing a specific type of operation or component, connected by directional lines indicating movement (see this example).

flow line
In cartography, a linear symbol of variable width used to represent phenomena characterized by linear movement, for example, emigration or foreign trade. Width of line may be proportional to the quantity mapped (click here to see a map of traffic flows in and out of the King County International Airport and here to see the flow of telecommunications traffic in Europe). A linear symbol used in this way may also be directional (see this example) and/or color-coded to indicate source or some other data. See also: dynamic map.

flow map
See: dynamic map.

Said of a line of type aligned along a right or left margin without indention.

flush binding
A binding in which the edges of front and back covers are even with the edges of the leaves, without squares. In modern bookbinding, this is achieved by trimming after the case or cover is attached to the sections. Most paperback books have flush covers (see this example, courtesy of LSE Reprographics). Compare with extended binding. See also: cut flush.

flush boards
A bookbinding with the boards cut even with the edges of the sections, used in Europe until about the 15th century, after which time the boards extended beyond the edges of the book block, forming squares.

flush cover
See: flush binding.

flush paragraph
In typesetting, copy that is completely aligned against the left margin, without indention, even at the beginning of each paragraph. A white line is added between paragraphs to separate them.

See: flier.

Often used in reference to the free half of an endpaper not pasted to the inside of one of the boards of a book (see this example), but according to The Bookman's Glossary (Bowker, 1983), the term applies only to the binder's blank leaf at the beginning of a book, following the front free endpaper, and by analogy at the end of the text, preceding the back free endpaper, when the text does not fill the last page or pages. Their purpose is to protect the leaves of the first and last sections of the text block from damage. In medieval manuscripts, the flyleaves sometimes bear pen trials and inscriptions that can be helpful in establishing provenance. Also spelled fly leaf. Synonymous with free endleaf.

The thin leather title label, made of skiver, affixed to the spine of a leather-bound or cloth-covered book, usually lettered in gilt. In library binding, it has been replaced by paper and sometimes cloth labels.

An additional half title sometimes printed on the recto of an otherwise blank leaf following the last page of the front matter and preceding the first page of the text in a book. Also refers to a similarly printed leaf at the beginning of a chapter or other major division of a book, bearing the title of the division. In England, synonymous with bastard title and half title.

focus group
A small group of people assembled by a researcher to identify through informal discussion the key issues and/or themes related to a research topic, often to facilitate development of a more quantitative methodology, such as a survey. An effort may be made to select a representative sample of the larger cohort used in subsequent research. Focus groups are sometimes used in library research and strategic planning, for example, to determine user needs and preferences in the development of a technology plan. The technique is also used extensively in business for qualitative research on consumer behavior. Online focus groups are used in the evaluation of Web-based services.

fog index
A numeric formula used in publishing to gauge the degree of readability (clarity) of a piece of writing, based on average sentence length and number of words of three or more syllables per sentence. The higher the index number, the less intelligible the writing, an important consideration in judging the sales potential of a work. The measure is imprecise because it does not take into consideration the writer's style, which may break long sentences into phrases and make difficult words easier to comprehend from the context.

See: Freedom of Information Act.

See: Friends of the Library.

The crease formed when two edges of a sheet of paper, parchment, or vellum are brought together along a line and pressed together. A bifolium is created by a single fold down the center of a sheet. Early manuscript books consisted of gatherings of bifolia nested one within another. When paper replaced parchment and vellum in book production, a full sheet could be printed and folded more than once to make a quire of a given number of pages, depending on how the printed matter was arranged:

Folio. One fold: 2 leaves, 4 pages
Quarto (4to). Two folds: 4 leaves, 8 pages
Octavo (8vo). Three folds: 8 leaves, 16 pages
Sextodecimo (16mo). Four folds: 16 leaves, 32 pages

In modern binding, folding is done by machine. See also: back fold, bolt, and fold sewn.

folded book
A novelty book format consisting of one long strip of paper folded accordion-style, with one or both ends attached to separate rigid covers, with no back (see this example). Used for pictorial display of wide-angle panoramas, particularly in China. More complex folded books have been created by contemporary artists for whom the book is a form of visual art (see artist's book). Synonymous with folding book.

fold endurance
A measure of the strength of a grade of paper, based on the number of times a sheet can be folded in both directions along the same fold line before the fibers detach at the crease. Usually tested mechanically, fold strength is most important in paper used for printing currency. Fold endurance was dropped as a criterion in the 1992 revision of the ANSI/NISO Z39.48 standard for permanence of paper. See also: two-double fold test.

A publication consisting of a single sheet of paper folded, usually down the center, into two or more leaves, not cut or stitched. Examples include performance programs, restaurant menus, etc. Also refers to a sheet of heavy paper such as manila, folded once, sometimes with a flap across the bottom and a projecting tab for labeling, used for filing loose papers. Standard sizes in the United States are 9 x 11 3/4 and 9 x 17 3/4 inches.

In software applications, a heading created by the user under which data files, e-mail messages, Web bookmarks, and other information in digital format can be filed and stored for future retrieval.

folding plate
A large illustration tipped into a book, which can be unfolded to double-plate or larger size (see this botanical example).

Also spelled foldout. See: throw-out.

fold sewn
A binding in which the gathered sections are attached to each other by sewing through the back fold, with a kettle stitch linking adjacent sections at the end of each pass of the thread. Fold sewing allows greater ease of opening than side sewing. Hand fold sewing can be all along, two on, or three on.

fold test
See: two-double fold test.

Folger Shakespeare Library
Founded in 1932, the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., is an independent research center for Shakespeare scholars containing the largest collection of printed materials in the world about "The Bard" and his literary works. The Folger also collects research materials on British civilization and the culture of the Renaissance, including rare books and manuscripts. A substantial gift from the private library of Henry and Emily Folger forms the nucleus of the collection. The Folgers also established an endowment in support of the library, administered by the Trustees of Amherst College. The library includes a small theater in which Shakespeare's plays are publicly performed. Poetry readings and concerts of early music are also scheduled. The Folger Library is housed in a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to connect to the Folger homepage.

foliate border
An ornamental band around a miniature and/or portion of text on a page of an illuminated manuscript or early printed book, decorated with painted vines, leaves, fruit, and/or flowers, often intertwined with insects, animals, human figures, and grotesques. The 15th-century Katherine Hours of Jean Bourdichon contains a variety of foliate borders (Getty Museum, MS 6). Acanthus and rinceaux are common styles. Trompe l'oeil floral borders are common in late 14th- and early 15th-century Flemish manuscripts (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig IX 18). Lush foliate borders can be seen by paging through the 15th-century Hours of Marie de Rieux and through this English Book of Hours of the same century (Morgan Library, MS M.190 and G.9). Synonymous with foliated border. See also: foliate initial.

foliated initial
See: foliate initial.

foliate initial
An initial letter in an illuminated manuscript or early printed book embellished with vine, leaf, fruit, and/or flower scrollwork. Foliate designs are also used in ornamental borders and as line fillers. Click here to see an example in an early 15th-century English missal (Schøyen Collection, MS 673) and here to see an example in a different style in a 15th-century breviary (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS Buchanan f.2). Here is a particularly ornate penwork example in a Belgian breviary of the same century (Schøyen, MS 039). Click here and here and here and here and here and here to sample a variety of styles, courtesy of the British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Synonymous with foliated initial. Compare with figure initial. See also: historiated initial and rustic capital.

The precursor of pagination in which the leaves, rather than the individual pages, of a manuscript or early printed book were numbered consecutively on the recto only, usually in roman numerals following the word "Folio" or the abbreviation F., f., fo., or fol. Foliation in arabic numerals was introduced in Italy during the late 15th century (see this example in a Latin liturgical text, courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Libraries). Pagination in arabic numerals began about 100 years later but did not become widespread until the 18th century. Also refers to the total number of leaves in a manuscript or book, numbered or unnumbered. See also: blind folio.

Latin for "leaf." A single leaf of a book or manuscript (of paper, parchment, vellum, etc.), usually one-half of a sheet folded down the center to form a bifolium. In manuscript books, several bifolia nested together, to be sewn through the fold in binding, constitute a quire or gathering. When numbered at the top or bottom on the recto only, a leaf is said to be foliated. Numbering on the recto and verso is called pagination. The term also refers to a blank sheet of printing paper in its full, unfolded size and to a single sheet of a writer's manuscript or typescript with writing or printed matter on one side only. Abbreviated F., f., fo., or fol. Plural: folios or folia, abbreviated ff.

Also refers to the size of book made by folding a full sheet of book paper in half once to form signatures of two leaves (four pages). Although the precise size of each leaf in a folio edition depends on the size of the original sheet, the term is commonly used in the book trade to indicate an oversize volume 15 inches or more in height. Some early editions are known by the number of leaves in their sections, as in the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays. Compare with quarto, octavo, duodecimo, and sextodecimo.

folio number
See: foliation.

A collective term applied since the mid-19th century to the traditions, customs, beliefs, narratives, etc., passed from one generation to the next within a community by word of mouth, without being written down. Folklore includes legends, folktales, songs, nursery rhymes, riddles, superstitions, proverbs, customs, and forms of dance and drama performed at traditional celebrations. Because folklore flourishes in communities with a low literacy rate, it is disappearing in many parts of the world. Dictionaries of folklore are available in the reference section of most large libraries. Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts is maintained by D.L. Ashliman of the University of Pittsburgh. Compare with myth.

A portmanteau word coined from the terms folk and taxonomy by Internet developer Thomas Vander Wal to describe a grass-roots system of classification in which users collaboratively create, assign, and manage tags to annotate and categorize information content. On the Web, folksonomies first became popular in 2004 in software applications that allow social bookmarking and photograph annotation. The practice is also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging. For more information, see Folksonomy Coinage and Definition by Thomas Vander Wal.

A short narrative rooted in the oral tradition of a particular culture that may include improbable or supernatural elements. The category includes a range of forms, from fairy tale to myth. Some have historical roots (example: John Henry), others are purely imaginative (Pecos Bill). Folktales are usually published in collections. In libraries, they are shelved in either the adult or juvenile collection, depending on reading level and format. Also spelled folk tale.

follow through
See: letter-by-letter.

An article, report, book, or film that provides further information about a previously reported news story or topic.

See: Friends of Libraries USA.

From the French word fondre, meaning "to cast." In printing, all the characters of a specific typeface in a given size, including uppercase and lowercase, small capitals, numerals, punctuation marks, reference marks, and any special characters, as opposed to a type family that includes different variations and sizes of the same type style (roman, italic, boldface, etc.). In books, the text is set in a single font, with any long quotations and notes in a smaller size of the same font. Older spelling: fount.

In computers, fonts come built into the printer, usually in the form of exchangeable plug-in cartridges or as "soft" fonts residing on the computer's hard disk or on a hard disk built into the printer. By embedding fonts in a document before it is transmitted, document exchange software such as Adobe Acrobat allows text to be displayed and printed in its original form without having to install fonts on the receiving machine.

Formerly, a sheet of printing paper of standard size, which varied from 13 x 15 to 13 1/2 x 17 inches, producing two leaves of roughly 13 x 8 inches when folded once down the center. The word is derived from the watermark traditionally used by papermakers, showing the distinctive multi-pointed cap with bells worn by medieval jesters (see this example). Abbreviated fcap or fcp.

The bottom edge of a book or page in a bound publication. The opposite of head. Synonymous with tail.

A length or quantity expressed in feet, for example, the number of running feet in a segment of film joined to other segments in editing to create a motion picture. Also used as a general term for unedited positive motion picture film. A footage counter is a device used to measure film by counting the length in feet or in number of frames. Models used in the film industry often indicate running time and time code. See also: found footage and stock footage.

A line or lines at the bottom of a Web page giving the name of the person (or persons) responsible for creating and maintaining the site, and its host. The footer may also include the date of last update, a copyright notice, and a contact link or Internet address. Also refers to the lines at the bottom of an e-mail message indicating the name, title, and affiliation of the sender and any contact information, as distinct from the header at the beginning of the message and the body containing the text. Also used synonymously in printed documents with running foot.

See: running foot.

A brief note at the bottom of a page explaining or expanding upon a point in the text or indicating the source of a quotation or idea attributed by the author to another person. Footnotes are indicated in the text by an arabic numeral in superscript, or a reference mark, and are usually printed in a smaller size of the font used for the text. When numbered, the sequence usually starts with 1 at the beginning of each chapter but may occasionally start with 1 at the beginning of each page. Compare with endnote and in-text citation.

In Dewey Decimal Classification, an instruction that applies to many subdivisions of a class, or to a topic within a class, marked in the schedules with a symbol such as the asterisk. In the print version of DDC, a footnote appears at the bottom of the page; in the electronic version, it is given in the notes section of the class to which it applies.

In a more general sense, any afterthought or minor but related comment on, or confirmation of, a primary statement, in writing or in speech.

The amount of surface area on a desktop or table required to accommodate a computer or peripheral device, less for a laptop than for a conventional PC, an important consideration in designing and equipping library instruction labs.

Also refers to the geographic area in which the signal transmitted by a telecommunication satellite can be received.

The outer edge of a leaf in a bound publication, or of the sections or cover of a book, opposite the spine or binding edge, the other two edges being the head and tail. The fore-edges of medieval manuscripts were sometimes decorated or labeled in ink, often with the title, because prior to the 16th century books were shelved flat with the fore-edge facing out. Click here to see examples of edge decoration, courtesy of the Princeton University Library. Synonymous with front edge.

fore-edge binding
A style of half binding in which the fore-edges of the boards, instead of the corners, are covered in a strip of the same material as the spine of the book, with the remainder of the boards covered in a different material.

fore-edge painting
See: edge painting.

fore-edge shelving
Storing books with their spines parallel with the surface of the shelf, rather than perpendicular to it. To prevent the force of gravity from causing the book block to pull away from the case or cover, the spine should rest on the shelf with the fore-edge up. This method preserves call number sequence and adds at least two shelves to a standard 90-inch-high section when space is limited but makes browsing and locating a specific item difficult because the spines are not visible. For this reason, it is usually restricted to portions of a library collection that are not heavily used. See also: double shelving, flat shelving, and shelving by size.

fore-edge title
A title hand-lettered on the fore-edge of a volume to facilitate identification when it was standard practice to shelve books fore-edge out (click here to see a 16th-century example, courtesy of the Princeton University Library).

In pictorial art, the parts of a scene that appear to lie nearest the viewer, in front of figures or objects in the background.

foreign book
A term used in acquisitions to refer to a book published outside the United States. Certain vendors specialize in supplying libraries and bookstores with titles published in specific countries (example: China Books of San Francisco).

foreign film
A motion picture distributed in a country other than the one in which it is first released. When the sound track includes dialogue, it is usually in the language of the country of origin, with translation added in subtitles or dubbed. In the United States, an Academy Award is given each year for the Best Foreign Language Film. In AACR2, if the title proper of a foreign release is in the original language, the translated title is transcribed as a parallel title if it appears in the chief source of information (example: Bande à part [videorecording] = Band of outsiders). If the title proper is a translation, the original title is transcribed as a parallel title if it appears in the chief source of information (Breathless [videorecording] = À bout de souffle). Synonymous with foreign-language film, foreign release, and foreign version.

foreign language dictionary
See: language dictionary.

foreign language edition
An edition of an English-language text in translation. Compare with bilingual edition.

foreign rights
Under copyright law, the subsidiary right to sell a book or other publication in another country as a licensed edition, translation, or bilingual edition.

foreign subsidiary
A publisher wholly or partially owned by a company that has its headquarters in another country (example: Random House owned by Bertelsmann AG of Germany). The trend toward globalization of corporate ownership has profoundly affected the communication media, including publishing.

A name preceding a person's surname (family name), given at birth to distinguish him or her from others of the same family or clan. Synonymous with given name. See also: first name.

forename entry
An personal name entry made in a library catalog, index, or bibliographic database under a person's given name (forename). In AACR2, this practice is reserved for names that do not include a surname (example: Plato), names that include a patronymic (Isaac ben Aaron), and names of royal persons (Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii). Any word or phrase commonly associated with the name in works by the person, or in reference sources, such as place of origin, domicile, occupation, etc., is added in parentheses, as in Ezekiel (Biblical prophet), or following a comma (Eleanor, of Aquitaine).

forensic photograph
A photograph that serves as evidence, especially in litigation, because it documents physically observable facts (see this example). The category includes police photographs and surveillance photographs. Forensic photographers use a variety of specialized materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro-photography, photomicrography, photogrammetry, and sensitometry. Synonymous with crime photograph. See also: post-mortem photograph.

Introductory remarks preceding the text of a work, usually written by a person other than the author. When written by the author, introductory remarks constitute the preface. The foreword differs from the preface in remaining unchanged from one edition to the next. In the front matter of a book, the foreword or preface usually follows the dedication and precedes the introduction. Abbreviated fwd.

The deliberate counterfeit or imitation of a signature, or fabrication or alteration of a document or other work, with intent to deceive or harm the interests of another person or persons (example: the Hitler Diaries). The creation of fake first editions of rare and valuable books is considered forgery. In most countries, the act of forgery, or the sale of a forged work with intent to deceive, is a crime. Also refers to that which is forged. An online exhibition of the Frank W. Tober Collection on Literary Forgery is provided by the University of Delaware Library. See also this miniature by the Spanish Forger, courtesy of the Dartmouth College Library. See also: authenticity, fake, and false document.

A term used in library cataloging to refer to the manner in which the text in a book is arranged (dictionary, encyclopedia, directory, anthology, etc.), the genre in which a literary work is written (poetry, drama, novel, short story, etc.), or the structure of a musical composition (concerto, symphony, opera, etc.). Compare with genre. See also: form subdivision.

In the thesaurus Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), form is defined as a characteristic of works which have a particular format and/or purpose (examples: animation or short). See also: genre/form term.

Also refeers to a printed or typed document containing blank spaces for the insertion of specific information, for example, an application form, court summons, order form, report card, shipping list, tax form, telegraph, etc. See also: continuous forms.

A general indication of the size of a book, based on the number of times the printed sheets are folded in binding to make the leaves (folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo, sextodecimo, etc.).

Also refers to the particular physical presentation of a bibliographic item (AACR2). For printed publications, format includes size, proportions, quality of paper, typeface, illustration, layout, and style of binding. Synonymous in American usage with get up (books). In a more general sense, the physical medium in which information is recorded, including print and nonprint documents. See also: obsolete format, original format, and reformat.

In data processing, the manner in which data is arranged in a medium of input, output, or storage, including the code and instructions determining the arrangement (see file type). Also, to prepare a floppy disk for the recording of data (most floppies are sold preformatted) and to arrange text on a computer screen in the form in which it will be printed on paper (font, margins, alignment, type size, italic, boldface, etc.).

Also used in reference to the physical characteristics of photographic and motion picture film (size, aspect ratio, etc.). Click here for more information, courtesy of the Digital Versatile Developments.

format integration
The concept that separate cataloging rules and documentation should not be maintained for each bibliographic format (books, music scores, maps, etc.). The MARC record is designed to allow a given field to be used for any format for which it is appropriate. In the United States, MARC format integration was defined in the 1980s and implemented in the 1990s.

formation photograph
A group photograph taken from an elevated point of view, showing a number of people, specially assembled to form numerals, letters of the alphabet, or a symbol or pictorial design (see this example).

The appearance of printed text, including font, type size, alignment, boldface, italic, underlining, etc. In word processing software, options allow the user to specify formatting. In HTML documents, the same effects are achieved through the use of fixed tags embedded in the text.

In letterpress, assembled type and display matter that has been made up into pages, imposed in a chase, and firmly locked up for transfer to the bed of the press for printing.

form heading
See: genre/form term.

form line
In cartography, a linear symbol resembling a contour, but usually broken or dashed, drawn on a map to give a generalized impression of relief according to the conception of the mapmaker, based on knowledge of topographic form but without reference to an established datum.

form of composition
The structural form or shape in which a musical work is composed (concerto, fantasia, fugue, nocturne, prelude, rondo, sonata, variations, etc.), given in the note area of the bibliographic record if it is not apparent from the title or other parts of the bibliographic description.

form of entry
The specific words and spelling used to create the headings that serve as access points in a catalog or index, governed by rules concerning singular and plural forms, verb tense, syntax, punctuation, etc. In most cataloging and indexing systems, form of entry for names (personal and corporate), titles, and subjects is also subject to authority control.

form of print
In AACR2, a description of the material form of a motion picture, given in the note area of the bibliographic record representing the item, for example, whether the print is a negative, positive, reversal original, reversal internegative, interpositive, color separation, duplicate, fine grain duplicating positive, fine grain duplicating negative, etc.).

form subdivision
In library cataloging, a word or phrase added to a subject heading to divide works on the same subject by type of composition (example: Hughes Langston, 1902-1967--Biography) or format (Psychology--Encyclopedias). In Library of Congress subject headings, a form subdivision is usually the final element in a heading (Libraries--Automation--Directories). Sometimes two subdivisions are required to designate form (Libraries--Periodicals--Bibliography). In a classification system, a similar subdivision of a class. See also: genre/form term.

Originally, a collection of formulas for the compounding and testing of medications (see this 10th-century manuscript example in Latin). Today, a list of prescription drugs covered by a given pharmaceutical benefit plan. A national formulary is a list of medicines approved for prescription in a specific country, providing information about their chemical composition, description, selection, prescription, dispensing, and administration, and indicating which products are interchangeable. Compare with pharmacopoeia.

Soon to be published. Usually refers to new titles included in a publisher's frontlist for the next season. Bowker publishes a quarterly subject, author, and title index of Forthcoming Books.

Forthcoming Books
A quarterly subject, author, and title list of books to be published in the United States within the next four months and books published since the most recent edition of Books in Print. Published by Bowker, Forthcoming Books lists approximately 150,000 titles per year. Entries include name of publisher, year of publication, price, binding, and ISBN.

Occurring once in a fortnight (every fourteenth night). The frequency of a serial publication issued at two-week intervals (26 times per year). Abbreviated fortn.

In bookbinding, the intermediate steps in the physical production of a book following the sewing of the leaves or sections and preceding finishing. Forwarding includes attaching the endleaves, rounding and backing, gluing the lining and endbands to the binding edge, and attaching the boards and covering material. The sequence of operations is slightly different in case binding than in hand-binding.

A Spanish-language fiction serial, similar to the English-language graphic novel, that tells a story through photographs, drawings, and text, with content akin to Spanish-language soap operas (see this example, courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries). American Libraries reported in September 2005 that the Denver Public Library recently reviewed the content of its fotonovela collection for nudity and violence after receiving complaints from the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR). Fotonovelas are often treated as ephemera by libraries because of their flimsy format and comparatively low cost.

found footage
One or more scenes in a motion picture that were shot for another film or for some other purpose, for example, newsreel footage used for historical accuracy or stock footage used to reduce costs.

four-color process
See: process color.

Reddish-brown or yellowish spots resembling freckles on the paper of old documents (books, prints, etc.), a condition attributed to the effects of micro-organisms on iron or copper impurities in the paper under humid conditions. Particularly common in paper made by machine in the late 18th and 19th centuries, foxing can vary in extent from barely visible to ruinous. Although the cause (or causes) are not fully understood, the fact that foxing often begins near the edge of a leaf or sheet and spreads inward suggests that exposure to the atmosphere may play an important role. In some types of documents, foxing can be reduced or eliminated by a technique called washing, but preservationists proceed with caution because some methods can cause further damage. Click here to see heavy foxing in a copy of the first edition of Life in Colonial Mexico published in Madrid in 1630 (Georgetown University Libraries) and here to see light foxing in a 19th-century edition (University of Pittsburgh Libraries). Synonymous with foxmarks.

An anteroom or vestibule just inside the main entrance of a building, where people meet (see this example at the National Library of Australia).

See: Fine Press Book Association.

See: frames per foot.

An abbreviation of frames per second. See: projection speed.

fractional scale
See: representative fraction.

See: Functional Requirements for Authority Data.

fragile book
A book in such delicate or poor condition that even normal handling is likely to cause further deterioration. Libraries sometimes affix a bookplate to warn users that gentle treatment is required. If the book is valuable, it may be kept in the rare books and special collections section to allow closer supervision of its use.

A detached, incomplete portion of a manuscript or inscription that can sometimes be reassembled with other pieces of the same object to get a sense of the whole. Many ancient manuscripts written on papyrus survive only in fragments (see this example). Other examples can be seen in the Duke Papyrus Archive. Fragments of codices also exist in great numbers (see this 15th-century Icelandic example on vellum, courtesy of the Library of Congress). See also: cutting and Dead Sea Scrolls.

Also refers to a literary work left unfinished by the author, especially a poem. During the Romantic period, the fragment poem was developed as a literary form (see The Romantic Fragment Poem: A Critique of a Form by Marjorie Levinson, University of North Carolina Press, 1986).

A form of illumination practiced by the Pennsylvania Dutch in which a document or brief text is decorated with colorful drawings of birds, flowers, trees, human figures, and other ornamental motifs (see these examples). Most frakturs are birth, baptismal, or marriage certificates produced from the 1760s to the early 20th century, almost always in German. The term is derived from the name of the family of gothic scripts and typefaces used to write or print the documents (see this example, courtesy of Wikipedia). Frakturs are collected as a form of folk art for their beauty and historical value.

A separately scrollable area in the window of a computer application or in a Web page that has been divided into more than one scrollable area.

One of the rectangular areas on a filmstrip or length of motion picture film that holds a single still image in a sequence of images arranged to tell a story or create the illusion of movement when projected in rapid succession. Projection speed is measured in fps (frames per second). Librarians use the frame (or frames) bearing the title of the work as the chief source of information in cataloging such an item. Also refers to a single subdivision of the grid on a sheet of microfiche, or one of the units comprising a length of microfilm. Abbreviated fr. See also: frame enlargement.

In binding, an ornamental rectangle impressed in the surface of the cover of a book some distance from the edges (click here and here to see examples, courtesy of the British Library). Compare in this sense with border. Also refers to a rigid border of wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, etc., used to mount a picture, print, photograph, slide, etc.

In medieval manuscripts, a decorative border painted around a miniature, in imitation of an actual picture frame. Click here to see an example in a 15th-century French Book of Hours (Getty Museum, MS 48) and here to see a framed miniature in the form of a triptych from the same manuscript. Gothic-style wooden frames can be seen by paging through the 16th-century Da Costa Hours (Morgan Library, MS M.399). Architectural motifs were sometimes used to frame miniatures, as in this image framed by a Gothic cathedral arch in the Spinola Hours (Getty, MS Ludwig IX 18). Ornate examples can be seen by paging through this 16th-century French Book of Hours (Morgan, MS M.452).

frame enlargement
A still photograph that reproduces a single frame of motion picture film. Originally an operation requiring specialized equipment, the reproduction process has been simplified by digital technology in which a film scanner or digital camera is used to capture the frame as an image file. Some film archives offer digitized frame enlargements as a service to researchers. Licensing may be required for commercial use.

frames per foot (fpf)
The number of frames in a linear foot of motion picture film, a characteristic that varies with gauge: 70mm film has 12.8 frames per foot, 35mm has 16 frames per foot, Super 16 and standard 16mm both have 40 frames, Super 8 has 72 frames, and standard 8mm has 80 frames.

Frankfurt Book Fair
The largest and one of the oldest book trade fairs in the world, held annually in Frankfurt, Germany, in October, providing an opportunity for publishers to exhibit their publications, negotiate international sales rights, make arrangements for co-published editions, etc. Click here to connect to the Frankfurt Book Fair homepage.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790)
A man of many talents who combined intellectual genius with practicality, Benjamin Franklin was a champion of American independence and is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States. At various periods in his life he was printer and publisher, diplomat and statesman, scientist and philosopher. Born in Boston, the son of a Puritan candlemaker and mechanic, Franklin was apprenticed at age 12 to his brother James, the printer of an early Boston newspaper, The New England Courant.

Franklin eventually settled in Philadelphia, where he owned a printing business and published the Philadelphia Gazette from 1730 until 1748. His best-known publication was the highly successful series Poor Richard's Almanack issued from 1733 to 1758 under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. During this period of his life, Franklin also established one of the earliest circulating libraries in the colonies, which became the Library Company of Philadelphia, and in 1743 he helped found the American Philosophical Society.

After selling his press in 1748, Franklin devoted himself to public life and to scientific experimentation. In 1757, he was sent to England to enlighten the government concerning conditions in the colonies. Franklin was chosen a member of the Continental Congress and dispatched to France in 1776 to negotiate a treaty. Remaining as plenipotentiary until 1785, he secured considerable foreign support for the American cause in the War of Independence. Click here for a chronology of his life and the text of his Autobiography.

See: Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD).

The condition of a cloth book cover on which the threads along at least one edge have broken and pulled loose due to abrasion, exposing one or both of the underlying boards.

Pronounced "furbur." See: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.

The attempt to model in bibliographic systems the entity structure described in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), based on the concepts of work, expression, manifestation, and item. Pronounced "furburization."

Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology
An annual award sponsored by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), established in 1998 in honor of Frederick G. Kilgour, founder of OCLC and a seminal figure in library automation. The award is bestowed on a person who has contributed a body of research in the field of library and information technology that has significantly influenced the way information is published, stored, retrieved, disseminated, or managed. The award consists of $2,000 in cash, an expense-paid trip to the ALA Annual Conference, and a citation of merit. Click here to view a list of award winners.

freedom of information
The statutory right of public access to official information compiled and maintained by federal government agencies, embodied in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) passed by the U.S. Congress in 1966 and subsequently enacted in most European and UK countries. Under FOIA, applicants who request in writing specific information must be supplied with copies of the requested documents or records within a designated period of time. Disclosure of information that might prove harmful to national defense, foreign relations, law enforcement, commercial activities of third parties, or personal privacy is exempted. Compare with intellectual freedom. See also: information law.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Passed by Congress in 1966, FOIA guarantees right of access to unclassified government information to any American who submits a written request to see copies of specific records or documents. The Act exempts from disclosure information that might prove harmful to national defense, foreign relations, law enforcement, commercial interests of third parties, or personal privacy. The intent behind FOIA is to make government more transparent and accountable to citizens and to prevent secrecy from being used for illegitimate purposes. Similar legislation has been enacted in most European and UK countries. FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or state or local government agencies (each state has enacted its own laws concerning access). Click here to connect to the official FOIA Web page maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice.

freedom of speech
The right to say, write, or publish one's opinions without fear of persecution or prosecution, within the limits of the law (libel, obscenity, etc.). In the United States, freedom of speech is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1791.

Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF)
A nonprofit organization founded in 1969 by the American Library Association (ALA) in support of the First Amendment right of all Americans to read and hear the ideas of others without government interference. The FTRF also fosters libraries in which the individual's First Amendment rights can be fulfilled and supports the right of libraries and librarians to include in their collections any work that can be legally purchased in the United States, despite objections from individuals and groups with an axe to grind. Click here to connect to the FTRF homepage. See also: intellectual freedom, Intellectual Freedom Round Table, Library Bill of Rights, and Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Freedom to Read Statement
A formal declaration originally issued in May 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council (now the Association of American Publishers) affirming the First Amendment right of every American to choose without interference whatever he or she wishes to read. The Statement was adopted by the ALA and the ABPC in June 1953 and revised in 1972 and 1991 by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee. Click here to read the text of the Statement as published by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the ALA. See also: Freedom to Read Foundation and Library Bill of Rights.

free-floating subdivision
A form or topical subdivision that may be assigned under designated subjects in accordance with established subject cataloging rules, policies, and practices, without the specific usage having been editorially established and without creating an authority record for each main heading/subdivision combination. Five types of free-floating subdivisions are used in Library of Congress subject headings:

  • Form and topical subdivisions of general application (example: Globalization--Economic aspects)
  • Subdivisions used under classes of persons and ethnic groups (example: Asian Americans--Civil rights)
  • Subdivisions used under names of individual corporate bodies, persons, and families (example: United States--Constitution)
  • Subdivisions used under place names (example: New York (N.Y.)--Anecdotes)
  • Subdivisions controlled by pattern headings (example: Liver--Biopsy controlled by the pattern heading Heart)

Handwriting of any period that does not follow established rules with respect to abbreviation, contraction, punctuation, uppercase and lowercase, etc.

A form of self-employment in which a person, acting as an independent contractor, markets and sells a specific product, skill, or service to more than one employer (usually by the project) for a fixed fee that may be payable in advance. In the information sector, this mode of operation is commonly used by literary agents, information brokers, journalists, photographers, illustrators, and even editors. Freelancers often work from home, rather than from a commercial address.

A peer-to-peer platform designed to facilitate censorship-resistant communication, Freenet uses decentralized, distributed data storage and offers a suite of free software for working with stored data (adapted from Wikipedia).

free resource
A source of reliable information that can be obtained without charge (example: telephone directories). Prior to the emergence of the Internet, government, business, and nonprofit organizations provided most of the free information available to librarians and library users. Today, information is available at no charge from a considerably wider range of sources via the World Wide Web, but the user must exercise discrimination in assessing accuracy and authority.

free sheet
A newspaper distributed to households free of charge, usually within a comparatively small geographic area, with revenues derived primarily from advertising. Free daily newspapers originated in California in 1940 with publication of the Contra Costa Times.

free speech
Freedom under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to write or say whatever one wishes without fear of censorship or prosecution, within certain limitations (libel, slander, etc.). See also: intellectual freedom.

free-standing shelving
Shelving designed to stand on its own, away from a wall or other support. Most free-standing shelving is double-sided and available in sections to allow the assembly of ranges of variable length (see this example). In libraries in the United States, minimum aisle width between ranges is 36 inches. Building safety codes in earthquake-prone areas may require special bracing to stabilize free-standing shelving. Compare with wall shelving. See also: compact shelving.

free-text search
A search of a bibliographic database in which natural language words and phrases appearing in the text of the documents indexed, or in their bibliographic descriptions, are used as search terms, rather than terms selected from a list of controlled vocabulary (authorized subject headings or descriptors). Compare with full-text search. See also: keyword(s).

free voluntary reading (FVR)
A literacy initiative in the form of a school program or curriculum designed to encourage the habit of reading for pleasure (recreational reading) by leaving children free to select their own materials for sustained silent reading (SSR) based on their personal interests, as opposed to the assignment of specific works or a reading list from which students are required to select. No book reports or journal entries must be written or chapter questions answered in FVR, although the reader may be asked to promote the book orally to his or her peers. It is hoped that the key ingredient--lack of compulsion--will motivate students by making reading fun. The strategy is based on studies that show a positive correlation between quantity of reading and the development of literacy skills. To learn more, see The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research by Stephen D. Krashen (Libraries Unlimited, 2004).

A term coined in the 1980s to refer to software available at no cost, usually distributed over the Internet by the developer who retains copyright. Compare with shareware.

A cessation in the hiring of new personnel or the payment of funds, usually necessitated by budgetary constraints. In most cases, normal operations resume after the cause of the problem is resolved.

Also, to stop the action to display a single frame in film, television, or video production, a technique used for dramatic effect.

freeze drying
See: vacuum freeze drying.

freezer drying
A passive conservation procedure by which a modest number of damp or moderately wet books or other records can be dried with minimal swelling and distortion in a self-defrosting blast freezer over an extended period of time (several weeks to months). The temperature inside the freezer must be maintained at minus 10 degrees F. or lower. For best results, materials should be frozen as soon as possible after becoming wet. The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) recommends vacuum freeze drying for completely water-saturated materials. In thermaline or cryogenic drying, developed for rare books and manuscripts bound in leather or vellum, blast freezers are used at very low temperatures to hasten the drying process. Highly labor-intensive and requiring sophisticated technology, it is the most expensive drying method. Compare with air drying.

A technique used in conservation to eliminate book-eating insects. According to former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield (The Care of Fine Books, Nick Lyons Books, 1988), freezing at minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit in a domestic freezer unit will kill insects at all stages of development (eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult). To prevent the formation of ice crystals, damp books should be allowed to dry for at least a week before freezing. She recommends sealing items for freezing in polyethylene bags and leaving them in the bags after removal from the freezer until condensation on the outside has evaporated. Freezing is also used to prepare water-damaged books for vacuum drying.

Storage at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Centigrade) or lower is also recommended by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) to provide extended life for nitrate and acetate base motion picture films in an advanced state of decay, until preservation through duplication is feasible. Care should be taken to seal the container completely to protect the film from humidity during storage and from condensation in thawing.

french dash
In printing and bookbinding, a ruled line with a swell, usually at its center. Synonymous with french rule and swelled rule.

french fold
A single sheet of paper printed on one side and folded into quarters, first down the length and then at a right angle to the initial fold, producing a single section with the unprinted side folded in and the bolts left uncut to form four pages, as in wedding invitations and greeting cards.

The interval at which a newspaper, periodical, or other serial publication is issued (daily, semiweekly, weekly, semimonthly, monthly, bimonthly, triquarterly, quarterly, semiannually, annually, irregularly, etc.). Scholarly journals are usually published quarterly, magazines weekly or monthly, and newspapers daily or weekly. Frequency and changes of frequency are indicated in the note area of the bibliographic description of a serial.

In statistics, the number of times a unit of measurement occurs within a class or during a specified period of time. In electronics, the number of repetitions of the period of an alternating current (signal), expressed in Hertz (cycles per second). See also: MegaHertz.

frequently asked questions
See: FAQ.

frequently challenged book
A book purchased for school and/or public library collections whose removal is often demanded by parents or other patrons based on the appropriateness of its content, usually for children and/or young adults. The American Library Association (ALA) publishes the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list, with information on challenges by initiator, institution, type, and year. See also: banned book and parenting collection.

frequent user
A person who makes use of a library service, such as interlibrary loan, very often.

freshman experience
See: first-year experience.

Ornament used in bookbinding and manuscript decoration, consisting of a closely repeated, open rectilinear geometric pattern.

See: Fund Raising and Financial Development Section.

In the printing trade, a printed area that appears paler on the page than it should because it has received insufficient ink. The opposite of monk.

Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA)
Established in 1979, with headquarters in Philadelphia, FOLUSA was an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA) with membership consisting of Friends of the Library groups, libraries, clubs, associations, corporations, and individuals interested in promoting quality library service to all residents of the United States, until it merged in 2009 with the Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) to form the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the ALA.

Friends of the Library (FOL)
An organization whose members share an interest in supporting a particular library or library system through fund-raising and promotional activities (see this example). In some libraries, the Friends group operates a small gift shop or conducts an annual book sale, using the proceeds to support library programs and services. Friends members often serve as volunteers in the library, performing a variety of tasks from mending to storytelling. See also: Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations.

See: benefits.

See: frontispiece.

In printed books, an unnumbered illustration or pictorial element appearing on the unpaginated verso of the leaf immediately preceding the title page or first page, also found in some Renaissance manuscripts. Click here to see an example in an illuminated 17th-century biography of Niccolò and Antonio Zeno (Schøyen Collection, MS 1257). In earlier manuscripts, the frontispiece sometimes appears on the first page above the text, as in this example from a 14th-century Bible historiale (Getty Museum, MS 1). Click here to see a modern printed example by the Kelmscott Press (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library). Abbreviated front. Compare with headpiece.

A publisher's list of all the new books published (or about to be published) during the most recent publishing season or cycle, usually heavily promoted by sales staff. The most important titles in the frontlist are called leaders. Also spelled front-list. Compare with backlist. See also: midlist.

front matter
The parts of a book preceding the first page of the text. They include, in customary but not immutable order, the half title, series title or frontispiece, title page, imprint and copyright notice, dedication, epigraph, table of contents, list of illustrations and/or tables, foreword, preface, acknowledgments, introduction, list of abbreviations, translator's note, errata or corrigenda, and half title repeated (optional). Front matter is usually paginated in lowercase roman numerals. Synonymous with preliminary matter, preliminaries, and prelims. Compare with back matter. See also: parts of a book.

front page
The first page of the first section of a newspaper, bearing the flag and headlines of the major news stories of the day (see this example). Also, the first page of a newsletter, magazine, or journal. Compare with title page. See also: back page.

frozen catalog
A library catalog to which no new bibliographic records are added and from which no existing records are removed, even when revisions or corrections are made or existing records are converted to machine-readable format. Compare with closed catalog and open catalog.

See: full-time equivalent.

See: Feminist Task Force.

File Transfer Protocol, the TCP/IP protocol that allows data files to be copied directly from one computer to another over the Internet regardless of platform, without having to attach them as in e-mail. A computer that functions as a file server, storing files available to other computers, is called an FTP site or FTP server. If no username or password is required for access, such a computer is an anonymous FTP site--its files may be downloaded by anyone with access to the Internet. Although still widely available, anonymous FTP has been supplanted by the World Wide Web as the most popular mode of disseminating information in digital format.

In conservation, non-permanent ink or pigments that fade in light or are soluble in water or chemicals. To counter forgery and the removal of cancellations, some governments have used fugitive inks to print postage stamps. See also: fugitive document and fugitive material.

fugitive document
A federal government publication that meets all the requirements for distribution through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) but was never sent to the U.S. Government Printing Office and therefore not cataloged by GPO or distributed to depository libraries. Click here to use an online form for reporting a fugitive document to the FDLP.

fugitive material
Publications such as pamphlets, posters, performance and exhibit programs, and duplicated material produced in small quantities, that are of immediate, local, or transitory interest and therefore difficult for libraries to collect and catalog. See also: ephemera.

All the activities undertaken by a publisher or vendor in supplying materials to a library or library system, including order processing, shipping and warehousing, maintaining sales and inventory records, invoicing, accounts receivable and collections, credit control, processing claims, renewing and canceling subscriptions, etc. See also: fulfillment year.

fulfillment year
The period of time for which a subscriber who has paid for an annual periodical subscription is entitled to receive issues. Compare with subscription period. See also: renewal.

full binding
A style of bookbinding in which the spine and boards are uniformly covered in material of one kind, originally leather but in modern binding usually some kind of cloth. Synonymous with whole bound. Compare with half-binding, quarter binding, and three-quarter binding.

full border
Continuous ornamentation, plain or simple, extending around the perimeter of a page on all four sides. In medieval illuminated manuscripts, a decorative band surrounding text and/or graphic elements (miniatures, initial letters, line fillers, etc.) on all four sides of a page, usually consisting of a dense carpet of multicolored vines, leaves, flowers, birds, animals, human figures, and/or other designs, leaving very narrow margins. Click here and here to see examples in the 11th-century Eadui Psalter (British Library, Arundel 155). Compare this example in white-vine style in a 15th-century Italian chronicle (Schøyen Collection, MS 038) with these examples of full foliate borders in a 15th-century French Book of Hours (Schøyen, MS 007). Click here and here and here and here to sample other 15th-century styles, courtesy of the British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. A three-quarter border extends around three of the four sides, as in this example in a 15th-century Italian manuscript (Schøyen, MS 1369). Synonymous with full-page border. Compare with frame.

full-coat mag
An abbreviation of full-coat magnetic sound track, a sound element in the production or preservation of motion pictures on which one entire side of the film is covered edge-to-edge with a thin layer of the magnetic ferrous-oxide recording medium, usually in four stripes (channels), although there can be as many as six. According to the Filmmaker's Dictionary (Lone Eagle, 2000), production sound recorded in synchrony with the image in commercial 35mm films is typically transferred to full-coat mag to enable it to be edited in sync with the picture. Also spelled fullcoat mag.

full-color printing
See: process color.

See: duplex.

full face
A typeface that has not been condensed and is therefore more readable than a version of the same style in which the characters are narrower than normal. See also: expanded.

full level cataloging
The most complete form of general cataloging, applied to library materials not designated for one of the other encoding levels, producing a bibliographic record that contains the fullest set of data elements, including a complete bibliographic description of the item in a record structured to facilitate descriptive and subject access. Compare with core level cataloging and minimal level cataloging.

full measure
See: measure.

full-motion video
Video transmission in which the image changes at the rate of 30 frames per second (fps). Motion pictures run at 24 fps. Video that has been digitized and stored on computer can be displayed at varying frame rates, depending on the speed of the computer.

A term used in printing to refer to an illustration, plate, or map that fills an entire page in a book or other publication, with or without margins and caption. Also refers to an article that fills all the available space on one page of a newspaper. In medieval manuscripts, an illumination that fills the entire page, without accompanying text. Click here to see an example in a 12th-century Norman psalter (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and here to see an example in a 12th-century Greek Gospel book (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 475).

full-page border
See: full border.

full point
A printer's term for the punctuation mark used to indicate the end of an ordinary sentence and as a mark of abbreviation. Synonymous with period and full stop.

full price
A seller's price without discount.

full record
The most complete display of data elements contained in the bibliographic record created to represent a bibliographic item, including all the fields and subfields needed to identify and describe the item, as opposed to a brief record in which only a portion of the available bibliographic description is shown. Most online catalogs and bibliographic databases provide both formats.

full score
A music score in which each of the parts is written on a separate stave, usually for the use of the conductor. For orchestral and choral works, this usually requires a large page size. From top to bottom, the standard arrangement of instrumental parts in a full score is: woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings, with any solo part in a concerto appearing above the violins. Voice parts, arranged in descending order of vocal register, are placed above the string section, with any solo parts given above the chorus. Only the largest music libraries collect this type of score. Click here to see the full score of The Mighty Casey, an opera by American composer William Schuman (Library of Congress) and here to see the conducting score of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps marked for performance by Leopold Stokowski (University of Pennsylvania Library).

full stop
The period, a punctuation mark used in text to indicate the end of a sentence and in bibliographic records to separate elements of description. When used to divide the parts of an Internet address, it is called a dot. Synonymous with full point.

An electronic resource that provides the entire text of a single work (example: Britannica Online) or of articles published in one or more journals, magazines, and/or newspapers. For example, a bibliographic database that provides the complete text of a significant proportion of the works indexed, in addition to the bibliographic citation and (in many cases) an abstract of the content (example: JSTOR). Also spelled full text and fulltext.

full-text search
A search of a bibliographic database in which the entire text of each record or document is searched and the entry retrieved if the terms included in the search statement are present. Most Web search engines are designed to perform full-text searches. This can pose a problem for the user if a search term has more than one meaning, resulting in the retrieval of irrelevant information (false drops). For example, in a medical database, the query "treatment of AIDS" might retrieve entries for sources containing the phrase "treatment aids in geriatrics" (with "of" a stopword). Compare with free-text search.

Employment for the number of working hours considered normal for a given position, in the United States no more than 40 hours per week without overtime or flextime. Full-time employees are usually entitled to full benefits. At some academic institutions, the ratio of full-time to part-time (adjunct) faculty, including librarians, is governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

full-time equivalent (FTE)
A measure of the total number of students, undergraduate and graduate, enrolled for the number of credit hours considered by an institution of higher learning to be a full schedule, sometimes used by vendors to determine subscription rates charged on a sliding scale for access to electronic resources such as bibliographic databases. In the United States, there is no national standard for computing FTE--each institution has devised its own formula. A typical example: FTE = total number of undergraduate credit hours divided by 15, plus total number of graduate credit hours divided by 12.

fully painted
In manuscript illumination, a miniature rendered entirely in pigments--more costly to produce than one rendered wholly or partly in line or tint. Click here and here to see examples, courtesy of the British Library.

In conservation, the process of exposing items made of paper and other materials to a toxic vapor within an airtight container to eliminate insects, mildew, mold, and other organisms that damage collections. When an infestation is extensive, fumigation of the area(s) in which the affected items are stored may also be necessary. Fumigants used in book preservation include thymol, methyl bromide, chloropicrin, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene dichloride, and hydrogen cyanide.

Features built into a search interface that determine the ease with which users may formulate queries and obtain results. Well-designed search software enables the user to:

Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD)
Formerly known as Functional Requirements for Authority Records (FRAR), FRAD is an extension of the FRBR model for relating the bibliographic data contained in library authority records to the needs of library patrons and librarians who use the records. Developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), FRAD is designed to assist persons who work with library records in finding and identifying a specific entity or group of entities, contextualizing the entity, and justifying choice of access point. The FRAD Final Report was first published in print by K.G. Saur in 2009.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)
The principles espoused in the 1998 report of the IFLA Study Group on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Although the report covers the user-oriented functions that bibliographic records should fulfill, and the data elements necessary to fulfill those functions, the term FRBR is usually used in reference to the entity-relationship model described in the report, which defines the characteristics of works, expressions, manifestations, and items.

In the years following the publication of International Bibliographic Description for Monographic Publications in 1971, major developments occurred in the environment in which cataloging principles and standards operate, such as the expansion of automated systems, the creation of large-scale bibliographic databases by national cataloging agencies, and the emergence of networked access to electronic information and new forms of electronic publishing, changes that necessitated a comprehensive re-examination of cataloging theory. In 1990, a resolution was passed at the Stockholm Seminar on Bibliographic Records calling for a clear delineation of the functions performed by the bibliographic record with respect to media, applications, and user needs.

In the user-focused study that produced FRBR, no a priori assumptions were made about the nature of the bibliographic record. The study group used entity analysis, a technique for constructing conceptual models of relational databases, to generate a model based on three basic elements: the entities of interest to users of bibliographic records, the attributes of each entity, and the relationships between entities. FRBR addresses not only bibliographic description, but also access points, organizing elements (classification), and annotations. Click here to read the final report approved by the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section on Cataloging in 1997 and published by K.G. Saur München (1998). FRBR is pronounced "furbur." See also: FRAD and FRBRization.

function key
One of 12 keys numbered F1 to F12 from left to right across the top row of a standard PC keyboard that allows the user to execute a specific task or routine in a computer program as a shortcut by pressing the appropriate key. The program-specific function associated with each key in the program is explained in the documentation provided with the software.

The money that supports the daily operations of a library or library system and its capital projects. Most institutional libraries are supported by revenue generated by taxation or collected by the organization of which they are a part. Library funding is subject to economic vicissitudes affecting its source. See also: endowment, fund-raising, grant, grant-in-aid, and underfunded.

Programs and activities undertaken by a library or library system to encourage benefactors to contribute a portion of their wealth in support of capital projects and/or operating expenditures. Some academic libraries and large public libraries have an endowment fund to which potential benefactors are encouraged to contribute. LSTA grants-in-aid often require the local community to provide matching funds. Also spelled fundraising. See also: Fund Raising and Financial Development Section.

Fund Raising and Financial Development Section (FRFDS)
The section of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) within the American Library Association (ALA) concerned with resource development for libraries of all types. Current areas of interest include foundation, trust, and endowment development and administration; annual giving and direct-mail fund-raising programs; capital campaign planning and implementation; and grantsmanship. FRFDS provides a forum for discussion; serves as a clearinghouse for the exchange of ideas, information, and techniques; and assists in the development of guides, aids, and publications on financial resource development. Click here connect to the FRFDS homepage.

A temporary leave of absence granted without pay to an employee. Some libraries and library systems use mandatory furloughs to cut costs in a budget crisis, electing to close for one or more weeks, usually during periods of low usage (end of summer, week before Christmas, etc.), instead of laying off workers. This option spreads the impact of cuts over all employees and administrative units within the organization.

A collective term for anything attached to the outside of a book in binding (clasps, bosses, cornerpieces, plaques, chains, staples, etc.). Metal fittings were used from the 8th to the 16th century to protect the covers from abrasion and as decoration. Click here to see utilitarian brass fittings on a 15th-century German binding (Schøyen Collection, MS 1833) and here to see decorative brass examples on a 16th-century binding (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, BD7-e.26). On some bindings, the fittings are the dominant decorative element (click here and here to see examples). Deluxe fittings in precious metal can be seen on the 17th-century Bible of Elector Moritz of Sachsen-Zeitz (Saxon State Library) and on this 16th-century velvet binding (British Library, Burney 38).

further reading
A bibliography of sources provided by the author for the benefit of readers who wish to extend their knowledge of the subject(s) treated in the work to which it is appended (as distinct from a list of works cited), common in introductory works used as textbooks at the undergraduate level.

fuzzy logic
The branch of logic that recognizes a possible range of intermediate values between the logical extremes of true and false, similar to the way the human mind evaluates complex situations. Because fuzzy logic allows degrees of uncertainty and imprecision to be expressed in the representation of knowledge, it has proved useful in artificial intelligence and the design of expert systems. In application software, it has been incorporated into some spell checkers to suggest to the user the most likely substitutions for a misspelled word.

See: free voluntary reading.

See: first-year experience.

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