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Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science

by Joan M. Reitz
Now available in print! Order a copy of the hardcover or paperback from Libraries Unlimited.

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See: peer-to-peer.

See: Picture Archive Council of America.

packaged book
A book produced wholly or in part by a freelancer or agency in the business of assembling books for publication. The extent of the packager's role is determined by the agreement with the publisher, which may include writing, editing, designing, illustrating, printing, and even binding the final product. Portions of the production process may be subcontracted out to specialists. Compare with managed book.

package deal
An agreement or offer covering more than one item at the same time, or making acceptance of one item contingent on acceptance of another.

packet switching
Network technology that breaks a message in digital format into tiny parcels of no more than 128 characters, each with the same destination address, then routes them separately as transmission circuits become available. When the packets reach their destination, they are checked to ensure that no data was lost in transmission, then reassembled in original sequence. Packet switching enables the transmission capability of a computer network to be used with maximum speed and efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing productivity. The Internet uses packet switching.

packing list
See: shipping list.

padded binding
A book with one or more layers of compressible material, such as cotton batting, added to the surface of the boards before the outer covering is applied, to make the binding soft to the touch (see this example). The style was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on albums, diaries, volumes of poetry, etc.

padded envelope
A flexible lightweight wrapper with a self-adhesive flap, designed to protect items such as books during shipment. Usually made of heavy-duty kraft paper or strong plastic, lined with a thick layer of soft fiber or air bubbles trapped in plastic film, padded envelopes are used extensively in interlibrary loan. Available from library and office suppliers in various sizes, they are reusable if opened carefully. Synonymous with jiffy bag and padded mailer.

Unnecessary verbiage added to a speech or written document to increase its length.

One side of a leaf in a manuscript, book, periodical, or other printed publication, numbered or unnumbered. The right-hand page in an opening is the recto, the left-hand page the verso. Abbreviated p. and pp. (plural). See also: folio and jump page. Also, a shortened form of the term Web page.

Also refers to a library staff member responsible for delivering materials from closed stacks and assigned the routine task of general stack maintenance (reshelving, shelf reading, etc.). Also, to call a person by name over a public address system in a large facility, a practice avoided in libraries to minimize distraction.

page break
The point in a text at which one page ends and the next page begins, indicated in most word processing software by a horizontal broken line across the screen. See also: orphan and widow.

page head
See: headline.

page number
A number assigned in sequence to a page in a manuscript, book, pamphlet, periodical, etc., to facilitate reference. Page numbers are written or printed in the head or tail margin, usually centered or in the outer corner. Front matter is usually paginated in lowercase roman numerals, text and back matter in consecutive arabic numerals. Blank pages are left unnumbered. Compare with foliation. See also: blind page.

page preview
A feature of most word processing software that allows the format of a page of text to be viewed on the screen exactly as it will appear when printed. See also: WYSIWYG.

page proof
In printing, an impression made from type that has been made up into pages after the galley proofs have been inspected and any errors corrected, ready for final checking before the publication goes to press, the author's last opportunity to make minor changes.

page pull test
In perfect binding, a test of the strength of the adhesive used to attach the leaves to the spine of the book block, in which the open book is lifted by the fore-edge of a single leaf.

The practice of marking the pages of a written or printed document with consecutive numbers to indicate their sequence. Front matter is usually numbered in lowercase roman numerals, text and back matter in arabic numerals. Rare in manuscripts and documents printed prior to A.D. 1500, pagination did not become common practice until about 1550 when it replaced foliation. The recto traditionally bears an odd page number and the verso an even number. Blank pages are left unnumbered. See also: blind page, continuous pagination, duplicate paging, journal pagination, magazine pagination, repaginated, separately paginated, and unpaginated.

In library cataloging, the portion of the physical description area (MARC field 300) of the bibliographic record that indicates the number of pages and/or leaves in a bibliographic item.

paging system
See: public address system.

painted binding
A style of binding in which a design or picture is painted directly on one or both covers of a book. Because of its light color and smooth surface, vellum was the best covering material for this type of decoration before paper came into widespread use. To see examples, try a search on the keywords "painted and vellum" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Click here to see a 16th-century calf binding by Christopher Plantin on which some of the tooled elements are painted in white, gray, black, green, and red (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). See also this 14th-century example in tempera on wood and this 18th-century lacquered example on papier-mâche, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

painted print
A monochromatic engraving, etching, or woodcut to which color is applied after the impression is taken, popular in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque periods (1450 to 1650). Color was added by a variety of techniques (stencil, freehand, or a combination of both), sometimes by the printmaker but more often by a painter or trained colorist, or by an artisan in the case of mass-produced prints. Some colorists signed their work. Examples can be seen in the online exhibition Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color (Baltimore Museum of Art).

A work of art created by applying paint or pigment (usually by means of a brush, blade, or sponge) to a supporting surface of wood, clay, bone, ivory, glass, stone, plaster, parchment, paper, or fabric (usually canvas or silk). The earliest paintings were made over 30,000 years ago on the stone walls of caves in southern France and northern Spain by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who used brushes and their own breath to apply natural pigments (see this example from Altamira Cave in Spain). See also: miniature.

From the Greek palaios ("ancient") and graphien ("writing"). The study of early forms of writing, such as the ancient inscriptions carved on monuments and the various scripts used in classical and medieval manuscripts. A discipline that began with the 15th-century humanists, paleography includes the decipherment of ancient texts and the determination from external characteristics of date and place of origin. Also refers to the study of the origins of the alphabets and letterforms used in writing the world's languages, including the Latin alphabet. Click here to explore an online exhibition on paleography, courtesy of the Schøyen Collection (Oslo and London). Click here to learn more about the history of writing. The National Archives (UK) provides Palaeography: Reading Old Handwriting, 1500-1800: A Practical Online Tutorial. British spelling is palaeography. Synonymous with diplomatic. See also: diplomatics and Rosetta Stone.

From the Greek palimpsestos, meaning "scraped again." A manuscript written on papyrus, parchment, or vellum on which earlier writings, only partially or imperfectly erased, are still faintly visible. Prior to the introduction of paper, writing material was often reused because it was expensive to produce and usually in short supply. Papyrus could be washed (lavage), but parchment and vellum had to be scraped with pumice or some other abrasive substance. A double palimpsest is one that has been erased twice. The new text was often written perpendicular to the former, to reduce, if not eliminate, visual confusion. The study of palimpsests has enabled codicologists to recover portions of texts and, in some cases, entire works that would otherwise have been lost. Click here to view an example (Schøyen Collection, MS 575). The Walters Art Museum provides a Web site on The Archimedes Palimpsest.

A word, phrase, number, or other sequence of units that reads the same in either direction, for examples, the word "radar" or the sentence "Too far, Edna, we wander afoot." The Latin palindrome Sator arepo tenet opera rotas ("Arepo the sower holds the wheels at work") can be arranged into a square that reads the same horizontally or vertically:


Click here to learn more about palindromes in Wikipedia.

palladium print
A photographic print made on paper sensitized to light with palladium salts, not commercially available after the 1920s. Used as a substitute during World War I when platinum became prohibitively expensive, palladium prints are virtually identical to platinum prints except for a slightly warmer tone. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images.

palm-leaf book
Leaves of a palm-like tree, trimmed to uniform size, flattened, and polished for use as a writing surface in India, Tibet, and Southeast Asia. The text was scratched in the surface, then rubbed with dark pigment to make the characters more visible. A "book" was assembled as a series of leaves strung on a rod or cord through holes in the center and/or ends of the leaves, with a slat of wood or bamboo at each end serving as a cover. Click here to see a manuscript written on palm leaves (Cornell University Library) and here to see an example in ivory covers (State Library of South Australia). See also: bark cloth and olla.

See: personal digital assistant.

A nonserial publication consisting of at least 5 but no more than 48 pages exclusive of covers, stapled or sewn but not bound, usually enclosed in covers of the same paper as the text (or a slightly heavier grade). Pamphlets were first published in England to disseminate the polemical writings of 16th-century reformers but are now used mainly for material too ephemeral or too brief (500 to 10,000 words) to be printed in book form. Click here to see a pamphlet guide for travelers to Canada and America via the Canadian Pacific steamship in the early 20th century (Royal Library of Denmark). The University of Toronto Libraries provide a digitized collection of pre-1930 Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides. Synonymous with booklet. Compare with brochure. See also: pamphlet binding and pamphlet file.

pamphlet binding
A self-cover or paper publisher's binding in which the leaves of a periodical or pamphlet are wire-stitched or stapled, rather than sewn or glued. Also refers to the rebinding of a pamphlet or its enclosure in a specially-made outer binding, usually for purposes of preservation (see this example, courtesy of the Special Collections Library, University of Kentucky).

pamphlet file
A rigid cardboard, plastic, or metal box or frame designed for storing, in an upright position, items such as brochuress, reports, loose issues of periodicals, and other materials (unbound or bound in paper covers), usually with a blank space on the front for a label listing the contents. Click here to see a worn example containing materials in deteriorated condition (Harvard University Library).

A manuscript of the complete text of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) in a single large volume, used in early monastic houses for reference and for reading aloud from a lectern. A prime example is the Northumbrian Codex Amiatinus of the late 7th century, now in the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy.

In binding, a square or rectangular compartment on the side of a book cover impressed in the dampened surface and/or enclosed in a border or frame, often stamped with the title or displaying a picture or design. Panel stamps were large tools (cast not engraved) incorporating an entire design rather than a repeatable motif. On a large book, several panels might be used to decorate the entire area. According to P.J.M. Marks, panels were used in Antwerp as early as the 13th century, sometimes based on woodcuts (The British Library Guide to Bookbinding, University of Toronto Press, 1998). Click here to view a 16th-century example bearing a single blind-stamped panel (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, BD2-h.2) and here to see a multi-paneled binding of the same period (Princeton University Library). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "panel" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Also refers to a similar design stamped on the spine of a book, often between raised bands on the spine of a hand-bound volume.

In printing, a "list of works by the same author" appearing in some books on the verso of the leaf immediately preceding the title page, which may include titles out of print or even issued by other publishers.

Also, one of a series of drawings in a cartoon or comic strip created as a sequence of related images to be viewed from left to right.

panel back
The spine of a hand-bound book on which the space between two or more of the bands has been enclosed in decorative tooling or panel-stamped with a similar design, in blind or gilt (see this example).

panel interview
A job interview in which the candidate is questioned by two or more interviewers in the same session. The interviewers may agree in advance on a scripted list of questions and take turns asking them. Also refers to a job interview in which two or more candidates are interviewed at the same time in each other's company by one or more interviewers, a more competitive process than an individual interview. For more on the latter method, see "Are Panel Interviews the Way to Go? The Pros and Cons of Simultaneous Interviewing" by Catherine A. Lee in the November 2005 issue of C&RL News.

panel stamp
See: panel.

panel-stamped binding
See: panel.

panel title
In cartography, a title printed on a sheet map in a position that appears on the outside or "front" when the sheet is folded. On some maps, additional information is given on the panel, such as name of publisher, publication date, copyright notice, etc. Road maps often include illustration or graphic design on the panel. Examples can be seen in The American Way, an online exhibition of road maps provided by the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine.

Strictly speaking, a nonphotographic perspective representation of the surface of the earth (or of another celestial body) in which detail, not drawn to scale, is shown as if projected on a vertical plane or onto a cylinder vertically centered on the point of observation, creating a visible horizon, often used to depict cities, towns, and popular recreational areas (mountain ranges, canyon lands, etc.). Important features are sometimes labeled along the top or bottom margin. Oblique projections are often included in this category (see bird's-eye view). Panoramas have characteristics of both maps and pictures. Click here to see a panorama of the Grand Canyon (1882), courtesy of the Library of Congress. The viewer can zoom in on this Panorama of the Rhine Valley, courtesy of the National Library of Australia. The Geography and Map Reading Room of the Library of Congress provides an online exhibition of Panoramic Maps, 1847-1920. Click here to see photographic examples (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library). Synonymous with perspective map. See also: cyclorama.

panoramic photograph
A photograph, usually a landscape, taken with a camera or camera attachment designed to capture an exceptionally wide field of view, the resulting print having a ratio of width to height of 2:1 or greater (see this color example). The first panoramic camera, developed in 1843 by Joseph Puchberger of Retz, Austria, used curved daguerreotype plates and an 8-inch focal length lens to capture a 150-degree image. Click here to see examples at the Library Congress and here to read a timeline of the development of the panoramic camera, courtesy of Bill McBride.

A device, first constructed in 1603, for producing an identical, reduced, or enlarged copy of a line work, in which a series of mechanical arms on pivots move a second stylus as the operator traces the lines of the original (see this example and click here to see the action animated, courtesy of Wikipedia).

A flat fibrous writing or printing surface made by breaking down vegetable fiber, such as wood or rag, into pulp to which a filler is added in water suspension. As the water is drained away on a wire screen, the moist fibers bond with each other at points of contact, forming a homogeneous, felted mat that stiffens as it dries. Paper is graded by content and intended use and by such properties as color, brightness, opacity, finish, strength, density, weight, and chemical stability. It can be coated or uncoated, sized or unsized, handmade or machine-made. The acid content of the paper used in library materials is an issue in preservation. For more information about paper, please see the entry by Derek Priest in the International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Routledge, 2003). Compare with papyrus and parchment. See also: acid-free paper, acid paper, bible paper, book paper, buffered paper, cover paper, esparto, foolscap, kraft paper, laid paper, manila, newsprint, onionskin, papermaking, permanent paper, wood-free paper, and wove paper.

Also refers to a brief composition, especially one prepared for presentation by the author at a conference or other professional meeting. Conference papers may be published in proceedings or transactions. They are indexed in PapersFirst, an online database available in OCLC FirstSearch. Compare with article. See also: invited paper.

A book published in paper covers, rather than in hardcover, usually adhesive bound. The modern paperback first appeared in the 1930s when Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin books, published Ariel by Andre Maurois in paper covers. Paperback editions are normally published after the hardcover edition of the same title and sold at a lower price, which has made them a staple of the retail market for fiction and nonfiction. Synonymous with paperbound and softcover. Abbreviated pb, pbk, and ppr. Compare with paper boards. See also: mass-market paperback, paperback original, and trade paperback.

Also refers to a form of bookbinding in which hot-melt adhesive is applied to the flat binding edge of the unsewn sections, securing them directly to a heavy paper cover cut flush. Durability depends on the capacity of the adhesive to remain flexible over time. See also: Otabind.

paperback grading
In the used book trade, the following letter system is used by some booksellers to indicate the condition of paperback books:

A - in new, unread condition, with no marking or stamps on the front cover, edges, etc.
B - slightly creased along the spine; may be marked with a name, initials, or bookstore stamp
C - reading copy with creases on the spine and signs of wear at the corners but with text intact

paperback original
A work of fiction or nonfiction published for the first time in mass-market or trade paperback edition, not previously issued in hardcover.

Fairly rigid sheets of matted fiber manufactured in the same manner as paper but .3 millimeter (.012 of an inch) or more in thickness. Various grades are used in the manufacture of cases for publisher's bindings. Compare with paper boards.

paper boards
An edition bound in boards made of pasteboard covered in heavy paper, usually not as durable as cloth binding. Compare with paperback.

See: paperback.

paper covers
A softcover publication not bound in stiff paper covers, for example, a booklet or pamphlet. The category also includes temporary bindings and wrappers commonly used in the late 18th and 19th century.

paper doll
A graphic work consisting of an articulated or unarticulated human or animal figure drawn or printed on paper or cardboard, with multiple parts or costumes, usually issued on a single sheet or in a booklet, intended to be cut out and used as a toy (see these historic examples). The first manufactured paper dolls were issued in London in 1810 and in Boston in 1812. By the 1820s boxed sets of paper dolls were commercially available in Europe. The first celebrity paper doll, issued in the 1830s, was of the renowned ballerina Marie Taglioni. Click here to learn more about the history of paper dolls.

paper knife
A dull blade made of metal, wood, plastic, or ivory that has the appearance of a knife but is made for slicing paper by hand along a fold, as in opening a sealed envelope or separating the leaves of an uncut book (see this decorative example).

An automated office or system that relies primarily on electronic media, rather than print on paper, for information transmission and recordkeeping.

According to Chinese tradition, the process of making paper from native vegetable fibers was invented in about A.D. 105 by Ts'ai Lun, an official employed in one of the workshops of the Emperor Ho-ti. The technique reached Samarkand via trade routes by A.D. 750 and was introduced into Spain by the Moors in about 1150. Papermills were in operation in Europe at least 250 years before the invention of printing from movable type, but the use of parchment and vellum as a writing and printing surface persisted well after the printing press became established. The papermaking industry became firmly established in Europe only in the mid-16th century in response to the spread of printing. The first paper mill in America was established in 1690 by William Rittenhouse near Philadelphia.

Prior to the mid-19th century, nearly all paper was made from cotton and linen rags reduced to pulp and placed in a vat containing a solution of water and size. Each sheet was produced by hand-dipping into the vat a wooden frame strung with a bed of metal wires, then agitating the frame to distribute the fibers evenly. The resulting mat of fiber was dried between sheets of blotting paper and pressed flat. Manufacturers used frames with a metal device embedded in the cross-wires to produce a distinctive watermark in each sheet. Click here to view illustrations from Joseph Jerome de la Lande's Art de Faire le Papier, published in Paris in 1761 (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute).

In 1798, a Frenchman named Nicolas Louis Robert invented a machine that manufactured a continuous roll of paper, subsequently developed and perfected in England in the Fourdrinier machine. Forty years later, a technique for making paper from wood pulp was developed in Nova Scotia. Despite these advances, the four basic steps of papermaking remain the same: (1) preparation of the fiber, (2) distribution of the resulting stock in a thin layer across a part of the machine called the web, (3) removal of moisture by various means, and (4) finishing the surface to give it the desired qualities. The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Tech maintains a Web site devoted to the history of papermaking. See also: calender, coated paper, dandy roll, and deckle edges.

See: watermark.

paper mill
A site on the Internet that provides prewritten essays and term papers for students, free of charge or for a fee. Some sites charge a subscription fee and may offer custom services, usually on a per-page basis. Customers may even be provided with advice about how to avoid being caught cheating. Saavy instructors have devised ways of detecting this form of plagiarism. Examples: BestEssay4u.com, WriteWork, and Superior-Termpapers.com. Synonymous with essay mill.

paper preferred
In acquisitions, an approval plan option specifying that the library is to receive the paperback edition in place of the cloth (hardcover) edition whenever the two are published simultaneously. The cost of rebinding the paperback is often less than the price difference between the two editions.

paper print
A contact print of a motion picture made on a roll of paper in the same way that a print is made of a still photograph. Between 1894 and 1915 over 3,000 films were registered with the Library of Congress for U.S. copyright protection. Because federal copyright law made no provision for motion pictures at that time, film companies provided legal documentation of their work by depositing contact prints made on rolls of paper 35mm wide, a medium that proved more lasting than the nitrate film used to create the originals. The paper prints were later rephotographed one frame at a time onto 16mm film stock. Click here to see examples, courtesy of the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress.

A collection of more than one type of handwritten or typewritten document. Also refers to a group of compositions, especially those written for presentation by the author (or authors) at a conference, sometimes published as proceedings or transactions by the society or association sponsoring the meeting.

In archives and special collections, a collection of personal and family documents, as distinct from formal records, which may include correspondence, diaries, notes, etc. Personal papers are often donated or sold to a library by the author or a member of the family after the author's death. In the United States, the papers of most 20th-century presidents are archived in special presidential libraries located at or near the president's place of birth or residence prior to election. The Library of Congress provides online exhibits of the The Thomas Jefferson Papers and The Frederick Douglass Papers. See also The Papers of John Jay, courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries. Smith College Libraries host Across the Generations: Exploring U.S. History through Family Papers. When received, papers are sometimes in need of conservation (see The Custis Family Papers: Preserving an American Treasure, courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society).

Also refers to an individual's official documents (birth certificate, identity card, passport, etc.).

paper splitting
A conservation technique in which one or more paper leaves of a book or manuscript are strengthened by splitting the core of each leaf to allow a second sheet to be inserted between the two halves. Support sheets are first applied to both sides of the leaf to be split, using a gelatin adhesive. After the adhesive has set, but while the core of the paper is still moist, the support sheets are carefully pulled apart, splitting the core into two halves, which are then dried and reassembled with a sheet of Japanese paper sandwiched between them. The adhesive used to bind the Japanese paper to the two halves is soluble only in cold water. After it dries, the support sheets are removed in a bath of very hot water, dissolving the gelatin adhesive but not the core adhesive. Paper splitting is a delicate process that should be undertaken only by an experienced conservator. Click here to see the process illustrated.

paper trail
A sequence of documents uncovered by an investigator, which can be used as a record of the decisions or actions of a person or organization.

Routine tasks having to do with matters that must be committed to paper (reports, letters, memoranda, etc.), as opposed to work that is more creative or involves other forms of communication. See also: procrastination.

papier-mâché binding
A 19th-century molded binding made from a mixture of paper fiber, plaster of Paris, and possibly antimony, formed in a rigid frame usually made of metal. The designs, mainly in black heavy-relief (sometimes in latticework over a red or metallic underlay) reflected the Victorian revival of Gothic style in the decorative arts. Patented by the British firm Jackson & Sons, the method required a leather spine. Click here to view an armorial example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, BD4-d.26) and here to see an example in cameo style (University of North Texas Libraries). To see other examples, try a search on the keywords "papier mache" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: relievo binding.

A tall marsh sedge (Cyperus papyrus) once abundant in North Africa from which the ancient Egyptians made a material used as a writing and painting surface throughout the Mediterranean basin from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 4th century A.D. (and as late as the 11th century for some documents in the Vatican). Although the word "paper" is derived from papyrus, the latter is technically not a paper since it is not made from pulped and processed fiber but from thin strips of the fibrous pith laid in layers at right angles to each other, pressed into sheets, dried under pressure, and polished to a cream or white color (click here to see the process illustrated). For long documents, the sheets were pasted edge to edge in rolls, often wound around a stick called an umbilicus by the ancient Romans. Papyrus was less suitable for books in codex form because it tends to delaminate when folded. Writing was usually done with a reed pen called a calamus on the inner side of the roll (with the fibers running horizontally). Trade embargoes in late Antiquity may have led to the development of parchment as a writing surface. Papyrus was abandoned with the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West.

Because papyrus is fragile and does not withstand damp conditions, very little survives of the magnificent libraries of Antiquity. The term also refers to manuscripts written on papyrus, mainly in the form of scrolls. Papyrology is the study of ancient papyrus texts. Click here to see the Egyptian Book of the Dead written on a papyrus scroll from the 15th century B.C. (Schøyen Collection, MS 1638). The Duke Papyrus Archive provides an online exhibition of papyrus manuscripts, many of which survive only in fragments. The University of Michigan also owns a large Papyrus Collection searchable via APIS (Advanced Papyrological Information System). Plural: papyri.

A short, simple story, usually written in the form of an allegory, intended to convey an explicit moral lesson (the Prodigal Son) or religious principle (the parables of Jesus). Click here to learn more about parables in Wikipedia. See also: fable.

A model, pattern, or example, especially one that revolutionizes the standard approach to a subject or conventional modes of thinking in a profession or field of study. In library and information science, paradigm shifts are increasingly driven by technological innovation.

See: paraprofessional.

Paralibrarian of the Year
An award, sponsored by DEMCO, given annually since 2000 to a paraprofessional library staff member in recognition of outstanding library service, particularly achievements in furthering the role of paraprofessionals in librarianship. The award includes a $1500 cash prize and a reception in honor of the winner at the June conference of the American Library Association. The winner is also profiled in the March 1 issue of Library Journal.

In cartography, a small circle on the surface of the earth (or another celestial body) north or south of the equator and parallel to it, connecting points are of equal latitude, the 45th parallel being equidistant from the equator and the geographic pole. Click here to see parallels illustrated. Compare with meridian.

parallel content
In the MARC record, the same digits are assigned across fields in the second and third character positions of the tag to indicate data of the same type, for example, the digits 10 for corporate names, making 110 the main entry corporate name field, 410 the series statement corporate name field, 610 the subject heading corporate name field, 710 the added entry corporate name field, and so on. Parallel content designation can be summarized as follows, with X in the range of 1-9:

X00 - personal names
X10 - corporate names
X11 - meeting names
X30 - uniform titles
X40 - bibliographic titles
X50 - topical terms
X51 - geographic names

parallel edition
See: parallel texts.

parallel publishing
The publication of a work at the same time in both print and electronic format. Compare with simultaneous publication.

parallel texts
Different texts of the same work printed side-by-side on the same page or on facing pages of a book, for example, two versions of the Bible or a text in translation and in the original language. Such works are published in parallel edition. See also: duplicate paging.

parallel title
The title proper of an edition in a language or script other than that of the original title. In AACR2, parallel titles are entered in the title and statement of responsibility area of the bibliographic record (MARC field 245) in the order found in the chief source of information, separated by an equal sign preceded and followed by a space (example: Breathless [videorecording] = À bout de souffle). The Library of Congress records all parallel titles for items issued in the United States.

An established limit whose value affects the execution or result of a process or operation, for example, a publication date range specified by the user to limit the results of a search in an online catalog or bibliographic database.

An elaborate ornamental flourish at the end of an autograph signature, added, especially by notaries, to protect official documents from forgery.

From the Greek para ("beyond") and phrasis ("to tell"). A rewording of the thought expressed in a previously spoken statement or written work, usually to make the meaning clearer by substituting shorter, simpler words for difficult vocabulary. Also, the use of rewording as a literary device or educational technique. Compare with quotation. See also: plagiarism.

A member of the library support staff, usually someone who holds at least the baccalaureate degree, trained to understand specific procedures and apply them according to pre-established rules under normal circumstances without exercising professional judgment. Library paraprofessionals are usually assigned high-level technical support duties, for example, in copy cataloging and serials control. In smaller public library systems in the United States, branch librarians are sometimes paraprofessionals. Click here to connect to a national directory of paraprofessional associations in the United States. Synonymous with library technician and paralibrarian. See also: Library Support Staff Interests Round Table and Paralibrarian of the Year.

The split skin of an animal (sheep, goat, or calf) after it has been depilated and defleshed in a bath of lime, scraped to the desired thickness while still damp using a curved instrument called a lunellum, then dried under tension (not tanned), and polished by a tradesman known as a parchmenter, for use in bookbinding and as a writing or painting surface (see this sample). Click here to see a parchmenter at work (Leaves of Gold). Parchment was used in Europe from about the 2nd century A.D. until well after the invention of printing from movable type, although it declined in importance from the 12th century on as paper gained favor. The word is derived from Charta pergamena, Pergamum being the name of the ancient city on the west coast of Asia Minor where King Eumenes II founded a library to rival the great center of scholarship at Alexandria in Egypt. Its adoption as a writing surface in the 2nd century B.C. may have been spurred by a trade embargo on papyrus.

Although costly to produce, parchment was more durable than papyrus, which it eventually replaced. During the Middle Ages it was used to make the leaves of manuscript books, one of the reasons books of that period are so thick. Because parchment is naturally oily, it had to be rubbed with an abrasive substance called pounce to prepare it for writing. It is also darker and smoother on the hair side than on the flesh side, so the quires of medieval manuscripts were assembled with hair side facing hair side and flesh side facing flesh side to make the openings in a book uniform in color and texture. Tiny specks on the hair side are traces of hair follicles. The tendency of parchment to cockle with changes in temperature and humidity, and of the grain side to curl in upon itself under dry conditions (the outer side of animal skin being less elastic than the flesh side), was addressed by binding the text block in heavy wooden boards fitted with straps, ties, or clasps to keep the volume tightly closed when not in use. To learn more about parchment, see the Medieval Manuscript Manual. Click here to see a 16th-century laced parchment binding, courtesy of the Princeton University Library. The term also refers to a document written or printed on parchment, such as a map or diploma. Compare with vellum.

See: parchment.

parental mediation
Interaction between parent and child concerning the content of a book, videotape, or television program, usually intended to mitigate or prevent negative effects, particularly in the case of works depicting explicit violence and/or sexual behavior. Parental involvement can be active (discussion of content with the child) or restrictive (imposition of rules and regulations). Reading aloud together and co-viewing can also be forms of parental mediation. In public libraries, monitoring a child's choice of reading or viewing material is the responsibility of the parent. In the absence of parental guidance, it is not incumbent on the librarian to act in loco parentis, although suggestions may be offered to the child, based on age, interests, and reading level.

In writing, a word, phrase, or sentence is enclosed in a pair of curved brackets ( ) to indicate that it has been added for the sake of explanation or clarification but is not essential to the overall meaning of the text. The use of parentheses has declined since the 19th century, replaced by commas in modern writing style. Also used in the singular (parenthesis) to refer to the parenthetical expression enclosed in brackets.

Parentheses are also used in Library of Congress subject headings and indexing to add parenthetical qualifiers, as in the heading AIDS (Disease), and in online searching to indicate syntax in Boolean search statements in a technique called nesting, as in the statement violence and children and ((television or media) not cartoon*). Compare with square bracket.

parenthetical qualifier
In indexing, a word or phrase added in parentheses at the end of a subject heading or descriptor to:

  • distinguish homographs, as in Bowls (Game) and Bowls (Tableware)
  • indicate a specific meaning of the term, as in Mice (Computers)
  • eliminate ambiguity, as in AIDS (Disease)
  • indicate a specific use of the term, as in Nutcracker (Ballet)
  • give the context of an obscure word or phrase, as in Obatala (Yoruba deity)
  • give the location of a geographic name that is not well known, as in Kymi River (Finland)
  • specify the academic discipline in which a subject is studied, as in Extinction (Psychology)
  • indicate language, as in Sudanese fiction (English)
  • indicate that a proper name is imaginary, as in Ophelia (Fictitious character)
  • indicate instrumentation in music, as in Suites (Bassoon and flute)

Compare with scope note.

parenthetical reference
A system of bibliographic reference in which the author's surname and either publication date or page number are given in the text, enclosed in parentheses, with the full citation provided in a complete list of references at the end of the text, as opposed to footnote style in which arabic numerals or special characters are used in the text to direct the reader's attention to correspondingly numbered citations at the foot of the same page. Synonymous with Harvard system.

parenting collection
A separate collection of materials in a public library for which access is restricted to adults, based on content. Restricted categories may include alcoholism, child abuse, domestic/family violence, extramarital sex, homosexuality and bisexuality, medication abuse, premarital sex, sex education, and substance abuse. In March 2006, the Oklahoma House passed by a vote of 60-33 a bill to prohibit local funding authorities and library boards from funding public libraries unless they "place all children and young adult materials that contain homosexual or sexually explicit subject matter in a special area" to which access is limited to adults. The Oklahoma Library Association opposed the legislation.

Paris Principles
The Statement of Principles adopted in 1961 at the International Conference of Cataloging Principles (ICCP), which laid the foundation for the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and catalog codes used in countries other than the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Organized by IFLA to address international standardization in library cataloging, the conference was held in Paris, France. The Statement lists 12 basic principles that remain the foundation of author/title entry.

parity bit
In computing, a bit included in a unit of digital data to detect errors in transmission, for example, the eighth bit in a byte representing an ASCII character.

A form of satirical imitation in which the style of a serious artistic or literary work is ridiculed by applying the same style to an inappropriate or trivial subject or by treating the original subject in a nonsensical or irreverent manner. One of the earliest examples is The Frogs, a play by Aristophanes believed to parody works by Aeschylus and Euripides. In a more recent example, Jane Austen parodied the gothic novels popular in early-19th-century England in Northanger Abbey. Parody can also be used as a form of political or social criticism (The Wind Done Gone, Alice Randall's African American perspective on the novel Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell). For an online example of political parody, see whitehouse.georgewbush.org. Other examples can be found in Yahoo! See also: burlesque.

See: Preservation and Reformatting Section.

One portion of a work divided by the author, publisher, or manufacturer into two or more subordinate units, usually issued at intervals as the work is completed. The intervals may be regular or irregular, depending on the nature of the work. In the 19th century, novels were often issued in this way, for example, Middlemarch by George Eliot, first issued by Blackwood in eight half-volume parts at intervals of two-months (British Library) and Bleak House by Charles Dickens, issued by Bradbury & Evans in 20 monthly numbers (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library). In printed monographs, a part is usually the equivalent of a volume. A part is distinguished from a fascicle by being a permanent component, rather than a temporary division of the work. As used in the physical description area of a bibliographic record, the term refers to one of two or more bibliographic units intended to be bound together, more than one to a volume (AACR2). Abbreviated pt. Compare with piece. See also: multipart item, multipart volume, original parts, and serialized.

In music, one of the voices or instruments for which an ensemble work is composed. Also, a written or printed copy of the notation in which the music for a voice or instrument is recorded for use in performance, indicated as part in the physical description area of the bibliographic record (AACR2). In the full score of an ensemble work, each part appears on a separate stave. See also: condensed score and part book.

part book
A manuscript or printed publication providing only one of the vocal or instrumental parts of a musical composition, as distinct from a score, choir book, or table book containing the complete music. Produced in sets, usually of 2-10 parts, they became the standard method of disseminating ensemble music from the late 15th to the late 17th century when scores became easier to obtain (click here to see a late 16th-century example, courtesy of the Glasgow University Library). In some cases, a part book is all that remains of a lost work. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Grove: 2001), the practice of performing music from separate parts has survived in orchestral and chamber music for which the expense of providing every performer with a score dictates economy. In library cataloging, the presence of one or more part books is noted in the statement of extent in the physical description area of the bibliographic record representing the item. Also spelled partbook and part-book.

partial border
A decorative band occupying one of the margins of a medieval manuscript, which does not extend the full length of the adjacent text. A partial border can be either centered in relation to the text (or some other design element on the page) or positioned above or below center, or it may extend around one of the corners of the text. Click here to see foliate examples in a 15th-century French manuscript (British Library, Burney 210). Partial strewn borders are common in the Tongerloo Lectionary (Morgan Library, MS M.5).

partial remainders
A quantity of books offered by the publisher at lower than list price to selected booksellers who are permitted to sell copies retail at less than the published price, even though the books are still considered net. This practice is condemned by publishers' and booksellers' associations because it gives some booksellers an unfair competitive advantage over others in the same market.

partial title
A catch title consisting of part of the title as it appears on the title page. It may be a secondary part (subtitle or alternative title) or the title with the less significant words omitted.

participatory design
A design process in which input from stakeholders (employees, users, and customers as well as managers) is actively solicited by professional designer/developers and incorporated into decision-making, to ensure that the final product meets the needs and preferences of future users. The concept originated in Scandinavia in the 1960s under the name cooperative design and has been used in many contexts, including libraries.

partitive relation
See: semantic relation.

A collaboration between a library and an organization of a different type, usually on a particular project, often forming the basis for a long-standing relationship with the potential for future partnerships. The Heritage Image Partnership is an online example. A 1998 study sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) revealed that 77% of libraries had partnered with another organization in the past two years, 16% reporting partnership with a museum. The study also found that partnerships were most frequently established to attract and sustain underserved audience segments. Many partnership projects are small in scale, with budgets under $5,000.

parts of a book
Although the order varies slightly from one publisher to the next, the parts of a book in order of gathering are normally the half title, series title or frontispiece, title page, printer's imprint and notice of copyright, dedication or epigraph, table of contents, other front matter (list of contributors, list of illustrations, list of tables or abbreviations, chronology, etc.), preface or foreword, acknowledgments, introduction, errata, half title, text, appendices, author's notes, glossary, bibliography, index(es), colophon, and CIP if not printed on the verso of the title page. Contributors may be listed in the back matter, and a translator's note is sometimes included in the front matter.

Also refers to all the physical components of a bound volume, including the text block, endpapers, spine, boards or case, headband or headcap, squares, hinges and joints, etc. Click here to see diagrams of the physical parts of a book bound in hardcover.

Employment limited to a portion of normal working hours. Part-time employees who work less than a certain number of hours per week or month may not be entitled to full benefits. In academic institutions, the ratio of full-time to part-time (adjunct) faculty, including librarians, may be governed by a collective bargaining agreement. Compare with job sharing. See also: half-time.

An anonymous satire or lampoon, in verse or prose, especially one ridiculing a specific person, traditionally displayed in a public place (see these modern examples).

A portion of a text or speech, especially when quoted.

The likelihood that a copy of an issue of a newspaper or periodical will be read by more individuals than the person who actually purchases it at a newsstand or by subscription. Some publishers use this as a justification for charging libraries a substantially higher subscription price than the rate paid by individual subscribers, a practice known as differential pricing. Although pass-along is difficult to quantify, when combined with circulation it gives an approximate indication of total readership.

Latin for "here and there" or "in various places," printed after a subject heading in an index, or in a footnote or endnote following the title of a work or the author's name, to indicate that a phrase or reference to a concept or idea is scattered throughout the chapter or entire work, too briefly or too abundantly for individual page references to be given. Abbreviated pass.

See: martyrology.

passion play
A dramatic depiction of the Passion of Jesus Christ (his trial and subsequent execution), a traditional part of the celebration of Lent in some Christian denominations, including Catholicism.

passive relation
See: semantic relation.

An official document issued by a national government at the request of one of its citizens, certifying the individual's identity and citizenship and authorizing foreign travel and right of re-entry (see this early example). Today, passports include a small portrait photograph and other information about the holder. Because a passport is stamped when the owner enters and exits a country, it provides a record of the holder's travels. Since August 2007, the U.S. Department of State has issued only biometric passports that use contactless smart card technology (see this example).

passport photograph
A small portrait photograph, usually a frontal view of head and shoulders, submitted with a passport application, to document the applicant's physical features for purposes of subsequent identification (see this example courtesy of the Library of Congress).

pass sheet
In printing, a specimen sheet taken from the beginning of a press run and approved by the printer, which the publisher is required to accept before further work may proceed.

An authorized word or sequence of characters that a user must enter as input in order to log on to a computer system and gain access to desired resources. Passwords are usually managed by the operating system or a database management system (DBMS). Because system software is only capable of verifying the legitimacy of a password, not the identity of the person using it, passwords should remain confidential. In a well-designed system, passwords must be changed periodically by the user to maintain security. By contrast, the username is usually permanent.

A type of adhesive used to stick together lightweight materials such as paper and gold leaf, made from the starch contained in a cereal grain such as wheat, corn, or rice, combined over heat with water (and sometimes alum or resin) until smooth, then allowed to cool. Paste is used to affix labels and bookplates because it is water soluble, making them easy to remove if necessary. However, water solubility also makes it susceptible to mold. Because it is made from a vegetable substance, paste also attracts insects that damage books. Compare with glue. See also: cut-and-paste.

A rigid, relatively lightweight binding material made from layer upon layer of paper pasted together, or from thin layers of pulp bonded together, introduced in the 15th century to replace wooden boards in small- to medium-size books. Click here to see an early 19th-century example, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In modern bookbinding, a heavy grade of pasteboard called binder's board is used extensively in hardcover editions.

In bookbinding, the half of a double-leaf endpaper firmly affixed to the inside of one of the boards of the case or cover, over the edges of the turn-in (see this example bearing a bookplate). In medieval manuscript books, the paste-down concealed grooves called channels cut into the inside surface of the boards to recess the sewing supports (cords). The sheets of parchment or vellum used for the purpose were often fragments of disused manuscripts. Click here to see a vellum paste-down bearing inscriptions in a 15th-century Old Testament (Bodleian Library, MS Don f.30) and here to see leaves from a discarded French breviary used a paste-downs and flyleaves on a 16th-century binding (Princeton University Library). Also spelled pastedown. Synonymous with board paper. Compare with doublure.

A correction or addition supplied after the text of a work has been printed, to be tipped in opposite to or on the page containing the line or passage to which it refers. Compare with errata.

A graphic work executed on paper or canvas, using sticks of pure ground pigment in a neutral, low-saturation binder, such as gum arabic or methyl cellulose, often with the addition of chalk or gypsum. In color effect, pastels are closer to natural dry pigments than any other art medium. Click here to see a self-portrait in pastel by Jean-Baptiste Chardin, courtesy of the Louvre.

paste paper binding
A book bound in paper decorated by the application of a starch adhesive mixed with pigment to give the surface design and texture. Click here to see an 18th-century German example (Princeton University Library) and here to see a later example in quarter cloth. Click here and here to see contemporary examples, courtesy of Ball Peen Bindery. Paste-painting has also been used in bookbinding to decorate the edges of the sections (see this example).

In printing, the arrangement on a large sheet of paper of the page proofs of several pages, to enable the typographer to position the text, illustrations, headings, captions, and other elements of the finished publication in a design that meets the publisher's specifications. Compare with layout.

From the Italian pasticcio meaning medley. A literary or artistic work written in imitation of the style of a previous work or created by assembling ideas, themes, concepts, and/or characters selected from other works.

pasting down
In bookbinding, the process of securely affixing one half of a double-leaf endpaper to the inside of each of the boards of the cover, over the turn-in. In hand-binding, this step is a finishing touch, the body of the book having been laced to the cover, but in case binding, it is the endleaves that attach the body to the case. Compare with gluing off.

A work of poetry, fiction, drama, art, or music intended for an urban audience, in which idealized rustic life is depicted in a bucolic setting tinged with romantic nostalgia (see this example by the 19th-century painter Alvan Fisher). Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) is a literary example and Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral" (1808) is a musical example.

See: Photographic Activity Test.

A leaf in a medieval manuscript that has been repaired by sewing a piece of parchment or vellum over a hole or tear in the original membrane. Click here to see examples on a leaf in early 16th-century antiphonal (Leaves of Gold). Sometimes a hole was left unpatched and the text written around it. See this example in a 12th-century manuscript (British Library, Arundel 370).

A legal document issued by the U.S. government, or the government of another country, in response to a formal application process in which the inventor or originator of a new product or process is granted the exclusive right to manufacture, use, and sell it for a designated period of time. The document is assigned a patent number by the patent office for future reference. An x-patent is a patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from July 1790 (when the first U.S. patent was issued) to July 1836. Destroyed by a fire in December 1836 while in temporary storage, the collection of over 9,900 early patents has been reconstructed from inventors' copies. Most large engineering libraries provide patent search databases and services. Click here to learn more about how patents work and here to learn more about U.S. patent law (Legal Information Institute, Cornell University), or try the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site. The Canadian government provides the Canadian Patents Database. Compare with trademark. See also: patent and trademark resource center and patent drawing.

patent and trademark resource center (PTRC)
A library designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to receive and store copies of U.S. patents and patent/trademark materials, make them freely available to the public, and disseminate general information about patents and trademarks. Created by federal statute in 1871, the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program has grown to include more than 80 libraries, half of which are academic libraries, with nearly as many public libraries, one state library, and a special library devoted to research. See also: Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association.

Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association (PTDLA)
An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), PTDLA is dedicated to advising the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the interests, needs, opinions, and goals of patent and trademark resource centers (PTRCs) and their users, and to assisting the PTO in planning and implementing appropriate services. Click here to connect to the PTDLA homepage.

Patent and Trademark Office
See: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

patent drawing
A technical drawing made to describe an object or process for the purpose of obtaining patent protection, often a mechanical drawing or diagram. In the United States, patent drawings are retained as documentation in a patent file stored in a patent and trademark resource center. Click here to see the patent drawings of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, courtesy of Wikipedia. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term "patent drawing" in Google Images.

The person or persons in whose name(s) a patent is registered. The patentee has the right to profit from his or her invention, seek an injunction to prevent infringement, and recover damages for violation of patent rights. In exchange, the patent holder is expected to supply the patented invention to the public, under reasonable terms.

patent file
A collection of drawings and specifications for patents, indexed by country and patent number, name of patentee, or subject, usually maintained in a patent and trademark resource center.

patent number
See: patent.

A subject bibliography designed to lead the user through the process of researching a specific topic, or any topic in a given field or discipline, usually in a systematic, step-by-step way, making use of the best finding tools the library has to offer. Pathfinders may be printed or available online. See also: topical guide.

Patriot Act
See: USA Patriot Act.

From the Latin patres meaning "fathers." Texts written by the Church Fathers and other early Christian writers and teachers whose theological authority was especially respected (the authors of the New Testament are not included). Well-known examples are Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome (translator of the Vulgate), Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint John of Damascus. Although patristic literature does not constitute a closed canon with clearly defined boundaries, the Patristic period is generally considered to have begun with the completion of the New Testament at the end of the 1st century and ended at the close of the 8th century. Not all patristic authors wrote in Latin or Greek, but the works of those who wrote in other languages were translated into Latin and Greek.

Any person who uses the resources and services of a library, not necessarily a registered borrower. Synonymous with user. Compare with client. See also: patron ID, patron record, patron type, and problem patron.

Also, a person who helps sponsor the creation, copying, or printing of an original work. In medieval Europe, the patron who commissioned a manuscript was sometimes depicted in a presentation miniature or other illustration in the work. See Simon de Varie kneeling in prayer in his Book of Hours (Getty Museum, MS 7) and James IV of Scotland using his prayer book (Getty Museum). During the 16th and 17th centuries, when returns from the fees paid by printer/publishers were meager, many writers could not have flourished without the patronage of wealthy individuals and institutions. It was not unusual for a sponsored work to be formally dedicated to the benefactor, in gratitude and hope of further financial assistance.

In a more general sense, any person or group that encourages or supports an activity, project, or institution such as a library, especially by providing funds or other material resources.

patron data
Personal information about a user (name, current address and phone number, items checked out, outstanding fines, etc.) kept on file in the circulation system of a library to facilitate lending transactions. For reasons of privacy, most libraries in the United States do not keep permanent records of the materials used or borrowed by a patron, nor do they use confidential information for marketing purposes. Some libraries have developed a privacy policy concerning patron data which they make known to their users.

patron-driven acquisition (PDA)
An e-book purchasing model, first introduced by NetLibrary, in which selection decisions are based on input from library patrons. Working with the vendor, the librarian establishes an approval profile based on classification, subject, educational level, publication date, cost, and other criteria. E-book titles matching the profile are then shared with the library's community of users via MARC records in the online catalog. When a specific e-book has been discovered and viewed a predetermined number of times, it is automatically purchased for the collection. Libraries with limited budgets can set spending limits on their PDA plans. Variations on this model have been developed by Ingram's MyiLibrary and by Ebook Library (EBL). Synonymous with demand-drive acquisition.

patron ID
The means by which staff at the circulation desk of a library ascertain that a patron is a registered borrower, usually the person's library card, student ID card, security badge, or a substitute. Also refers to the number used in most library circulation systems to identify the borrower. Sometimes it is the library card number, but in academic libraries it may be the student ID number or the social security number. In special libraries, patron ID may be linked to the employee identification system used by the parent organization. Each library or library system adopts its own method of patron identification. See also: patron record.

patron profile
A description of the behavior and preferences of a library's users, or of a specific category of library patron (adults, young adults, children), usually based on systematically collected and analyzed survey data, for use in planning. Library Journal publishes the online quarterly Patron Profiles.

patron record
A confidential record in a library circulation system containing data pertinent to a borrower account (full name, street address, telephone number, patron ID, patron type, items on loan, holds, unpaid fines, etc.). In electronic circulation systems, an authorized member of the library staff is permitted to access the patron record by scanning the barcode on the library card or by using a keyboard to enter the patron's name or library card number as input. Some online catalogs allow registered borrowers to view thir own patron records with proper authorization. Synonymous with circulation record. See also: blocked.

patron type
In library circulation systems, a code entered in the patron record to indicate a specific category of borrower, which in conjunction with item type determines the loan rule applied when an item is checked out. Academic libraries usually differentiate faculty, student, alumni, and staff by patron type. Most public libraries distinguish between nonresidents and patrons who reside within the service area and between adult and juvenile users. In special libraries, patron type may reflect hierarchical rank within the parent organization, levels of security clearance, etc.

A personal name derived from the given name of the father, or of a more distant paternal ancestor, usually by the addition of a prefix (examples: ben Jacob, MacArthur, O'Brien, etc.) or suffix (Donaldson, Petrovich, etc.).

pattern book
A manuscript or printed publication containing designs meant to be copied, or models for making something, with or without instructions. Click here to see the pattern book of William Jones, an 18th-century weaver. Pattern books for artists, designers, craftsmen, and architects often consist entirely of illustrations with no accompanying text. Click here to see a page in Polychromatic Decoration as Applied to Buildings in the Medieval Styles (1882) by William and George Audsley, the first pattern book devoted to the painted decoration of medieval-style buildings (University of Delaware Library). Also used synonymously with model book.

pattern heading
The principle incorporated into Library of Congress subject headings in 1974 that allows a full set of free-floating subdivisions to be established for one or a few representatives of a particular category of subject headings or name headings, which are appropriate for use under other main headings belonging to the same category. For example, the subdivision --Biopsy under the pattern heading Heart can be used under the heading Breast even though no specific authority record exists for the combination Breast--Biopsy. The rule does not apply when there is a conflict with a heading established in the subject authority file in another form. For example, the subdivision --Dislocation under the pattern heading Foot may not be applied to the heading Joints because the combination Joints--Dislocation is a UF (used for) reference under the heading Dislocations in the subject authority file.

pay equity
A movement gained momentum in the second half of the 20th century to eliminate the earnings gap between men and both women and people of color for the same type of work. In the United States, predominantly female occupations, such as nursing, social work, and librarianship, have typically been compensated at a significantly lower rate than comparable occupations in which males are predominant. Click here to connect to the homepage of the National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition established in 1979.

payment date
The date by which an outstanding bill for goods and/or services must be paid, usually printed on the seller's invoice, after which the account is considered delinquent. A penalty may be charged for late payment.

Payne style
A simple style of bookbinding developed by Roger Payne, one of the most influential English binders of the 18th century, in which a undecorated central panel is framed by gilt fillets adorned at the corners and/or sides with small foliate elements. Click here to see three 19th-century bindings executed in Payne style (Princeton University Library). To see additional examples, try a search on the keyword "payne" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindgs.

In marketing, an expenditure of funds that produces a return greater than the investment. When return equals investment, the result is known as break-even.

pay period
The interval at which an employee is paid, usually weekly, biweekly, or monthly, depending on the payroll system of the employer. Hours worked are usually reported to the payroll department at the end of each period on a timesheet signed by the employee.

A service enabling libraries and users to purchase immediate access to the full text of an article or to research data without subscribing to the periodical or other source in which it was published. In most cases, the library has the option of limiting service to specific categories of users, for example, faculty members or researchers in academic libraries. High-priced and/or low-use journals are ideal candidates for this type of service, which allows libraries to expand serials access to include titles otherwise unaffordable. Current awareness service is usually available with pay-per-view access. Fees vary, with most services charging $12 to $20 per article regardless of length. Electronic delivery is often priced lower than fax. Periodic reports detailing number of purchases per title and publisher enable librarians to compare per-view costs with the price of adding a subscription. For more information, see the article "Pay by the Slice" in the spring 2007 issue of Netconnect.

Also, a service that allows members of a television audience to purchase the right to view specific programming provided by the broadcaster at the same time as other viewers who request the same content, as distinct from video on demand (VOD) systems which allow users to view recorded content in real time or downloaded for viewing at any time. Feature films, concerts, sporting events, and pornographic movies are often delivered on a pay-per-view basis. Abbreviated PPV.

A telephone located in a public area from which anyone may make calls in exchange for payment in cash or by calling card. Most libraries that open their doors to the public provide at least one payphone as a courtesy to their users.

The list of employees who are paid salaries and wages by an employer, usually by check or direct deposit on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Library employees may be required to sign a timesheet for each pay period, stating the hours they worked.

See: public television.

See: personal computer and political correctness.

See: Program for Cooperatrive Cataloging.

See: Photo CD.

PC game
See: video game.

See: public domain.

See: patron-driven acquisition and personal digital assistant.

See: Portable Document Format.

See: Publishing and Depository Services.

Peabody Award
Founded in 1940, the George Foster Peabody Award is the oldest electronic media award in the world, recognizing excellence, distinguished achievement, and meritorious public service. The first radio awards were presented in 1941, the first television awards in 1948, the first cable television awards in 1981, and the first Web site awards in 2003. Administered by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, the Peabody Awards honor content from large broadcast networks to small online outlets, from popular entertainment programs to independently produced documentaries. Click here to connect to the Peabody homepage.

peak use
The period(s) in a day, week, month, and year during which the services and resources of a library or computer system are most heavily used. Transaction logs, circulation statistics, and gate counts are compiled and analyzed to reveal recurrent periods of peak use. The results are useful in establishing library hours, anticipating staffing needs, scheduling maintenance, etc.

peasant binding
A parchment bookbinding decorated with painted designs, made for sale to the common people during the 17th and 18th centuries, now more rare than leather bindings of the same period, which were more expensive. Click here to see an 18th-century German example, courtesy of Southern Methodist University.

pecia system
Latin for "piece." A system of book production used in Europe from the 13th century on, in which exemplars approved by university authorities were divided by stationers into portions of one or more gatherings that they hired out to scribes and students for hand-copying, a method that speeded manuscript production considerably. Prior to about 1200, books were copied mainly by monastic scribes working in scriptoria. Once book production became a commercial enterprise, stationers in university towns (Paris, Bologna, Oxford, etc.) published lists of texts available for piecemeal copying, with price per part stated for each title. Plural: peciae.

peepshow book
See: tunnel book.

peer evaluation
The process in which the job performance of a librarian or other library staff member is assessed by the individual's colleagues and a recommendation made concerning contract renewal or promotion. In academic libraries at institutions that grant librarians faculty status, tenure decisions may also be based on peer evaluation. In libraries in which employment is governed by a collective bargaining agreement, the method of peer evaluation may be determined by contract. Synonymous with peer review.

peer review
The process in which a new book, article, software program, etc., is submitted by the prospective publisher to experts in the field for critical evaluation prior to publication, a standard procedure in scholarly publishing. Under most conditions, the identity of the referees is kept confidential, but the identity of the author(s) is not. The existence and content of a manuscript under review is kept confidential within the offices of the publisher and by the referees, and all copies of the manuscript are returned to the publisher at the end of the process. In computer programming, source code may be certified by its owner or licenser as open source to encourage development through peer review. Synonymous with juried review.

Also refers to a method of performance evaluation in which the quality of a worker's job performance is assessed by the employee's peers within the organization, usually as part of a formal review process resulting in a recommendation to management.

Said of a scholarly journal that requires an article to be subjected to a process of critical evaluation by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees, responsible for determining if the subject of the article falls within the scope of the publication and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. Changes may be suggested to the author(s) before an article is finally accepted for publication. In evaluation for tenure and promotion, academic librarians may be given publishing credit only for articles accepted by peer-reviewed journals. Some bibliographic databases allow search results to be limited to peer-reviewed journals. Synonymous with juried and refereed.

peer-to-peer (P2P)
File sharing between Internet users whose computers have been assigned IP addresses and are therefore capable of functioning as servers, a method of information exchange that became possible after 1996 when IP addresses were made available to PCs intermittently connected to the Internet. Unlike client-server networks in which certain computers are dedicated to serving others, workstations in a peer-to-peer network have equivalent capabilities. In the last decade of the twentieth century, P2P file sharing applications became the focus of litigation for facilitating the exchange of music protected by copyright. More recently, Internet service providers have tried to clamp down on P2P file sharing because of its high-bandwidth usage. Critics point out that P2P networking has legitimate uses, and some claim that throttling P2P file sharing is intended to direct users to client-server architecture, which allows content to be controlled more easily.

peer-to-peer training
An educational experience in which a group learning process is facilitated by one or more trained group members, rather than a professional expert, to encourage participation and strengthen identification between leader and learner.

See: public access television.

In early bookbinding, the process of attaching the sewing supports, usually cords, to the boards by means of a peg or dowel (usually made of wood) sunk into the surface of the board at the outer end of each of the channels or grooves in which the cords were recessed. Click here to see an illustration of the process (Leaves of Gold). See also: lacing in.

A handheld implement used in Western cultures to write in ink on papyrus, parchment, vellum, paper, or some other prepared writing surface, as opposed to the brush used for writing in Asian and other cultures. The reed pen (calamus) was used in Antiquity and the early Christian period for writing on papyrus. Because of its flexibility, the quill pen was adopted in the 6th century for writing on parchment and vellum. The first five flight feathers of the goose or swan were preferred (the word is derived from the Latin penna for "feather"). After removing or trimming the barbs and curing the barrel, the nib of the quill was cut up the center and squared off with a knife. The nib had to be trimmed fairly often because the slit tended to spread open with extended use.

Because ink flows best from a quill pen when it is held perpendicular to the page, medieval scribes propped up their writing material at an angle and controlled the pen with the whole hand, rather than the fingers. Quills are dip pens, so the inkpot or inkhorn had to be kept close at hand. Pen trials to test a newly trimmed nib were made on a discarded scrap of vellum before work commenced. Illustrations in medieval manuscripts of scribes at work reveal that copying was a two-handed activity (see this example). The pen was held in one hand and a knife in the other to hold down the springy surface of the parchment and erase mistakes quickly. To learn more about the use of quill pens in manuscript production, see the Medieval Manuscript Manual. Dip fountain pens consisting of a steel nib mounted in a wooden holder came into use in the late 18th century. Although models with reservoirs appeared in the 1830s, the modern fountain pen did not become widespread until the late 19th century. See also: penwork initial.

An additional narrative, statement, or composition that completes or complements another work but is independent of it, for example, an essay illuminating the historical basis of a satirical work.

pending file
A paper or electronic file in which documents pertaining to matters that cannot be immediately resolved are allowed to accumulate until circumstances are more favorable for their disposition. A rapidly growing pending file may be a sign of overwork or a bottleneck in workflow.

pending request
In the OCLC interlibrary loan system, a loan request sent by a borrowing library that appears in the message file of a potential lending library.

pen-flourished initial
An initial letter in a medieval manuscript to which the scribe had added fine linear embellishment in the same color ink as the text or in a different color (usually red, blue, and/or green). Compare these examples in a 15th-century English manuscript (British Library, Arundel 112) with this gilt example in a 15th-century Italian manuscript (British Library, Arundel 271). Pen flourishes were also added to other decorative elements, such as borders, as in this leaf from a 15th-century Dutch Book of Hours (British Library, Arundel 294) and this English manuscript of the same century (British Library, Lansdowne 398). Compare with penwork initial. See also: filigree letter.

PEN International
Founded in London in 1921, PEN International is a worldwide association of writers dedicated to promoting friendship and cooperation among writers of all nationalities, defending freedom of expression, and advancing the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and respect among nations. Click here to connect to the PEN International homepage.

PEN Literary Awards
An array of literary awards and fellowships funded by various sources and administered by the PEN American Center, an organization of writers dedicated for over 80 years to advancing literature, promoting a culture of reading, and defending freedom of expression. The prizes are given for excellence in the following areas: lifetime achievement, fiction, literary translation, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, children's literature, and editing and publishing. Most of the awards are made annually or biennially and, in some cases, the amount of the cash prize is considerable ($20,000 to the winner of the PEN/Nabokov Award for lifetime achievement). Click here to learn more about the PEN Awards.

pen name
A name used by an author other than his or her real name, usually adopted to conceal identity. A pen name can be an allonym (name of an actual person other than the author), a fictitious pseudonym (example: Avi for Edward Irving Wortis), a pseudonym based on the author's real name (Dr. Seuss for Theodor Seuss Geisel), or a word or phrase that is not a personal name (Spy for Sir Leslie Ward). Pen names were used more commonly during the 19th century when writing was not as respectable as it is today and therefore considered an unsuitable occupation for women (George Eliot for Mary Ann Evans Cross). Some authors write under more than one pen name, adopting a different name when writing in a new genre or introducing a new lead character (or set of characters) in a series. Click here to connect to a.k.a., an online dictionary of pseudonyms and pen names. Synonymous with nom de plume. Compare with autonym. See also: eponym and pseudandry.

penny dreadful
A sensational melodrama in the form of a novel or novelette of mystery, crime, or adventure, printed in cheap paperback edition, the equivalent in England of the dime novel. Click here to learn more about penny dreadfuls, courtesy of the British Library. The Stanford University Libraries provide the online exhibition Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls.

The first five books of the Old Testament of the Bible, sometimes produced as a separate manuscript by medieval scribes. Click here to view a facsimile of the 6th century Ashburnham Pentateuch (University of Arizona Library) and here to see a page from a limited edition of the Hebrew Pentateuch printed in the early 20th-century See also: Hexateuch and Octateuch.

pen trailing
Linear decoration added by the penman to an initial letter in a medieval manuscript, in ink of the same or contrasting color, common particularly in 12th- and 13th-century French manuscripts. Click here to see an example in a 15th-century Italian antiphonal (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute) and here to see additional examples in a Latin New Testament (University of Florida Libraries).

pen trial
Probatio pennae in Latin. A catch phrase, name, letter, or sketch written in the margin or on one of the flyleaves of a manuscript to test a newly trimmed pen nib (see this example, courtesy of the British Library, Arundel 292). Quill pens require frequent recutting to maintain a stiff nib.

penwork initial
A decorated initial letter in a medieval manuscript or early printed book, done entirely in pen-and-ink, without the application of paint. Medieval scribes used black, brown, red, blue, and green ink. Click here to see plain examples in red and blue on a leaf from an early 16th-century German missal (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute) and here to see a more elaborate example in a Dutch Book of Hours (Leaves of Gold). For tours de force, see examples in the Syracuse Gradual (Syracuse University Library, MS 11). Compare with pen-flourished initial. See also: puzzle initial.

per diem
The rate at which a product or service is billed on a daily basis. Also refers to the maximum amount allowed by an employer for expenses (meals, lodging, etc.), usually calculated on the basis of average cost for a given geographic area. When expenses are paid per diem, the recipient may not be required to submit receipts. Libraries often use the Domestic Per Diem Rates established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Compare with reimburse.

perfect binding
A quick and comparatively inexpensive method of adhesive binding in which the binding edge of the text block is milled to produce a block of leaves and then roughened. Fast-drying adhesive is applied to the uneven surface and the case or cover attached without sewing and backing. Nearly all books published in paperback are bound by this method, which is also used for some hardcover special editions, for example, book club editions. Durability depends on the strength of the adhesive and its capacity to remain flexible over time, usually not as long-lasting as a sewn or stitched binding. Compare with Otabind. See also: double-fan adhesive binding, hot-melt, and notched binding.

The process of printing the second side of a sheet. On a perfecting press, both sides are printed in a single pass. Synonymous with backing up. See also: register.

perforating stamp
A mechanical device designed to produce a permanent mark on a sheet of paper or page in a book by punching a pattern of tiny holes in the fibers, once used by libraries to mark ownership but now largely replaced by the rubber stamp. Notaries still use this tool to validate their signatures.

Cutting or punching a line of small, closely spaced holes or slits along the inner margin of a page, or around matter printed on a sheet, to make a page or portion of a page easier to tear out or off. Also refers to the line of holes produced for that purpose. See also: perforating stamp.

A row of small, evenly spaced, accurately shaped holes punched along one or both edges of the length of motion picture film, by which it is advanced through the camera, printer, or projector using a toothed mechanism, called a sprocket, that engages the holes as it turns. Size and number of sprocket holes per frame varies with film gauge (see these examples). Sprocket damage (cracks, tears, deformations, etc.), usually caused by improper projection, can sometimes be repaired with perforated tape available in standard gauges from suppliers or by a technique known as "bridging" (see this example). Click here to learn more about sprockets and how film projectors work, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

For purposes of copyright (17 USC 101), to recite, render, play, dance, or act a work, either directly or by means of any device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds accompanying it audible. A work is publicly performed when rendered directly at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons from outside a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or by transmission to members of the public in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.

In the cataloging of moving images, a work intended to document all or part of an actual live presentation of dance, music (recital, concert, opera, etc.), or theater (stage play, mime, circus, magic, puppet show, comedy act, variety show, etc.). The television series "Live from Lincoln Center" is an example. Although the content of the work produced may be fictional, the work documenting it is considered nonfiction. Also refers to the presentation or exhibition itself. Because execution varies (however slightly) between performances, even of the same production, each performance is unique. See also: job performance, medium of performance, and performer.

performance evaluation
The process of judging the competence with which an employee has performed the duties and responsibilities associated with the position for which the person was hired by a company or organization, usually for the purpose of contract renewal or promotion. In libraries, job performance may be evaluated entirely by management or in a process of peer evaluation. Synonymous with performance measurement. See also: accountability.

performance indicator
A measure of how well an employee, department, organization, or institution is meeting its goals and objectives, for example, the percentage of borrowing requests received by the interlibrary loan/document delivery department of a library that are successfully filled within a given period of time. See also: input measure and output measure.

performance measurement
See: performance evaluation.

An individual who plays a visible part in a work created for a medium of performance (play, motion picture, musical composition, dance, etc.). In library cataloging, the names of leading performers may be included as added entries (MARC field 700) in the bibliographic description of a recorded performance (film, videocassette, audiocassette, CD, etc.). See also: composer and director.

performing arts poster
A large single sheet of heavy paper or cardboard, printed on one side only, usually with illustration, to advertise a theatrical performance or other public entertainment, or to promote one or more performers without reference to a specific event. The category includes concert posters, dance posters, motion picture posters, and theatrical posters (click here and click here to see examples).

performing rights
The right to read or perform a work protected by copyright, such as a play, opera, or ballet, to a paying audience, usually licensed by a performing rights society on behalf of the copyright holder(s), upon payment of a fee.

performing rights society
An association, corporation, or other entity responsible for licensing the public performance and broadcast of nondramatic musical works on behalf of the copyright holders and for collecting and distributing licensing fees to the owners. Examples include the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); SESAC, Inc.; and PRS for Music in the UK.

An ancient city on the west coast of Asia Minor near the modern town of Bergama, Turkey, the location of a magnificent royal library and museum built during the Hellenistic period by Eumenes II of the Attalid dynasty to rival the great center of learning at Alexandria in Egypt. The use of parchment as a writing surface is believed to have originated at Pergamum.

pericope list
A list of sets of verses in a text, each of which forms a coherent literary unit suitable for public reading, for example, Mark 3:1-6 of the Bible, six verses that tell the story of the encounter of Jesus in a synagogue with a man with a withered hand. Some early bibles and Gospel books included pericope lists.

The punctuation mark that indicates the end of an ordinary sentence, also used as a mark of abbreviation. Synonymous with full point and full stop. See also: dot.

In history and literature, an interval of time, usually of indefinite beginning and/or ending date(s), characterized by certain events, conditions, or characteristics of style, such as the Romantic period (early 19th century in Europe) or the Victorian period (late 19th century in Britain). In library cataloging, the period of a work is indicated by adding a chronological subdivision to the class or subject heading.

period bibliography
A bibliography limited to works covering a specific period of time, for example, American history of the colonial period or the progressive era.

A serial publication with its own distinctive title, containing a mix of articles, editorials, reviews, columns, short stories, poems, or other short works written by more than one contributor, issued in softcover more than once, generally at regular stated intervals of less than a year, without prior decision as to when the final issue will appear. Although each issue is complete in itself, its relationship to preceding issues is indicated by enumeration, usually issue number and volume number printed on the front cover. Content is controlled by an editor or editorial board.

The category includes magazines, sold on subscription and at newsstands; journals, sold on subscription and/or distributed to members of scholarly societies and professional associations; and newsletters, but not proceedings or the other regular publications of corporate bodies as they relate primarily to meetings. Nor are newspapers formally classified as periodicals--although many libraries store newspapers with magazines and journals, separate values are assigned for periodicals and newspapers in the 008 field of the MARC record to indicate type of serial. Also, the statement in AACR2 that serials include periodicals, newspapers, annuals, proceedings, and numbered monographic series implies that newspapers are not considered periodicals.

Periodicals are published by scholarly societies, university presses, trade and professional associations, government agencies, commercial publishers, and nonprofit organizations. The most comprehensive directory of periodicals is Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory published annually by ProQuest, available in the reference section of libraries in the United States. Content is indexed in finding tools called periodical indexes and abstracting services, usually by subject and author.

Most academic libraries bind all the issues for a given publication year in one or more physical volumes. The bibliographic volumes are numbered consecutively, starting with number one for the first year the title was issued. Periodicals are usually shelved alphabetically by title in a separate section of the library stacks. In some libraries, current issues are shelved separately from back files, which may be converted to microfiche or microfilm to conserve space. Microform reader-printer machines are provided for viewing and making copies. Periodicals published by the U.S. federal government may be shelved by SuDocs number in a separate section reserved for government documents. For many print periodicals, content is also available elecronically in full-text bibliographic databases or via the publisher's Web site. Some periodicals are born digital and never issued in print (example: Slate). See also: essay periodical, frequency, holdings statement, and one shot.

periodical index
A cumulative list of periodical articles in which the citations are entered by subject (or in classified arrangement) and sometimes under the author's last name, separately or in a single alphabetic sequence. Periodical indexes may be general (example: Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature), devoted to a specific academic discipline (Education Index) or group of disciplines (Humanities Index), or limited to a particular type of publication (Alternative Press Index). In libraries, periodical indexes are available in print and as bibliographic databases, online or on CD-ROM. Compare with abstracting service. See also: H.W. Wilson.

Also, an index to one or more volumes of a specific periodical.

periodical stand
A piece of display furniture, often with sloping shelves, used in libraries to display current issues of periodicals face out, not as compact as conventional shelving but more accessible to browsers (see these examples). The sloping shelf may be hinged to allow a limited number of back issues to be stored on a flat shelf behind it (see this example).

period printing
The production of books or other printed publications in a style appropriate to the period of time in which the material was originally issued. Compare with facsimile.

Also, the production of a book in a style resembling that of an earlier period, although the text may have been written by a contemporary author, usually conceived by the publisher as a promotional device.

period subdivision
See: chronological subdivision.

period table
In Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), a table giving chronological time periods with their notation. For the literatures of many cultures, period tables are included in the main schedules. They vary in length, depending on the literary history of the culture.

895.8 Burmese literature
1 Early period to 1800
2 1800-1900
3 1900-2000
4 2000-

For works not limited to a specific language, period notation is taken from Table 1 --0901-0905 of the auxiliary schedules.

A device used in conjunction with a computer that is not an indispensable or inseparable part of it. Microcomputer peripherals are used for input (keyboard, mouse, scanner), output (printer, monitor, audio speakers), storage (floppy disk, CD-ROM), and communication (modem). The trend has been to build peripherals into PCs, especially laptops. Synonymous with auxiliary equipment. See also: central processing unit.

Saying something in a less direct, more roundabout way. Synonymous in this sense with circumlocution. Also refers to speech or writing that uses an excess of words to convey an idea or concept that could be expressed more succinctly. Compare with paraphrase.

An advantage enjoyed by an employee over and above the normal benefits to which the position is entitled, for example, free parking or exemption from overdue fines for the staff of some libraries.

The quality of library materials designed to last indefinitely without significant deterioration, defined by preservation librarians as a change of 1 percent or less in 100 years. In printed publications, permanence is achieved through the use of acid-free papers and binding materials, which may also be buffered for extra protection. See also: permanent paper.

permanent ink
A type of visible ink used in applying ownership marks to library materials because it cannot be easily removed.

permanent paper
Paper manufactured to resist chemical deterioration that occurs as a result of aging. The most important factor in permanence is a minimum pH of 7.0 (neutral). Acid-free paper is preferred in library and archival materials because it contains low levels of lignin, an acidic substance that causes paper documents to yellow and become brittle over time. The acid paper used for printing books and other publications during the 19th and early 20th centuries has created a major preservation imperative for research libraries and special collections. Some permanent papers are buffered with an alkaline substance to counteract acids that develop after manufacture or are introduced from an outside source.

ANSI/NISO has established a standard (Z39.48) for the permanence of paper used in materials for libraries and archives, based on specifications for acidity, tear resistance, alkaline reserve, fiber content, and residual amounts of certain substances used in manufacture (rosin, chlorine, etc.). Under normal use and storage conditions in libraries and archives, paper meeting the ANSI standard should last for several hundred years without significant deterioration. In books, compliance is indicated by the mathematical symbol for infinity printed inside a circle on the copyright page or in the colophon. In periodical publications, the symbol is printed on the masthead or in the copyright area. Synonymous with durable paper.

Authorization, usually granted in writing by the copyright holder, to quote or excerpt passages of text or reproduce illustrations from a work protected by copyright law. Failure to obtain permission may constitute infringement. See also: Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.

permissions copy
A copy of a book containing quoted or excerpted material sent to the copyright holder at first publication to confirm that passages were used in accordance with the permissions granted.

permuted index
A type of subject index in which a string of significant words or phrases, usually extracted from the title of a work or assigned as content descriptors by an indexer, are rotated to bring each word or phrase into first-word position in the alphabetical sequence of entries. For example, in the subject index to America: History and Life, the string of descriptors assigned to the article titled "Library Services and the African-American Intelligentsia Before 1960" (Libraries & Culture 33: 91-97) is rotated to produce the following index entries:

Blacks. Higher education. Intellectuals. Libraries. 1900-1960.
Higher education. Intellectuals. Libraries. Blacks. 1900-1960.
Intellectuals. Libraries. Blacks. Higher education. 1900-1960.
Libraries. Blacks. Higher education. Intellectuals. 1900-1960.

perpetual access
Some publishers and vendors of electronic resources are willing to provide access to materials in digital format paid for by a library during a subscription even after the subscription has been canceled by the library. Archival access is secured by a clause in the licensing agreement that should be requested during contract negotiations. The basic Licensing Principles for electronic information resources established by IFLA in 2001 state that "a license should include provision for affordable, perpetual access to the licensed information by some appropriate and workable means."

perpetual calendar
A calendar with the days and weeks arranged to allow the user to determine the correct day of the week for any given date within a wide span of years. Most are circular in shape (see this example).

per search
A database for which access is billed by the search, rather than by subscription. The charge may be a fixed amount per search, as in OCLC FirstSearch, or based on connect time.

The ability to address and locate a digital object on a network or in a digital archival system over an extended period of time. The current addressing system of the World Wide Web, based on the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), provides efficient direct access but often fails when electronic resources are moved or reorganized, leading to "404" (file not found) error messages that inhibit access and pose problems for archiving and long-term digital preservation. The need for persistence is particularly acute for online resources likely to be cited by link address in print or electronic publications. See also: Persistent URL.

Persistent URL (PURL)
A type of URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that does not point directly to the location of an Internet resource, but rather to an intermediate resolution service (PURL server) that associates the stable PURL with the actual URL, and returns the URL to the client, which then processes the request in the usual manner. PURLs were developed through OCLC participation in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Uniform Resource Identifier working groups as an interim solution to the problem posed by URL changes (lack of persistence) in the MARC description of Internet resources. They are an intermediate step on the path to URNs (Universal Resource Names) in Internet information architecture. Click here to learn more about PURLs.

personal archives
A category of collecting archives devoted to preserving the private papers and memorabilia of one or more persons or of a family or group of families. In the United States, the presidential libraries function as archives for the personal papers of the presidents.

personal author
The person primarily responsible for the literary, musical, artistic, or intellectual content of a creative work, whose full name is entered in the statement of responsibility area of the bibliographic description when the item is cataloged. Compare with corporate author. See also: joint author.

personal computer (PC)
Any microcomputer designed for individual use, usually in a personal workspace or in travel, consisting of a CPU and associated peripheral devices. The term is often restricted to IBM-compatible microcomputers in which the hardware is controlled by Intel and the operating system by Microsoft. A PC may function as a stand-alone workstation or be connected to a network. In a LAN, PCs may function as client workstations or as file servers. Click here to learn more about PCs, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. Synonymous with desktop computer. See also: laptop.

personal data
Information about an individual person, such as name, social security number, age, occupation, martial status, etc. Most public and academic libraries maintain records of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of registered patrons. Although personal information in the library patron record is confidential, the federal government can gain access to it under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

personal digital assistant (PDA)
A palm-sized computer first introduced in the 1980s to serve as a personal information organizer and a portable extension of the personal computer. Some models accept handwritten input, others are equipped with a small keyboard, and some are designed to accept voice input using voice recognition technologies. Because of their size, most PDAs do not include a disk drive. Their capabilities are therefore limited to scheduling, note-taking, simple calculations, and storing addresses and phone numbers, but some models include slots into which modems and other peripheral devices can be inserted to allow users to exchange e-mail, send a fax, access the Web, upload/download information, and act as a global positioning system (GPS). Manufacturers have also combined them with cell phones, multimedia players, and other electronic devices. Because it allows data to be exchanged between a PDA and PC, synchronization may pose a security risk to networked systems. Click here to learn more about PDAs, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. Synonymous with handheld computer, palmtop, and pocket computer. Compare with wireless handheld device.

personal hygiene
Bodily cleanliness is an issue in libraries frequented by the homeless, to the extent that some libraries have revised their user behavior policies to ban individuals from library premises who emit strong odors (body-odors and perfumes) that interfere with use of services by other patrons or library staff. American Libraries reported in February 2006 that an advocacy group for homeless people questioned the fairness of such a ban imposed by the Dallas Public Library; however, Leslie Burger, then President-Elect of the American Library Association (ALA), affirmed that the DPL policy complies with a 1992 ruling by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for Morristown) that public libraries are a limited public forum from which people can be barred if their behavior or habits, including aroma, is disturbing to others.

personal identification number
See: PIN.

personal imprint
A list of books published under a distinct brand name by a larger publishing company, handled by a single editor who is given the freedom to acquire and edit works that reflect his or her tastes or areas of expertise, often without having to obtain the approval of a managing editor or editorial board (example: Nan A. Talese Books within Knopf Doubleday).

An item of personal use, such as stationery or business cards, printed with the owner's name or monogram, address, and/or telephone number (see this example).

personal librarian (PL)
An academic library program in which individual students (usually incoming undergraduates) are matched with a librarian assigned to assist them with research involving the library and its collections. A personal librarian may also keep students informed, via periodic e-mail messages, of new resources, programs, and services (for example, extended library hours) and answer questions about library policies and procedures. Click here to learn about the personal librarian program at Yale University. Duke University and Drexel University offer similar programs.

personally identifiable information (PII)
Library records linking the name of a library user to specific information sought or received; resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted; or facilities or services used, including but not limited to database search records, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and reference interviews. In July 1991, the Council of the American Library Association adopted a Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users (amended June 2004).

personal name
The name given to an animate being, real or imaginary. In the case of a human being, usually a forename and surname or family name, but sometimes a single name (examples: Moses, Socrates, etc.), used as the main entry when works by the person are listed in the library catalog. In a subject heading, the name may be followed by a parenthetical qualifier for clarification, as in Tarzan (Fictitious character). A qualifier is also added to the personal name of a nonhuman being to indicate species, as in Dolly (Sheep). Compare with corporate name and geographic name. See also: nickname and pseudonym.

personal papers
In archives, the private documents and related materials accumulated by an individual in the course of a lifetime (letters, diaries, journals, legal documents, etc.). In contrast to official papers, which may be subject to the disposition of an employer or government, personal papers are subject to the owner's disposition. Stanford University hosts The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project.

personal video recorder (PVR)
See: DVR.

personal Web page
A Web page maintained by or for an individual for the purpose of acquainting other Internet users with the views, activities, or works of the person whose name is identified with it, sometimes installed at the author's expense on a server maintained by a commercial Internet service provider (ISP). Synonymous with personal homepage.

See: human resources.

perspective view
A nonphotographic representation, in central projection onto a two-dimensional (plane) surface, of forms that exist in three dimensions. In cartography, the forms depicted are typically a landscape. Click here to see examples showing the Harriman Expedition to Alaska in 1899 (courtesy of PBS) and here to see a perspective view in the form of a map of Death Valley National Monument in California. Also used synonymously with vue d'optique. See also: panorama.

In information retrieval, the extent to which a document retrieved in response to a query actually satisfies the information need, based on the user's current state of knowledge--a narrower concept than relevance. Although a document may be relevant to the subject of the inquiry, it may already be known to the searcher, written in a language the user does not read, available in a format the reseacher is unable or unwilling to use, or unacceptable for some other reason.

pest management
Physical and chemical methods employed by a library or archive to control or eliminate living organisms that infest collections (mildew, mold, insects, rodents, etc.), for example, freezing or fumigation. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies begin with careful identification of the nature and habits of the offender(s), then rely on nonchemical preventive methods as the first line of defense (control of climate, entry points, food sources, etc.). Chemical treatments are usually reserved for infestations of crisis proportions and pests that do not succumb to less toxic alternatives. Click here to connect to the pest management section of Conservation OnLine (CoOL) and here to read Oxford University Library Services' advice on pests (very detailed on insects).

A formal written appeal for action, addressed to an individual or group of persons with the authority to grant the request of one or more petitioners whose signatures usually appear on the document. Click here to see the Olive Branch Petition of 1775, the final effort of the American colonists to resolve their differences with the King of England without resorting to war (Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums), and here to see the petition signed in 1893 by Thomas Edison and others requesting repeal of the act closing the World's Columbian Exposition on Sundays (National Archives and Records Administration).

See: Project Gutenberg.

A chemical symbol representing the concentration of hydrogen ions in a given substance in aqueous solution, a standard measure of its acidity or alkalinity (basicity) on a scale of 0-14, with 0 = strongly acidic and 14 = strongly alkaline, used in preservation to detect acid paper, board, etc. Since pH is a logarithmic measure, each unit on the scale represents a factor of 10, with 7.0 (the pH of pure water) the neutral point. In papermaking, a product with a pH of 6.0 or higher is considered acid-free, but a pH of 7.0+ is often preferred to neutralize residual acidity that may develop over time. Click here to learn more about the pH scale.

A book or online resource that lists drugs, chemical compounds, and biological substances, providing information on molecular structure and properties, therapeutic uses, derivatives, and sometimes formulas for manufacture, with tests for establishing identity, purity, strength, etc. (example: The Merck Index or PDR: Physicians' Desk Reference). Most libraries keep the current edition of at least one modern pharmacopoeia in the reference section. Click here to see a 17th-century example, courtesy of the Royal College of Physicians. Compare with formulary.

philatelic library
A library devoted to the history of postage stamps and stamp collecting, with a collection consisting of books and periodicals on philately, auction catalogs, government documents, maps, clippings, etc., for example, the American Philatelic Research Library at State College, Pennsylvania.

The collection and study of postage stamps and related materials, usually as a hobby. See also: philatelic library.

A complete revision of a class in Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Synonymous with phoenix schedule (see revision).

phone book
See: telephone directory.

phonetic script
A system of writing the sounds of a language in which one symbol is used to graphically represent each speech sound.

A written sign, symbol, or character that represents a sound, syllable, or word spoken in a language, as opposed to an ideogram that represents an object, idea, or concept without phonetically expressing the sound of its name. The Latin alphabet is a set of phonograms.

phonograph record
A thin, flat disk, usually made of vinyl, impressed on one or both sides with a continuous spiral groove in which audible sound is recorded (see this example). As the disk revolves on a playback machine, called a record player (see this portable example), the groove causes a stylus to vibrate, producing electrical impulses in a cartridge that can be amplified as sound. The most common playing speed is 33 1/3 rpm (long-playing), but 45 and 78 rpm disks were also manufactured. Audio compact discs have superseded phonograph records in the retail market for sounds recordings, but there is still a market for secondhand records, some of which have become collectible. In libraries, "vinyl" is preserved primarily for its archival value. In AACR2, the term "sound disc" is used in the physical description area of the bibliographic record representing a phonograph record, with "analog" given as type of recording. Synonymous with audiodisc and gramophone record. Compare with phonorecord. See also: record album.

As defined by the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, a material object in which sounds (except those accompanying audiovisual recordings such as motion pictures) are fixed. The category includes phonograph records, audiocassette tapes, and compact discs (CDs).

photo CD (PCD)
A digital imaging system developed by Kodak that enables a photofinisher to record, organize, and store large numbers of high-resolution photographs (negatives, slides, or prints) on compact disc. Some film processors offer the medium as an add-on to conventional film processing. Various graphics software packages have been designed to support the PCD file format. A similar system, called Picture CD, has been developed for consumer use. It allows images to be preformatted for commercial printing and for digital transmission and display. The term photo CD is also used for a compact disc produced by such an imaging system.

photochrom print
A colorized photomechanical print produced lithographically from a reversed halftone photographic negative, using a technique developed in Switzerland in the 1880s by Photoglob Zurich and used until the early 1900s, especially for postcards bearing photographic images (see this example). Photochrom prints can be difficult to distinguish from color photographs unless examined with a magnifying glass.

Typesetting by exposing images of type characters directly on photographic film or photosensitive paper from which printing plates are made for subsequent reproduction. Synonymous with cold type and phototypesetting.

A machine available in most libraries for making xerographic copies of documents, usually in black and white. Some photocopiers are capable of enlarging or reducing the size of the original. Most copiers are coin-operated, with payment by the page in cash or by debit card (fee varies). Sophisticated photocopy machines available in commercial copy shops are capable of color copying and handling large jobs that require collating and stapling. Click here to learn more about how photocopiers work, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. Compare with reader-printer. See also: copy card.

A macroform photographic reproduction of printed or graphic material, produced quickly and directly on a sheet of paper or other opaque surface, in black and white or color, usually by radiant energy through contact or projection, in a process known as xerography. Photocopy machines are available in most libraries for making hard copies of materials that may not be removed from the premises (reference books, closed reserves, periodicals, etc.). Photocopying is subject to the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law. See also: copy art and preservation photocopy.

Also refers to a photographic copy of an existing photograph, as opposed to a duplicate print made from the same negative.

photogenic drawing
A camera-less photographic process first announced by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839 in which a sheet of smooth, fine quality writing paper was immersed in a solution of sodium chloride (table salt), dried, and then brushed on one side with a solution of silver nitrate that combined with the salt to produce light-sensitive silver chloride. Small objects placed on the paper and exposed to the ultraviolet light in sunlight left a light-toned silhouette (negative image) against a dark (exposed) background (click here and here to see examples). When incompletely fixed, this type of early photogram often darkens on further exposure to light. Talbot's invention of the calotype grew out of his experiments with photogenic drawing. Click here to learn more about the process, courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum, London. See also: cyanotype.

A photographic image made without a camera or lens by placing one or more objects directly on a piece of light-sensitive paper or film and exposing it to light. When the paper or film is developed and fixed, the image appears light in tone where the object(s) blocked exposure and dark where the paper or film remained uncovered. Translucent objects can be used to produce mid-tones. Photogenic drawings, Christian Schad's Schadographs, and Man Ray's Rayographs are early photograms. To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term "photogram" in Google Images. Click here to learn more about the process in Wikipedia. Synonymous with schadograph. See also: cyanotype.

The technique of using photographs and other remote sensing images to measure and obtain information about two- or three-dimensional objects. Aerial photogrammetry is mainly used to produce topographic and thematic maps and digital elevation models. To learn more, see The Basics of Photogrammetry, courtesy of Geodetic Services Inc. See also: aerial photograph.

From the Greek photo ("light") and graphein ("to write"). The unique negative image produced on a chemically sensitized surface (film, paper, glass, metal, etc.) when it is exposed to light, usually through a focusing lens. Also, the repeatable positive image (called a "print") made in any size on a light-sensitive substrate from the negative after it has been developed. Photography is the science, technology, and art of producing photographic images. Photographs were originally produced in black and white, with or without subsequent tinting, but color film is used by most modern photographers. Strictly speaking, collotypes, duotones, and photogravures are not considered photographs because they are the result of photomechanical printing processes. Early photographic processes include the daguerreotype, ambrotype, tintype, cyanotype, and autochrome. The term is also used for digital images made with a digital camera.

The Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin provides an online exhibition on The First Photograph. Click here to see a selection of photographically illustrated books of the 19th century (British Library). Other exhibitions can be seen at The American Museum of Photography and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, or try Yahoo! on the history of photography. Compare with motion picture. See also: aerial photograph, cabinet card, carte-de-visite, crystoleum photograph, fisheye photograph, macrophotograph, microphotograph, photographic essay, photomap, photomontage, photomosaic, Polaroid, publicity photograph, snapshot, still, and stock photograph.

In libraries, photographs are collected as original prints and as reproductions. They are also published as illustrations in books and periodicals. Still photographs are also digitized for use as illustrations in documents available online and on CD-ROM. The Library of Congress provides information about The Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs. Click here to learn about the Jerwood Photography Project at the British Library. See also: American Society of Picture Professionals and photo-safe.

photograph album
A bound or loose-leaf book containing blank pages for holding photographs, usually in such a way that one or more of them are displayed per page (see this example). Abbreviated photo album.

photograph case
A shallow, hinged decorative container, designed to hold and protect one or more photographs, usually portraits. Manufactured from the 1840s-1860s, primarily for ambrotypes and daguerreotypes, most were made of leather, paper-covered wood, gutta-percha, or thermoplastic material, with or without a fabric lining and interior gold frame (see this example). See also: union case.

Photographic Activity Test (PAT)
A diagnostic tool developed by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) for predicting chemical reactions between photographic images (film, prints, etc.) and the enclosures in which they are stored. The components of enclosures (adhesives, inks, paints, labels, tape, etc.) are tested by incubation in temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers over a 4- to 6-week period to simulate aging. Sample evaluation and a final report are provided by the IPI. The PAT is now a worldwide standard (ISO 14523) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. Click here to learn more about the PAT.

photographic essay
A series of photographs, in color or black and white, of a particular subject or on a specific topic, usually taken by a single photographer, often expressing a definite view or perception of the subject. The treatment can be artistic or documentary. If the prints are exhibited or published in book form, the collection is usually given a title, which may or may not be indicative of its content or of the photographer's conception of the whole. Also refers to a collection of photographs by various photographers organized in a retrospective volume, usually around a central theme (example: The Klondike Quest: A Photographic Essay, 1897-1899 by Pierre Berton). Click here to see an example of an online photographic essay. Abbreviated photo essay.

photographic illustration
A visual image made with a camera or other photographic device, used to illustrate a book, periodical, or other publication. The first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published was The Pencil of Nature by the pioneering British photographer and polymath William Henry Fox Talbot. Issued in six installments between 1844 and 1846, it describes his development of the calotype process and includes 24 carefully selected calotype plates, pasted in by hand. Click here to learn more about Fox Talbot and The Pencil of Nature, courtesy of the Glasgow University Library.

photographic postcard
A postcard that is an actual photograph, not a reproduction of one. As early as 1902, Kodak introduced a sensitized postcard stock printed on the back with standard postcard information, and the format remained popular until about 1920 (see this example).

An illustration or print made from an image etched or engraved on a metal plate or cylinder by any one of several photomechanical processes (see this example, courtesy of the Library of Congress). Also refers to the intaglio technique for making such an image, in which gelatin is normally used to transfer the image from a black and white negative to a copper printing plate for etching in an acid bath. Click here to see more examples (Getty Museum) and here to learn more about the process. Synonymous with gravure. See also: rotogravure.

The presentation of news through the medium of photographic images. Photojournalists are governed by ethical principles requiring honesty, sensitivity, and objectivity in their selection and creation of images (see Migrant Mother taken by American photographer Dorothea Lange during the Great Depression). A Pulitzer Prize is given annually in Feature Photography. Synonymous with news photography and press photography.

A reproduction of an aerial photograph or photomosaic, rectified to eliminate displacment and distortions, on which cartographic information (place names, symbols, grid lines, marginal data, etc.) is superimposed, for example, an aerial photograph of a major city to which lines of various colors are added representing subway routes. Click here to see an example showing the location of the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics in Prague. Synonymous with aerial map.

A photograph taken through a microscope, producing a detailed image of an object too small to be seen with the unaided eye. To see examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images. Compare with microphotograph.

A creative work in which several photographs, or portions of photographs, are combined to form a single composite image (montage). The effect can be achieved by cutting and pasting together the component parts, by exposing the same negative several times, or by combining several negatives in the developing process to produce a single composite print. For more information, see Cut & Paste: A History of Photomontage. Compare with photomosaic.

In motion pictures, a similar effect is achieved in time, rather than space, by projecting a selection of images in such rapid succession that in the mind of the viewer they are associated in a way that gives them meaning not apparent when viewed separately or at a slower pace.

A composite image made by matching the edges of an aerial photograph to the imagery on several adjoining photographs (or portions of them) to form a continuous representation of an area of the surface of the earth (or another celestial body) with minimal variation in scale (click here to see an example, courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey). In a controlled photomosaic, the photographs are usually rectified to eliminate displacement and distortions, then assembled to correspond to a surveyed map within specified limits of accuracy. In an uncontrolled photomosaic, the detail in uncorrected prints is matched print to print without adjustment to ground measurements or orientation. Also spelled photo mosaic. Synonymous with aerial mosaic. Compare with photomontage. See also: photomap.

A term used loosely in advertising by companies that sell supplies for archival preservation of photographs, such as albums, containers, labels, adhesives, inks, etc., to indicate that their products will not harm photographic materials. The main hazards to photo longevity are oxidants and reducers that cause fading and deterioration, low pH acids that weaken the paper support, high pH alkalines that weaken the top coating, and chromophores and coupler reactants that cause yellowing and stains. Since lignin is a source of several of these hazards, lignin-free and acid-free papers are used in photo-safe products. No standard definition or set of test methods yet exists for determining whether a product is nonreactive with photographic images, but the Photographic Activity Test (ISO 14523) accounts for a number of the chemical reactions that can occur (click here to learn more about the PAT, courtesy of the Image Permanence Institute). Photographic prints, negatives, and slides can also be protected by converting them to digital format, usually preserved on CD-ROM. Also spelled photo safe and photosafe.

A high-contrast copy of a document made by a photographic process, using a Photostat machine. The first copy is a negative image. If a positive image is desired, a positive Photostat must be made from the negative. A photostatic copy can be a reduction, enlargement, or the same size as the original. The term is also used in a more general sense to mean a photocopy made by any means. Abbreviated stat.

Grammatically speaking, two or more words that convey a single concept or thought or that constitute a part of a sentence that does not contain a subject or predicate. An adjectival phrase is a noun modified by one or more adjectives (examples: digital archives and small press). In a prepositional phrase, two words are joined by a preposition (examples: gone to press and out of print).

A narrow banner, ribbon, or scroll extending from the mouth or held in the hand of a human figure drawn or painted in a medieval manuscript, inscribed with the person's name or indicating spoken words. Click here to see an inhabited initial with a phylactery in a 12th-century French manuscript (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Lat. 8959). This method of combining text with graphics survives in contemporary cartoons in the balloons used to convey speech and thought.

physical carrier
The physical medium in or on which information (data, sound, images, etc.) is stored, for example, paper and ink for printed materials and magnetic tape or optical or magnetic disk for electronic resources. For some categories of material, the medium may be permanently encased in a protective housing made of another material (plastic, metal, etc.) integral to the item, as in a floppy disk or Zip disk (AACR2). The same work may be stored in or on more than one type of carrier, for example, a motion picture on film, videocassette, and DVD. Compare with container.

physical description
In library cataloging, the area of the bibliographic record (MARC field 300) in which the extent of an item is recorded. For books, extent of item includes the number of volumes, leaves or pages, columns, and plates, and the presence of illustrations, maps, and/or accompanying material. The physical description also gives the dimensions and format of the item. In most cases, the physical description of a book (example: xiv, 508 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.) is shorter than that of a nonprint item (example: 3 filmstrips : col. ; 35 mm. + 3 sound cassettes + 3 guides). Synonymous with collation.

physical processing
The activities carried out by the technical processing department of a library to prepare items for use. The specific techniques used in physical processing depend on the format of the item. A book is usually stamped with at least one ownership mark, labeled, jacketed, and barcoded. A magnetic strip may also be applied to the item to prevent theft. Items such as videocassettes, audiocassettes, CDs, and CD-ROMs may be given a protective container. Physical processing also includes mending, repair, and rebinding in libraries that have an in-house bindery. See also: preprocessing.

physionotrace work
A portrait drawing made by tracing a person's profile from a silhouette produced by a mechanical instrument called a physionotrace, invented in 1784 by the French musician and portraitist Gilles-Louis Chrétien. Also refers to works, such as copperplate engravings, made from such drawings (see this example). Also spelled physiognotrace.

In typesetting, accidental scrambling of type after it has been set.

piano roll
A specially-designed perforated paper roll which, when inserted into a player piano (pianola), automatically plays a prerecorded version of a musical composition (see this example). The position and length of the perforation determines the note played on the piano. Popular in the late 1800s until displaced by the phonograph in the 1890s, and by radio in the 1920s, the player piano was the earliest device for producing recorded music. Mass production of piano rolls began in 1896 (see these examples).

piano score
An arrangement for solo piano of a vocal, instrumental, or orchestral work, written or printed on two staves (see this piano vocal score [1949] by Irving Berlin).

piano [violin, etc.] conductor part
A performance part for a specific instrument in an ensemble work, to which cues have been added for the other instruments, to enable the performer to conduct while performing (AACR2).

In typography, a standard measurement based on a unit of type 12 points in size (about 4.2 mm or 1/6 inch wide), used to indicate line length and spacing. On the hand typewriter, pica is the larger of the two most common type sizes, having 10 characters per linear inch, as opposed to elite with 12 characters per linear inch.

picaresque literature
From the Spanish picaro meaning "rogue" or "rascal." Episodic accounts of the adventures and misadventures of roguish but engagingly good-natured heroes and heroines of low social status, accustomed to living by their wits, usually written in satirical style. Picaresque fiction originated in 16th century Spain with the anonymous novella The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and His Fortunes and Adversities. The classic example is Don Quixote (1615) by Miguel de Cervantes. More recent examples include Moll Flanders (1721) by Daniel Defoe and Joseph Andrews (1742) by Henry Fielding.

pick-up location
The place to which an item requested on interlibrary, intercampus, or intracampus loan is delivered and stored until the borrower responds to notification of its arrival, usually the circulation desk or interlibrary loan office of the library from which it was requested. Online catalogs that provide an electronic request option may permit the borrower to specify pick-up location in the initial request.

See: pictograph.

A sign in the form of a picture representing or suggesting the thing signified, for example, a street sign bearing a symbol of a person reading a book to indicate that a library is located in the vicinity. Also refers to a prehistoric drawing made on a rock surface, such as the side of a cliff or the wall of a cave, one of the earliest forms of "written" communication. Click here to sample the pictographic script used by the Sumerians in the 32nd century B.C. (Schøyen Collection, MS 2726) and here to see modern pictographs, courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Synonymous with pictogram.

A term used in the book trade to refer to a book with a picture on the cover, exclusive of the dust jacket. The image may be limited to the front or back cover or extend across the spine to embellish both covers. Click here to see a 20th-century example in embossed leather (Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami, Florida) and here to see an example in glazed paper (Rare Books & Texana Collections, University of North Texas Libraries). To see examples of embroidered pictorial bindings, try a keywords search on the phrase "embroidered and pictorial" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. See also: poster style.

pictorial dictionary
See: visual dictionary.

pictorial envelope
A category of ephemera consisting of mailing envelopes bearing printed or hand-drawn designs or illustration on the front or back. The images may be geographical, commercial (advertising), commemorative, political, comic, or purely decorative (see this political example, courtesy of the Library of Congress).

pictorial map
A map on which small individual drawings or pictographs, rather than conventional cartographic symbols, are used to convey information about geographic features (see this example, courtesy of the Library of Congress). The concentration or frequency of a variable is sometimes indicated by the relative size of the picture, for example, on maps showing the distribution of natural resources. The images may be keyed to a legend that explains their meaning, as on this map of economic activity in Brazil (Perry-Castañeda Library). The George Glazer Gallery also provides examples of pictorial maps. Compare with decorated map and illustrated map.

A two-dimensional visual representation or image large enough to be easily viewed without magnification, usually rendered in black and white or color on a flat, opaque surface. The term includes paintings, drawings, art prints, photographs, reproductions, illustrations, clippings of pictorial matter, etc., and is often used in a generic sense when a more specific word is inappropriate. Examples can be seen in the New York Public Library's Picture Collection Online and in Picture History: The Primary Source for History Online. See also: letter picture, picture book, picture file, and picture library. Also used synonymously with motion picture.

picture archive
A permanent collection of images. Access and rights for commercial purposes may be subject to fees (see this online example, courtesy of LIFE magazine and Google). Synonymous with image archive, photo archive, and stock archive. Compare with image database.

Picture Archive Council of America (PACA)
Founded in 1951, PACA is the trade association in North America that represents the interests of stock archives of all sizes, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial production. Click here to connect to the PACA homepage.

picture bible
A medieval Bible in which the text, renarrated in abridged form, is accompanied by brief commentaries and extensively illustrated. Included in this category are the Bible historiale, Bible moralisée, and Biblia Pauperum. Click here to view illuminations from a splendid 13th-century French example (Morgan Library, MS M.638).

picture book
A book consisting mainly of visual content, with little or no text, intended mainly for children of preschool age but sometimes of interest to adults because of the artistic quality of the illustrations and/or originality of the text, often used by children's librarians in storytelling. Click here to see an example of a late-19th-century picture book edition (British Library). Published in large format, picture books are frequently oblong in shape to give the artist a broader canvas. To learn more about the history of picture books, see Picturing Books. The New York Public Library provides a list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. Miami University provides the Children's Picture Book Database. Awards are given to outstanding illustrators (see Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, Caldecott Medal, and Greenaway Medal). Compare with picture storybook. See also: big book and Charlotte Zolotow Award.

picture collection
See: picture library.

picture cycle
A series of illustrations in a medieval manuscript, usually appearing on the same page, on successive pages, or at major divisions in the text, forming a set because they are related in subject and often similar in treatment, for example, scenes of events in the life of the Virgin, traditionally associated with the canonical hours in a Book of Hours, or seasonal labors traditionally associated with the months of the year in calendars (see Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, courtesy of WebMuseum, and the Da Costa Hours, courtesy of the Morgan Library, MS M.399). Click here and here and here to see scenes from the life of Christ in the De Lisle Psalter (British Library, Arundel 83 II). See also this series of historiated initials featuring King David in a 13th-century French psalter (Getty Museum, MS 66). When it introduces the main text, such a series is called a prefatory cycle.

picture dictionary
See: visual dictionary.

picture file
A collection of mounted or unmounted photographs, illustrations, art prints, clippings, and other images, usually small enough to be filed in folders and stored in a filing cabinet. In libraries, the files may be arranged by subject, theme, name of artist, or some other characteristic. See also: jumbo file and vertical file.

picture library
A library collection consisting primarily of visual documents (prints, photographs, illustrations, posters, postcards, clippings, etc.), mounted or unmounted. The largest collections are maintained by national libraries and museums. Indexing is usually limited to a specific collection. Digitization has made picture collections more accessible. Click here to connect to the Prints & Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress, or browse the New York Public Library's Picture Collection Online or the Picture Library at the Natural History Museum in London. For more information on picture libraries, see the entry by Hilary Evans in the International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Routledge, 2003).

The term is also used by commercial outlets that specialize in providing visual images (see the Mary Evans Picture Library in London).

picture pages
A publishing term for the pages of a book or other printed publication which have illustrations, as distinct from the pages bearing nothing but text.

picture puzzle
A graphic image that includes figures or objects not readily apparent, for example, human or animal forms hidden in vegetation or in a landscape (click here and here to see examples, courtesy of Planet Perplex).

picture storybook
A short book containing one or more simple narratives accompanied by illustrations coordinated with the text, intended for children of at least third-grade reading level. Compare with picture book and storybook.

A fragment or portion of a document in any format that has become detached from the whole by cutting, tearing, breaking, or some other physical means, accidental or intentional, or as a result of normal wear and tear. Compare with part.

In archives, the most basic unit of description and arrangement that can be retrieved from a repository as a separate and distinct entity under its own reference, regardless of format. If a file of documents is described as a single unit, a document within that file would not be considered a piece; however, a single document once part of a file, such as a letter or memorandum, might be a piece, provided the file as a whole is not made a unit of description.

Synonymous in music with a single composition.

pie chart
A graphical representation of statistical data in the form of a circle divided into pie-shaped slices, the relative size of each piece indicating percentage of the whole, a technique used in reports to show the relative proportions of budget allocations, funding by source, etc. (see this example)

pierced vellum
A style of bookbinding, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, in which a design (often elaborate) is cut like a stencil into an outer covering of vellum, allowing an underlying layer, usually of colored leather or fabric, to show through. Click here to see a 16th-century Dutch example and here to see a modern example, both in limp vellum. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

Pierpont Morgan Library
See: Morgan Library, The.

The coloring matter in paint, usually an insoluble powder mixed with water or oil. The pigments used in medieval manuscript painting were mineral, vegetable, and animal extracts, usually pulverized or soaked out, then mixed with a binding medium such as glair (clarified egg white). Other ingredients (gum arabic, honey, chalk or eggshell) might be added to alter color, texture, and opacity. Some pigments were obtained locally (turnsole); others, such as lapis lazuli, had to be imported from distant locations and were therefore expensive. During the early Middles Ages, monastic scribes and illuminators prepared their own pigments, but as manuscript production became more commercialized, prepared ingredients could be purchased from an apothecary or stationer. Some of the pigments used in medieval manuscripts have undergone chemical changes, for example, red lead oxidizes to silver-black and verdigris green made from copper may corrode the painting surface over time. To learn more about the use of pigments in medieval manuscript production see the Medieval Manuscript Manual.

A tough covering material made from the skin of a pig, used for its strength and durability, especially in binding large, heavy books. The grain of pigskin can be distinguished from morocco by small punctures in groups of three where the bristles were once attached, interconnected by a distinctive crisscross pattern. Popular in Germany from the mid-16th to mid-17th century, pigskin was usually alum-tawed, a process that turned it a whitish color. Click here to see a 15th-century blind-tooled binding in tawed pigskin (Cornell University Library) and here to see an example of the same period with the names of the owner and bookbinder on the cover (Royal Library of Denmark). To see other examples, try a search on the keyword "pigskin" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings. Click here to learn more about pigskin bindings, courtesy of the Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami, FL.

See: personally identifiable information.

A small-scale experimental study conducted in advance of a full-scale research project to test an initial hypothesis, research design, or methodology or to determine whether a large-scale study is necessary. Also, a preliminary test or prototype of a system, program, or solution, designed to determine the feasibility of implementation on a wider scale. See also: television pilot.

Also refers to a collection of written nautical directions assembled to meet the requirements of navigation in specific coastal or intracoastal waters, containing information that is difficult to convey on nautical charts. Click here to browse current and historical coast pilots available online from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). See also: portolan.

An acronym for personal identification number, a code used in automated systems to identify authorized users. Whether the PIN is created by or issued to the user depends on the policy governing access to the system. The practice originated in the banking industry and is used in some libraries and library systems to verify that a patron is registered to use electronic resources restricted by licensing agreement, and other services to which the library prefers to restrict access.

pinhole camera photograph
A photographic image taken with a very simple camera consisting of a light-proof box with a small hole in one side and no lens (example). Light from a scene passes through the aperture and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box, exposing photographic film or activating a charge-coupled device (CCD). See this early example.

pinyin (PY)
A system of writing the Chinese language in the roman alphabet, used by the news media, the U.S. government, and throughout the world. In 1997, the Library of Congress announced its intention to begin converting bibliographic records created in the older Wade-Giles (WG) system to the new pinyin standard for romanizing Chinese, a decision that will affect millions of authority records and is expected to facilitate the international exchange of bibliographic data. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Library of Congress Pinyin Conversion Project.

See: Public Information Office.

pipe roll
A roll of parchment used to record the annual audit at exchequer of the king's revenues and expenses. Of interest primarily to historians, the pipe rolls are the oldest and longest series of public records in England, continuing without significant interruption from 1156 to 1832. Click here to see an example of a 12th-century pipe roll.

See: copyright piracy and pirated edition.

pirated edition
An edition issued in violation of existing copyright law, without permission of the author or copyright holder, usually outside the country in which it was originally published to avoid the legal consequences of infringement. Compare with authorized edition and unauthorized edition.

A neologism coined from the term "picture element," any one of the tiny dots of uniform illumination that in the aggregate comprise the image on a television screen or computer monitor. Pixels may be binary (black and white) or multivalued to display colors or gradations of a gray scale. A pixel on a color screen is a combination of three dots--blue, green, and red--called subpixels. To see the pixels on a computer monitor, wipe the surface of the screen with a clean, damp cloth or tissue. In a pixilated image, the individual pixels can be seen with the unaided eye, usually because the image has been over-enlarged (see this example). Synonymous with pel. See also: bitmap.

A technique of stop-action film animation in which live subjects are shot frame-by-frame in a series of incrementally varied fixed poses, producing an unnatural or surreal effect when played back at normal speed. Examples can be seen in YouTube.

See: personal librarian and public library.

See: Public Library Association.

See: poster.

place index
See: geographic index.

The finding of suitable employment for trained librarians, especially first-time professional employment for recent LIS graduates. Some library schools in the United States offer career guidance and counseling; others do not. Statistical information on placements of new LIS graduates is reported annually in Library and Book Trade Almanac. The results of Library Journal's annual Placements and Salaries Survey are usually published its mid-October issue.

place name
See: geographic name.

place name index
An alphabetically arranged list of all the geographic names used in a book or other text, giving the page number(s) on which each name appears. On maps and in atlases, the location of each place name may be indicated by grid coordinates. Also used synonymously with gazetteer.

place of publication
The geographic location in which an edition of a work is issued, usually given on the title page of a book as the city (or city and state) and sometimes more completely on the verso. In library cataloging, place of publication is one of the elements recorded in the publication, distribution, etc., area of the bibliographic description.

place subdivision
See: geographic subdivision.

From the Latin plagiarius, meaning "kidnapper." Copying or closely imitating the work of another writer, composer, etc., without permission and with the intention of passing the results off as original work. In publishing, copyright law makes literary theft a criminal offense. At most colleges and universities, plagiarism is considered a moral and ethical issue, and instructors impose penalties on students who engage in it. Plagiarism can be avoided by expressing a thought, idea, or concept in one's own words. When it is necessary to paraphrase closely, the source should be documented in a footnote or endnote, in the same manner as a direct quotation.

The use of the Internet to appropriate the ideas or expressions of another has been dubbed cyberplagiarism. The cut-and-paste capability of most word processing and Web browser software has facilitated plagiarism. Submission of an essay or term paper purchased prewritten from an online paper mill is one of the most flagrant forms of plagiarism. Astute instructors keep abreast of the latest techniques for detecting this and other forms of cheating. For more information, see Sharon Stoerger's Web site Plagiarism. Compare with forgery.

plagiarism detection software
A computer program designed to check uploaded student essays and research papers against various databases for the purpose of identifying unoriginal content. An example popular with instructors is Turnitin, provided by iParadigms, which also offers WriteCheck, a tool similar to a spell checker that allows students to scan their written work for plagiarism before turning it in. According to Marc Parry, writing in the November 11, 2011 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, plagiarism has become so common that, "Some colleges even mandate that all written assignments be subjected to a digital pat-down." Synonymous with antiplagiarism program.

Work offered as original that has, in fact, been copied (plagiarized) from another source, usually without permission.

plain binding
A bookbinding made of ordinary materials, often in a neutral color, with little or no adornment, generally produced by a job binder (see this example). See also: law calf.

plain text
Text that can be read by most text editors and word processing software because it has not been encrypted and does not include formatting for style and page layout or content definition, for example, files in ASCII code. Synonymous with vanilla text. The opposite of rich text. Compare with plaintext.

In the context of cryptography, information (typically human-readable) that can be read without decryption, i.e., information to be used as input to an encryption algorithm or that has been decoded from ciphertext. Click here to learn more about plaintext in Wikipedia. Compare with plain text.

A large-scale (1:5,000 or larger) detailed map of a relatively small area, such as a university campus, small park, garden, battlefield, or site on which a building or complex of buildings stands, showing relative positions on a horizontal plane parallel to the picture plane and features drawn to scale with little generalization. Click here to see a detail of a computer-generated version of Pierre Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the capital of the United States and here is one of 25 hand-colored photographic plans for the reconstruction of Berlin prepared by Albert Speer during the 1930s (Library of Congress). Click here to explore a Hampstead Garden Suburb Plan (British Library). An architectural plan shows the internal arrangement of a building, or room in a building, rather than its site (see this example). See also: floor plan.

A large piece of furniture, usually in wood or metal, with shallow drawers, wide and deep for flat storage of large plans, charts, or artwork (see this example). Also spelled plan chest.

See: planetary model.

planetary model
A three-dimensional model of the solar system on any scale, showing the orbits of the planets around the sun and of the moons around the planets. In AACR2, planetary models are cataloged as cartographic materials. Click here to see a selection of historic planetary models, courtesy of the George Glazer Gallery. Synonymous with planetarium (plural: planetaria).

planimetric map
A map on any scale showing only the relationships of surface features (locations and distances) on a horizontal plane, with no indication of vertical relief. Road maps are usually planimetric. Click here to see a planimetric map of Africa, courtesy of the University of Florida (to enlarge click on lower right-hand corner of image) and here to see one of the world as it may have looked 300 million years ago. Compare with topographic map.

The projection of all or part of a sphere onto a plane surface, especially a map representing the entire surface of the earth or another celestial body, without division into hemispheres. See this 19th-century example using the Mercator projection (George Glazer Gallery). Also refers to a circular chart representing a polar projection of half or more of the celestial sphere, with or without an adjustable overlay enabling the viewer to display the constellations visible at a specific time and place. Click here to see two 19th-century examples, courtesy of Kenyon College, and here to see planispheres currently available for amateur astronomers. Compare with double hemisphere map.

planned giving
A charitable gift, usually made to an institution or organization, based on the long-range development of relationships that result in the individual's decision to plan for the disposition of his or her assets in a manner that expresses values held during his or her lifetime. The plan can take the form of a bequest through a will or revocable living trust, a life income plan, or the gift of property, life insurance, securities, or other assets. Legal advice is usually required to ensure compliance with applicable laws, including tax laws. Some libraries include a planned giving program in their fundraising activities (click here and here to see examples). Other examples can be found by executing a keywords search on the phrase "planned giving and library" in Google. To learn more about planned giving programs in libraries, see the article "Gifts That Speak Volumes" by William R. Gordon in the January 2006 issue of American Libraries.

A printing process in which the image is on the same plane as the rest of the plate, as in lithography, in contrast to a process in which the design is raised in relief or cut into a hard surface (intaglio).

A thin, decorative tablet, usually made of hand-carved ivory or fine enamel or metalwork, set into or onto one of the boards of a medieval manuscript book (usually the upper board) to function as an applied cover. The original purpose of examples that have survived the bindings for which they were made can be inferred from tiny holes in the corners and along the edges through which they were securely nailed to the boards. Click here to see a 9th-century plaque in ivory and here to see a similar example attached to a jeweled binding (Metropolitan Museum of Art). See also this 12th-century example in metalwork (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig V 2).

From the French word for a small, thin plate or slab. A small circular or oval tablet with a design in relief cast in bronze or lead from a wax mold, originally used during the Renaissance to decorate boxes and other personal items. According to Geoffrey Glaister, writing in the Encyclopedia of the Book (Oak Knoll/British Library, 1996), metal dies for casting plaquettes were sometimes used in Italian bookbinding of the 16th century to stamp designs in relief on leather bindings, which were subsequently hand-painted. See also: cameo binding.

A diagram drawn to scale showing the boundaries, subdivisions, and other data, established by survey, that are necessary to correctly identify and describe the units of which a relatively small tract of land is comprised. A plat often includes one or more certificates indicating official approval and may omit natural and cultural features normally depicted on a map, which are not essential to its legal purpose. Click here to see a manuscript plat prepared by George Washington in 1766 of lands he purchased adjacent to his plantation of Mount Vernon (courtesy of the Library of Congress) and here to see a 1920 plat map of the town of Auburn, Wisconsin. Because plat maps can be useful to genealogists, historical societies sometimes provide online access to them (see this example). See also: cadastral map.

Illustrative matter in a book or other publication, usually printed with or without explanatory text on a leaf of different quality paper than the main text, with the reverse side often blank or bearing a descriptive legend. Plates are usually inserted in the sections after gathering, either distributed throughout the text or in one or more groups. A tissued plate is separated from the facing page by a loose sheet of interleaved tissue paper, usually to prevent offset or rubbing. Click here to see an example from the 19th-century serial publication Godey's Lady's Book and here to see a selection of 19th- and early 20th-century fashion plates in the Digital Collections of the University of Washington Libraries. Engraved examples can be seen in Agostino Ramelli's Le diverse et artificiose machine (Paris: 1588), courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Because they are not integral to the gathering, plates are excluded from the pagination; however, they are usually numbered in roman or arabic numerals and listed in order of appearance in a separate part of the front matter. In the bibliographic record created to represent an item in the library catalog, the number of leaves or pages of plates is indicated in the physical description area, following extent of text. Compare with cut. See also: color plate, double plate, monochrome plate, and plate number.

Originally, a flat piece of wood or a sheet of metal used to print, emboss, or engrave a design, illustration, or image on paper, vellum, or some other printing surface. In modern printing, photomechanical plates are used to print both text and illustrations. See also: plate mark.

In photography, a rigid, comparatively thick support for the layer of photosensitive material (emulsion) bearing the image. Glass is used for its flatness and where dimensional stability is essential. In the tintype, a thin metal sheet, usually of iron, was used to support the emulsion. Compare with film.

plate mark
An indentation marking the boundaries of an intaglio print or old map, made by the edges of the metal plate as it is forced against the paper in the press. The surface of the paper to which pressure is applied is depressed and smoother than the margins outside the print line (click here and here to see examples). Faint traces of ink may appear along the plate line if the plate is not cleaned thoroughly before printing. Some prints have been trimmed to the plate mark. Also spelled platemark.

plate number
One of the numbers assigned sequentially to illustrations printed separately from the text in a book, pamphlet, periodical, or other publication, appearing on the same page as the plate, sometimes followed by a caption. In a book, the plates are often listed by number in the front matter to facilitate reference.

Also, a designation assigned to an item of music by the publisher, consisting of an abbreviation, initials, or words identifying the publisher, sometimes followed by a number corresponding to the number of pages or plates, usually printed at the foot of each page and sometimes on the title page (AACR2). In music cataloging, plate number is recorded in the note area of the bibliographic description (example: Pl. no.: B. & H. 8797-8806). Compare with publisher's number.

Originally referred to a specific type of computer hardware architecture, but the term now includes both the hardware and operating system installed on the CPU, usually for a model or entire family of computers (examples: Windows, Macintosh, UNIX). The term cross-platform is used in reference to devices, application programs, and data formats designed to function on more than one type of computer system.

platinum print
A photograph printed on paper treated with iron (ferric) salts that are dissolved out in developing and replaced with platinum. Patented and introduced in 1873 under the name Platinotype by the Englishman William Willis, the process was popular through the 1920s until the price of platinum rose so high that it became too expensive for commercial photography. Platinum prints are valued for their wide range of delicate gray tones and their resistance to fading (permanence). The process has recently been revived in fine art photography and for "keepsake" commercial photographs, such as wedding portraits. Click here to see a selection of platinum prints (Getty Museum) and here to see examples from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Synonymous with platinotype. Compare with Kallitype.

A slang expression for phonograph record, derived from its disc shape.

A literary work in prose or verse that presents a narrative in words and action, intended for live performance on a stage by a cast of players. In the earliest known dramas, performed at religious festivals in ancient Greece, a clear distinction was maintained between comedy and tragedy. Plays are written for adults or children by a playwright, usually in one or more major divisions called acts. When published in collections, they are indexed by author, title, subject, and dramatic style in Play Index, published by H.W. Wilson. Compare with screenplay. See also: acting edition, closet drama, masque, melodrama, miracle play, morality play, mystery play, one-act play, passion play, puppet play, radio play, script, teleplay, thesis play, and Tony Awards.

In publishing, the emphasis or attention given a news story or article by virtue of its position in the publication (front or back), placement on the page (top or bottom), or typographical treatment (played up or played down). Also, to operate any device designed to receive broadcast signals (radio or television) or reproduce sound recorded on any medium (phonograph record, audiotape, compact disc, videotape, etc.). See also: playback.

The brand name of a solid-state prerecorded digital audio player introduced in 2005 by Findaway World, a company based in Solon, Ohio. Slightly smaller than a deck of playing cards and encased in durable lightweight plastic, the self-contained battery-operated player can store up to 80 hours of audio. Preloaded by the manufacturer, the content cannot be altered or copied by end users. Output to earphones or external amplifier is provided by a 3.5 mm stereo jack. The format is used for audiobooks in school and public libraries. Findaway World has also introduced the Playaway View preloaded digital video player, designed for children's content. Click here to learn more about Playaway for libraries.

Any recording heard or viewed as soon as it is produced, usually to enable the performers, producers, etc., to evaluate its quality and select the version to be used for manufacture and distribution. In a more general sense, the reproduction of sounds and/or images from the medium on which they are recorded (phonograph record, audiotape, compact disc, videotape, DVD, etc.). A playback device is capable of reproducing audio and/or video but is not designed for recording.

A printed poster or circular advertising the performance of a play, usually indicating the names of the actors and actresses cast in the leading roles. Also, a program for a play or other theatrical entertainment, printed on a single sheet. Click here to view examples, courtesy of the Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. The National Library of Scotland provides a searchable database of Playbills from Edinburgh's Theatre Royal.

playing cards
Small cards, printed or made by hand in sets of a designated number, marked for use in playing games of chance or skill or in fortune-telling or for educational purposes. Modern playing cards are probably a Chinese invention, introduced into Europe in the 14th century via the Islamic world (see this example). As ephemera, playing cards are collected by libraries for their historical or aesthetic value. Click here and here to see a complete set for a 19th-century game of authors (Cornell University Library) and here to learn more about playing cards.

playing speed
In sound recording, the speed at which the carrier of a message recorded in a specific medium must be operated to reproduce the sound intended by the manufacturer, for example, 33 1/3 rpm for a long-playing phonograph record, or 1 7/8 ips for an analog audiocassette. Compare with projection speed.

playing time
The duration of a nonprint media item requiring equipment for playback (sound recording, motion picture, videorecording, etc.), usually given in minutes on the label, jacket, and/or insert. Also, the length of a particular track on an audiorecording, given in minutes and seconds. In library cataloging, playing time is given in parentheses under extent of item in the physical description area of the bibliographic record, as stated on the item, for example, 2 film cassettes (25 min. each) : sd., col.. If not readily ascertainable, an approximate length is given.

The author of a dramatic work written to be read (closet drama) or performed live on the stage, whose name is entered in the statement of responsibility area of the bibliographic description of an edition of the work. The best-known example is William Shakespeare, whose plays are still performed and adapted around the world, 400 years after he wrote them. Click here to connect to the Yahoo! list of playwrights. Synonymous with dramatist. Compare with screenwriter. See also: director and performer.

See: Public Library Geographic Database.

See: Public Libraries International Network.

The organization of incidents or episodes in a narrative work (novel, short story, play, motion picture) in a sequence that unfolds to the reader or viewer the relationship between character and events. Most literary plots present a struggle between opposing forces leading to a conclusion, or denouement, in which the author employs an element of suspense to heighten dramatic effect. Complicated plots may include one or more subplots. To encourage patrons to read the original work, libraries do not as a rule purchase resources that provide synopses or plot summaries of literary works. See also: character and setting.

plot summary
A concise account of the sequence of events or incidents in a fairly long narrative work (novel, play, epic poem, etc.). Most academic libraries do not, as a matter of policy, select series such as Cliff Notes and Masterplots, which provide plot summaries of literary works, because they are too easily used by students to avoid reading assignments. Synonymous with synopsis.

See: Public Lending Right.

See: Public Land Survey System.

To attempt to boost sales and readership of a book by praising its strengths and ignoring or downplaying its weaknesses. Such an endorsement may be unsolicited by the author or publisher. See also: puff.

In the book trade, a disused slang term for a new book that does not sell.

An easy-to-install supplementary program or module designed to extend the capability of a major software package, usually by adding a new feature, for example, an application added to a Web browser enabling it to support nontextual content (graphics, animation, audio, video, etc.). Also spelled plugin.

Precursor to the graphite pencil, plummet was a piece of lead alloy, sometimes mounted in a holder, used from the 11th for ruling and writing annotations in manuscripts and for underdrawing. Before plummet, medieval scribes and illuminators used hard point and metal point. Synonymous with lead point.

A single thickness or layer of paper or fiber laminated or pressed together to build up heavier sheets, as in certain types of board. Thickness is normally indicated by the number of layers (2-ply, 3-ply, etc.). Also refers to one of the twisted strands that make up the sewing thread used in bookbinding.

See: PubMed Central.

The five main facets in S.R. Ranganathan's Colon Classification: personality, matter, energy, space, and time (see faceted classification).

The unique numeric identifier assigned to the bibliographic record representing a source document when the record is entered into the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database. Click here to see an example at the bottom of a sample record from PubMed.

An abbreviation of portable media player. A hand-held electronic device designed to store and playback digital media (audio, images, and video). A color LCD or OLED screen is used for display. Screen size varies up to a maximum of seven inches, with resolutions up to WVGA. Data is typically stored on a hard drive, microdrive, or flash memory. Most PMPs are compatible with the MP3 audio format and support JPEG format for image display. Some players, are capable of displaying additional image file formats, such as GIF, PNG, and TIFF. Most newer PMPs support the MPEG-4 video format, and software may be included to convert video files into a compatible format. One of the most successful PMPs has been Apple's iPod. Because of their playback capabilities, other types of electronic devices, such as cell phones, are sometimes considered PMPs.

From the French word meaning "stencil." A method of hand illustration used primarily in deluxe editions in which color is applied by dabbing watercolor, ink, or paint through a sheet of paper, metal, or celluloid into which a design has been cut, producing an uneven hand-crafted effect not obtainable when color printing is done under pressure or when ink is drawn across a stencil, as in screen printing. The same technique can be used to add color to a preprinted design. Click here and here to see examples of early 20th-century illustration in pochoir (Metropolitan Museum of Art), or see Vibrant Visions: Pochor Prints in the Cooper-Hewitt/National Design Museum Library, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

A receptacle for loose parts (supplements, maps, music parts, etc.) made from a piece of stiff paper or fabric pasted inside the front or back cover of a book. See also: book pocket.

pocket atlas
A book of printed maps small enough to fit into the pocket of a jacket, usually intended for travelers. The maps generally depict a geographic region, although pocket atlases of human anatomy are published for medical practitioners. Early pocket atlases sometimes contained maps that folded out, for example, Mathew Carey's American Pocket Atlas, first published in Philadelphia in 1796. Click here to see an early example, courtesy of the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine. Mini-atlas software is available for pocket computers.

pocket bible
A portable bible of small size, written in condensed script or printed in small type, used mainly for home study. Click here to see a late 15th-century Latin example (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

pocket computer
See: personal digital assistant.

pocket dictionary
A dictionary of the words of a language published in inexpensive paperback edition. Most contain no more than 30,000 to 55,000 words and are small enough to be carried conveniently in a pocket. Some include a thesaurus (example: The Pocket Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus). Foreign language dictionaries are often published in small format for the convenience of students and travelers. To find examples, try a keywords search on "pocket dictionary" in Amazon.com. Compare with desk dictionary.

pocket edition
A small, inexpensive portable octavo edition, usually no larger than 6 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches in size, called a paperback when bound in paper covers (see this example).

pocket part
A separately published supplement bound in limp or paper covers for insertion in a pocket inside the front or back cover of a previously published book. Pocket parts are used mainly to update law books and other reference works (see this example). Also refers to separately printed material, such as a map or music score, or to nonprint material (usually a floppy disk or CD-ROM), inserted in a pocket inside the cover of a book by the publisher. In library cataloging, the presence of a pocket part is indicated in the physical description area of the bibliographic record.

pocket volume
A binder's term for a book that has a cover made with an inside pocket to hold one or more unbound pocket parts, such as a printed supplement, map, CD-ROM, etc.

See: print on demand.

A digital media file (audio or video) syndicated over the Internet via an RSS feed. The author or host of a podcast is known as a podcaster. Once available online, podcasts can be downloaded for listening on portable media devices (MP3 players, pocket CDs, cell phones) and personal computers. Despite the similarity in name, listening to or watching a podcast does not require an iPod, although the device can be used for that purpose. Online directories of podcasts are usually browsable by subject and searchable by keyword(s) (example: Podcast Alley).

poetic license
In poetry, the liberty granted a writer to manipulate conventional word order, rhyme, diction, etc., within the limits of poetic form, to achieve a desired effect. In fiction, the freedom of a writer to alter historical fact or logic in the interest of producing a more interesting or compelling narrative, for example, Shakespeare's use of the Holinshed account of the murder by Donwald of an earlier King Duff as source material for the murder of Duncan in his play Macbeth.

poet laureate
Literally, a poet "crowned with laurel." An honorific title and stipend, usually bestowed by a university or head of state on an eminent poet who is expected to compose poems commemorating dates and occasions of national importance and is called upon to read or recite from his or her own works, and from the works of other poets, on special occasions.

Poet laureates were originally appointed for life as officers of the royal household in England, where they were expected to compose poems for state occasions, but the post is now conferred mainly as a mark of distinction. In the United States, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and receives a stipend. Wikipedia provides a list of British poet laureates.

A spoken or written work consciously created in metrical form by a speaker or writer who has a gift for imaginative and symbolic use of language. Also, the art of metrical composition, intended to express sublime thought and emotion and give aesthetic pleasure through the ingenious combination of well-chosen words and rhythmic phrases (sound and sense). Poetry is classified by form (ballad, eclogue, elegy, epic, idyl, idyll, lai, limerick, lyric, ode, sonnet, etc.) and often published in anthology. Poems in collections are indexed by first line, last line, and title in The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies. Click here to connect to the Poetry & Literature Center at the Library of Congress. Compare with prose. See also: commendatory verse, concrete poem, and poet laureate.

In printing, a unit of measurement created in 1737 by the French typographer Pierre Fournier, revised by Firmin-Didot in 1770, and formalized in the United States in the 1870s for indicating the body size (height and width) of type and other elements used in typography (rules, borders, etc.). One point equals approximately 1/72 or 0.013837 of an inch and 1 inch equals 72.25433 points. Before the point system was developed, descriptive terms were used for the various type sizes: nonpareil (6-point), brevier (8-point), pica (12-point), etc. Also, a unit for measuring the thickness of paper and board, one point equal to one-thousandth (1/1000) of an inch.

In historical bibliography and antiquarian book trade, a specific characteristic or peculiarity of printing or binding (usually a minor defect or error) by which copies of a first edition can be distinguished or priority of issue established within an edition that has undergone multiple printings. See also: fingerprint.

In cartography, a zero-dimensional abstraction represented by a single x, y or x, y, z coordinate, used on a map or chart to represent a geographic feature too small to be displayed as a line or area, for example, the location of a building on a map of a city or of a city on a small-scale map of a state or country. Point symbols are also used to represent abstract features that lack areal extent, for example, the epicenter of an earthquake.

From the French verb pointiller, meaning "to mark with dots." In hand bookbinding, a style of decorative tooling used in leather-bound deluxe editions, characterized by delicate scrollwork in which the lines are not solid but composed of tiny, closely spaced dots, usually highlighted in gold. Click here to see an 17th-century French example (British Library) and here to view a 19th-century Scottish example (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, Mu30-b.11,12). The Morgan Library provides this late-19th-century example by Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson for William Morris. To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

point of access
See: access point.

point of service
See: service point.

point-of-use instruction
An explanation of how to use a specific resource or research tool (catalog, printed index, abstracting service, bibliographic database, etc.), provided to a library user orally, online, or in print at the time and place assistance is needed, usually by a public services librarian or other trained expert. See also: help screen.

A sturdily made leather satchel or case used by monks, scribes, and other literate persons of the medieval period for transporting manuscript books. Most were plain, but examples custom-made for persons of wealth or prominence sometimes bore an insignia or other distinctive design stamped in relief. See also: girdle book.

The relationship of the colors or tones of a photographic image to those of the actual object or scene captured on film--positive if the image reflects the original, negative if the colors/tones are reversed. A bibliographic item composed of more than one photographic image may have mixed polarity. The term is also used in reprography to describe the reversal of tones from positive to negative, or vice versa.

An instant film invented by physicist and engineer Edwin Herbert Land (1909-1991), founder of the Polaroid Corporation, that allows a developing positive print to be removed from a specially-designed camera within a few seconds of snapping the shot. The first instant camera was sold to the public in November 1948, but the technology did not become commercially successful until the development of the automatic Land camera in 1965. In 1976, Polaroid filed suit against Kodak for infringing patents related to instant photography, winning its case in 1985. Professional photographers often use Polaroids to frame pictures before starting to shoot with 35mm film. Click here to see a selection of Polaroid images by Andy Warhol (Getty Museum). Click here and here to learn more about how instant film and instant cameras work, courtesy of HowStuffWorks. See also: snapshot.

An argument or debate, usually on a controversial subject. Also refers to a person inclined to argument or debate. A skilled debater or writer of polemical works is a polemicist. The art or practice of disputation is called polemics.

political cartoon
A drawing that presents a particular viewpoint on a contemporary political issue, event, situation, public figure, or institution, often employing satire or caricature and a generally understood vocabulary of visual symbols to make the desired point (see examples by Herblock, courtesy of the Library of Congress). Political cartoons are usually published on the editorial page or op/ed page of a newspaper. Political cartoonists may be syndicated. For more examples, see Dr. Seuss Went to War, courtesy of Mandeville Special Collections at UC San Diego.

political correctness (PC)
A term that came into widespread use in the early 1990s to describe the influence of liberal political views on American culture, particularly speech and other forms of social behavior, for example, the replacement of the title "chairman" with "chairperson" to avoid the appearance of gender discrimination (this particular problem has not arisen in the library profession because the term "librarian" is gender-neutral). In literary studies, the debate centered around whether to abolish the traditional canon, dominated by works written primarily by males of European descent. Some universities sidestepped this dilemma by making the debate over political correctness part of the curriculum.

political map
A map showing the political boundaries of nations and states, administrative divisions within a nation or state, political affiliations (formal or informal) of people living within a given geographic area, official names of capital cities, voting districts, etc., either current or historical. Click here to see a political map of free and slave states in the United States following the Missouri Compromise. The CIA World Factbook provides current political maps of the world and its regions, with an index of political maps of individual countries, as does Atlapedia. Click here to see a map of territorial claims to Antarctica (2002), courtesy of the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

political name
The legally designated name of a geographic feature, location, area, or public entity, which may change as governments change (example: St. Petersburg to Petrograd to Leningrad to St. Petersburg). Compare with geographic name.

political poster
A large single sheet of heavy paper or cardboard, usually printed on one side only in text and/or graphics, to convey a message about a political or social issue or event. The category includes campaign posters (see this example), propaganda posters (example), and protest posters (example).

Statistical data produced by surveying selected individuals on their opinions concerning an issue or event, usually reported by the institution that conducted or commissioned the survey, for example, the annual Gallup Poll of American public opinion, available in the reference section of large public and academic libraries. Sampling methods can influence results.

A clear, flexible plastic used as a non-organic base for photographic film, for encapsulation, and to protect book covers. Polyester is chemically stable, has high tensile strength, and is very resistant to moisture and other chemicals. Brand names are Mylar and Melinex.

Kodak began selling safety film made with a polyester base in the mid-1950s. It is the toughest film base in use today and more chemically stable than acetate film. Because of its tensile strength, it can be made thinner than most other motion picture stock and is less susceptible to damage caused by careless handling. Most new 35mm release prints shown in American cinema theaters are made on polyester base because it outlasts other types of film; however, currently available film cements cannot be used on polyester--splices must be made with tape or by an ultrasonic process.

A chemically stable, somewhat flexible, translucent waxy plastic with a low melting point, used in conservation to protect brittle paper because it is resistant to acid. Also used as a coating in papermaking to provide finish and add strength. Less expensive than polyester. Nonbiodegradable.

A book or series of books containing the same text in several languages, sometimes arranged in parallel columns across facing pages. Click here to see a page of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible printed in Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Syrian, and Latin (Vulgate) in 1569-1573 by Christopher Plantin and here to see the opening page of the Gospel according to St. Luke in the same edition (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). See also: parallel title and polyglot dictionary.

polyglot dictionary
A list of the words of a language with a translation of each word into two or more other languages (example: The Multilingual Dictionary of Printing and Publishing edited by Alan Isaacs). Polyglot dictionaries are usually shelved in the reference section of a library. Compare with language dictionary.

A mechanical device for copying handwritten documents and drawings, invented by English-born John Isaac Hawkins and patented in the United States in 1803 by Hawkins and Charles Wilson Peale. The device enabled the writer to simultaneously move one or more connected, spring-mounted pens parallel with the one held in the writer's hand, producing a duplicate copy or copies virtually identical to the original (see this example). Thomas Jefferson owned several versions of the machine, which he used to make copies of his voluminous correspondence (click here to see one of his polygraphs, now at Monticello, and here to learn about his collaboration in improvement of the device). Because of its inherent instability and constant need of adjustment and repair, the polygraph was never widely used in business.

A stiff, hard, heat-resistant, chemically stable plastic that can be extruded and cast. It has better clarity than polyethylene and less static charge than polyester. Polypropylene self-adhesive protective book covers can be ordered from library suppliers, preshaped, with peel-off paper backing. Also used as an additive in papermaking. Nonbiodegradable.

A visual work (painting, print, photograph, or sculpture) consisting of four or more panels or sections, often hinged or folded together, intended to be viewed as a single unit (see this 14th-century example in ivory, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum). To see other examples, try a keywords search on the term "polyptych" in Google Images. A triptych has three such panels and a diptych two.

Having multiple meanings, some of which may overlap. By way of example, the Oxford English Dictionary gives 14 definitions of the word "power." In cataloging and indexing, a parenthetical qualifier is usually added to a polysemic subject heading or descriptor for semantic clarification, as in the Library of Congress subject headings Power (Electronics) and Power (Social sciences). See also: homograph.

A strong synthetic adhesive, combining the best properties of rubber and plastic, used in binding heavy reference books because it allows the text block to open flat.

polyvinyl acetate (PVA)
A transparent, water-based chemical adhesive used in bookbinding to produce a very strong bond. Applied cold, it is allowed to dry naturally for maximum strength and flexibility. PVA is not as strong as hot-melt adhesive, but it is more flexible, longer lasting, and more resistant to cold-crack. For these reasons, it is used in Otabind binding.

polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
A form of plastic that has high chemical resistance but is not chemically stable. Because it emits hydrochloric acid as it ages, PVC has very limited application in the preservation of documents made of paper. The volatile plasticizers that make it flexible are hazardous to humans. Nonbiodegradable. Beginning in the 1950s, phonographs records were manufactured from polyvinyl chloride, usually black in color. Abbreviated vinyl. Compare with polyester.

A liturgical book containing the order of service for episcopal offices, sacraments administered only by popes and bishops (ordination, confirmation, dedication of churches and altars, consecration of liturgical objects, etc.). Pontificals sometimes include illustrations of the equipment used in performing the ceremonies. Click here to view a page from a 15th-century Italian example in the online exhibition Celebrating the Liturgy's Books and here to read about the Bangor Pontifical Project (Bangor Cathedral, North Wales).

poor man's copyright (PMC)
A means of avoiding payment of the copyright registration fee by mailing a copy of the original work to oneself, in the belief that the sealed and unopened package provides proof that the work existed on the date of the postmark; however, it is easy to pre-send envelopes which can be used later by placing materials inside. A notary public can also be used to establish that material has been in one's possession since a particular date. Both of these methods provide significantly less legal protection than official registration with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Post Office Protocol, an application-layer Internet protocol that allows e-mail clients to retrieve mail messages from a remote server over a TCP/IP connection. End-users with an intermittent connection typically connect to the remote server, retrieve all incoming messages, store them as new messages on their own PC, delete them from the server, and then disconnect. POP operates in conjunction with the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), which provides the message transport services required to move electronic mail from one computer system to another.

popular edition
An edition of a book printed on poorer-quality paper than the trade edition, sometimes without illustrations and in a less sturdy cloth or softcover binding, usually sold at a lower price. Some book club editions fall into this category.

popular fiction
Serious works of narrative fiction widely read when first published and superior in quality to pulp fiction but not as enduring as literary fiction (example: the novels of Jeffrey Archer). See also: bestseller.

popular name
A shortened or simplified form of the official name by which a company, government agency, or other corporate entity is known (example: "The Fed" for Federal Reserve Board).

popular press
A publishing house or imprint that issues publications for the mass market, sold at newsstands and in supermarkets and chain stores (examples: Avon, Dell, Pocket Books, Warner Books). Compare with trade publisher. See also: mass-market paperback.

A window that appears on top of the browser window when a computer user logs on to a Web site or selects an option displayed on it, usually covering a portion of the screen. Some Web sites burden the viewer with multiple pop-ups containing advertising. Spyware can also be used to deliver unsolicited pop-up advertising. Pop-ups are obtrusive because they block from view material displayed in the browser window, requiring the user to either select an option or close the pop-up window to see underlying content. Also spelled popup.

pop-up book
A type of novelty children's book, manufactured as early as the 19th century, containing cut-out illustrations ingeniously designed to spring up in three dimensions from the surface of the page when the book is opened or a tab is pulled, and to fold back down when the page is turned or the tab is pushed in. Because they require special assembly, pop-up books are usually more expensive than standard children's picture books. Most libraries do not, as a matter of policy, select them for circulation because the movable parts are easily damaged. Click here to see a 19th-century pop-up version of Little Red Riding Hood (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and here to view an online exhibit of pop-up and movable books (University of North Texas Libraries). See also The POP-UP World of Ann Montanaro (Rutgers University Libraries). Synonymous with stand-up book.

From the ancient Greek porne and graphos, meaning "writing about prostitutes." Works of no artistic value, depicting sexuality with the conscious intent to arouse sexual desire. The qualifiers soft core and hard core are often added to indicate degree of licentiousness. Ownership of print collections is generally limited to private individuals and the special collections of large libraries. Proliferation of pornographic Web sites has been a major impetus for advocates of Internet filtering. Wikipedia provides a list of pornography laws by region. In the antiquarian and used book trade, pornographic works are often listed in catalogs under curiosa, erotica, or facetiae. Abbreviated porn. Compare with obscenity. See also: banned book, censorship, cyberporn, and expurgated.

A physical connection on a computer or network device, usually in the form of a socket, that allows data to be received from and transmitted to an external device. The number of available ports may determine the number of simultaneous users who may access a system such as an online catalog or bibliographic database. Most libraries reserve a fixed number of ports for local use. Any remaining ports are made available for remote access.

The capacity of an operating system, programming language, or application program to operate independently of a specific hardware platform, usually achieved by designing a different version for each platform or by building in mechanisms for switching between platforms or converting from one type of machine to another.

Portable Document Format (PDF)
The format used for page description in the Adobe Acrobat document exchange program. In Acrobat, the PDF Writer converts most DOS, Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh data files into PDF format. Since the original fonts are embedded in the PDF file, there is no need to install them on the receiving machine. With Adobe Acrobat Reader installed at the receiving end, PDF files can be displayed and printed in original format.

In full-text bibliographic databases, a "native PDF" file is received in a digital format from the publisher, reproducing the appearance of the original text and images with a high degree of clarity. A "scanned PDF" file is created by running a print copy of the text through a high-quality scanner. The result is then examined closely for legibility.

portable media player
See: PMP.

Originally, a general purpose Web site offering a wide variety of resources and services, such as news, weather, directory information, Web searching, free e-mail accounts, chat groups, mailing lists, online shopping, and links to other Web sites (example: America Online). However, the term is increasingly applied to Web sites that offer such services only within a particular industry, occupation, or field (example: AcqWeb for acquisitions librarians). See also: library portal.

A container designed to hold loose materials (papers, drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, manuscripts, unbound sections of a book, etc.), consisting of two rigid boards joined at the spine by a wide band of cloth, with ties attached to the fore-edge and sometimes to the other edges to prevent sheets from sliding out. Also refers to materials (usually graphic) issued as an unbound set, often with a loose title page or text introduction, enclosed in paper or board covers or a simple folder.

In publishing, a single- or multivolume work containing plates with little or no text, usually executed by an artist and devoted to a central theme, for example, George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, a collection of 25 color plates first published in 1844, an artistic success but financial failure for the artist.

In art, a collection of the original works of an artist, usually selected to illustrate range of talent. Also used in reference to the entire body of an artist's work.

In business, a comprehensive list of all the securities (stocks, bonds, etc.) owned by an investor or financial institution. Publicly held corporations are required by law to disclose such holdings.

A new word or phrase formed by combining two or more words or morphemes related to a single concept, into a single word or morph that preserves the sounds and meanings of both terms. Examples include: crowdsourcing (crowd + outsourcing), pixel (pic + element), smog (smoke + fog), and telethon (television + marathon). A portmanteau word is distinct from a contraction in combining two or more existing words which do not necessarily appear together in sequence. Plural: portmanteaux.

From the Italian portolano meaning "pilot book." A detailed textual sailing guide that contains one or more graphic charts of a coastline, showing its bays, harbors, islands, and known navigational hazards but no inland features. The earliest portiolans are among the oldest known manuscript maps. Hand-drawn on vellum and of Italian origin, they date from the late 13th century and depict the Mediterranean Sea. Created by mariners from compass bearings, portolans were often more accurate than land maps of the same period. They often have rhumb lines radiating from the points of a wind rose or compass rose to help pilots chart direction (see this 16th-century example, courtesy of the Library of Congress). Place names are usually written in the interior at right angles to the line delineating the coast, with the more important ports indicated in red (see this example, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Library). Portolan charts were sometimes decorated (see this example). Click here to see other examples (Bell Library, University of Minnesota). Plural in Italian: portolani. Synonymous with compass chart and rhumb chart. See also: pilot.

The representational likeness of a real person (living or dead), especially the face, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted from life and usually posed. A group portrait depicts two or more people, often of the same family. Pictures that include one or more persons as merely part of the scene are not considered portraits. Most full-length biographies and some biographical reference works include at least one portrait of the biographee, often as the frontispiece. Click here to see a 16th-century portrait in oil on wood, here to see a 17th-century printed example, here for an 18th-century example, and here to see a 20th-century photographic example. Portraits are also found on old bookbindings (to see examples, try a search on the keyword "portrait" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings). Abbreviated port. Compare with caricature. See also: author portrait, carte-de-visite, evangelist portrait, group portrait, and portrait miniature.

A self-portrait is a representational likeness of a person made by its subject, who is usually an artist or photographer. Author/illustrator self-portraits are rare in books and manuscripts. Click here to see a 16th-century self-portrait miniature painted by the Bruges illuminator Simon Bening (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

In film and video, a work that is evocative of an individual and/or the person's life and work, but not strictly biographical (example: Mujer de Milfuegos/Woman of a Thousand Fires [1976] by Chick Strand).

In publishing, an illustration, leaf, or book of a height approximately 25 percent greater than its width, the norm in printed publications. Synonymous in this sense with long way. Compare with oblong. See also: narrow and square.

Also refers to the vertical orientation of a rectangular document (text and/or image) of greater height than width. Compare in this sense with landscape.

portrait miniature
A painting in a book intended by the artist to be the likeness of an individual who actually lived (sometimes drawn from life), as distinct from a picture of a fictional character or mythological person. The image may be full-figure or from the shoulders up, in some cases occupying an entire page. Click here to see an example painted on vellum in a 16th-century album amicorum (Koninklijke Bibliotheek).

Also refers to a likeness of small size painted by a miniaturist on parchment or vellum to be mounted in a frame (see this example painted by the 16th-century master Simon Bening, courtesy of the Getty Museum).

The duties for which an employee is responsible in an organization, usually described in detail in the position description used in the hiring process, along with the minimum qualifications considered necessary for satisfactory performance. In libraries, a position usually corresponds to a specific function or group of related functions (cataloger, instruction librarian, interlibrary loan assistant, etc.) and is associated with a specific rate or range of compensation. As functional needs change, so do the duties and responsibilities required of a specific position. Digital services librarian is an example of a comparatively new position. Compare with rank.

position description
A written statement providing a general description of the duties and responsibilities associated with a specific position in an organization, the minimum qualifications considered necessary for satisfactory performance, and the rank, compensation, and benefits that the prospective employer is prepared to offer, for use in hiring. Compare with job description.

position title
The official name associated with a set of duties and responsibilities within an organization, assigned to an employee at the time of hiring. Each library or library system develops its own set of titles for professional positions, which typically include: access services or circulation librarian, acquisitions librarian, archivist, bibliographer, cataloger, children's librarian, collection mangement specialist, digital or online services librarian, instruction librarian, media specialist, outreach services librarian, reference librarian, serials librarian, systems librarian, young adult services librarian, library director, etc. As functions are added and dropped, a position title may be changed to reflect current conditions, usually at the time a new person is hired to fill the position.

A photographic image in which the rendition of tones and colors is nearly the same as in the original subject (light for light and dark for dark), as opposed to a photographic negative in which the tones and/or colors are reversed (light for dark and dark for light). See also: duplicating positive and interpositive.

postage stamp
A government-authorized hand stamp, adhesive stamp, or meter mark, usually of square or rectangular shape, intended for display on an item of mail to indicate payment of the appropriate mailing fee. Postage stamps were originally introduced in the United Kingdom as part of the postal reforms of 1840 (first postage stamp). Issued singly or in perforated sheets (example), sometimes in series, postage stamps typically bear a national designation and denomination (price) and are often designed to be graphically pleasing (examples). The category includes stamps issued by private mail delivery companies to indicate payment of delivery fees. Rare postage stamps are highly collectible.

postal card
A postcard bearing preprinted postage (see this example). Some postal cards are pictorial (example). Click here to learn about the history of the use of postal cards by libraries, courtesy of The Library History Buff. Compare with mailing card.

post binding
A form of expandable loose-leaf binder in which screw posts, usually made of metal or plastic, are inserted through holes prepunched in the leaves to allow them to be individually added or removed. Often used for materials that require frequent updating. Post bindings do not open flat, as do ring bindings.

A picture, photograph, or collage of images, with or without accompanying text or caption, printed on card stock and intended for delivery by post without an envelope, with blank space on the back for the sender to fill in the name and street address of the recipient and add a brief message (see this example). Postcards are usually of standard size (4 x 6 inches in the United States and most other countries), but panoramic landscapes may require a larger format. Considered ephemera, postcards are sometimes archived with the memorabilia of important people. Very old or rare postcards, and those commemorating important historical events, may be of value to collectors. Libraries catalog postcards as graphic materials. See Postcards of Cleveland, part of the Cleveland Memory Project of the Cleveland State University Library, and the Newton Owen Postcard Collection at the University of Louisville. Compare with mailing card and postal card. See also: photographic postcard and topographical postcard.

post-coordinate indexing
A method of indexing in which the subject headings or descriptors assigned to documents represent simple concepts that the user must combine at the time of searching to retrieve information on a complex subject (example: Annotation + Bibliography for "Annotated bibliography"). Synonymous with coordinate indexing and post-coordination. Compare with pre-coordinate indexing. See also: syntax.

See: post-coordinate indexing.

An item bearing a publication date later than the actual date of publication. In AACR, the date given on the item is used in cataloging even if it is known to be incorrect, and the correct date is added as an interpolation in square brackets (example: 1959 [1958]), with an explanatory note if necessary. The opposite of antedated. Also spelled post-dated.

A large single sheet of heavy paper or cardboard, usually printed on one side only, with or without illustration, advertising a product/service or publicizing a forthcoming event (meeting, concert, dramatic performance, etc.). Posters are intended to make an immediate impression from a distance when displayed on a bulletin board, kiosk, wall, or other suitable surface. Poster design is a branch of the graphic arts made famous in the 19th-century by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries. Posters American Style is an online exhibition provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Digital Collections of the University of Washington Libraries include a selection of War Posters. The American Library Association (ALA) publishes a series of celebrity READ posters. Synonymous with placard. Compare with handbill. See also: billboard poster, exhibition poster, performing arts poster, political poster, travel poster, and wanted poster.

poster session
A conference event at which one or more attendees visually exhibit the salient points of their research, practice, or experimentation on a series of poster-sized sheets mounted on a large upright board behind a table. The presenters make themselves available at the table during the display to answer questions, distribute handouts, and clarify the exhibit to other attendees on a walk-through basis. At large library conferences, poster sessions are usually conducted in the exhibits area during periods that do not conflict with more formal presentations, providing attendees the opportunity to spend as much time as they wish viewing topics of interest. A juried review process is often used to select proposals from abstracts submitted in advance. Because many academic institutions view such sessions as a form of publishing or creative work, they can be helpful to librarians in meeting promotion and tenure requirements. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images.

poster style
A style of pictorial publisher's binding, popular at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, stamped with a bold design resembling a printed poster, in which the color of the cloth is often an important design element. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term "poster style" in Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books, courtesy of the University of Alabama. Hyphenated when used as an adjective (e.g., poster-style binding).

A work published for the first time after the death of the author. Works left unfinished at the time of an author's death may be continued by another writer, for example, the completion of Dorothy L. Sayers' unfinished detective novel Thrones, Dominations by Jill Paton Walsh (St. Martin's, 1998). Click here to see a volume of the posthumously published poems of Anne Bradstreet, an American writer of the colonial period, courtesy of the Library of Congress. See also: redaction.

The assignment in cataloging of a heading to an item in a library collection, or a descriptor to a document in indexing, based on its content, form, or other distinguishing feature. In some subject thesauri, the number of times an authorized term has been assigned is indicated in a postings note included in the entry for the term.

postings note
A note added in the entry for a descriptor in a thesaurus of indexing terms, indicating the number of times the term has been assigned as a major or minor descriptor to documents indexed, usually since its addition to the authorized list. The note gives the user some idea of the number of entries a search for the term is likely to retrieve. A small number of postings might suggest a search strategy that includes related terms or even broader terms; a large number might suggest the substitution of one or more narrower terms.

postliminary matter
See: back matter.

post mortem auctoris (p.m.a.)
A Latin phrase meaning after the author's death, used mainly in intellectual property law.

post-mortem photograph
A photographic image of a deceased person or pet, made after death. Post-mortem photographs were taken as early as 1839, to be preserved as keepsakes by the bereaved (see this example, courtesy of the Tate Gallery). The corpse is usually presented in a lifelike or resting pose, sometimes in the casket and/or accompanied by living members of the family or friends (example). The term is also used for photographs taken of the bodies of people killed by accident, in war, or as a result of a crime, sometimes for forensic purposes. Also spelled postmortem. Synonymous with death portrait. Compare with memorial photograph.

Post Office Protocol
See: POP.

A sentence or paragraph added below the signature line of a letter, or a note written or printed at the close of a book, article, or other composition, conveying a further thought or supplemental information. Click here to see an example at the end of a 17th-century edition (Columbia Rare Book & Manuscript Library). In a letter, the postscript often follows the abbreviation P.S. In a more general sense, any comment or remark appended as an afterthought in speech or writing.

A quiz or test administered to students following instruction in a specific library skill to assess the effectiveness of pedagogical methods, ideally administered in conjunction with a pretest for purposes of comparison. Also spelled post-test.

A literary work written primarily to earn money for the author and publisher ("to keep the pot boiling"). Such works are usually of little or no artistic merit, but financial pressures are rarely absent from the consideration of writers who have no other source of income, particularly in the early stages of a literary career. The problem with publishing such works at the beginning of a career is that once the author earns a reputation for producing popular works, any future attempt at serious writing is likely to be met with skepticism by reviewers, unless a pseudonym is used. See also: airport fiction.

See: pouncing.

Rubbing an abrasive substance such as chalk, wood ash, ground pumice, or pulverized bone (called pounce) into the surface of a sheet of parchment or vellum to prepare it for writing and/or painting. The process removes grease, whitens the surface, and raises the nap to provide good "tooth" for the quill pen.

Also refers to the transfer of an image by piercing the edges of an exemplar with tiny holes to enable it to be used as a stencil, more common in bestiaries than in other medieval texts because the animal motifs used by illuminators to decorate initial letters and borders were not easy to copy freehand. Click here to see a zoomorphic image in the Aberdeen Bestiary that has been pricked for pouncing (University of Aberdeen Library, MS 24).

poupée print
See: a la poupée print.

A leather binding that appears to be covered in a golden cloud, an effect achieved by sprinkling the outer surface with minute flecks of gold or rubbing it with gold leaf in finishing, a form of decoration popular in French binding of the mid-16th century.

power down
To turn a computer off at the power switch. Because RAM chips require electrical power, data will be lost when a computer is powered down unless it is saved to a storage medium (hard disk, floppy disk, etc.).

An abbreviation of printed pages per inch, an important factor in bookbinding and design of the dust jacket. PPI depends on the thickness of the book paper used in printing a publication.

See: Public Programs Office.

See: pay-per-view.

A limited period of hands-on work in a library or other information service agency structured to provide an opportunity for a novice to relate theory to practical experience, usually in the student's field(s) of specialization. Compare with internship.

The faculty moderator of a formal academic disputation, responsible for proposing the thesis that the degree candidate (respondent) must defend or oppose. The praeses is expected to participate with a panel of other faculty members in the ensuing debate.

prayer book
A collection of prayers for private devotion, usually organized around a central theme (or themes), used as early as the 8th century as a supplement to the Book of Hours and psalter. The prayer book became especially popular during the late Middle Ages when some very fine illuminated examples were commissioned by wealthy patrons. Click here to page through miniatures in the 15th-century Prayer Book of Charles the Bold (Getty Museum, MS 37) and here to see a leaf from a more modest 15th-century Dutch prayer book written in the vernacular (Dartmouth College Library, MS 001345). The Lund University Library in Sweden has digitized this 15th-century Latin prayer book of small size.

From the Latin prae ("before") and ambulare ("to go"). An introductory statement or preface to a written document, especially a statute or constitution, stating its purpose. One of the best-known examples is the Preamble to the United States Constitution, establishing the basic principles on which American government is based.

See: prelibrary binding.

See: prelibrary binding.

precedence order
See: preference order.

The restriction of materials from a library collection during the selection process by a collection development librarian or other person authorized to select, based on conscious or unconscious bias. Although the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (ALA) charges librarians to "provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues," some studies have found that librarians tend to avoid selecting potentially controversial books and media. The prefix "pre" added to the term "censorship" indicates that restriction occurs before library materials are made available to patrons. Compare with censorship.

A concise abridgment or summary that captures the essential thought(s) or idea(s) expressed in a longer work and retains something of the original tone and spirit.

See: Preserved Context Indexing System.

In information retrieval, a measure of search effectiveness, expressed as the ratio of relevant records or documents retrieved from a database to the total number retrieved in response to the query; for example, in a database containing 100 records relevent to the topic "book history," a search retrieving 50 records, 25 of which are relevant to the topic, would have 50 percent precision (25/50). Synonymous with relevance ratio. Compare with recall. See also: fallout.

A mini-conference scheduled in advance of a longer conference, usually on the preceding day (or days) for attendees who wish to spend additional time meeting with colleagues. Most preconferences are organized around a central theme that may or may not be related to that of the main conference. The theme is usually addressed by a panel, rather than a keynote speaker, with break-out sessions on related topics. Preconferees are normally charged an additional fee at registration.

pre-coordinate indexing
A method of indexing in which multiple concepts are combined by the indexer to form subject headings or descriptors assigned to documents to facilitate the retrieval of information on complex subjects (example: "Libraries and the blind--United States--Directories" instead of Libraries + Blind + United States + Directories). Synonymous with pre-coordination. Compare with post-coordinate indexing.

predominant name
In authority work, when a person or corporate body is known by more than one name, entry is made under the most commonly known name, whether it is the real name or a nickname, pseudonym, shortened name, or other form. Under this rule, the works of Samuel Langhorne Clemens are cataloged under Twain, Mark. In AACR2, the predominant name is that which occurs most frequently in (1) the works of a person or works issued by a corporate body or (2) in reference sources, in that order of preference. If no predominance is found, the latest form is used.

A preliminary statement at the beginning of a book, usually written by the author, stating the origin, scope, purpose, plan, and intended audience of the work and including any afterthoughts and acknowledgments of assistance, usually in the final paragraphs (click here to see Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's preface to the final collection of his Sherlock Holmes stories, courtesy of the Lilly Library, Indiana University). When written by a person other than the author, the preliminary statement is a foreword. The preface or foreword is distinct from the introduction, which addresses the subject of the work and prepares the reader for the treatment to follow. When a new edition is published, the preface may be rewritten to alert the reader to the extent of additions or changes in the text, but the introduction usually remains unchanged. The preface or foreword normally follows the dedication and precedes the introduction in the front matter of a book. Abbreviated pref.

The term is sometimes used in the title of a book-length treatment of a subject to indicate that the author's comments are introductory or preliminary (example: A Preface to Eighteenth Century Poetry [1963] by James Sutherland).

prefatory cycle
A series of miniatures in an illuminated manuscript serving as an introduction to the following text, usually arranged in square frames or medallions in a design covering the entire page, leaving little or no room for text.

preference order
In Dewey Decimal Classification, the order in which one of two or more numbers is to be chosen when different characteristics of a subject cannot be shown in full by number building, indicated in a note, sometimes containing a table of preference (DDC). When the class notation can be synthesized to show two or more characteristics, the decision is governed by citation order. Synonymous with order of preference and precedence order.

preferred citation
The form of citation that the custodian of specific archival material would like writers to use for purposes of reference, indicated in a Cite as: note in the archival description.

Cite as: James Hazen Hyde Papers, 1891-1941, New-York Historical Society.

preferred term
In an indexing language, a descriptive word or phrase selected as an authorized subject heading or descriptor to represent a discrete subject or concept. For the convenience of the user, cross-references to the preferred form are made from synonyms and closely related terms, making materials on the same subject accessible at a single point in the catalog, index, or bibliographic database. Preferred terms and cross-references are usually listed in a printed or online thesaurus to assist users in planning search strategy. See also: controlled vocabulary.

prelibrary binding
The binding of new books to meet a higher standard of durability than the normal hardcover publisher's binding. A graphic design similar to that of the original binding is usually preserved on the front cover. In public libraries, prebinding is used extensively for children's books, which must withstand heavy wear. Standards for prebinding, issued by the Library Binding Institute, include oversewn sections, a rounded and backed spine, and hinges made of cloth instead of paper. Directory information on prebinders is available in the annual reference serial Literary Market Place. Compare with library edition. See also: Bound to Stay Bound.

Shortened form of preliminary matter. In AACR2, the title page(s) of a bibliographic item, the verso of the title page(s), any pages preceding the title page(s), and the cover. The term is also used synonymously with front matter. Abbreviated prelims.

preliminary edition
An edition issued by the publisher prior to the final edition, sometimes to allow time for criticism of the text before the final version is published. In AACR2, the title and publication date of a preliminary edition are given in the note area of the bibliographic description of the final edition. Synonymous with provisional edition.

preliminary matter
See: preliminaries.

See: preliminaries.

The first live public performance of a play, opera, musical, ballet, or instrumental work, often accompanied by fanfare. Similarly, the initial release of a motion picture or the first broadcast of a television program or television series. Also, the first appearance of a professional performer in a public performance.

The land and buildings occupied by a library.

premium book
A book given as a reward for action taken by the recipient, such as becoming a member of a book club. Also refers to a book or other item offered as an inducement, for example, to order a certain volume of materials. Librarians apply the same selection criteria used in evaluating materials for purchase.

pre-order searching
In acquisitions, work done by a bibliographic searcher prior to ordering an item, including a search of the library catalog for duplicate and related titles; verifying the name of the publisher and/or distributor, price, availability, and standard number; and locating other pertinent information (terms of licensing agreement, restrictions on use, etc.).

See: prepayment.

In purchasing, an order for which full payment must be made in advance of shipment, usually with the purchase order rather than in response to an invoice. If the order is canceled or the merchandise is returned in compliance with the seller's return policy, a credit may be issued. Small independent vendors and electronic retailers are more likely to require prepayment than large publishers and book jobbers. Most journal publishers require prepayment for new subscriptions. Abbreviated prepay.

prepayment discount
See: discount.

A portion of a work printed and distributed for a special purpose in advance of the publication date announced for the whole, for example, an article to be published in a periodical or a work selected for inclusion in an anthology or collection. Also, a paper prepared for presentation at a conference, printed in multiple copies in advance of the conference date, usually for distribution to participants and other interested persons. In some academic disciplines, preprints are an important medium of scholarly communication. Also refers to a few copies of an author's manuscript produced by a method such as xerography for circulation within the office of the publisher, usually to facilitate reading, evaluation, and editing. See also: e-print.

Also refers to an advertising insert printed by a manufacturer to be included in a periodical, sometimes designed to accommodate local copy, such as the names and addresses of sales outlets located in the area of circulation.

One or more steps in physical processing, completed before a new bibliographic item is shipped by the seller to the ordering library.

An abbreviation of prepublication.

An adjective referring to activities that occur before a work is published, for example, an offer by the publisher of a prepublication price on advance orders of a book or other item. Abbreviated prepub.

prepublication discount
A percentage discount or reduction in the list price of a new book or other publication, offered by the publisher on orders placed before the publication date to encourage advance orders. Compare with prepublication price.

prepublication price
The price at which a book or other publication is sold if ordered before a specified date in advance of the publication date, after which it is sold at the higher list price. Expensive multivolume reference sets may be offered to libraries by the publisher at a substantially lower price several months before the publication date as an inducement to order. Compare with introductory price and prepublication discount. See also: expiration date.

A work of fiction (usually a novel) complete in itself, which extends the narrative back in time from the beginning of a previously published work, retaining at least some of the same characters, although the action may occur in a different setting (example: Mossflower, prequel to Redwall by Brian Jacques). A prequel may be written by a person other than the author of the work on which it is based (Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike). In a more general sense, anything that precedes, especially a preceding sequence of events. The opposite of sequel.

prerecorded message
A telephone message recorded in advance for automatic playback when no one is present or able to answer a call. Libraries often use a prerecorded message when the facility is closed to inform callers of library hours and sometimes when open to direct incoming calls to the appropriate service desk.

prescribed text
In education, a book required for a course of study or in preparation for an examination. In a broader sense, specific words or passages to be spoken or read, without deviation, in an established context, such as a formal ceremony.

Giving directions, rules, or regulations for what should happen or what someone should do in a particular case or situation. Also used to describe something founded on long-standing custom or usage.

presentation binding
The distinctive binding on a book designed to be bestowed, usually as a token of respect, on a specific individual or on a special occasion, often bearing an inscription or the initials or arms of the recipient on the front cover. To see examples, try a search on the keyword "presentation" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

presentation copy
A copy of a book bearing a presentation inscription, usually written spontaneously by the author or illustrator on the flyleaf at the time it was given as a gift, often to commemorate the occasion (see this 19th-century example). When dated, the inscription usually indicates that the item was presented on or near the date of publication. If the signature or inscription was requested by the book's owner, the volume is considered an inscribed copy.

presentation miniature
A small stand-alone painting in an illuminated manuscript, representing the formal presentation of the book to the patron or donor who commissioned it, usually a wealthy aristocrat or ecclesiastic. Michelle Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994) that this type of image was sometimes incorporated into subsequent copies where it is more appropriately termed a dedication miniature. The popularity of presentation miniatures reached its highest point in the 15th century (see this example in the 15th-century Chroniques de Hainaut, courtesy of the Getty Museum).

presentation software
Application software designed to assist a presenter in preparing text and/or graphics for visual display via a computer attached to a projector (example: PowerPoint). The graphic quality of such presentations is usually superior to overhead transparencies, but a well-prepared speaker brings backup to use in the event of machine or network failure. Presentation software is becoming more common in bibliographic instruction, particularly in academic libraries as instruction librarians become proficient users.

Prolonging the existence of library and archival materials by maintaining them in a condition suitable for use, either in their original format or in a form more durable, through retention under proper environmental conditions or actions taken after a book or collection has been damaged to prevent further deterioration. Former Yale University conservator Jane Greenfield lists the factors affecting the condition of books as light, temperature, relative humidity, pollution, inherent vice, biological attack, human error (including improper storage and handling), deliberate mutilation, and disasters (The Care of Fine Books, Nick Lyons Books, 1988).

Single sheets may be encapsulated or laminated for protection. Materials printed on acid paper may be deacidified if their value warrants the expense; however, when the original has deteriorated beyond the point of salvation, reformatting may be necessary. Publications with soiled or foxed leaves are sometimes washed in rebinding. Materials infected with mildew or mold may require fumigation. Insects and larvae can be eliminated by freezing the infested item. Rare books and manuscripts are usually stored in a darkened room, with temperature and humidity strictly controlled.

A broader term than conservation, preservation includes managerial and financial considerations, including storage and accommodation provisions, staffing, and policy decisions, as well as the techniques and methods of maintaining materials in optimal condition. Click here to learn more about preservation at the Library of Congress and here to read the Preservation Policy of the American Library Association. Preservation Leaflets are available online from the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), which also offers Preservation 101: An Internet Course on Paper Preservation. The Preservation Advisory Centre of the British Library also provides online booklets on a variety of preservation topics. See also Bach to Baseball Cards, an online exhibition of 200 years of creative preservation at the Library of Congress. See also: digital preservation, film preservation, Preservation and Reformatting Section, and Regional Alliance for Preservation.

Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)
The section of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) within the American Library Association (ALA) devoted to improving the preservation and reformatting of library materials in all types of institutions and to providing leadership in the application of new technologies to assure continued access to library collections. Click here to connect to the PARS homepage.

preservation binding
Rebinding of a book or other bound item in poor condition, to prevent further deterioration and to ensure the long-term survival of its content. Items originally printed on acid paper or in fragile condition may require photocopying. Preservation binding is done with acid- and lignin-free materials, with little or no intent to replicate the physical appearance of the original binding. To learn more about the process, see Bookbinding: A Tutorial by Douglas W. Jones of the University of Iowa in cooperation with the Center for the Book.

preservation book cradle
A machine specifically designed to hold and support a book safely and securely while the pages are turned during digitization or photographic copying (see this example). See also: book digitizer.

preservation metadata
In digital preservation, a component of administrative metadata supporting resource management within a digital collection. Preservation metadata may record the technical specifications of the archived digital object, including resource type, file format, encoding and storage size; important characteristics of the object's access environment, such as the name, version, and configuration of required rendering applications, operating systems, and hardware; evolution of the archived object as it is migrated to new formats to keep pace with changing access technologies; a check sum or digital signature verifying authenticity of content; and the chain of custody documenting provenance (adapted from "Metadata for Digital Preservation" by Brian F. Lavoie, OCLC Newsletter, September-October 2001).

preservation photocopy
A facsimile of a written or printed document, reproduced on a high-end photocopy machine according to strict criteria, usually when the condition of the original has deteriorated and the content is worth preserving in the same form. The paper on which such a copy is made must meet ANSI standards for permanence and durability (Z39.48). If the document is a book, the leaves should be bound according to ANSI standards for library binding (Z39.78). The facsimile should bear a statement clearly identifying the item as a copy. If the original is of "poor quality," its condition may also be noted. Click here to connect to the Library of Congress Web page on preservation photocopying, adapted from the ALA/ALCTS Guidelines for Preservation Photocopying of Replacement Pages (1990).

preservation screening
A formal viewing by an audience of a newly preserved motion picture to show the film as it was meant to be experienced and to demonstrate the success of the preservation effort. The UCLA Film and Television Archive hosts a biennial Festival of Preservation showcasing recent preservation and restoration successes, often with presentations by preservationists in which they discuss their work.

preservation survey
See: conservation survey.

preservation wind
See: wind tension.

Preserved Context Indexing System (PRECIS)
A computer-assisted string indexing system developed and used since 1971 in the British National Bibliography, PRECIS is also used by library services in Canada and in the Australian National Bibliography. In contrast to the Library of Congress subject headings used by libraries in the United States, PRECIS attempts coextensive entry.

presidential library
A special library housing the papers of a former president of the United States (since Herbert Hoover) and documents pertaining to his term of office, usually located in or near the president's place of birth or residence prior to election. Although funds for the construction of presidential library facilities are provided by private donors, the National Archives and Records Administration operates and maintains them as research libraries. Click here to connect to the NARA list of presidential libraries.

A general term for the news media that traditionally included only print sources (newspapers and newsmagazines) but has expanded to include news services and radio and television broadcasting. A press corps is a body of reporters who cover breaking news, usually from a particular location, such as the White House. See also: press release.

Also used in the same sense as "publisher" (example: Oxford University Press), to refer to the publishing industry in general (as in popular press), and as a shortened form of the term printing press.

Also refers to the initial response of reviewers to a new book or creative work, which may have an effect on public demand in bookstores, libraries, theaters, etc. Press can be "bad" (panned), "good" (well-received), or "excellent" (laudatory).

Historically, the term was also used for a large wooden cupboard containing shelves for storing books and manuscripts, clothing and linens, etc., especially one recessed in a wall. Early books were placed flat on the shelves, often with the title handwritten on the tail or fore-edge.

A highly glazed form of paperboard used when strength and rigidity are required of comparatively thin board because it is very dense and tough. Made from rag or chemical wood pulp, it is less acidic than board made from mechanical wood pulp.

A promotional manual created and distributed by a film producer to theater owners, containing material intended to assist in conducting advertising campaigns to increase public awareness of a newly released motion picture (see this example). Synonymous with campaign book.

press clipping service
An organization in the business of collecting copies of reviews, articles, columns, photographs, etc., published in newspapers and magazines about authors, prominent people, news events, or other topics of interest to clients who pay a fee to receive them on a regular basis. The Yahoo! Directory provides a list of press clipping and monitoring services.

press conference
A formal meeting to which members of the press are invited to hear an announcement or statement concerning an important event, project, topic, or development that the sponsors of the meeting wish to see publicized in the media. The attendees are usually given the opportunity to question the spokesperson(s) closely. Library associations and large libraries sometimes schedule press conferences to publicize major initiatives. Compare with press release.

press coverage
The amount of space in news publications or time in news broadcasts given to a specific topic.

press kit
See: media kit.

press release
An official or authoritative statement of news or other information intended for publication in a newspaper or news broadcast or for dissemination via some other news medium, usually written and issued by a press secretary or public relations office, giving the point of view of a person, company, or organization on a current event or situation. Click here to connect to the Yahoo! list of Web sites that distribute press releases. Synonymous with news release. See also: press conference.

press run
All the copies of a book or other publication printed at the same time, usually more than the binding order calls for, to allow for a reasonable amount of spoilage during printing. An edition may comprise several printings. Also spelled pressrun. Synonymous with print run. See also: overrun and underrun.

pressure group
An organized group that attempts to influence a library's policies or practices, usually to secure the removal of items considered objectionable by its members or the addition to the collection of materials that advocate or substantiate its point of view on a controversial political or social issue. Public libraries in the United States are frequent targets because they are supported by public funds and serve a diverse clientele. A carefully worded collection development policy is a library's best defense against threats to intellectual freedom.

An adhesive designed to work by means of gentle compression, which may or may not allow the material to be easily removed from a surface once it has adhered. Pressure-sensitive labels are used extensively by libraries in technical processing.

A quiz or test administered to students prior to receiving instruction in the use of the library to assess their entry-level knowledge and identify deficiencies that need to be addressed. Ideally, a pretest is administered in conjunction with a posttest, for purposes of comparison.

preventive maintenance
The cost-effective practice of regularly checking equipment and making minor repairs as needed to prevent more serious problems from developing.

A private showing of a motion picture or exhibition to a limited audience in advance of the official public release or opening date. Also refers to a brief sequence of scenes taken from a motion picture, to be shown in a movie theater, on television, or on videotape, DVD, etc., to advertise the work as a coming attraction. Also spelled prevue. See also: trailer.

The amount actually paid by a library for a specific item after any discount is deducted, as stated on the invoice, not including the cost of shipping. Price is entered in the order record and also in the item record to facilitate billing if the item is lost or damaged beyond repair after the order record has been purged. See also: average price.

price clipped
The condition of a hardcover book from which the list price printed on the front flap of the dust jacket has been snipped off.

price guide
A publication that gives current prices of rare books and manuscripts, as well as books that are comparatively scarce, usually because they are out of print. The information is usually based on prices paid at book auctions (example: American Book Prices Current) or asked in dealer catalogs (Bookman's Price Index).

price index
A statistical method of showing the relative change in the average price of products, such as library materials, sold in the market place over a given period of time (usually one or more years), for use in materials cost analysis and budgeting. The average list price of a product in the base year is assigned the index value 100. Average prices for the same product in succeeding years are divided by the base period average price and multiplied by 100 to yield the price index for each year.

As a standard economic indicator of the market dynamics of a particular type of publication, independent of context (library, publisher, method of sale, etc.), price index is particularly useful in measuring inflation. The ANSI/NISO Z39.20 standard establishes criteria for compiling price indexes for printed library materials (hardcover trade and technical books, paperback books, and periodicals). Library Journal publishes an annual periodical price survey in its April 15 issue, and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) of the American Library Association (ALA) publishes the annual U.S. Serial Services Price Index. Price indexes for library materials are also available in Library and Book Trade Almanac, a reference serial published by Information Today, Inc.

price resistance
The point at which the value of a book or other item is perceived by prospective buyers to be lower than the stated price. Under normal conditions, the customer will decide not to purchase or postpone purchase until the price comes down. Library continuation orders and approval plans may state a maximum price not to be exceeded for a specific category of item.

pricing model
The method used by the publisher or vendor of an electronic information resource to determine the fee charged for access, not standardized across the electronic publishing sector. An electronic resource may be sold outright (example: a book on CD-ROM) or leased (example: a bibliographic database), giving the lessee access for as long as the subscription fee is paid, unless perpetual access is included in the licensing agreement. Pricing may be based on type of library (university, college, community college), size of library budget, or number of potential users (actual enrollment or FTE). Pricing may also be based on number of simultaneous users or whether a library occupies a single facility or has multiple branches. For some resources, pricing also depends on level of content, with higher fees charged for access to full-text than for access restricted to citations and abstracts. Pricing may also depend on whether the subscriber maintains a print subscription to the title. Some databases, such as JSTOR, charge a substantial initial fee and more modest annual fees. Because pricing models for electronic resources are complex, libraries must decide on the level of access needed for each resource before negotiations begin. Prices may be negotiable or firm. Library consortia are often in a position to negotiate more favorable pricing than libraries without affiliations.

To prepare parchment or vellum for writing or illumination, tiny guide holes were made along the edges of a sheet (bifolium) with the point of a knife or an awl to guide the medieval scribe in drawing vertical and horizontal lines framing the area to bear text, illustration, and/or decoration (see them in the corner of this manuscript leaf). The punctures were often removed as the edges of the leaves were trimmed in binding. Christopher de Hamel suggests in The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination (University of Toronto Press, 2001) that once lines were drawn on the first sheet, holes were pricked through the entire gathering to ensure that all the leaves were identically ruled. Small spiked wheels or metal combs with widely space teeth may also have been used for this purpose.

The term is also used for small holes made around the outline of a design in an exemplar to allow it to be transferred to another surface by a stencil technique called pouncing. Click here to see an example in the Aberdeen Bestiary (University of Aberdeen, MS 24).

primary author
The author whose name appears first on the chief source of information in the case of a work by two or more joint authors, in whose name the main entry is made in the library catalog. Added entries are made under the names of each of the other authors.

primary clientele
See: clientele.

primary journal
A scholarly journal devoted to disseminating the results of original research in the field(s) or discipline(s) it covers (example: Journal of Experimental Psychology). Most primary journals are peer-reviewed.

primary letter
A letter of the roman alphabet that does not have an ascender or descender (a, c, e, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, and z). See also: x-height.

primary record
The original or most important document in a record, which may contain original signatures, endorsements, seals, or alterations not found in other copies.

primary source
In scholarship, a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic, used in preparing a derivative work. Primary sources include original manuscripts, periodical articles reporting original research or thought, diaries, memoirs, letters, journals, photographs, drawings, posters, film footage, sheet music, songs, interviews, government documents, public records, eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, etc. Terry Abraham of the University of Idaho provides an online list of Repositories of Primary Sources. The History Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) within the American Library Association (ALA) provides a guide to Using Primary Sources on the Web. Compare with secondary source and tertiary source.

primary values
In archives, the values of records for the purpose(s) and activities for which they were originally created. Compare with secondary values.

prime meridian
In 1884, at the invitation of the president of the United States, 41 delegates from 25 countries met at the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C., and agreed to recommend to their governments the adoption of the meridian passing through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, as the international 0° meridian from which longitude would be measured east and west up to 180°. The Greenwich meridian was chosen because by the late 19th century, over 70 percent of the world's commerce depended on maps and nautical charts that used Greenwich as the prime meridian, and it had already been adopted by a significant number of countries, including the United States. The delegates also adopted the Mean Solar Day as the universal day, beginning at Greenwich Mean Midnight and counted on a 24 hour clock. The vote was 22-1, with San Domingo (Haiti) against and France and Brazil abstaining. The French said that they would adopt Greenwich as the prime meridian only if Britain adopted the metric system (France did not adopt Universal Time until 1978). Local and national prime meridians are sometimes used on older maps and charts. Click here to see the prime meridian illustrated and here to learn more about the prime meridian, courtesy of the National Martime Museum in Greenwich, England.

Originally, a Book of Hours. Later, a book, often illustrated, written for young children to teach them how to read and spell (see this example). Synonymous in this sense with Dick and Jane book. Click here to view a selection of primers, courtesy of the University of Delaware Library, or explore the Monaghan Collection on the history of reading in the United States (Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas). See also: abecedary, battledore, horn book, and speller.

In a more general sense, any book that gives the first principles of a subject or basic instruction for beginners (example: The Copyright Primer for Librarians and Educators [1995] by Janis H. Bruwelheide).

prime time
The time of day when the size of the television viewing audience reaches its maximum extent, generally considered to be 8:00 pm to ll:00 pm on weekdays and 7:00 pm to 1:00 am on weekends. The Nielsen ratings system is designed to optimize measurement of viewership by blocks of viewing time ("dayparts") with prime time of primary interest. Also spelled primetime.

princeps edition
See: first edition.

To transfer an inked image or text from a block, plate, or type onto a sheet or roll of paper, or onto some other printing surface, by the application of pressure, often in multiple impressions. Also refers to the result of such a process, whether it be a string of characters on a page or an entire page of text and/or illustration. Also used as a generic term for the medium of print, as opposed to nonprint media. See also: offprint and preprint.

Also refers to a copy of a picture (mounted or unmounted) produced by any printing process, usually in multiple impressions. An art print is an original drawing, woodcut, etching, engraving, lithograph, or photograph transferred to the medium of print from a plate cut by the artist. Prints made from the same plate may vary in quality. For more about prints, see What Is a Print? (Museum of Modern Art) and The Printed Image in Europe: History and Techniques, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Artists who specialize in printmaking are called printmakers (examples: Albrecht Dürer and William Hogarth). For a selection of Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e), see the Japanaese Print Gallery. See also: aquatint, commemorative print, drypoint, mezzotint, monotype, nature print, painted print, and tinsel print.

In photography, a copy of a photograph made on paper from a negative. See also: albumen print, bromoil print, carbon print, cliché-verre, contact print, c-type print, cyanotype, dye transfer print, gelatin silver print, gum bichromate, imperial print, palladium print, platinum print, and salted paper print. In cinematography, a copy on film of a motion picture. See also: answer print, composite print, exhibition print, paper print, release print, and scratch print.

printed edges
Printing by means of rubber type on one or more of the trimmed edges of a book before rounding and backing. When done on the fore-edge only, the purpose is usually to facilitate indexing. On directories, edge-printed matter is often advertising copy.

The person or firm that prints a book, pamphlet, periodical, or other document, as distinct from the publisher who issues the item and the bookseller who offers it for sale. In early printed books, the printer and publisher were often the same, but in modern book production, the two functions are almost always performed by separate establishments. Click here to see a series of images of early printers at work, courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. See also: Gutenberg, Johann and Manutius, Aldus.

Also refers to a mechanical or electronic device that produces printed copies of a document, including computer peripherals designed to produce output in hard copy. The most common types are laser printers, dot-matrix printers, and ink-jet printers. Click here and here to learn more about how computer printers work, courtesy of HowStuffWorks.

printer's copy
The manuscript version of a work used as the model for setting the type in a printed edition. Survival of such copies is rare, but when properly authenticated, they can be of considerable interest to scholars engaged in textual bibliography and criticism.

printer's device
See: printer's mark.

printer's devil
An apprentice in a printing shop, responsible for performing routine supportive tasks, such as mixing ink, fetching type, and sorting type thrown into the hell box after use (see this example). The name is probably a consequence of the black inkstains seen on their skin and clothing.

printer's flower
A small graphic printer's ornament in the form of a flower or piece of foliage cast as a single unit in letterpress, which can be repeated to form a decorative border (see these examples). Synonymous with dingbat, fleuron, and floret.

printer's key
A series of numbers or letters printed on the verso of the title page to indicate the press run of a book.


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
a b c d e f g h i j k

The convention was adopted by publishers after World War II (see this example, courtesy of Wikipedia). In some cases, the numbers alternate from left to right (example: 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1). If "1" is present, then the book is the first printing of the edition. In the second printing, the "1" is removed to make the lowest number "2". Sometimes, the key includes dates, for example, 2 3 4 70 71 72 to indicate the second printing issued in 1970. Numbers are removed with each successive reprint on the theory that the printer is less likely to make a mistake in changing the impression number by removing the lowest number, than by introducing a new number.

printer's mark
A device printed in a book to identify its printer, in the same way that a publisher's mark represents the publisher (to see examples, try a keywords search on the term in Google Images). Some early printer's marks include a motto (see this 16th-century example). The University of Florida Library provides a searchable database of Printers' Devices.

printer's ornament
Type matter used by a printer to add touches of embellishment to a text, including arabesques, borders (plain and fancy), flowers, headpieces, rules, etc.

The production of identical copies of written or graphic material by means of a printing press or other mechanical device. Printing began in Germany in the mid-15th century with the invention by Johann Gutenberg of movable type and spread rapidly throughout Europe, replacing manuscript books as the primary medium of written communication. Click here to see the first page printed in England (National Archives, UK) and here to learn about printing during the Renaissance and Reformation (University of South Carolina Library). The British Library provides an online exhibition of Printing During the Nineteenth Century. Belmont Abbey College provides an this online exhibition of books printed from 1474-1900. See also the project to digitize the trade journal Canadian Printer and Publisher. Compare with reprography and xerography. See also: American Printing History Association, fine printing, letterpress, music printing, offset, and typography.

Also refers to all the copies of a book or other publication printed at one time in the same press run. A copy of the first printing of the first edition of a work is usually of greater value to book collectors than a copy of a subsequent printing in comparable condition. Also refers to the art of hand-lettering made to look like printed letters.

Also, the process of making an image (usually positive) from photographic film or duplicating motion picture film, done in the laboratory using a machine called a printer. The result is one or more prints. See also: contact printing, optical printing, and wet gate printing.

In handwriting, a style in which the individual characters are written separately from each other; a disjoined hand (see this example in which printing is compared with cursive).

printing dupe
See: print master.

printing history
Details of the printing of a book, such as the date of the original printing and dates of any reprints, usually given on the verso of the title page (see this example). Compare with publication history.

printing press
A machine designed to make impressions from an inked plate or block, or from type, on paper or some other printing surface. The modern printing press was invented at Mainz, Germany, in about 1456 by Johann Gutenberg, whose first publication was a 42-line Bible known as the Gutenberg Bible (click here to learn more about Gutenberg's invention). The invention spread rapidly throughout continental Europe and to the British Isles, becoming well-established by the 1480s. It put ownership of books within the reach of people who had previously been unable to afford hand-copied reading material. Click here to view images of printing presses used in the 19th century (Cary Collection, Rochester Institute) and here to see a modern offset printing press. See also: chase, forme, letterpress, and offset.

print management software
Computer software designed to control the printing of paper copies from networked computers by requiring the user to pay for printouts, usually by the page. In some libraries, installation of print management software has reduced paper waste by a factor of ten.

print master
In microfilm, a second-generation negative made directly from the master negative, used to make service copies. The print master is usually stored under controlled conditions in a separate location.

print on demand (POD)
A digital printing technology in which new copies of a book or other publication are printed one-at-a-time for a fixed cost after the order has been received. Large IBM and Xerox POD machines can produce up to four books per minute. For small presses with limited press runs and academic presses that maintain a large backlist, POD can be more economical than offset printing. POD has also facilitated reprinting and self-publishing by authors. POD services that offer printing and distribution services to publishing companies and book jobbers are growing in popularity (example: Lightning Source, a division of Ingram). Also spelled print-on-demand.

Text, images, or other data from a computer file printed as output on paper or some other printing surface by a peripheral device called a printer. Compare with hard copy.

print run
See: press run.

In motion picture film, artifacts on the original (edge codes, stock markings, dirt, scratches, abrasions, perforations, etc.) that in printing show up less distinctly on the new element in reverse of the duplicate's own markings. In sound recording, unwanted noise or background caused by the transfer of a magnetic field and its signal from one section of audiotape to an adjacent section on a roll that is tightly wound.

Printz Award
See: Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

prior publication
A work submitted to a publisher after it has already been published, usually in a different form, for example, an article initially published in a journal, later submitted by the author as a chapter in a book. Whether electronic theses and dissertations constitute prior publication is an issue currently in debate. The policy of a publishing company with regard to prior publication is usually stated in its guidelines for contributors.

prison library
See: correctional library.

A book or other bibliographic item in its original condition, unchanged in any way. Synonymous with mint.

The right of an individual (or group) to keep information about personal and professional life from disclosure, especially to government and commercial enterprises, and to remain free from surveillance except as authorized under provisions of law. In the ALA Code of Ethics, librarians and library staff are encouraged to "protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted." Many libraries in the United States have decided as a matter of policy not to retain circulation records for materials returned by the user to prevent misuse of such information. See also: Privacy Act and USA Patriot Act.

Privacy Act
Passed by Congress following revelations of serious abuse of privacy by government during the administration of President Richard Nixon, the Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579) states that, "No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains..." Although the law includes exceptions allowing the use of personal records under specific circumstances (e.g., in law enforcement), it requires that each federal agency have in place an administrative and physical security system to prevent the unauthorized release of personal records. The Privacy Act also gives citizens and permanent residents the right to: 1) access and make copies of records about themselves; 2) request that the record be amended if it is inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely, or incomplete; and 3) sue the government for violations of its provisions. Click here to learn more about the Privacy Act, courtesy of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

privacy screen
An external device that can be placed over the front of the monitor on a notebook or desktop computer, which uses patented technology to narrow the viewing area so that data displayed on the screen is visible only to persons directly in front of the monitor. Passers-by see only a dark, blank screen. Designed to ensure privacy of on-screen data in high-traffic environments, some libraries are using them on computers installed in public areas. Click here to see examples, courtesy of Secure-It, Inc. Synonymous with privacy filter and privacy monitor filter.

private library
A library of any size that is not supported by public funds, especially one owned by an individual or family for personal enjoyment or by a private club, corporation, or foundation, for example, the library of the Grolier Club in New York City. Historically, large private collections have been the nucleus of many academic, research, and national libraries. Examples include the private collection of Thomas Jefferson acquired by the Library of Congress and the personal library of financier Pierpont Morgan, founder of the Morgan Library in New York City. Click here to search the private library of Alfred Nobel, now part of the Alfred Nobel Museum in Sweden and here to see a reconstruction of the ancient Roman private library at the Villa Hadriana. Click here and here to see the interior of the private library at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

privately printed
In the antiquarian book trade, works printed but not offered for sale to the general public, usually intended solely for private distribution. The term is also applied to publications issued by a private press. Such works normally come to public attention when they are offered for sale in a book auction. Click here to see a book of poems by Patrick White, privately published by his mother (University of Sydney Library).

private press
A small printing establishment, often operated by a single person, offering limited editions at the discretion of the owner. The results are usually of fine quality and, when offered for sale, may not be distributed through regular market channels. A prime example is the Kelmscott Press founded in England in 1891 by William Morris, leader of the 19th-century English revival of the art and craft of fine bookmaking. Click here to view an online exhibition of private press books (1890-1945), courtesy of the Glasgow University Library. Compare with vanity publisher.

The contracting out of library services under an agreement that transfers control over policy decisions and management of collections and services from the public to the private sector, usually to an external agency operating on a for-profit basis. Compare with outsourcing.

Possession by a publisher/printer of a license granted by a governing authority or agency to publish ("make public") a specific work. Notice of formal permission may be printed in the publication on a privilege leaf. See also: imprimatur.

prize binding
A style of full leather binding, common in France and the Netherlands from the 17th century and in England from the last quarter of the 19th century, in which the front cover is decorated, often in gilt, with the arms or insignia of the town, school, or other institution that awarded the book as a prize. According to Roberts and Etherington (courtesy of Conservation OnLine), a printed or manuscript form was often inserted before the title page, indicating the subject in which the prize was awarded, name of recipient, date of award, etc. To see examples, try a search on the keyword "prize" in the British Library's Database of Bookbindings.

See: Public Relations and Marketing Section.

See: Public Record Office.

probationary appointment
Selection for a position in a library contingent upon satisfactory completion of a trial period of employment (probation), usually six months to a year, to test the appointee's ability and fitness for the position. At the end of the trial period, performance is evaluated and a decision made concerning permanent employment. Years of service in academic librarianship prior to acquiring tenure are considered probationary. At the time of initial employment, the employee should be informed of the terms of extension and the standards and procedures to be employed in evaluation.

probation volunteer
See: community service volunteer.

problem patron
A user whose behavior disrupts the normal functioning of a library, for example, one whose actions annoy others (staring, harassment, talking on cell phones), who exhibits aberrant behavior (mental and/or emotional disturbances, influence of drugs or alcohol, etc.), who engages in illegal activities (vandalism, theft, sex offenses), or who uses the library for purposes other than reading and study (socializing, soliciting, sleeping, bathing). Most larger libraries in the United States have installed security systems to prevent theft. Public libraries plagued with chronic problem behavior may hire a security guard to monitor the premises during hours when the library is open. Academic libraries rely on campus police when necessary. Synonymous with difficult patron. Euphemism: atypical patron. See also: homeless patron, latchkey child and pyro-patron.

pro bono
A shortened form of the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good." Services provided free of charge in the public interest, for which the provider would normally charge a fee. Attorneys and communications firms sometimes work pro bono in support of library lobbying, legal defense, and marketing campaigns.

procedure manual
A systematic list documenting the tasks involved in a specific job, sometimes including a description of the manner in which they are to be performed, given in sufficient detail that after careful reading, someone unfamiliar with the job will be able to perform basic functions with a minimal amount of assistance. Procedure manuals are often maintained in loose-leaf format to facilitate revision. The libraries at the University of Colorado, Boulder publish their Cataloging Procedures Manual (CPM) online. Click here to see a list of cataloging manuals available from the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) of the Library of Congress. Compare with employee handbook.

The published record of a conference, congress, symposium, or other meeting sponsored by a society or association, usually but not necessarily including abstracts or reports of papers presented by the participants. When the entire text of the papers presented is included, the result is called transactions. Conference proceedings are indexed worldwide in ProceedingsFirst, an online database available in OCLC FirstSearch. Abbreviated proc.

The term is also used in the titles of journals published by long-established scholarly societies, for example, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), and also for the records of certain courts of law (see The Proceedings of the Old Bailey).

process color
A method of reproducing in print an infinite range of hues by the controlled overprinting of ink of different colors. The most common method combines the three colors cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y), with the addition of black (K for "key color") to create gradations of light and dark, often referred to as CMYK. The term color separation refers to the process by which a full-color original is photographed through colored filters or scanned by a color sensing machine to separate the colors, allowing negatives to be produced that define the area to be printed with each color of ink. Most color book illustration is printed by this method. Synonymous with four-color process and full-color printing. Compare with black and white and duotone.

Everything done to a bibliographic item after it is acquired by a library, before it is placed on the shelf, including accessioning, cataloging, stamping, labeling, numbering, jacketing, etc. In some libraries, items in process are identified as such in the online catalog. The user may request that processing be expedited if an item is urgently needed. Compare with technical processing.

Also, a general term for all the laboratory procedures involved in developing, fixing, and printing the latent image in exposed film. In still photography, the term developing is used, but for motion picture film, processing is the preferred term.

processing center
See: centralized processing.

A liturgical book of portable size containing the chants and prayers used in ceremonial processions in certain services of the Catholic Church. The online exhibition Celebrating the Liturgy's Books provides more information about the processional, courtesy of the major libraries of New York City. Click here to view a leaf from a medieval Spanish processional (Dartmouth College Library, MS Codex 003139) and here to see a more elaborately decorated French example (Leaves of Gold).

An official announcement, especially one made by a governing authority to the general public. Also refers to the thing proclaimed. In the United States, presidential proclamations are published in the Federal Register but do not have the force of law. Click here to view a selection of Canadian proclamations.

Putting off until tomorrow work that can and should be done today, sometimes with serious or vexing consequences for oneself and others. Persons overloaded with paperwork are particularly prone to this affliction. Training in time management is sometimes helpful.

The person(s), company, or agency primarily responsible for determining the artistic form and intellectual content of a media item, such as a motion picture or television program, usually listed in the credits at the beginning or end of the work. The producer is also responsible for financing and making arrangements for the technical production and manufacture of the final product and for promoting it in the market place. Synonymous in this sense with production company. Abbreviated prod. Compare with distributor. See also: executive producer.

Also, the organization responsible for creating the content of a machine-readable data file such as a bibliographic database, usually indicated on the welcome screen, not necessarily the same as the vendor that markets and provides access to the product.

production company
See: producer.

production element
In the making of motion pictures, copies of image and/or sound track made from the original negative or reversal original in the process of producing release prints. The category includes A and B rolls, magnetic sound tracks, interpositives, dupe negatives, etc. Some production elements are unique. A production roll is a production element stored on one or more cores before it has been cut and assembled into reels.

professional book
A book intended to be used by members of a profession in the course of their work or in continuing education (example: Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project [2000] by Jeannette A. Woodward). Books for the library profession are reviewed in separate sections of Library Journal and Booklist. Because professional books appeal to a limited audience, press runs tend to be small, and they are sold at short discount.

professional development
Further study undertaken during employment by a person trained and educated in a profession, sometimes at the initiative of the employer but also through voluntary attendance at conferences, workshops, seminars, or enrollment in postgraduate courses, particularly important in professions that have a rapidly changing knowledge base. Compare with in-service training.

Exercise of a high standard of trained judgment in meeting the needs of the clients or users of a service. In most countries, professional qualifications are awarded by the leading professional association, on the expectation that competencies will be maintained through continuing development of knowledge and skills. In most professions, standards are reinforced by government licensing and by a professional code of ethics. The American Library Association (ALA) established its Code of Ethics in 1939. Adherence has brought some librarians into conflict with members of the local community and with persons of power and influence, particularly over issues of censorship and privacy.

professional judgment
The ability of a person who has special knowledge, skill, or training to accurately assess a situation and recommend an appropriate course of action.

A demographic study of the community served by a library or library system, or of its registered users or user group, for the purpose of measuring economic, social, and educational variables pertinent to the development of collections, services, and programs and to the design of new facilities. A profile is usually conducted with the aid of a survey instrument but may also include data compiled from other sources.

Also refers to the list of needs established by a library with a publisher or wholesaler that supplies materials on approval or blanket order, which may include subject areas, levels of specialization and/or difficulty, languages, series, formats, maximum prices, etc.

Also, the degree to which the activities of an individual, organization, or institution are known in its community. Libraries typically emerge from their low-profile role in society when faced with the necessity of persuading their constituency to approve a funding measure. Library policy can also become high-profile when a challenge sparks a conflict over censorship or privacy.

In cartography, a scale representation of the intersection of a vertical surface (not necessarily a plane) with the surface of the ground and/or underlying strata, or of the intersection of such a vertical surface with that of a conceptual three-dimensional model representing phenomena with the characteristic of continuous distribution (AACR2). Vertical scale may be exaggerated to provide contrast. Often used synonymously with cross section. Click here to see a geologic profile of the Black Hills, South Dakota, and here to see an example for the Gale Crater Mound on Mars (NASA). A horizon profile depicts the land as a mariner would see it from a seaward approach, to aid in identifying suitable landfall (click here to see 18th-century examples, courtesy of the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine).

A list, usually printed, indicating the order in which the features and participants in a public ceremony, performance, entertainment, or other event are presented to the audience, sometimes with notes on the various items appended in a separate section, intended for distribution to individual members of the audience as they arrive (see this example). Programs for established venues and well-known performers often include graphics (example). Copies autographed by one or more of the performers may be collectible.

Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC)
An international program coordinated by the Library of Congress and participants from other countries, aimed at expanding access to library collections by providing useful, timely, and cost-effective cooperative cataloging that meets the mutually accepted standards of libraries around the world. PCC has four components: BIBCO (monographic bibliographic record program), NACO (name authority program), SACO (subject authority program), and CONSER (cooperative online serials program), guided by a policy committee that includes as permanent representatives the British Library, Library of Congress, Library and Archives Canada, OCLC, and Research Libraries Group. Founded in 1995, PCC has pursued a broad agenda of standards development, cataloger training, and development of automated systems. Click here to connect to the PCC homepage.

programmed text
An instructional book presented as a sequence of self-paced units that require the student to demonstrate an understanding of the content by responding appropriately at various steps along the way. If the correct answer is given, the lesson continues; if the student answers incorrectly, additional instruction and practice are provided until the unit is mastered. Programmed instruction is suitable only for material that can be learned in a step-by-step process.

programming language
A set of symbols with its own vocabulary, grammar, and syntax in which a person called a programmer writes statements instructing a computer to accomplish a specific task by executing a sequence of logical operations (examples: BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, etc.). The instructions, known as source code, are translated into the machine language specific to each type of CPU by special programs called assemblers, compilers, and interpreters. Standards for programming languages are set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

program notes
Explanatory notes accompanying a printed list of the works to be performed in a concert or theater, usually distributed to attendees by an usher upon entering the hall. Intended to be read before the curtain rises and during intermission, program notes usually contain information about the compositions to be performed and the people involved (composer or playwright, conductor or director, performers, etc.), usually written by a knowledgeable person. Of particular interest to music historians, program notes are classified by librarians as ephemera and can be difficult to locate, with the exception of performances given in major venues that maintain their own archives. When program notes are included with a sound recording, their presence is indicated by the cataloger in the note area of the bibliographic description. Name of author is included if given.

Program Presentation
A formal document prepared by a library and information studies program for submission to the Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA) as part of the comprehensive review process for accreditation. The document describes the program, in particular how it meets the 2008 Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies; analyzes it strengths, weaknesses, and challenges; and sets forth the program�s plans and goals for future development and continued compliance with ALA standards. One year before the site visit, a Plan for the Program Presentation must be submitted to the ALA Office for Accreditation by the program or institution to ensure that preparation for the review is accomplished in a timely and effective manner.

program records
In archives, the records created or received and maintained by an organization in the conduct of the primary functions for which it is responsible, as distinct from the housekeeping records related to its administrative operations. Synonymous with substantive records.

progressive proofs
In printmaking, a set of proofs that reveals the making of a color print in successive stages from the application of the first color to the finished print by showing the superimposition of each color in sequence or each color separately and in final combination (see these examples).

progress photograph
One of a series of photographic images made over a period of time to document the process of construction, renovation, or demolition of a structure, site, or object, often taken from the same vantage point for the sake of consistency (see these examples). Also used in science to document stages of change in a process, for example, the development of a medical or environmental condition.

Project Gutenberg (PG)
Founded in 1971 by University of Illinois student Michael Hart, Project Gutenberg was the first attempt to digitize, archive, and freely disseminate literary works in full-text via the Internet. Named after Johann Gutenberg, inventor of metal movable type, the volunteer project began with the text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and has since converted over 17,000 books to electronic text, mostly works of literature in the public domain. PG has affiliates in other countries. Click here to connect to Project Gutenberg.

In cartography, the result produced when the spherical surface of a globe is placed in a position relative to a light source from which an image of its surface can be projected onto a plane or onto a curved surface such as a cone or cylinder that can be cut and laid flat. The normal orientation for a planar projection is polar; for a conical projection, oblique; and for a cylindrical projection, equatorial. All projections involve some degree of distortion (see Exploring Earth). On maps of the earth or another celestial body, projection is represented by the graticule of lines showing latitude and longitude and is usually specified in the legend, with the Mercator projection being the most common. When a map is cataloged by a library, the statement of projection is given in the mathematical data area of the bibliographic description. Click here learn about the Fuller Projection and here learn about the Peters Projection. For more information, see Peter Dana's Map Projection Overview or Carlos Furuti's Cartographical Map Projections. See also: condensed projection, conformal projection, equal area projection, and equidistant projection.

Also refers to a future need or condition that can be forecast from a known set of data, for example, the amount of expansion space needed in the stacks of a library, based on average annual collection growth.

projection speed
The rate at which images on film are made to appear on a screen, using a machine called a film projector, the standard being 24 fps (frames per second) for sound film and 16 fps for silent film. In AACR2, projection speed is given in the physical description area of the bibliographic record only if it is not standard for the item (example: 1 film reel (1 min., 22 sec.) : si., b&w, 25 fps). Compare with playing speed.

Project MUSE
Originally funded by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Project MUSE is a joint project of Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP) and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSEL) at Johns Hopkins University, which began in 1993 by offering online access by subscription to JHUP journals in full-text. In 2000, Project MUSE added 60 journals from other scholarly publishers, with additional publishers joining in subsequent years. Today, Project MUSE provides access to over 490 journals from 135 publishers, mostly in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Click here to connect to the Project MUSE homepage. See also: JSTOR.

An optical instrument containing a lens and artificial light source, designed to produce an enlarged image of an individual slide for display on a wall or screen. In a film projector, a strip of film is wound past a lens and light beam at a fixed speed, allowing the succession of frames to be viewed as a continuously moving sequence on a wall or screen. See also: magic lantern.

Project SAILS
An acronym for Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills. A standardized multiple-choice test designed to evaluate the information literacy skills of individual students and groups of students enrolled at institutions of higher learning, containing test questions based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Developed at Kent State University, with funding from a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, SAILS is administered by Carrick Enterprises, Inc. Click here to learn more about Project SAILS.

A prologue or preliminary essay, especially one that is long and scholarly. The term is often seen in the titles of theses and dissertations (example: A Prolegomenon on Moderation in Plato's Republic by Stephen John Lange). Plural: prolegomena.

ProLiteracy Worldwide
Formed in 2002 by the merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, ProLiteracy Worldwide is the oldest and largest nongovernmental literacy organization in the world, dedicated to sponsoring educational programs that help adults and their families acquire the literacy skills necessary to function more effectively in their daily lives. Its United States division, ProLiteracy America, represents a national network of 1,200 community-based volunteer and adult basic education affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, providing volunteer tutors who are professionally trained to teach basic literacy and English to speakers of other languages. Proceeds from its publishing house, New Readers Press, support its programs. ProLiteracy is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). Click here to connect to the ProLiteracy homepage.

The introduction to a play, novel, poem, or other literary work placed by the author at the opening of the text, rather than in the front matter (example: The Wife of Bath's Prologue in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales). Also refers to introductory lines spoken by a member of the cast before the beginning of the first act of a dramatic performance to prepare the audience for the theme to be developed or state the moral embodied in the action that follows. Compare with epilogue. In a broader sense, preliminary events leading to more weighty consequences.

Advancement of a librarian or other library staff member to a higher rank within the same library or library system, usually on the basis of favorable performance evaluation and accompanied by an increase in salary or wages. A change of position can be a promotion if it involves more responsibility and authority. In libraries in which employment is governed by a collective bargaining agreement, eligibility for promotion and method of evaluation may be determined by contract. Compare with tenure. See also: peer evaluation.

Also refers to the activity of marketing a product, service, or institution to people in a position to buy, use, or support it. National Children's Book Week is an example of an activity intended to promote the use of libraries in the United States.

promotional book
A profusely illustrated book on a popular subject, usually an out of print trade title reprinted in a less expensive edition specifically for sale as a bargain item in trade bookstores. Art, travel, cooking, gardening, and natural history are favorite subjects. In public libraries, a promotional book received in good condition as a gift may be added to the collection if demand exists for the subject. Abbreviated promo book.

promotional copy
A copy of a commercially released sound recording or videorecording given by the recording company to a reviewer, a radio or television station, or other entity or person without charge, to help secure the recording's success in the market place. Royalties are not paid on promotional copies. Abbreviated promo copy.

promotional film
A nonfiction motion picture of any length made to publicize or further the interests of a specific business, industry, organization, cause, etc., for example, Walt Disney's last film, a 1966 preview to EPCOT. Abbreviated promo film.

A message at a point on a computer screen, usually in the form of a small blinking cursor (with or without explanatory text), indicating that data is to be entered or an operation initiated by the user.

The version of the script of a play used during a performance by the person responsible for jogging the memory of the actors and stage hands when they forget their lines or miss their cues. The lines in a promptbook are annotated to indicate the action, cues, props, costumes, lighting, etc., at each point in the production (see this example, courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library). Promptbooks are also useful as evidence of theater history. The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia provides a searchable database of Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the Seventeenth Century, edited by G. Blakemore Evans. Also spelled prompt-book and prompt book. Synonymous with prompt copy.

In printing, a trial impression made from metal type, plates, photographic film, or magnetic tape or disk, for inspection and correction at the various stages of composition. Proofs of textual matter are known as proof sheets. In book production, a different kind of proof is made at each stage of the printing process. Designated by form, purpose, or destination, proofs are taken in the following sequence:

first proof - a preliminary galley proof, corrected by the printer's reader for return to the typesetter
galley or slip proof - taken before matter is made up into pages, checked by the printer's reader and sent to publisher for author's corrections (see this example)
page proof - taken after the author's corrections are made and the type is made up into pages, sent to the author for final corrections (see this example)
marked proof - includes the author's corrections, checked by the printer's reader for conformity with house style
show revise - the reader requires a further proof
clean proof - a statement by the reader that the copy is completely corrected
press - final instruction from the publisher that the work is ready to go to press

See also: uncorrected proof.

In printmaking, an impression taken from a plate, block, or stone at any stage in the process, which is not considered part of the edition, for example, an artist's proof or trial proof. See also: counterproof.

In photography, a print made as a quick record of a negative or to allow the client to make a choice, as in the case of a studio portrait. See also: progressive proofs, proof print, and scatter proof.

proof impression
See: proof print.

proof of ownership
The means by which right of possession of a book, manuscript, or other item is conclusively established, important in the identification and recovery of materials stolen from libraries and archives and difficult to establish in some cases. Ownership marks are helpful, as are photographs of the binding, title page, or a page with physical peculiarities (typographical irregularities, identifiable discolorations, etc.) or bibliographic idiosyncrasies (inscriptions, marginal notes, etc.).

proof of payment
Verification, usually in the form of a canceled check, that an amount due has been paid, normally provided at the request of a vendor or supplier, but the customer may also make such a request.

proof print
In printing, an impression of an illustration made from the final plate before the regular impression is published, usually prior to the addition of the title or caption. Synonymous with proof impression.

The step in the publishing process in which the printer's proof is meticulously read and compared with the original manuscript or typescript copy to detect errors in typesetting. Corrections are noted on the proof by the proofreader and sent back to the printer. See also: typographical error.

Originally referred to the activities of a committee of cardinals called the congregatio de propaganda fide (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), established in the 17th century by the Roman Catholic Church to oversee the training of priests for foreign missions. In modern usage, the organized dissemination of information, doctrines, or practices by a person, group, organization, or government with intent to manipulate or control public opinion in support of a specific political, social, economic, or religious agenda (click here to see an example of printed propaganda used by the Scientific Temperance Federation of Boston in the early 20th century). In democratic societies, the term has acquired a pejorative connotation. The Georgetown University Library provides online exhibitions of British and American World War I posters. The International Institute of Social History in the Netherlands provides The Chairman Smiles, an exhibition of posters from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and China. See also: intellectual freedom and mazarinade.

proper name
An appellation identifying a specific person, corporate body, place, event, period of history, or entity, as opposed to the common name. In the English language, each noun and adjective in a proper name is capitalized, as in: Johann Gutenberg, Library of Congress, New York City, American Revolution, Renaissance, Statue of Liberty, etc. When a proper name is used as a heading in indexing or library cataloging, the order of words may be inverted to bring the most significant word into filing position ("Gutenberg, Johann" and "Revolution, American," but not "Liberty, Statue of").

property stamp
A rubber stamp used to mark ownership of library materials in ink, usually on the inside of the cover of a book, on one of the endpaper(s), on one or more of the leaves, or across the top, bottom, or fore-edge of the sections.

proportional circle
See: graduated circle.

A plan for a project involving research, scholarship, or creative endeavor, usually written as part of an application for grant funding by the person or group who conceived the idea and with the intention of pursuing it to fruition. A proposal typically includes a brief abstract, a detailed narrative description, a statement of goals and objectives, a realistic timetable, a list of resources (human and material), an itemized budget, criteria for evaluating success, a commitment to specific reporting procedures, and letters of support affirming the value of the project. Manuals on proposal writing are available in most academic libraries.

proposed work
A graphic design for a project not executed, including book illustrations never published and architectural drawings for buildings not constructed.

Something that is privately owned and controlled, usually by a person or commercial enterprise. The term implies that the specifications or authority needed to reproduce the thing are withheld from public knowledge or legally protected, usually by copyright or patent. In computing, a system, interface, program, or file available only by permission of the owner or author, as opposed to one that is open to use without restrictions. Compare with open systems. See also: licensing agreement.

proprietary library
An early form of library in which the capital (property) was held in a common fund as joint stock owned by the members in shares that could be sold or transferred independently. Proprietors were required to pay an annual assessment on their shares, and nonproprietors were allowed use of the library only upon payment of an annual fee. Compare with subscription library.

An information service that provides online indexing of articles published in thousands of current periodicals, including the full-text of a significant number of titles. One of the three leading aggregators of journals available in electronic format, ProQuest relies on the extensive UMI microfilm collection to expand its digital back files. Click here to connect the the ProQuest homepage. See also: EBSCO.

From the Latin pro rata. To divide, distribute, or assess proportionally, for example, to provide employee benefits according to number of hours worked part-time as a proportion of the number of hours constituting full-time employment. Also spelled pro-rate.

Spoken and written language in its ordinary everyday form, as distinct from poetic language consciously given metric structure. Samuel Taylor Coleridge defined prose as "words in their best order" and poetry as "the best words in the best order." See also: purple prose.

A separately printed announcement, usually in the form of a leaflet, distributed by a publisher to prospective purchasers, describing or sketching the plan of a forthcoming publication for the purpose of soliciting advance orders, sometimes with the added inducement of a prepublication price or discount. Usually includes a sample page and illustration, table of contents, list of contributors, and information about price and estimated date of publication. Used for major works, such as serials and expensive multivolume reference sets, to provide more detailed information than a selector can normally obtain from reading reviews and book announcements.

protest work
A creative work expressing criticism of a political or religious institution, negative social commentary, or dissent from established doctrine or opinion. The category includes books, pamphlets, posters, cartoons, caricatures, songs, and dramatic works, as well as ephemera, such as bumper stickers and lapel buttons (see this anti-war example). Criticism may be expressed directly or obliquely, in anger or with humor.

From the Greek protos ("first in time") and kolla ("glue"). In Antiquity, the protokollon was the first sheet of a papyrus roll, usually bearing the official mark of the manufacturer and giving a description of the contents of the manuscript. In modern usage, an original draft of a document. Also, a formal or official statement recording the details of a transaction or proceeding, or a similar record of the procedures and results of a scientific experiment or medical treatment.

In electronic communications, a set of formal conventions for the exchange of data between workstations connected to a computer network, including the rules governing data format and control of input, transmission, and output. Data transmission over the Internet is governed by the TCP/IP protocol implemented in 1982, which allows users of different types of computers to communicate seamlessly. The six main protocols used in Internet addresses (URLs) are:

ftp:// - FTP directory of downloadable data or program files
gopher:// - Gopher server
http:// - Hypertext document on the World Wide Web
mailto: - Electronic mail (e-mail)
news: - Usenet newsgroup
telnet:// - Application program running on a remote host

Also refers to a signed document recording points of agreement reached at a diplomatic conference between two or more nations, preliminary to negotiating a formal convention or treaty, and to the code of ceremonial etiquette observed by government officials in affairs of state. By extension, any code of conventional conduct or procedure.

In the history of libraries, an ancient precursor of the true library. In History of Libraries in the Western World (Scarecrow, 1995), library historian Michael H. Harris identifies five distinct types:

  • Temple collections containing religious literature (sacred texts, rituals and incantations, songs, creation stories, biographies of gods/goddesses, and commentaries by religious authorities)
  • Government archives containing records of property ownership, taxation, laws and decrees, treaties, reports, military histories, genealogies of rulers, chronicles, etc.
  • Business records covering property ownership, purchases and sales, inventories, taxes and tributes, etc.
  • Family manuscript collections relating to property ownership and inheritance, genealogy, astrology and divination, omens, etc.
  • Official or "copyright" collections containing authorized exemplars used in making manuscript copies to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of texts

A record of the origin and history of ownership or custodianship of a specific copy of a book, manuscript, or other work of art. In medieval manuscripts, evidence of who commissioned the work can sometimes be found in emblems, mottos, heraldic devices, and miniatures that include an image of the patron or donor. References in catalogs, correspondence, and other historical records may also provide clues. In later works, bookplates, ownership marks, inscriptions, inserted matter, a special binding, and notes written in or on the item often provide evidence of provenance, often important in establishing value. See David Badke's discussion of the provenance of the 15th-century Bestiary of Anne Walshe or the exhibition Thys Boke Is Myne courtesy of the Folger Shakesepare Library. See also: ex-library copy.

In archives, the succession of custodians responsible for creating, receiving, or accumulating a collection of records or personal papers. Authentication of archival materials requires that provenance be determined with certainty. The related principle of respect des fonds requires that records known to have originated from a given source be documented and retained separately from those of other agencies or persons and in their original order and organizational context, whenever possible.

A short memorable saying of unknown origin, but in common use, expressing in simple yet vivid language an obvious truth, familiar experience, or piece of sage advice, often metaphorical or alliterative (example: look before you leap). Proverbs are collected and published in dictionaries, usually shelved in the reference section of a library. Click here to see a draft manuscript containing fragments of Adagia, a collection of proverbs recorded by Erasmus of Rotterdam, and here to see an edition of Arabic proverbs, courtesy of the Royal Library of Denmark.

provisional edition
See: preliminary edition.

provisional serial
A publication cataloged as a serial while in the process of being published but as a nonserial when complete, usually because the period of publication is lengthy and/or the numbering of issues complicated. Compare with pseudo-serial.

provisional term
A descriptor or subject heading added temporarily to an indexing language, subject to future evaluation, often representing a new concept in a field for which the terminology is still growing. Compare with identifier.

The search software of some bibliographic databases allows a proximity operator to be used in search statements to specify that a record will be retrieved only if the keywords typed as search terms appear within a designated number of words of each other or within the same sentence or paragraph. The proximity operator is not standardized (in some databases it is "adj," for adjacent to; in others it is "w," for with).

publication adj1 date or publication w1 date

In the example given above, the query will retrieve records in which the word "publication" appears within one word of "date," for example, records containing the phrase date of publication or publication date (or both) and also date for publication, publication and date, publication to date, publication with date, etc.

If proximity searching is available in a specific database, instructions concerning its use can usually be found in the help screen(s). Synonymous with adjacency.

proxy server
An application program that operates between a client and server on a computer network, usually installed as a firewall to provide security or to increase speed of access by performing some of the housekeeping tasks that would normally be handled by the server itself, such as checking authentication or validating user requests. Also called a proxy. See also: daemon and EZproxy.

See: public service announcement.

A liturgical book containing the 150 Psalms of the Bible, usually combined with the calendar of Church feasts, Old Testament canticles, creeds, litany of saints, and additional prayers. Prior to the emergence of the Book of Hours in the 13th century, the psalter was also the most important book used in private devotion. The 15th-century Burnet Psalter is a particularly fine example (University of Aberdeen Library, AUL MS 25). Medieval psalters were often beautifully illuminated, especially the initial letter "B" of the first word (Beatus) of the first Psalm (Bodleian Library, MS Lat.liturg.d.42). The unfinished Eadui Psalter of the 11th century contains a similar example (British Library, Arundel 155). The life of King David, to whom most of the Psalms are attributed, is often the subject of historiated initials and miniatures in medieval psalters (see this example). Click here to page through a series of historiated initials in a 13th-century French psalter (Getty Museum, MS 66).

A female author writing under a masculine pseudonym, a common literary practice during the 18th and 19th centuries when writing was considered an unsuitable occupation for a woman who wished to preserve her reputation (example: George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans Cross). Use of a male pseudonym was also seen as a way to increase readership.

Literally, writings that bear a false title, especially texts ascribed to characters appearing in the Old Testament, subsequently found to have been written by Jews and Christians between 300 B.C. and A.D. 200. In a general sense, any text falsely attributed to a major author. Some scholars have argued that all the works of William Shakespeare fall into this category.

A fictitious name, especially one assumed by an author to conceal or obscure identity (see this example, courtesy of the British Library). The classic example in American literature is Mark Twain whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The writer François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) probably holds the record for the most pseudonyms, with Daniel Foe (Defoe) a close second. Prior to the mid-19th century, women writers often used male pseudonyms (pseudandry) to get their works published and to attract readership (example: George Sand whose real name was Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin Dudevant), although there were notable exceptions (Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters). A joint pseudonym is one shared by two or more collaborators in a work (Rosetta Stone used by Dr. Seuss and the illustrator Michael K. Frith). U.S. copyright law permits a person to register works pseudonymously. Click here to connect to a.k.a., an online dictionary of pseudonyms, or try the List of Pseudonyms provided by Wikipedia. Abbreviated pseud. Compare with allonym. See also: pen name.

A publication treated by a library cataloger as a monographic work when first published but subsequently as a serial, usually after having been repeatedly revised and reissued (example: Guide to Reference Books published by the American Library Association). Compare with provisional serial.

The Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), including in its membership publishers of books, journals, loose-leaf materials, computer software, databases, and CD-ROMs in science, medicine, technology, law, business, the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. A title published by such a company is known in the book trade as a PSP book. Click here to connect to the PSP homepage. See also: professional book and STM.

psychological novel
A type of novel in which the plot and setting are secondary to the author's exploration of the mind and motives of the principal characters in the narrative (example: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky).

See: Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association.

See: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

See: patent and trademark resource center.

Public Access Policy
See: NIH Public Access Policy.

public access television
Television channels, typically available only via cable systems, set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) between 1969 and 1971 for the use of nonprofit television stations and private citizens, to promote local community interests, as distinct from PBS, an educational broadcasting service distributed to member stations via satellite, which provides content produced primarily for a national audience. Disenchanted with the commercial broadcasting system, the pioneers of public access television intended it to be a means of fulfilling the social potential of cable television by providing a free-speech forum under the First Amendment, open to all citizens on a first-come-first-served basis without discrimination as to content. Not surprisingly, public access television has been challenged by cable TV providers, local governments and officials, special interest groups, individual viewers, and others. Synonymous with PEG (Public, Educational, and Governmental Access).

public address system
A voice amplification system installed in a large facility, used for paging staff when their presence is required and for informing patrons of closing time, emergencies, etc. In libraries, the microphone is usually installed behind the circulation desk and used only when necessary, to minimize distraction.

public affairs program
A nonfiction work for television or radio in which journalists and/or politicians, candidates, or other public figures speak, discuss, debate, or editorialize on politics, government, public policy, and/or current events, often in a panel or seated around a table (example: the series Washington Week on PBS). Televised debates may include questions from a live audience.

Under U.S. copyright law, the act of distributing copies of a creative work to the public by sale, lease, rental, or lending. Also refers to a work capable of being read or otherwise perceived (book, audiorecording, videocrecording, CD-ROM, etc.), issued by a publisher for sale to the general public, usually in multiple copies and sometimes in multiple editions. Compare with privately printed. See also: electronic publication, library publication, publication date, and publication history.

publication date
The date on which copies of a creative work are officially offered for sale to the public. For trade books, the date is announced by the publisher in advance and promotional activities are orchestrated to coincide with it. In printed books, the publication date is given as the year, usually on the verso of the title page. When date of first publication differs from date of current edition, first and subsequent dates are indicated. In older books, publication date may be given in the colophon. In periodicals, it is the day and month, or just the month or period of issue (spring, summer, fall, winter), usually printed on the front cover. For motion pictures, release date is used. For a Web page, it is usually the date of last update. In library cataloging, publication date is recorded as one of the elements in the publication, distribution, etc., area of the bibliographic description. Abbreviated pub date. Synonymous with imprint date. Compare with copyright date. See also: date range, false date, no date, and postdated.

publication, distribution, etc.
The area of description in a bibliographic record reserved for information about the act of publishing, distributing, releasing, and issuing the bibliographic item (MARC field 260), including place of publication, name of publisher, and date of publication or release.

publication history
For books published in one or more volumes, the sequence of printings and editions of the work, especially any changes in the title or publisher, usually given on the verso of the title page (see this example). For serials, the sequence of volumes, parts, or numbers issued, including any breaks, title changes, or changes in publisher. In library cataloging, details of publication are given for a serial in the numeric and/or alphabetic, chronological, or other designation area of the bibliographic description, in an open or closed entry. Compare with printing history.

publication schedule
In publishing, a timetable established by the managing editor for the process of editing, printing, and binding a new publication (or new edition of an existing one) to ensure that it will be ready for distribution by the projected publication date. Also refers to the sequence or frequency with which works are issued by the publisher, especially serial publications. In the case of periodicals, the schedule is announced in advance of subscription. See also: additional volume and delayed publication.

publication type
An option available to users of some bibliographic databases that allows search results to be limited to materials of specific format or content (book, book chapter, journal article, newspaper article, dissertation, proceedings, primary source document, abstract, review, editorial, letter, interview, case study, clinical trial, etc.). Each database normally has its own list of publication types, reflecting the structure of the literature indexed. Synonymous with document type. Compare with material type.

publication year
The 12-month period during which all the issues or parts of a volume of a serial publication are issued, which may not coincide with the calendar year, as in the case of some of the periodical indexes published by H.W. Wilson (Art Index, Education Index, Social Sciences Index, etc.). Compare with subscription period.

public broadcasting system (PBS)
See: public television.

public domain (PD)
Works not protected by copyright, or for which copyright has expired, which may be printed for distribution and sale, quoted, excerpted, reproduced, and made available online to the public without infringement, for example, a government document over which an agency decides not to exercise copyright in order to make its content widely known. Project Gutenberg is an example of a service that provides online full-text of literary works in the public domain. Lolly Gasaway of the University of North Carolina provides a chart of When U.S. Works Pass into the Public domain. The term also applies to computer software (freeware and shareware) made available by the designer(s) at no charge as a public service. Click here to connect to the homepage of the Union for the Public Domain. See also: abandonment of copyright.

Public Information Office (PIO)
The executive office of the American Library Association responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans for communicating ALA goals and priorities in the areas of media relations, advocacy, public education, and crisis communications. PIO creates targeted initiatives that communicate the position of the ALA on key action areas: 21st-century literacy, diversity, education and lifelong learning, intellectual freedom, and equity of access. The Office also provides public relations counsel and media training and support to ALA executive staff, officers, and members; coordinates national media relations efforts; organizes an advocacy network; and develops materials in support of efforts by librarians to promote local programs and services. Click here to connect to the PIO homepage.

Information publicly distributed in a variety of forms (announcements, advertisements, press releases, fliers, posters, etc.) with the intention of making something widely known. Libraries sponsor special events, especially during National Library Week, to publicize their services and programs. In the June/July 2005 issue of American Libraries, Claudia O'Keefe lists six basic steps for an effective media campaign:

  • Target your audience.
  • Decide which media outlets are most appropriate for you audience.
  • Gather all the facts and materials required to publicize your event.
  • Produce the two basic components of a local media campaign: the press release and an art piece.
  • Distribute your publicity (press releases, fliers, posters, etc.) at the proper time.
  • Follow up on your efforts, allowing a reasonable amount of time for your information to arrive.

See also: public relations and public service announcement.

publicity photograph
A photographic image made to promote a motion picture, book, performance, event, etc., to the general public, usually featuring one or more persons involved in the production, often in costume. Click here to see an example featuring the actor Laurence Olivier in a 1945 production of Henry V, courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Publicity photographs may be protected by copyright. Libraries may include contact information in the catalog record to facilitate the process of obtaining permission (see these examples, courtesy of the Library of Congress). Compare with glamour photograph.

Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
A system for locating and identifying land authorized by Congress in the Land Ordinance of 1785 for use by surveyors in the settlement of the coterminous United States, with the exception of the first 18 states, Texas, and parts of Ohio. Under the PLSS, survey data and property ownership are recorded by rectilinear township, range, section, and portion of section, with reference to principal meridians and base lines. Size of unit is standardized, with a township measuring 6 miles to a side (36 square miles). Each township is divided into 36 sections of 640 acres (1 mile to a side). Sections were further subdivided in a variety of ways by local surveyors. Click here to learn more about the PLSS, courtesy of Wikipedia, or try GeoSTAC's description in Introduction to Topographic Maps. See also: range line.

Public Lending Right (PLR)
Under programs funded by the national governments of Britain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, authors of works circulated by public libraries are entitled to receive a subsidy based on the number of times a book is borrowed. In Britain, living authors and illustrators named on the title page may register to receive compensation, provided they are UK residents. Periodicals, reference books, and conference proceedings are excluded, as are works of less than 32 pages (24 pages for poetry and drama). For a more detailed discussion of PLR, see the entry by Jim Parker in the International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science (Routledge, 2003). In Canada, the program is administered by the Public Lending Right Commission.

Public Libraries International Network (PLIN)
Founded by a group of former members of the International Network of Public Libraries (INPL), a "think tank" for public librarians established in 1996 with support from the Bertelsmann Foundation to develop and nurture innovative practices, PLIN will begin accepting new members in 2005. The Bertelsmann Foundation is a 26-year-old nonprofit organization established by the multinational media publishing giant Bertelsmann AG. The INPL was created to facilitate cooperation and exchange of experience among public library experts across national boundaries. Click here to learn more about PLIN.

public library (PL)
A library or library system that provides unrestricted access to library resources and services free of charge to all the residents of a given community, district, or geographic region, supported wholly or in part by public funds. Because public libraries have a broader mandate than academic libraries and most special libraries, they must develop their collections to reflect diversity. The largest public library system in the United States is the New York Public Library. Click here to connect to the Libweb directory of U.S. public libraries, or try the Public Library Locator maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). See also: Public Library Association.

Public Library Association (PLA)
A division of the American Library Association (ALA) since 1944, PLA has a membership of librarians, library trustees, and friends interested in the general improvement and expansion of public library services for readers of all ages. PLA publishes the bimonthly magazine Public Libraries. Click here to connect to the PLA homepage.

Public Library Geographic Database (PLGDB)
A demographic resource for public library planners and decision-makers developed by the GeoLib Program at Florida State University (FSU) and the Information Institute at the FSU School of Information Studies, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), PLGDB uses geographic information systems (GIS) software to link key public library data sets to a national interactive digital base map of over 16,000 public library locations in the United States. The first key data set contains data on library use, staffing, and funding for each library or library system's central facility, collected by the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) of the National Center for Educational Statistics (U.S. Department of Education). The second key data set includes U.S. Census data selected on the basis of relevance to public library use (age, education, income, and language spoken) provided at the block group level (about 1,000 persons). Block groups are aggregated to form census tracts (4,000 to 8,000 persons), which in turn make up counties. Click here to connect to PLGDB.

public opinion poll
See: poll.

Public Printer
The official title of the chief executive officer of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress, the Public Printer is responsible for overseeing the production and distribution of information products and services for the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government, and for appointing the Superintendent of Documents and the Depository Library Council (DLC). Click here to see a list of past Public Printers, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Public Programs Office (PPO)
The executive office of the American Library Association (ALA) charged with fostering cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries. The unit provides leadership, resources, training, and networking opportunities to help librarians nationwide develop and host cultural opportunities for adults, young adults, and families, as well as a series of ALA-sponsored touring exhibition. Click here to connect to the PPO homepage.

Public Record Office (PRO)
Established in 1838 to reform the maintenance and control of government and court records in Britain, the PRO is one of the two organizations that merged in April 2003 to form the National Archives, the other being the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Most documents held by the PRO were kept "closed" (secret) for a period of 30 years, but when the UK's Freedom of Information Act came into force on January 1, 2005, the 30-year rule was abolished, subjecting records formerly closed to the same access provisions as other public records; however, under FOIA some records are closed to public scrutiny for extended periods, for example, individual census returns, which remain confidential for 100 years. Click here to learn more about the PRO, courtesy of Wikipedia. The Web address (URL) of the PRO is now set to default to the homepage of the National Archives.

public relations (PR)
Publicity designed to create favorable public opinion and boost awareness of the benefits of library services, resources, and programs and promote the interests of libraries in society. Large public library systems usually employ at least one librarian or library staff member who specializes in public relations. The American Library Association actively promotes libraries, especially during National Library Week. Click here to connect to the ALA's Web page on library promotions. See also: Friends of the Library, Public Information Office, and Public Relations and Marketing Section.

Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS)
The section of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) within the American Library Association (ALA) that promotes the study of public relations theory and policies and seeks to improve the practice of public relations in all types of libraries. PRMS also serves as public relations liaison between LLAMA and other ALA units, identifies aspects of public relations about which the library profession needs to be informed, and conducts appropriate educational programs and institutes. Click here to connect to the PRMS homepage.

public service announcement (PSA)
An advertisement or commercial promoting a charitable or worthy cause, carried by an advertising vehicle (television, radio, newspaper, etc.) as a public service to its viewers, listeners, or readers at no charge to the advertiser. For libraries, the advantages of using free publicity may be offset by lack of control over time of placement.

public services
Activities and operations of a library that bring the staff into regular direct contact with its users, including circulation, reference, online services, bibliographic instruction, serials assistance, government documents, and interlibrary loan/document delivery, as distinct from technical services, which are performed behind the scenes, out of contact with library users.

public television
Television broadcast stations supported by foundation grants, government subsidies, and contributions from viewers, commercial companies, and other benefactors, providing cultural, educational, and recreational programming for adults and children. Public television stations do not rely on ratings, so the quality of their programming is not dictated by the need to cater to the widest possible viewing audience. In the United States, the public broadcasting system is PBS (click here to use the Station Finder). In Great Britain, it is the BBC, and in Canada, CBC. Compare with commercial television. See also: Reading Rainbow.

public use file
See: disclosure-free extract.

Worthy of being published. Also used in reference to a work suitable for publication; not libelous.

published price
See: list price.

A person or corporate entity that prepares and issues printed materials for public sale or distribution, normally on the basis of a legal contract in which the publisher is granted certain exclusive rights in exchange for assuming the financial risk of publication and agreeing to compensate the author, usually with a share of the profits. In older books, the publisher and printer are often the same, but since the mid-19th century, the two functions have been performed by separate entities. The name of the publisher is usually printed at the foot of the title page and on the verso. In library cataloging, name of publisher is entered in the publication, distribution, etc., area of the bibliographic description. Synonymous with press. Compare with distributor. See also: device.

In the United States, the trade association of the publishing industry is the Association of American Publishers (AAP). An international Directory of Publishers and Vendors is available online from AcqWeb, a Website created and maintained especially for acquisitions and collection development librarians. One of the volumes of Books in Print (BIP) is a print directory of U.S. publishers, available in the reference section of most libraries. Yahoo! provides a list of publishers with Web pages. See also: commercial publisher, foreign subsidiary, independent publisher, metapublisher, micropublisher, museum publisher, popular press, private press, small press, sub-publisher, trade publisher, university press, and vanity publisher.

publisher's agreement
A contract between a writer and publisher stating the terms under which the author's work(s) will be published and sold. The publisher is granted certain exclusive rights in exchange for assuming the financial risk of publication. Under most agreements, the author is compensated in one of four ways: royalties based on a percentage of sales, profit sharing, commission, or outright sale of copyright. Synonymous with book contract.

publisher's binding
The binding on a trade book as originally issued in multiple copies by the publisher (usually a cloth case binding), as distinct from a binding made to special order. Not all copies of an edition are cased at the same time, or even by the same bindery, which may lead to slight variations in state within the same edition. Click here to learn more about the early history of publisher's bindings, courtesy of the British Library, and here to see an online exhibition of 19th-century gold-stamped publishers' bindings, courtesy of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia University. The University of Alabama Library provides the exhibition Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books. See also Beauty for Commerce: Publishers' Bindings, 1830-1910 (University of Rochester Libraries). Synonymous with edition binding. Compare with popular edition and prelibrary binding.

publisher's catalog
A free advertising brochure sent by a publisher to libraries, booksellers, and other prospective customers, describing new books (frontlist) and listing titles on the backlist, usually indexed by author and title, with an order form in the back. Publisher's catalogs are issued seasonally, usually in the spring and fall of each year. Librarians select on the basis of reviews but may use publisher's catalogs to verify information prior to ordering. Northern Lights Internet Solutions provides a searchable database of Publishers' Catalogues. See also: blurb.

publisher's cloth
The original cloth cover of an edition binding as issued by the publisher, as distinct from the cloth cover of a custom binding. Click here to see a colored example, courtesy of the Monash University Rare Books Collection. Trade editions were first issued in cloth binding in England in the early 19th century. Click here to learn more about early publisher's bindings, courtesy of the British Library.

publisher's device
See: publisher's mark.

publisher's mark
A device printed in a book to identify its publisher, in the same way that a printer's mark represents the printer (see this example on the title page of a 17th-century book and this 19th-century example, courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh). Some early publisher's marks included a motto (see this 16th-century example used by the Parisian printer/publisher Antoine Verard). Synonymous with publisher's device.

publisher's number
A numbering designation assigned to an item of music by the publisher, which may include abbreviations, initials, or words identifying the publisher, normally appearing only on the title page, cover, and/or first page of music (AACR2). In music cataloging, a publisher's number is recorded in the note area of the bibliographic description (example: Publisher's no.: 6201/9935). Compare with plate number.

publisher's reader
See: reader.

Publishers Weekly (PW)
The weekly trade journal of the American publishing industry. Founded in 1872, Publishers Weekly provides news and announcements; feature articles; author interviews; advance reviews of fiction, nonfiction, and children's books; lists of hardcover and paperback bestsellers; and analysis of trends of interest to publishers, librarians, booksellers, and others involved in the book trade. PW is published by Reed Business Information. ISSN: 0000-0019. Click here to connect to the online version of PW.

The business of issuing books, music, photographs, maps, and other printed materials for sale to the public, which includes negotiating contracts with authors and their literary agents, editing the author's manuscript, designing the physical item (typography, layout, dust jacket, etc.), producing the finished product (printing, binding etc.), marketing the work, and making arrangements for its distribution through regular market channels. In the United States, the trade association of the publishing industry is the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The industry's trade journal is Publishers Weekly. See also: co-publishing, desktop publishing, digital publishing, electronic publishing, niche publishing, and on-demand publishing.

Publishing and Depository Services (PDS)
Part of the Integrated Services Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada, PDS is one of the directorates forming the Government Information Services (GIS) sector, with responsibility for publishing and distributing an extensive variety of Canadian government publications. Click here to connect to the homepage of Government Canada Publications.

publishing season
See: season.

publish or perish
The expectation that academic professionals (including academic librarians) who wish to qualify for tenure and promotion and further their careers should engage in creative endeavor appropriate to their field and publish their results. Some have argued that this expectation has lead to a decline in the overall quality of published output. In August 2001, Tom Abate suggested in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that in the biosciences, the academic credo has become "patent and profit."


PubMed Central (PMC)
A free, permanent, full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, maintained at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). Initiated in February 2000, the repository was developed and is managed by NLM�s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Click here to connect to the PMC homepage.

A pejorative term used since the 17th century to refer to immoderate praise of a book or other creative work, usually in the form of a review or advertisement written by the publisher, author, or a copy writer, intended to influence opinion and promote sales. In book publishing, a puff is usually printed on the dust jacket or included in an advertisement in a review publication. A preliminary puff is written prior to publication for the use of sales representatives. See also: blurb.

Biased literary criticism emanating from a small clique or coterie, usually individuals who have a vested interest in promoting the work, either because they stand to gain financially from its success, are indebted to the publisher for some reason, or are personal friends of the author or illustrator.

In ancient Rome, a book small enough to be held in the hand, consisting of two to eight leaves made of wood, ivory, or metal, covered on one side with wax on which characters were incised with a sharp writing implement called a stylus. Covered in parchment or leather, the tablets were held together by leather cords or rings. Synonymous with tablet book. Compare with diptych. See also: codex.

Pulitzer Prize
Named after the Hungarian American journalist and philanthropist Joseph Pulitzer who initially endowed them, the Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded annually by Columbia University since 1917 for exemplary achievements in American journalism, letters, drama, and music. Fourteen prizes are given in journalism, including a gold medal for public service. The prizes in letters are for fiction, history, poetry, biography or autobiography, and general nonfiction. Each prize includes $5,000 paid by the Pulitzer endowments. Click here to see a list of past Pulitzer Prize winners by category. See also: National Book Award and Nobel Prize in Literature.

A small ribbon or tab attached to the binding of a book, usually at the side of the spine, to facilitate removal from a slipcase or other close-fitting container. The term is also used in letterpress to mean an impression of type.

A telescoping box in two separable parts, the uppermost fitting over the lower, designed as a container for one or more books, pamphlets, or other printed material. A pull-case differs from a slipcase in leaving no portion of the contents exposed, providing virtually airtight protection. See also: solander.

Disassembling a book to prepare it for rebinding, a process that requires the removal of the case or cover, boards, endpapers, tapes, and lining. The sections are then freed by stripping the adhesive from the binding edge and cutting the sewing threads. Pulling sometimes damages the back folds, requiring repair, usually by the use of guards. Synonymous with take down.

Pages inserted in a magazine which can easily be removed and retained for future reference. Also used synonymously with throw-out.

Vegetable material reduced to a liquid fibrous mass by mechanical and/or chemical means for use in papermaking. Most pulp is manufactured from wood, but permanent paper usually contains a percentage of cotton and/or linen rag. Chemical wood pulp is treated in manufacture to remove lignin, an acidic substance that causes the leaves and bindings of books to deteriorate over time. Untreated mechanical wood paper is used for low-grade papers such as newsprint when permanence is not essential. See also: fiber content.

According to The Bookman's Glossary (Bowker, 1983), the term is also used in publishing to refer to a magazine printed on inexpensive, poor-quality paper manufactured from groundwood pulp (newsprint). See also: pulp fiction.

pulp fiction
Sensational fiction of no enduring literary value, popular from the 1920s through the 1940s. Written for the mass market, usually according to formula, pulp fiction was printed on poor-quality paper, bound in softcover, and easily recognized by the lurid design on the front cover. Popular genres include romance, adventure, westerns, etc. For examples, see Pulp Fiction Central. Compare with popular fiction. See also: mass-market paperback and pulp magazine.

pulp magazine
An inexpensive popular magazine of the early 20th century devoted to sensational stories of love, adventure, mystery, or intrigue, usually printed on newsprint. To see examples, try a search on the term in Google Images. See also: ephemera.

Lightweight, porous, highly abrasive volcanic glass, used in powdered form as pounce to prepare the surface of a sheet of parchment or vellum for writing. In solid form, pumice is used to polish new skins in the making of parchment and to scrape writing from an existing manuscript to prepare it for reuse (see palimpsest). Click here to see the surface texture of pumice enlarged.

The use of standard characters in writing and printing to separate words, clauses, parenthetical phrases, sentences, etc., and to indicate meaning or tone. In the English language, the most frequently used punctuation marks are the period (.), comma (,), colon (:), semicolon (;), question mark(?), exclamation point (!), apostrophe ('), quotation marks (" "), parentheses ( ), hyphen (-), dash (--), and square brackets [ ]. In AACR2, precise rules for the use of punctuation and spacing in library catalog records are given in the instructions for each area of bibliographic description.

puppet play
A dramatic work written for characters in the form of representational figures, designed to be physically manipulated by one or more entertainers, known as a puppeteers, who also speak the lines. Puppetry is an ancient form of theatre, with roots in many cultures (see this example).

A technique used in storytelling in which each character in the narrative is represented by a doll with movable parts operated with wire, strings, and/or sticks or in the form of a cloth mitten or glove designed to fit over the hand of the puppeteer, who synchronizes the movements of the doll with dialogue and action in the text. A small portable stage may be used as a backdrop (see this example). Some public libraries include circulating puppets in the juvenile collection. To learn more about puppetry, try the Center for Puppetry Arts or The Puppetry Home Page.

Pura Belpré Award
A biennial literary award cosponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) within the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, an ALA affiliate, to honor a Latino/Latina author and illustrator who best portrays the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Established in 1996, the award is named in honor of Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. As a children's librarian, storyteller, and author, she enriched the lives of Puerto Rican children in the United States through her pioneering preservation and dissemination of Puerto Rican folklore. Click here to learn more about the Belpré Award.

purchase order (PO)
In acquisitions, the official record of an order placed by a library, authorizing a publisher, jobber, dealer, or vendor to deliver materials or services at a set price. A PO becomes a contract once it is accepted by the seller. Most purchase orders include the purchase order number, name and address of seller, name and address of ordering agency, description and quantity of items ordered, price per item, discount or credit terms, fund to be charged, time for completion, shipping terms, and delivery address and instructions. Compare with invoice.

pure notation
A classification notation in which only one kind of symbol is used, usually numerals or letters of the alphabet but not both, for example, the arabic numerals used to indicate class numbers in Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Compare with mixed notation.

See: Persistent URL.

purple prose
A pejorative term for a passage or entire literary work written in a prose style so extravagantly overdone as to tax the reader with its incongruity. Synonymous with purple patch.

purple vellum
Sheets of fine parchment or vellum dyed or painted dark purple to create a high-contrast background for script or illumination in gold, silver, or white. Introduced in late Antiquity and the early Christian period, the technique was reserved for the finest books as a mark of luxury and status. Purple pages were also used in Anglo-Saxon, Carolingian, and Ottonian manuscripts and enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance. Click here to view an example from a 9th-century Italian lectionary (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) and here to see an example in an 11th-century Ottonian sacramentary (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig V 2). Other examples can be seen by paging through the 9th-century Lindau Gospels (Morgan Library, MS M.1).

The figure of a nude, rotund infant boy (often depicted with wings) tucked into a decorated border or initial letter in a Renaissance illuminated manuscript or early printed book, a motif derived from Ancient art. Click here to see putti in the 15th-century Sforza Book of Hours, a Renaissance treasure owned by the British Library, or see this example in the border in the 15th-century Gualenghi-d'Este Hours (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig IX 13). Click here to see putti in the frontispiece of an illuminated copy of the 1502 Aldine edition of Dante's Divine Comedy (University of Notre Dame) or in abundance in the border of this 15th-century Italian breviary (British Library, Burney 333). Putti were also used in other decorative contexts. To see other examples, try a keyword search on the term in Google Images.

A mental exercise or physical object contrived to pose a problem likely to test the ingenuity and patience of anyone attempting to solve it, including items bearing an image that can disassembled into pieces and reassembled. Most puzzles are recreational devices. Small public libraries in the United States sometimes circulate jigsaw puzzles for the use of patrons. Click here to see a 19th-century example (State Library of South Australia) and here to see an example of the same period showing a picture of the marriage of Pocahontas printed in color on wooden blocks (Virginia Historical Society). In AACR2, puzzles are considered a form of game and are cataloged according to the rules for three-dimensional artifacts and realia. However, if the image is a map, the item may be cataloged under the rules for cartographic materials (click here to see examples, courtesy of the University of Waterloo). See also: rebus.

puzzle initial
A penwork initial letter in which the body of the letter is divided into areas of contrasting color (usually red and blue) resembling pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, a style distinctive of, if not unique to, English and French manuscripts of the 13th century (click here and here and here and here and here to sample variations, courtesy of the British Library's Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts).

See: polyvinyl acetate.

See: polyvinyl chloride.

See: Publishers Weekly.

A library patron who is (1) showing signs of combustability, (2) in imminent danger of igniting, or (3) already on fire, usually a test of the civility and self-control of the reference librarian. For possible responses, see John Herbert's "Pyro-Patron Policy" in The Unabashed Librarian (1998). Synonymous with flaming patron and conflagrated patron. See also: problem patron.

A chemical substance (partially nitrated cellulose) used in the manufacture of lacquers, plastics, and artificial leathers. In bookbinding, it is used to coat or impregnate book cloth to enhance durability.

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