GENERAL LIBRARY SYSTEM: A system of libraries on the Madison Campus, headed by the Director of Libraries and consisting of the Memorial Library and 15 Branch Libraries, together with central service divisions and units.

BRANCH LIBRARY: A library which is a branch within the General Library System; initially these were considered “branches” of a comprehensive main library (Memorial Library). As Memorial Library became more specialized, the other General Library System libraries became less branches of Memorial Library and more members of the General Library System.

PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIES: The Middleton-Weston (Health Sciences) Libraries, Law Library, Wendt Library (Engineering), and Steenbock Library (Agriculture-Life Sciences-Veterinary Medicine-Family Resources and Consumer Sciences). Only Steenbock is a full member of the General Library System as well, while Wendt is half in and half out of the General Library System.

SPECIAL-PURPOSE LIBRARIES: A small number (circa 20) of libraries outside the General Library System, each headed by a professional librarian and providing most or all of the traditional library services on a formal basis to certain organizational units. This definition is purposely narrower than the Special Campus Library Group organization’s membership.

REFERENCE/READING ROOMS: Many academic departments and other organizational units maintain rooms in which various reference materials are held for use of staff and students. Some are called “libraries,” others are called reference or reading rooms. They are categorized as reference/reading rooms, unless a professionally-trained librarian or archivist is in charge and most traditional “library” functions are present.

LIBRARY OF RECORD: Any library on the UW-Madison Campus whose collection/holdings are listed in the Union Card Catalog in Memorial Library. This includes all General Library System libraries, all Professional Libraries, the Library School Library, the State Historical Society Library, and the Woodman Astronomical Library.

LIBRARY COORDINATING COUNCIL: Created in 1971, this body comprised of the General Library System Director and the Directors of the Professional Libraries was charged with responsibility for improving cooperation, coordination, and compatibility of the various libraries on the campus.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COMMITTEE: The principal faculty-advisory body on campus libraries.

TECHNICAL SERVICES: Internally-oriented services for libraries including cataloging, acquisitions, and other support services designed to get books and other library materials “on the shelves” and to put a completely-catalogued record of them into the card catalog or on-line catalog. These services are provided by a central unit to a system of libraries, as is the case with the General Library System, or an individual non-General Library System library can provide its own.

PUBLIC SERVICES: Externally-oriented services extended to library users including circulation, reference, etc. Each library has its own public services staff.

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT: A service provided by bibliographers or other selectors who make planning and purchasing decisions for library collections, often with advice from faculty experts in the field and often within the context of an approved collection-development policy. Collection development also involves collection evaluation, materials preservation, and collection weeding.