Understanding Library terminology: Part I


I must admit the library can be rather intimidating, with its bizarre series of terms which only seems to be understood by hermits who have permanently retreated to its mysterious depths. Let me translate… By Lorna Khemraz

Follow me in my transition from denial to actually looking up these strange words which fill up the library jargon.

WebBridge or Warwick Access

WebBridge has been the magic button to press for many of my essays so far but I never really understood what it exactly did until now.

Sometimes while searching for resources, you come across articles or material which are not accompanied by a direct PDF link. In such cases, the WebBridge or Warwick Access service will help you check whether the University has a subscription to the content and therefore find the full text. This option basically saves you time and energy when searching for resources by doing the detective work for you.


This is one of those acronyms which are almost impossible to decode especially when encountered out of context. The first thing that came to mind when I heard of WRAP was a nice chicken salad tortilla, topped with some mayonnaise and piri piri sauce. As you may have guessed, this WRAP has nothing to do with food, although it does provide food for thought.

In fact, WRAP stands for Warwick Research Archive Portal. It is where you can go to access journal articles, doctoral dissertations, book chapters, conference papers, working papers from Warwick academics. This database can widen your scope for research and allow you to stumble on interesting and innovative material brought about by our University’s geniuses.


To be completely honest, I still do not know what SCONUL is short for, although I remember it referring to a scheme under which you can use libraries at other Universities. Let’s find out and dispel the mystery.

SCONUL stands for the Society of College, National and University Libraries. All universities in the UK and Ireland are represented under this society as well as many of the UK’s colleges of higher education.

Under this scheme, you can obtain borrowing rights at other university libraries (although full-time undergraduates will only be able to use these libraries for reference and the borrowing rights for other users may vary according to each individual library policy).

This access scheme can come in very handy if you have gone home for reading week, are visiting a friend, are on a trip, are a distance learner or simply want to work in another library for a change of atmosphere!

Find out more here.

Comment with any confusing terms you’ve come across and we’ll translate them for you! Keep checking in with the Study Blog for more jargon busters!

Image: Gold Letters Kempton/THOR/CC BY 2.0

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