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Glossary : Starting from C

Cable modem

A modem that uses cable television's coaxial cables to transmit data at faster speeds than modems using telephone lines.

CAI (computer-assisted instruction)

The use of a computer as a medium of instruction for tutorial, drill and practice, simulation, or games. CAI is used for both initial and remedial training, and typically does not require that a computer be connected to a network or provide links to learning resources outside of the course. See also CBT.

Call Number

Letters, numbers, and symbols (used separately or in combination) assigned to a book to show its location in the library shelving system. Call numbers are derived from the classification system used by the particular library.

Call Number

The unique address of a book in the stacks. This normally has couple of characters from the Author name.

Call Slip

A small piece of paper that gives location information for items held by a library.


A captcha (an acronym for "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart") is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captcha

Card Catalog

A card file listing books, journals, and other materials arranged alphabetically by author, title, and subject.

Card reader

The device on a photocopier, printer or other machine that reads a card's barcode, smart chip or magnetic strip, enables the service, and deducts the appropriate amount of credit as the card is used.

Card set

In a card catalog, the group of cards relating to each bibliographical item. Includes author card (main entry), title card, subject card, series (if applicable), etc.

Cartographic material

Any material representing the whole or part of the earth or any celestial body at any scale; cartographic materials include, two- and three-dimensional maps and plans (including maps of imaginary places); aeronautical, navigational, and celestial charts; atlases; globes; block diagrams; sections; aerial photographs with a cartographic purpose.

Case study

A scenario used to illustrate the application of a learning concept. May be either factual or hypothetical.


The collection of records identifying and locating the items owned by a library is called its catalog. In the past, this would have been a large collection of drawers with cards called a card catalog. Each card contained the information needed to identify what the library owned and where it was located.

CBL (computer-based learning)

See CBT.

CBT (computer-based training)

An umbrella term for the use of computers in both instruction and management of the teaching and learning process. CAI (computer-assisted instruction) and CMI (computer-managed instruction) are included under the heading of CBT. Some people use the terms CBT and CAI interchangeably.

CCD Scanner

A bar code reader that uses a CCD to pick up the image of a bar code. These scanners can read bar code without contacting the symbol like a laser scanner, but they cannot usually read the symbol at distances greater than 4 inches. They are prices between contact scanners and laser scanners.


Compact Disc-Read Only Memory. Like an audio CD, a CD-ROM stores information for later playback. CD-ROM: A form of electronic database, containing organised and related information. Most are available via the library databases page, a few must be used in a specified branch library.

CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory or compact disc read-only media)

A computer storage medium similar to the audio CD that can hold more than 600 megabytes of read-only digital information.

Centralized cataloging

The preparation of cataloging records by one agency to be used by other agencies or libraries


1) The awarding of a credential acknowledging that an individual has demonstrated proof of a minimum level of knowledge or competence, as defined by a professional standards organization. Professional certification can be used as a screening tool and verification of an individual's skills and knowledge. 2) Program that evaluates products or tools according to predetermined criteria, such as ASTD's E-Learning Courseware Certification (eCC).

Charge out or Check out

The process of borrowing materials to use outside the library. This is done at the circulation desk. A student ID or faculty/staff library card is required.


Real-time text-based communication in a virtual environment. Chat can be used in e-learning for student questions, instructor feedback, or even group discussion.

Chat room

A virtual meeting space on the Internet, an intranet, or other network, used for real-time text discussions. Unlike one-to-one instant messenger applications, chat rooms enable conversations among multiple people at once.

Chief source of information

The source of bibliographic data to be given preference as the source from which a bibliographic description (or portion thereof) is prepared.


The arrangement of data, records, items, headings, entries, etc., according to their relation in time, from earliest to latest. In library classification systems, the period subdivisions added to subject headings are listed in chronological order (example: --Antiquity, --Medieval, --Renaissance, then by century from the 15th to 20th).

Chronological subdivision

A subdivision showing the period or span of time treated in a work or the period during which the work appeared. (Also called Period subdivision).


(noun) A discrete portion of content, often consisting of several learning objects grouped together. (verb) To separate content into discrete portions or aggregate smaller content elements into customized configurations.


This is what it's called when a book is checked out. Most of the library material which is checked out can be taken from the building, but some such as reserve material must be used in the library.


Function of lending library materials to borrowers.

Circulation and Reserve Desk

This is the place where materials are checked out and returned.


The information needed to locate the source of information. This information is needed both for you to find the source to begin with, as well as for anyone who reads your work and wishes to read more about it. For a book, this includes the author of the book, title, publisher plus place and date of publication. If the citation is to specific pages in the book, this must be included as well. Citations for an article include the author and title of the article, name of the periodical, pages and date of publication.


The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.


See instructor-led training.

Classroom training

See instructor-led training.

CLO (Chief Learning Officer)

The executive with primary responsibility for strategic human capital development. The CLO ensures that all learning investments focus on accomplishing the organization's mission, strategy, and goals; provides a single point of accountability for those investments; develops the corporate learning strategy; creates a culture of continuous learning; fosters communities of practice; integrates training functions; drives cultural transformation; and measures the impact on organizational performance. The CLO increasingly reports to either the CEO or senior vice president of HR. He or she is to learning what the CFO and CIO are to finance and information technology.

Closed Stacks

A library shelving system which restricts access to the books in the library to library employees only.


A unique alphanumeric code assigned to titles of serial publications; can be used for searching in some catalogs and indexes. Example: NATUAS (coden for the journal Nature )

Codec (coder/decoder)

Device used to convert analog signals to digital signals for transmission, and to reconvert signals upon reception at the remote site, while allowing for the signal to be compressed for less expensive transmission.

Collaboration technology

Software, platforms, or services that enable people at different locations to communicate and work with each other in a secure, self-contained environment. May include capabilities for document management, application sharing, presentation development and delivery, whiteboarding, chat, and more.

COM - Computer-Output-Microfilm

Technology whereby machine-readable data is converted to human-readable information on microfilm or fiche without first making a paper copy.

Common carrier

A government-regulated private company that furnishes the public with telecommunications services (for example, phone companies).


A group of people having ethnic or cultural or religious characteristics in common


A work which treats a subject in brief "digest" form, such as a handbook or an encyclopedia.

Competency management

A system used to evaluate skills, knowledge, and performance within an organization; spot gaps; and introduce training, compensation, and recruiting programs based on current or future needs.

Compressed file

A computer file that has been reduced in size by a compression software program. The user must decompress these files before they can be viewed or used.

Compressed video

Video signals downsized to allow travel along a smaller carrier.


A process in which a more experienced person, the coach, provides a worker or workers with constructive advice and feedback with the goal of improving performance. (See also mentoring, which focuses on career development and advancement)


In library terms, a gathering in which scholars report their recent research findings to peers in the same field. Papers presented at a conference are often published in volumes known as "conference proceedings," which are therefore important sources for current information. The work presented may or may not later be revised and published in a refereed journal.

Conference Proceedings

A collection of conference papers presented at a particular conference, often published in book format, and sometimes as a special issue of a journal. Conference proceedings held in the library are listed in the Library Catalogue.

Connect time

The amount of time that a terminal or computer has been logged on to a computer or server for a particular session.


Information captured digitally and imparted to learners. Formats for e-learning content include text, audio, video, animation, simulation, and more.

CoD (Content on demand)

Delivery of an offering, packaged in a media format, anywhere, anytime via a network. Variants include audio on demand (AoD) and video on demand (VoD).

CMI (computer-managed instruction)

The use of computer technology to oversee the learning process, including testing and record keeping.

CMS (content management system)

A centralized software application or set of applications that facilitates and streamlines the process of designing, testing, approving, and posting e-learning content, usually on Webpages.


"A part issued in continuance of a book, a serial, or a series."

Controlled Vocabulary

Standardized terms used in searching a specific database. These terms differ for each database.


A result of the digital era in which various types of digital information, such as text, audio, and video, and their delivery mechanisms--television, telecommunications, and consumer electronics--are combined together in new integrated forms. WebTV is an example of convergence between televisions and computer technology.


Information stored on a user's computer after he or she visits a Website. The cookie tracks data about that user but can be disabled in the browser.


The rechargeable debit card used to operate photocopiers and printers in many libraries.


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. The legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work. Libraries are required to comply with copyright law when making photocopies or putting items on Reserve.

Corporate Author

An organization (e.g., a business, government agency, institution, etc.) considered to be the author of a work. EXAMPLE: Albany Institute of History and Art. Hudson Valley painting, 1700-1750, in the Albany Institute of History and Art. [Albany, 1959]

Corporate university

A learning organization with a governance system that aligns all learning with the corporate or agency mission, strategy, and goals. The governance system typically includes a governing board consisting of the CEO and other senior executives and a chief learning officer (CLO) who has overall responsibility for managing the organization's investment in learning. CEOs of best-practice learning organizations leverage their corporate university to achieve performance goals, drive cultural transformation, reform and integrate training departments, and establish and sustain competitive advantage through learning.


In indexes, the range of years and number and type of publications included.


Any type of instructional or educational course delivered via a software program or over the Internet.

CPU (central processing unit)

The part of the computer that contains the microprocessor, power supply, hard drive, and disk drives.

CRM (customer relationship management)

Methodologies, software, and Internet capabilities that help a company identify and categorize customers and manage relationships with them.


A term used in catalogs, thesauruses and indexes to lead you from one form of entry to another (e.g., American poets see Poets--American).

CSS (cascading style sheets)

An HTML feature that enables Webpage developers and users to specify the way a Webpage appears when displayed in a browser, by applying a number of different style sheets to the page. Each style sheet controls a different design element or set of design elements.

Cumulative index

An index in which several previously published indexes are combined into one book.

Current Awareness

An index which provides information (usually the tables-of-contents) on the very latest issues of periodicals. Since it may take several months after publication for citations and abstracts to appear in standard indexes, these provide the most timely information available on a topic. Example: Current Contents, UnCover.

Current Periodical

Issues of magazines or journals that are still loose (unbound). These are usually issues published in the last year. In most libraries, the online catalog record will indicate whether or not a specific issue is bound or with the other current periodicals.

Customer-focused e-learning

Technology-based learning programs offered by a company and targeted at their current and prospective customers. The intent is to increase brand loyalty among existing customers and attract new business.

Cutter number

In the call number, a unique alphanumeric code which makes books within a given subject class fall into alphabetical order by author.


The nebulous "place" where humans interact over computer networks; term coined by William Gibson in Neuromancer.

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