Unless noted otherwise, this guide defers to the official University of Houston Writing Style Guide for specific words or phrases not covered here.

Below is a list of terms with specific use defined by UH Libraries.

24 Hour Lounge – located in the 1st floor Gold Wing. Not “24 hr. lounge” or any other combination

Academic Research Center (ARC) – computer lab located in 1st floor Red Wing of the main library. When using ARC, spell out the term the first time it appears on each page, e.g., “Academic Research Center (ARC)”” then use ARC in future references

business zone – see study zone

circulation desk – use Service Desk (main library)

customer – use user

department – Each library department is listed on the UH Libraries Intranet. Use the full name listed there

Departments are always given initial caps, e.g. Human Resources, not human resources. Adding department after a department name is only done to avoid confusion, such as in distinguishing the interlibrary loan service from the Interlibrary Loan department

disability – an impairment in physical, cognitive, mental, or developmental ability. Do not use “handicap”

e-journal – use journal. If available online only use appropriate modifier(s), e.g. online journal, electronic journal, journal available online, etc. Never use e-

Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion – meeting space available to groups affiliated with the University located in the main library. Use only the full name.

email – there is no hyphen in email, i.e., never use “e-mail”

floor – a level in a building. Writing out floor in full is preferred. For floor numbers, use a number with abbreviation, e.g., 1st floor, 2nd floor, etc. Superscript text, e.g., 1st floor, 2nd floor, is acceptable but not required. When abbreviating floor, use FLR, e.g., 1st FLR

handicap – use disability

information desk – use Service Desk (main library)

interlibrary loan (ILL) – service offered to users to borrow materials from outside institutions. Not InterLibrary Loan. When using ILL, spell out the term the first time it appears on each page, e.g., “interlibrary loan (ILL),” then use ILL in future references

Note: The Interlibrary Loan department is always capitalized (see department)

Learning Commons – computer lab located in 1st floor Gold Wing of the main library

learning zone – use study zone

library – only appropriate in the context of a single library or location, e.g. “Special Collections is located on the 2nd floor of the library.” The official title for the overall organization is the Libraries (see University of Houston Libraries)

Official titles of individual libraries and other collections/archives:

MD Anderson Memorial Library

  • “Memorial” is often dropped
  • Also the main library or just the library
  • Never use “the MD Anderson Library”

William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, & Art Library

  • When not using the official name use the Architecture, Design & Art Library

Music Library

  • Never use “music library” as the Music Library is the official name for this library

Health Sciences Library

  • Never use “hsl” as the Health Sciences Library is the official name for this library

John M. O’Quinn Law Library (at UH Law Center)

  • When not using the official name use the Law Library
  • Because this library is not administratively part of UH Libraries, adding “at UH Law Center” after the name is appropriate

Hospitality Industry Archives (at Hilton College)

  • When not using the official name use the hospitality archives
  • Because this archive is not administratively part of UH Libraries, adding “at Hilton College” after the name is appropriate

library zone – use study zone

OneSearch – the service name of the PRIMO discovery system. Not “Onesearch”

patron – use user

quiet zone – see study zone

reference desk – use Service Desk (main library)

Service Desk – the service point located in the main library lobby for circulation and reference

silent zone – see study zone

study zone – areas in the main library with different uses and expectations. Always capitalize the name of the zone. Only capitalize zone if it appears directly after a zone name

Business Zone for groups and activities
Quiet Zone for smaller groups and casual study
Silent Zone for individuals and no interruptions

University of Houston Libraries – official title of this organization. UH Libraries or Libraries is the proper shortening. Always plural unless referring to a singular library (see library). When referring to UH Libraries as an organization, capitalize Libraries

Always use the definite article the when writing “the University of Houston Libraries” or “the Libraries.” Never use the definite article when writing “UH Libraries”

The Libraries is always referenced as a singular entity. Use singular verb tenses, e.g., “The Libraries is committed to student success”

user – official term for a person using, visiting, or patronizing UH Libraries in both physical and digital spaces

visitor – use user

wing – one of the four color-coded sections of the main library. Capitalize the color of the wing. Only capitalize wing when used with a wing color

Brown Wing northern section
Blue Wing eastern section
Gold Wing southern section
Red Wing western section

Wings may be referenced by only their color, e.g., Quiet Zones are located in Basement Red and Gold as well as 3rd floor Gold

zone – lowercase, unless used with any zone name, e.g., Quiet Zone. See study zone

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