Naming Conventions

☑ Use established naming conventions.

The naming conventions below reflect the identity standards of the University of Illinois and should be followed by the library.


  • First reference: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Optional second reference: Illinois, OR U of I
  • Optional second reference to clarify or emphasize campus: Urbana campus
  • On subsequent references, make sure that the use is consistent….Do not capitalize “university” when the word appears by itself as a noun or an adjective.
  • Unacceptable: UIUC


Formally, we are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. However, within the context of the library website, less formal options are preferred:

  • Most preferred: The Library
  • Preferred alternatives: The University of Illinois Library, University Library, or U of I Library
  • Unacceptable: UIUC Library

When not referring to the institution proper, don’t capitalize (for example, “library materials”).

Library Website

The University Library’s website consists of pages from multiple libraries. This entry is referring to the main entry point to the University Library. (

  • Most preferred: Library Website
  • Preferred alternative: Library Web page
  • Unacceptable: Library Gateway

Catalog (aka VuFind)

Within the context of the library web presence:
Library Catalog

Formal and full name outside the library website:
University of Illinois Library Catalog
U of I Library Catalog
⊗ Don't refer to it publicly as:

UIUC Catalog


General term:
Library Guides

Specific guide types:
Course Guides, Subject/Topic Guides, How To Guides
⊗ Avoid referring to it on the website as:
Research Guides
Resource Guides
Class Guide

Other Location Names

  • Main Stacks, not Stacks, stacks or Bookstacks.
  • Main Library Circulation Desk: Circulation Desk (on subsequent references).
  • Interlibrary Loan is preferred but ILL can be used once the full name has been established.
  • Ask a Librarian (not Ask Us).
  • University Archives, not Archives.
  • Grainger Engineering Library: Grainger (on subsequent references), not Engineering Library.
  • Funk ACES Library: not ACES or ACES Library.
  • Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library: SSHEL (on subsequent references), not SSHEL Library
  • Residence Hall Libraries: not Residence Hall Library or Res Hall Library/ies

Other Services and Resources

  • i-card, not icard, Icard or I-card.  (
  • NetID
  • Note: Not all patrons have i-cards, you may wish to say “i-card, courtesy card, or your university ID card.”
  • Online Journals & Databases, not SFX or Discover.
  • Research Help. Acceptable: Research Consultations, Research Desk/etc. for specific services. Not Information Services or Reference.



  • The same rules apply to all words beginning with an “e-” prefix.
  • Use e-book (not E-book, e-Book, eBook, or Ebook)
  • As a header, use E-Book.
  • At the beginning of a sentence, use E-book.
  • Use electronic reserves, not e-reserves

Outside the U of I

  • Big Ten Academic Alliance, not Big Ten, BTAA, or CIC

Other Common Words/Practices

  • Don’t capitalize librarian, university, professor, or administration (unless used as a proper noun “Professor Chapman”).
  • Internet should be capitalized.
    Use an initial capital when referring to the home of the World Wide Web.
  • Web should be capitalized: Library Web page.
  • Wireless network (not wifi or wi-fi).
  • Use email, not “e-mail”.
  • Library Account Number, not Borrower ID or Library number or 14-digit library number.
  • Dates/Times: include am and pm.  Example: 7 a.m.
    To indicate specific times, use numerals with a.m. and p.m.
    Delete the zeroes if the time of day is on the hour. Example: 5 p.m. not 5:00 p.m