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This is the archive of the blog Points of Reference. From 2009-2012 a team of library reference experts talked about resources (books, databases, Web sites, e-books, and more) and publishing trends.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 2:26 pm
Library jargon
Posted by: Lindsay Harmon

According to this article on library website usability, the terms that library patrons misunderstand most include "database," "library catalog," and "reference." What library terms trip up your patrons? What words do you use instead?

2 Responses to “Library jargon”
  1. rebecca Says:

    Just discussing this at PLA last week! By a landslide, ILL. Why on earth would we expect anyone outside of a library worker to know what we mean when we say we can "get that through ILL" for them or "we'll ILL it for you". Why can't we just simply say, "we'll request that from another library". Does it really take so long to speak that we have to abbreviate it?

  2. Lindsay Harmon Says:

    I have a hard enough time getting my student workers to understand that one! I don't even use it outside the library--"books from another library" is all I ever say. They also call every online resource we subscribe to, regardless of vendor, "the EBSCO." :)


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