Library Gobbledygook

One can start a list and argue about the many oxymorons in the English Language…  act naturally, exact estimates, pretty ugly, original copies, clearly misunderstood, etc.

Let’s talk more about confusing Library terms, acronyms, and jargons – Library gobbledygook.

What was that?  OPAC? The item is renewable?  Do an I.L.L.?  Union list, ALA, shelf-check, OCLC?

Library staff tends to speak a language peppered with technical terms, acronyms, references to people and institutions; and even ordinary English words which have acquired specialized meanings for the library and the people working in the library.

 When the Library had its Staff Development Day last Thursday, the speaker brought up an interesting point: try to use regular words when speaking with your customers.  Being able to ‘talk’ on the same level with library users is an excellent start. Communicate better by avoiding library jargon.

Do you have any special Library word that you like to use, hate to use, thoroughly made up and invented? Did a librarian say a word that you had absolutely no clue as to its meaning?  Do what now?   

Or better yet, do you know of a Library oxymoron?  🙂