I came across this blog post today while I was looking for something else and I wanted to share it.
Every profession has it’s codes and ways of speaking that are not always easy to understand by outsiders, and the library profession is no exception. I just recently was being reminded of this when a collegue expressed that he didn’ t know what I was talking about when I spoke of databases. To him, databases meant something technical that he was used to making. It didn’ t occur to him that the librarians could be involved with databases.
We’re going to rebuild parts of the library website soon and we’re trying to find good expressions for the buttons on our pages, but it proves difficult in some cases, because what we want to say isn’t easy to express without using these tribal words (like “databases”, “resources” and so on..)
I think Matthew Raidsrow is absolutely right when he says that “Find is the new search”. Students want to find information, they’re not to interested in the search process itself. So, trying to get students to act like librarians when they are writing their papers is not working. Maybe if we emphasised the goals mo and did our best to uncomplicate the process instead of trying to turn them all into reserachers would help?
By the way, one of the funniest quotes on “tribal language” is from the movie “Good morning, Vietnam” when Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer makes fun of Stg Major Dickinson:
“Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn’t we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? ‘Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we’d all be put out in K.P.”