Document Type


Publication Date




Conference Name

Virginia Library Association Annual Conference, VLA-ACRL, Richmond, VA


Eliminating jargon from our reference interactions, information literacy classes, and online resources is an undertaking that requires cooperation and input from all library departments. Through collaboration with Reference & Research Services and Information Delivery Services, we examined ways our University Libraries currently presents itself both through user experience with our website, during chat and in-person reference interactions, and in information literacy instruction sessions. Our poster will identify core problems jargon-overload present. We will look at how these problems and inconsistencies impact user experience from a Resources Discovery perspective, and provide specific examples from our library. We will provide visuals that show how language is used in library instruction and reference interactions, both in person and virtually. By looking at examples of terminology used in resource discovery, face-to-face instruction and virtual interaction, we can identify areas where natural language can take precedence. Use of consistent natural language in information literacy instruction, reference interactions and resource discovery will provide patrons with the language that they need to develop information-seeking and analyzing skills that will benefit them long after they leave the University. Librarians are notorious for speaking in jargon, often to the detriment of our users. By examining the words we use to communicate with people from both the resource discovery and instruction perspectives, we are seeking ways to break down barriers between ourselves as librarians and our users by providing consistency in both face-to-face communication and virtual interactions with our resource discovery systems.