Thursday, July 11, 2013


Anyone who has entered the Ruby Hicks building in the last 2 months realizes the library is undergoing a major renovation.  With a renovation comes the byproduct of looking at workflow and signage.  One of the updates to workflow that we decided on was to incorporate the circulation desk and the reference desk into one area instead of two.  This decision was based on a few factors which included noticing that patrons seemed to come to the Circulation desk instead of the Reference desk for help much of the time even though the Reference desk was staffed.

Since we are creating one service point instead of two, a discussion started on the various signs we have in the library.  I have included pictures of some of those signs in this blog post.  Similar to a number of other professions, libraries use “jargon” when we talk to each other.


According to our Credo Reference database “Jargon is the technical language used within a particular subject or profession, such as science, computing, medicine, law, accountancy, etc.: • CVA or cerebral vascular accident is medical jargon for a stroke. The term is also used to denote the complex, obscure, pretentious or euphemistic language used by estate agents, journalists, sociologists, advertisers, bureaucrats, politicians, etc. Jargon of both types is acceptable, and often indispensable, in professional journals and in written or spoken communications between members of the same group. It should be avoided, however, in articles, brochures, insurance policies, etc. that are to be read and understood by lay people, and in conversations with members of the general public. Jargon should not be used to impress, intimidate, confuse, or mislead the outsider. <>.

We bounced around a few ideas for the new circulation area.  Some of these are “service desk”, “help desk”, “information”, and “ask us”.  None of those signs quite conveyed what we are looking for.  Our decision is that Sue Andrus is going to ask student during Information Literacy Workshops what they call “that place”.  Do you have any suggestions?  If so, email me at

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