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Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Know your library jargon

By Jillian Viljoen

By Jillian Viljoen

The 3rd industrial revolution or 3IR, COVID-19 protocols, comorbidities, new normal … Are these words familiar? Do you find yourself using these words in daily conversations? How about malfeasance? This word is commonly used in politics when referring to the misappropriation of funds. We are constantly exposed to new words with every change or development in all spheres of life. We hear them on the radio, in news bulletins and read them in the newspaper and magazines. Our ears, eyes and minds are bombarded so much by these words and phrases that eventually we start using them in our conversations. It is as if our vocabulary expands after absorbing these words like a sponge, and we do not even need to use a dictionary to find the definitions because their contexts are thrust upon us with clarity. This is a stark reminder of how easy it is for children to absorb information, behaviours and other skills just by watching and listening to people around them.

UKZN library jargon are words and terms which should be part of your daily academic life. Electronic Resources, Databases, Online Library Catalogue, Global Protect Client, Off-Campus Access, ResearchSpace, LibGuides, My Library Account … The list is endless. Are these words familiar to you as a student at UKZN? Do you know how to effectively use the library resources? Do you know the library’s web address, https://library.ukzn.ac.za/? If your answer is no to any of these questions, contact a subject librarian, https://library.ukzn.ac.za/contact-subject-librarians/.

Various types of jargon are always circulated which unconsciously become part of our everyday lives. We use this jargon as a means of communication and are able to connect with the people around us, having an instant rapport because of the familiarity of the language used. This applies to our academic lives as well. We need to assimilate the jargon in the academic community and this includes the library. The library is a fountain of research resources. We just need to understand and access it with the assistance of the library staff.


Know your library jargon. It will make doing research so much easier.

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