Every profession seems to have its own language and symbols pertinent to its operation. Libraries are no different and those of us who work at the Cherokee Public Library use terms that may seem like a foreign concept to our patrons. In the past week or so we have noticed such a problem when patrons reserve items online through our website. The best way to explain the situation is to use an example.
We had someone who wanted the book Fame by Karen Kingsbury. In our catalog the title Fame shows up as a book, an audio download and a movie. Each entry has a specialized call number, which is library language for the location of an item. The book shows up with two designations, CF for Christian Fiction and LP for Large Print. The audio version has an icon of headphones and the note "no copies" which means it is only available through WILBOR. The movie is listed as DVD. The patron must choose which item they want and click on it. If they are not familiar with all our specialized call numbers, it's very easy to reserve the wrong item.
Other designations in our catalog range from SF for science Fiction, YA for Young Adult, CD for audio books, BR for Beginning Reader etc. etc. And of course there are all the numbers in the classification system for nonfiction that denote books with subject headings. Sometimes there may be books with the same title by different authors or authors with the same name which leads to more confusing situations.
All of this rigmarole is second nature to me after my many years of working in libraries and I sometimes have to remind myself that there are people out there who have no clue what the words fiction and nonfiction even mean. Believe me, I can relate. Trying to decipher information about stocks and bonds or medical insurance makes me feel pretty inadequate. It doesn't mean I'm dumb or helpless. It just means I don't know the language.
The library staff tries hard to catch problems with reserves placed online but we assume the patron has chosen the item and format they want. So, if you are one who uses this service and you would like a short tutorial to help clarify things, please be sure to ask a staff member. We will be happy to translate!
Adult activity groups meeting each week are Sit & Stitch on Mondays from 1-3 p.m., READit book discussion on Thursdays from 10-11:30 a.m. and a writing group on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon. Please feel free to join in! Call 225-3498 with any questions.