I’ve often read observations by librarians pointing out how frustrated patrons can be by library terms–many students aren’t sure what a “periodical” is, for instance.
Today I showed a patron how to use ILLiad, or Interlibrary loan. Under the New Request headingare two clickable options: Loan and Photocopy (see below).
Loan is for a book or media item that is physically sent, or loaned, from one library to another. Photocopy is for articles–even if the article is e-mailed. That’s where things got confusing–the patron wasn’t sure if this indicated a physical or electronic copy of the article, or which was preferrable. It would have saved her time if Book or Media Item replaced Loan. The second one is more difficult–“article” is tempting to use, but not always technically accurate. Articles, etc. perhaps?
Anyway, that’s my .02.♦