Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

AAOTP (Acronyms All Over the Place)

I was in healthcare, then I was specifically a nurse working for a state government, and now I’m a librarian. Oh, acronyms & nomenclature. I guess they abound in every profession, but between government, medicine, librarianship, and texting/social media lingo- I feel very acronymical in life. I thought I’d share some good ones for new students to know here: 

  • SLIS: School of Library & Information Science
    (So, we used to be GSLIS- graduate school of library & information science, and you’ll hear that still being used a lot. We’ve been SLIS, though, ever since I started. Some people say it as S LIS, some as SLIS. We’ll see what happens in the long run I suppose). 
  • LIS: Library & Information Science 
  • AARC: Academic & Administrative Resource Center 
    (that connection thing online where you can see your classes, register, access Simmons email, and what not). 
  • MHC: Mount Holyoke College
    (We use this as SLIS West students a lot since our classes are on MHC’s campus)
  • LITS: Library & Technology Services 
    (Mount Holyoke’s Library- again good for SLIS West students to know). 
  • LISSA: Library Information Sciences Student Association
  • SAA: Society of American Archivists
  • ACRL: Association of College & Research Libraries
  • ALA: American Library Association
  • ILL: Inter-library loan

There are a ton more, but y’all get the picture. We like acronyms. Also, ALA has this if you want to browse some more: 

Now, for funsies, here’s one time of many when acronyms led to confusion in my life: 

OCP: For me this meant oral contraceptive pills in 2009 when I was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail because I had been nurse right beforehand. For my hiking buddy- this mean oatmeal cream pies (from Little Debbie), which he ate all the time. I realized pretty quickly that he was not referring to what I thought of as OCP, but it was still hilarious. 

As much as I find it useful to get to know these acronyms and library lingo in general, I also think it’s good to try and use plain speak as much as possible. Even if you’re talking to another library student, you never know how much of the nomenclature has been cemented yet. I was certainly intimidated and confused at first when I started school and was trying to get all the jargon and acronyms after only having experience as a public library volunteer prior to starting at Simmons. Plus, it’s good to get the habit of plain speak for our patrons because I think everybody can always use a bit more clarity and simplicity in life.

Enjoy the break everybody!